CJ 1010, DO OVER Fabric 3

originally published 4/9/12


If you missed it, read the previous post.  I summarized my actions and directions with Christine Jonsons Pants for Woven Fabric Pattern #1010 . Everything I tried with Fabric 2 did not seem to make the pants better. I felt I’d lost my way and decided to begin again, or in today’s parlance: DO OVER. Thus:


Pattern: I traced a straight 16 back then added a 1″ wedge to the back crotch. This minimized changes to the back crotch.  I did have to re-align the back crotch by a sliver, no more than 1/16″. I felt much better knowing that I was not making a great change did decide to make the crotch a sliver more instead of a sliver less. My reason being that I could trim out easily enough, but adding even a sliver doesn’t always work.  I retained the 3″ shortening of the legs.  I’ve not grown taller or shrunk and the leg length alteration makes mathematical sense. I am 5’3″. Patterns are designed for the 5’6″ woman i.e patterns are designed for someone 3″ taller than myself. Removing 3″ of length has got to happen some place some time.


I choose my fabric carefully: On the one hand, I need to choose a no-question-about-it bottom/pant-weight fabric. OTOH I’m not sure I want to cut and trash yet another fabric during testing of a pattern I’m not convinced can  be fit to my figure. The X wrinkles are scaring me and if this pattern was all that easy to fit, why have I totally discarded 2 fabrics. I did find THE PERFECT FABRIC…in my own stash. I have a medium weight cotton twill in a green-aqua. I’ve purchased RTW pants and made my own pants from this fabric or it’s clone. It’s perfect for this effort because the twill side is discolored. The twill side has faded regularly-irregularly. That means there are some typical horizontal and vertical fadings along would-be folds or center of the fabric. But there’s also some unusual spotting and bleeding all on the twill side. The reverse side- which reminds me of duopioni- is perfect. I decide to use the reverse as the public side. If this is a bomb-no harm done. The fabric had limited use as a muslin anyway. If this is a fireworks-display success, the duopioni side adds an interesting texture.


So I give it shot. I want to repeat the Pattern Alterations Are Limited to

  1. 1″ added to back crotch length
  2. 3″ subtracted from leg length
  3. Waistband facings substituted with my personally fitted and dependable, straight waistband.





… ok maybe not. But I”m most impressed that the front folds of ease have diminished greatly.



Let me show that in context from unfitted Fabric #2 to current:




The newest pair is (as you are looking at the pic) on the far right and green. I know there is still room for improvement…. BUT…. These pants don’t look humongous. Rather, they reveal my shapely figure (albeit: PEAR) and they do that with a much firmer fabric WHILE still feeling comfortable. There are much less in the way of “C” shape folds surrounding the good china.  I could wear these as I normally style myself, i.e. mid-thigh or high hip length blouses and the short comings of it would be unnoticed.

Whenever I’m fitting, I keep in mind that the body in motion will produce wrinkles.  Most people have little concept as to what fits or does not fit because they can’t identify a fitting wrinkle from a movement wrinkle.

Proceeding to the back:




… is even more encouraging.  Fabric 3 is a somewhat crisp fabric.  It retains it’s inherent shape but it does conform enough that you can see a shapely middle-aged body rather than an aged body that has completely collapsed in upon itself. Again we’re looking at the green pants on the far right.  The X wrinkle is not complete. In fact the lower leg seems devoid of error. Should the pants not be creeping in between my cheeks, I might ignore all else.  But it is.  I do not want my cheeks so clearly defined.  It is uncomfortable as well as unattractive.  I know I can have better.  I know excellent fitting pants are possible:


And so while Fabric 3 has undoubted improved the fit of CJ1010, I’m asking myself, is it worth it to proceed? Should I consider this DO_OVER, DONE?


Special note to my Sewing Angel:  Please do not feel bad for having suggested this experiment.  I’m always hopeful that the next patten will fit with minimal adjustments.  You may enable me by pointing out new patterns and methods, but you are not responsible for my decision to or not to accept the challenge.  I very much enjoy hearing from you and exploring your discoveries.  Without your encouragement and suggestions, I would not have any pants which fit me. I do believe the only reason I have pants I love, is because you said “here, try this”.  Thank you.  Thank you so much for sharing, encouraging and yes enabling.


CJ 1010 Do-Over

originally published4/9/12


So let’s review from the beginning.—NOT to mean I’m forgetting the hard won knowledge…,,,

  • I know adding 2″ to the back crotch length is far too much; however not adding anything would adversely affect both the front and back (see the sample and Fabric#1) . I need to add back-crotch length, agreed?  How much?  I settled on 1″.  I think I can tweak up to 1/4″ either way without adversely affecting the hang of my pants.
  • I also know that there is ample width-ease for a woven fabric.  There is no need to add 3/8″ to the side seams (as done with Fabric 2). In fact, repeatedly I had looked and thought “it’s just too big all over”.
  • I know that a straight waistband is a good possibility for me.  I didn’t like the faced waistband. It felt like the waistband was falling off resulting in my constantly hitching up the waistband and then pulling down into place.  I do tolerate the faced waistband on some patterns (like TJ906). I prefer a waistband to hug my body and give me the feel of support at the waist.  I want to know that my pants are not sliding off.  (Plumber’ Butt is neither friend nor goal). Either the straight or contoured waistband (added during Fabric2) felt comfortable during wear. But the contour waistband added a mess of wrinkles I was unable to resolve. Removing the contour WB and adding a straight WB seemed to solve all the crotch/waist issues seen in both faced and contoured versions. But I had unsolved wrinkles in both front and back. Starting with a known fit at the waist was greatly helpful.  If the designer forbids me to use a straight waistband… I mean if I’m in some kind of copyright violation than,,, crap,,, I throw the pattern away and move along to something more forgiving.
  • The pattern alterations I made always bothered me.
    • 2″ additional to the back crotch length seemed excessive.
    • That 2″ could not be added without trimming 3/8″ from the center back and reshaping the back crotch rise.
    • Shortening the legs at only one point, (roughly 5″ below my knee)… well just never felt right. I mean my figure is not straight up and down.  I can’t alter my clothes like a pair of drapes.  I can’t just whack off so many inches from the bottom or top and expect everything in between to be fine; and yet that is what I’m doing.  In one place, I’m whacking off 3″ and expecting the entire front and back, upper and lower, leg to be perfect..
  • I know a bottom weight fabric is usually the best choice for a bottom (pants, skirts) garments.  I’m unsure my previous choices fully met the requirements.  The sheeting used in Fabric 1, the first sample, definitely wasn’t a bottom weight.  I concede that certain styles could make elegant use of sheeting into pants.  I can envision myself walking along the beach, with loose sheeting-fabric pants. But I’m hoping to create a basic pattern which can be utilized as my personal basic pant block.  Sheeting definitely wasn’t the ticket.  I’m unsure about the cotton/poly linen look used in Fabric 2.  I know I’ve successfully used similar fabrics in the past as trousers/slacks. It’s entirely possible that this fabric would work.  But honestly thought I had a basic pant pattern and this linen-look fabric would be ideal.  I really thought I’d chosen an excellent fabric  in a so-so (lilac pants anyone) color. I need to ensure that the next fabric is without a doubt a good, all-around garment-bottom weight fabric.


FABRIC 1, the Sample prescribed by the designer was constructed with cotton sheeting

(eh,, No pics. I didn’t want to share sights of my underwear) I traced a straight size 16 pattern; basted together and pinned together in the front. CJ’s instruction would have me pinned together in the back but I’m not dexterous enough to accompish this neatly. In fact, I rather thought I might injury myself. Using CJ’s method of splitting the sample across the back crotch and allowing the pant to open as “it” desired dictated a 2″ addition to the back crotch length. After this addition the pant felt comfortable. The WB raised properly into position (both front and back) and I excitedly proceeded to the next step.



FABRIC 2 , This was to be my first “real” pair of pants from pattern CJ1010. I altered the tissue by adding 2″ to the back crotch length and 3/8″ to the side seam allowances. I chose to construct this real pair of paints with a suiting quality, cotton/poly, linen-look, fabric -perfect for spring and summer wear. I set up the camera and snapped away at this trial:


.. which was decidedly too large.   I needed to take in the side seams just to estimate the fitting issues:


I’m sorry to say, I’m never sure the pants of Fabric #2  ever actually improved. Despite numerous attempts at taking in and letting out of seams and darts; adding a contour and straight WB and repeating the seam tweaks:


They just never reached a Proud To Wear Status, like my JSM’s in March:


JSM completed March 2012

CJ1010 Easter Weekend

originally published4/8/12


First a pic of how I would look if we happened to run into each other in the grocery store

I think I look like the little old lady who bought the next largest size because her size was already sold. Sigh, the fabric is beginning to ravel forcing me to decide whether I can wear these as is.  These are better than the first try on:

and certainly better than the foray into contour-waistband territory

… you don’t want to know about that.

but still not what I had in mind.  I have at this point removed 3/8″ length from the front tapering to 1-1/4″ at the back; all around the top at the waistband.  This causes  the previously fit waist area to be slightly larger and eased to the straight waistband. Err yes, the pattern does not call for a straight waistband. It’s another story you don’t want to hear all about. Trust me, the waistband is necessary for me.  I am pondering the issues.  First is the front folds of fabric which tend to surround the “good china”

I’ve removed and added to the side multiple times.  I’ve offset the side seams by varying amounts. I’ve pulled up in the center front.  I was and always am very careful about laying the fabric out on the straight of grain.  But no matter what I do these folds form in front and curve around the bottom of the front crotch. Mind you, they are comfortable only as long as I leave all the ease. I did add to the length of the front crotch when I worked with the contour waistband. The folds remained.  I also think those folds in the lower front leg are odd. It’s like draping around my knee.  I could wear these pants though.   I never tuck my blouses and you can see from the first picture that most of my issues with the front are well disguised by my normal styling.

I might even be able to ignore the issues on the sides:

The folds on the lower leg can happen from just the way I’m standing.  It’s the back, as usual that has me gritting my teeth:

The infamous X wrinkles are beginning to form.  They center over my knees but radiate up and outwards. There is also fabric creeping between my cheeks.  I have to tell you this is what I can look like after having walked all day at the zoo or at the beach. It’s not what I look like first thing in the morning.  Possibly the blouse is not the best choice to combine with these semi-fitted pants.

The question for me is what now?  As I said, the fabric is beginning to frey, forcing a decision.  I’ve done so much and ripped it back out when it worsened the problems. I can’t imagine what else to do. I think I made a gross error with the amount I added to the back crotch length or rise.  Probably compounded that by adding the extra 3/8″ to the side seams.  There should be more than enough ease. The crotch ought to fit.  I compared it with my tweaked JSM.  It is possible that my fabric does not have enough body.  I’m learning that each pant style has a narrow range of  fabrics which will work well. Maybe this fabric really doesn’t have the required hand? I’m not ready to give up on the pattern, but I think I’m done with this fabric.


CJ1010: Waist

originally published4/7/12


I’m always amazed at how much difference a fabric makes. The sheeting in the sample, felt fine at the waistline and in the legs( before I patched the back crotch).  But this nice cotton/poly, linen-look fabric was  astonishingly too large.

Yes, I did add 3/8″ to the side seams, but I also sewed 3/8″ deeper i.e. instead of a 5/8″ SA, I made a 1″ SA only at the side seams.  My first thought was if the pants were too big all over, why not just take them in at the sides?



Maybe because my butt and hips needed the extra across them. And gee look at those back leg wrinkles and front camel toe. Know else is going on here?  Don’t try to guess let me tell you:  I’m not comfortable with the waistline sitting at the hip level. I keep yanking the waistline up to the waist. Sigh…


Back to the sewing room –thank goodness I’m using WSS in the bobbin– rip out sides and facings and start adjusting only the waist. I add 2 front darts each approx 1/4″ deep and take the back crotch in about 1/8″.


This is much improved. Even the back wrinkles are greatly reduced. I threw away many more pics because I kept yanking up the pants; then yanking down just as the camera flashed.  I am not comfortable with the waist this low.  I’m greatly concerned.  I’m reading discussion that this hip-level waistline is the most attractive for most women. But it’s not going to be all that good for me if I’m unable to stop yanking my pants up.  Any suggestions?  Technically THE WAIST FITS but I’m reluctant to continue due to being uncomfortable with the waistline level. Also the sides want to slip down which I suspect is causing the wrinkles visible in the back leg and side.  Also the crotch is not wonderfully comfortable.  It feels better than the one-seams ever did and looks just as good. It is possible that after a wearing, the fabric would adapt just the tiny bit needed for my comfort.  I don’t think that’s going to help me with the waistline level.


CJ1010: Preparing for the “real” pants.

originally published 4/7/12


Now that the sample is done, I turn my attention to the possibility of the first “real” pair of pants from this pattern.

I apologize for not sharing the pattern pic in previous posts.  I usually like to show the pattern so you have some idea what I’m trying to create.  There are two versions of pants in the envelope. One is a trouser and the other, a flare leg.   I’m always complaining about the excess ease in back of the thigh on trouser pants.  So when I saw how the back leg of the 1010 flare pant was shapped, I just had to try it.


I made the “Sample” of the flair pants in a thin sheeting. For the first “real”  pair of 1010 pants, I wanted to use some of my best fabric and then again I didn’t.  I didn’t take pics of the sample garment.  I didn’t want to post a pic of my rear in underwear which  the sheeting revealed.  I also didn’t trust the sample with big patch to accurately indicate fit wrinkles. The sheeting readily wrinkled on its own. The big slash I put across the back and then pinning a separate scrap to it changed the wrinkles and added lots of new ones.


I’d really do want this pattern to work for me. So I’ve discarded the wrinkle information of the sample. I’m working from the point of view that  the altered crotch felt comfortable and with enough ease, the pant could be fit to me.    I would be thrilled if it only took 2 alterations to get any pant pattern to fit me. So I’m determined to give it a chance. I chose a fabric with a good hand for a bottom.  It is a cotton/poly blend.  I happen to like blends. I think you get the best of both fibers.  This blend resists wrinkles and seems to drape nicely for pants when wrapped around Mimi (dressform).   I also decided not to change where the waistline of the pant falls on my body.  It is doing what it is designed to do.  This first time, I’m just simply going to accept that the pant will hang about an inch below my natural waist.  I will add belt loops.  A belt is my insurance that the pants will fit at the waistline no matter what size my waist is today.  I also will add a front zipper.  It is my preferred closure for pants.  If the design won’t work with a front zipper, well I don’t want it anyway.


From what I can see, size 16 should fit me just fine. But I may have to make some fitting tweaks (when do I not, eh?) and for that reason I’d like more ease for this pair.  So I’m adding 3/8″ to each side seam, that’s a total of 1.5″ ease.  I’m not adding to the inseams or the crotch.


CJ 1010: after the sample

originally published4/6/12


.. and time for a break.


I basted the sample together using my HV Ruby’s basting stitch. I stay stitched the waist and the front crotch; as well as back stitching at the beginning and end of each line of stitching.  My Ruby’s basting stitch will remove itself if I’m not careful.  Trying on the sample, meant carefully pinning the front crotch (I basted the back closed) and praying the pins wouldn’t slip.  I chose a size 16, but to be honest with these extra pounds I really wondered if that was big enough. So I basted the SA’s at 1/4″.


This was obviously too large, except for the crotch.  The front crotch wanted to dip.  Usually my front crotch wants to ride high.  The back wanted to dip even further. I could see lots of the lower back. Plumber’s Butt springs to mind.  It was not possible to place the waistline as indicated by the instructions but I did pin it snugly where as it was.  I have to admit that the crotch really wasn’t either frowning or smiling.  It looked pretty clear to me that the back crotch was wayyyy to short and the front crotch need just a bit more length.


I followed the Alternate Step Two instructions which are specific to altering the front crotch. Fortunately,  there is a diagram of the back with the same alteration. Which says to me, the back can utilise the same alteration.  What you do is cut across the back starting at the crotch, just above the curve and cutting nearly but not totally to the side.  Then you pin in a scrap  to one side of the cut; put the pants back on, allow the crotch to drop the amount “it” thinks is needed and finally pin the other side of the cut.  I’ve done this before.  EONS ago, but I’ve done this before and it works.  I just didn’t want to use all those pins. So I basted the scrap to the top cut; kind of smoothed out the scrap and  pinned only the bottom cut about 2″ away with the fewest pins possible.


Surprise surprise (and I mean that sincerely) my guesstimate was spot on.  The back crotch now covered my back and rested at my waist.  The front crotch also sprang up the slight bit that it needed. Where the waist had needed to be pinned before, now fit comfortably.


I can’t see the back clearly and I’m not taking pics.  The scrap and pin method guarantees there will be wrinkles from areas not supported (and pinned). Now that I can see the pant, the only thing I really don’t like is where it rides.  I’d prefer pants that hang from my waistline.  These are going to be an inch lower.  Checking the instructions assures me, one inch below the natural waist is the designer’s intention.


I transfer the changes back to the tissue. Yes plural.  I’ve folded up the pant legs 5 inches and they are just barely clearing my foot in front.  I take 3″ out of the length of the leg.  I start to add a 2″ wedge to the center back.  Remember CJ’s original instructions?: “If you decide to redraw my crotch curve you may as well stop now.” Well adding 2″ markedly changes the the crotch curve.  I slash the tissue in 2 places and add 1″ between each slash. The crotch curve is still changed, but not quite as drastically as when the entire 2″ was inserted at one slash.


I then true the pattern.  Truing the legs was a matter of slivers of paper 1/8 and less.  Truing the back crotch removes 3/8″.  I trim the 3/8″ because that seam needs to have a smooth curve. But then I wonder, did I remove too much? Will I have problems with ease across the back hip?  Because it’s not 3/8″ but 3/4″ of ease that has been removed.  Once the crotch curve dropped into place, the size 16 (which looked too big) is about perfect. I was totally enthused.  Could I have found the draft which would requireonly 2 alterations to create a good fitting pant?


Again, I want you to know I’m optimistic.  I became excited when the back crotch popped up in place and the whole waistline and pant settled into a decent position.  My delimna is do I go for the whole enchilada and add enough length to have the pant hang, at my preference, my waist?  Do I use a great fabric? Do I worry about the 3/8″ sliced off the back tissue?  I’m eager to go forward from the sample (now in the trash) to a great pair of pants. But should I instead be reasonable? Stay true to the designer’s vision? Try only for the wearable muslin?


Christine Jonson 1010

originally published 4/5/12


I’m a sucker for pant patterns.  I bought this one after a recommendation from my sewing angel who also strongly recommended I make the pattern following Christine’s instructions, at least the first time.


For starters, customer service is incredible.  The pattern arrived in about 3 days time.  I wasn’t expecting it until next week and was still contemplating the refitting of my JSM.  I decided to jump ship and start the 1010.


I had resisted buying pants patterns from CJ because of her direction that “the crotch area of the pant is never to be changed.  If you decide to redraw..you may as well stop now.”  I truly dislike the underlying attitude of –Mine is the only right way. Follow my directions or die.– Consider all the bodily shapes out there. Add to that how subjective “fit” is and IMO it is impossible for one method, one shape to satisfy every person. Yet the attitude persists. I will try this pattern, but I will also feel free to change everything, including the crotch shape.


So I get my pattern and start reading the instructions which say “choose the size pattern to be used based on the actual tissue pattern measurements…not the body measurement chart. My pattern comes with these measurements.” Uh  no; not on the 1010 flare leg. I looked.  Finally I dug out my tape measure and tried to decided where to measure.  There are two landmarks. The grain line and the add/remove length line. That’s it. OK there are 2 back darts.  So I did a by guess and by golly measuring at the waistline and again just above the crotch.  I came up with some weird numbers.  I’m going to blame myself for this one. Maybe I just really don’t know where to measure.  I was trying to measure a size 16 and had 44 inches at the waist and 62 across the hip.  I’m suppose to “choose a hip size that gives approx 3″ of hip ease.”  Not working. I check the body chart.  Size 16 will do.


Next I’m supposed to baste together a sample pair, in a woven fabric but skipping the facing and zipper.  I use an old sheet.  I’m already unsure of this pattern and not willing to waste a really good fabric.  I do press it and give it a whiff of starch; lay out my size 16 pattern pieces and cut. Then I notice, no fly. There is a big dot in the middle of the back crotch probably for the zipper. So I stop to read my destructions a little further. — I’m in the Read a step Do the step mode.


The next instruction down says “try the pants and and pin the back zipper opening closed at 5/8″”  I don’t have a lot of reach towards the back.  I’m also fitting this by myself. Yep just me and my camera no other human help.


I remember when I followed those instruction for the body cover for my dressform. I want you to know that there are 9 back scratchers in my house.  Because I can’t reach my back and relieve the itch. Now I’m supposed to put the bodice on (I’m still recounting the dressform experience) I’m supposed to put the bodice on and reach back there and pin it together?? Didn’t happen. I put in a zipper almost immediately.   It’s also been a long time since I’ve had a back or side pant zipper.  Why?  I’ve settled on a front zipper because it’s much harder sometimes impossible to tweak the final fit with a side zipper.  I can fit with a back zipper.  I can even zip a back pant zipper up–but it ain’t easy.  I’m not even going to consider trying to pin the back together with my body inside. Besides being afraid I’d impale myself, I don’t have the flexibility to do a good job. CJ goes to some effort to describe fitting the back crotch.  The back crotch is a sticking point for me, no matter what pattern I used.  I’m actually somewhat eager to follow her instructions. So my only opition is to pin the front together.


My point here?  I haven’t even started this pattern and I’m not following instructions.  Can this possibly work?


BTW, I’m very analytical; very detail orientated.  My dad used to say I was the scientist of the family– when he wasn’t calling me the judge.  He always thought I’d make a great Supreme Justice. What I want you to know is that I’m not feeling negative.   Sometimes when I detail my experiece, people think I’m frustrated and upset. No, or at least not yet with this pattern.  I wanted to follow the instructions but didn’t and now I’m making excuses.  I didn’t because I know myself.  My previous experiences tell me that some things just won’t work for me or I can’t work with them.. Such as reaching around the back to pin the back together. It’s the advantage of 6 decades of living–knowing what you can’t do.  Really it’s an advantage but if this pant fails someone will say that’s because I didn’t follow the instructions.  I’m OK with that. I just want you to know that I’m optimistic about this pant and I’m workin it the best I can.