6017-LoriAnn Fit to Flatter

LA6017 Conclusion

By the time I finished 6 fittings,  I was ready to call this pattern a bust. At least for me.  Usually I do nothing to the front of pants beyond leaving out the front darts.  From time to time, I need to scoop the front crotch between 1/8-1/4″ to rid the area of whiskers. But it’s not big deal. Seldom needed.  Pant fronts are usually beautiful for me.

It is the pants back with which I struggle. I need a longer back extension.  My rear is high and full even now that I’m claiming 6 decades and rapidly approaching my 7th decade of living.  It’s the stairs guys. Stairs definitely lift the tush.  Point is,  for pants I need more fullness in back than most women.  The last issue which I seldom overcome, is excess ease over the back thigh.  Sometimes it is related to the pant not being able to slip up and over my tush.  The pant is kept lower like plumber’s butt because the pant iss not wide enough to slip over the hump which is my rump.  People, even experts, look at my pants and advise either a flat butt alteration or adding length to the upper extension.  Neither have ever solved my issues. In fact adding more length to the upper extension creates a bubble directly beneath my waistband and feathers all along the CB seam! Don’t read me wrong here. I always read carefully and consider the advice I receive. Don’t stop commenting or making recommendations.  I’m always hopeful that someone will have the elegant, simple solution. After all, I’m not horribly disfigured.  I look like most middle-aged women I know.

I did 7 pairs of Eleanor’s because with every new version I thought I was one tweak away from perfection.  With every tweak I do of LA6017 I seem to take one step forward and one back. After 6 fittings I’m no closer to a good fit — not perfect just wearable — than I was when I cut the fabric.

I slept on it.  The best way to get my creative left brain working and solving the problem.  Somewhere during the evening I realized I had not increased the length of the back crotch extension.  I’d planned for it.  Added tissue and cut a longer back extension in fabric but I’d never sewn the longer extension.

For the 7th fitting I ripped out the inseam between knee and crotch and aligned the inseam edges so that I would be sewing a 1″ longer back crotch with the inseam would tapering back to default stitching line at the knee. Fit 07:

While the back is somewhat improved (Step Forward)  the front is hideous (Step Backward) and the once perpendicular side seam is leaning towards the back (Backward Step 2). The front is worst than ever. The front was better in fit 1 through 6. It’s important to me to note that:   I didn’t change a thing on the front. I stitched the front inseam on the same line as  previously stitched.

 

I’m done.

This pattern is not going to work for me.  That does happen to me frequently. While I’m not hideously deformed, I also don’t conform to any standard table of measurements. It takes a drafter well experienced with women’s figures to create pant patterns I can use.  These drafters incorporate a variety of alterations and point out when and how to use them or how to eliminate the alteration for your figure.

But what about you? It’s hard for me to make a recommendation.

  • I definitely have a combination of figure issues that most people don’t experience.  Do you? What are your fitting issues?
  • I lack expert fitting skills. I might call myself intermediate. What is your level of expertise?
  • The pattern did have a nice deep U crotch.
  • The back crotch was higher than the front.
    • Crotch shape and height are two design choices which solve a lot of pant issues.
  • The extra seams in the legs are good for people with circumference issues.
    • Long ago, Sandra Betzina  pointed out that many people could use a size 12 for the back and 14 for the front ( vice versa and different sizes applicable).  If you are one of those people, this pattern could help.
  • I”m have mixed emotions about the basic drafting.
    • The seams walked perfectly.
    • I still wonder if I missed a change in seam allowances. I mean, the pant was drafted for someone with an extra inch on her butt. Why was it necessary for me to let out all the center leg seams , back and front, to have sufficient ease?  Especially since I chose to use  a size larger than me? I double checked my hip and waist  circumferences just to be sure. In a way I dislike like seeing my specific numbers but in another way I’m glad not to be yo-yoing up and down.  Being a consistent measurement helps when fitting. Helps when evaluating.
    • I’m still dumb-founded by the two places that the size lines merged into a 1/4″ solid line.  I traced my size from hem to solid line and again from waist to solid line. Then used my french curve to join the two points through the solid line.  Since I used a size 16, the line I drew curved more to the outside of the solid line. Something I thought reasonable, but always wondered if I made the right choice.
    • The lack of notches, circles and other pattern notations bothers me.
      •  There were notches for the center back and center front leg pieces.
      •  I used the knee shorten/lengthen as notches because I know that legs will twist if the fabric doesn’t match between knee and hem.
      • The lack of notches for the pocket confused me so much, I made my own notches.
      • Written instruction to sew up to a certain point (for the zipper) is more complex/less elegant than simply placing a dot . Also, it’s non-standard and likely to be missed.
    • Point is:  The more standard notations used, the easier it is for the end-user/customer to understand AND  produce good results.
  • I’m also surprised by the lack of reviews and blog posts. There were none about the pant pattern. (That I could find.)
    • I know Shams did an excellent review of one of the jackets, but has never mentioned the line again. Then again, Shams has completely different fitting issues from my own and is incredibly bold and accurate with her alterations.  She’s made huge successes of patterns that were dismal failures for me. I greatly admire Shams but I don’t ever expect to be as good as she is.
    • Of the 3 reviews I found, 1  (i.e. 33% or 1/3) was negative because the end result didn’t look like the drawing.
      • From the drawing I expected the pant to sit waist-high.  Had I not changed the SA’s of the waistband, my pant would sit at the low-rise level.
      • Based on that experience, I agree with the negative evaluation. My finished pant would not have looked like the illustration.

 

 

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6017-LoriAnn Fit to Flatter

Fitting LA6017

So I read that the seam allowances were 1/2″ unless otherwise stated.  I also read that the suggested fabrics were “Cotton, Linen, Silk, Wool and blends”.  Thankful to find a light-colored, non-stretch fabric in the muslin stash, I chose a cotton twill.  I chose a size that was 1″ larger than my hip even though general knowledge is that patterns will fit from the stated-measurement-for-the-size up to the next-size-measurement.  I knew that a) I like my clothes to fit a little more loosely that most women and that b) my waist was  3.5″ more than the waist of the size I selected but the size which fit my waist would be 5″ larger than my hip. I added fit insurance (increased side seams to 1″ and the back inseam to 1.5″).  I wasn’t surprised at the very first try on that the waist didn’t fit comfortably.  I was surprised  it wouldn’t even close.

Usually, I can pick my size and at zip up the zipper but I can’t breathe. Can’t say this was an auspicious beginning. I released the center  front- leg seams 6″ down from the waistband.  Gradually restitching at an angle so that the seam would be 1/4″ at the top. Nope still couldn’t zip up the pants.  I know that the padding around my waist is concentrated in front. I released the side seams 6″ down from the waistband and then offset front to back  to make the side-front SA 1/2″  and the side-back would still be sewn at its default stitching line.  Ah! At last I can pull the pants up; zip up and breathe.

Question?  Have  misread the pattern.  Have I missed instructions?  Because these are still horribly tight. I promise not to bite if I am in error. I just want to know the truth. I want to sew these as the drafter intended. Having added 3″ to the front waist, and chosen what some would say is a size too large:

 

Huh??? For a pant that was designed for a butt 1″ wider than mine??? These look like I chose a size 3 times too small.  I’m not sure how accurate my critique is at this point, but initial impressions:

I was expecting the top of the waistband to sit higher on my frame. Closer to the natural waist. This pant is just topping my hip crest.  Did anyone read any place that this is a low-rise pant?  I prefer mid-rise and will work with high-rise until I get it low enough to suit me but I avoid any pant with the ‘low-rise’ designation. I don’t like how a low-rise feels and looks on me.

The back waistband is both gaping away from my spine and pulling down slightly at center back.  The pulling down is not a surprise. I suspected that the crotch extension was not long enough and/or the crotch would need to be scooped just because that’s what I need to do on every pant. At the same time the crotch feels too short in back, there is a bubble immediately beneath the waistband and a ‘feather’/ drag line about 1″ above where the crotch curves to go under my body.  These generally denote that my upright is too long.  Too short or too long?   I don’t trust this initial impression. At least my back door is not clearly outlined, a problem I often have which definitely says the crotch extension is too short.

At the same time the waist feels low and the crotch both too short and too long, over the back thigh is poufy indicating too much length between leg crease and knee or that the pant is not sliding up into correct position.

The side seam is leaning towards the back indicating that I need more ease for the back as does the VPL seen in both back and side views. It troubles me that the center back is gaping at the same time that the waist is still  obviously too tight.

Sigh, let’s move on to the front. Once again, I thought this pant would sit at or just above the natural waist. It’s definitely not waist-high. Again I see puffiness but this time between tummy and crotch with whiskers/camel toe at the crotch front.

Let’s face it: Fit #2 is bad. Horribly bad. I wonder if  this was drafted for stretch fabrics? No that’s not what the pattern envelope says.

I searched for other reviews. I could find only 3 reviews about Lori Ann patterns 1 thumbs down 2 up. The one complaint was that the finished garment didn’t look like the sketch. The one blog post I came across was like afterthought instructions from the pattern drafter herself. Basically saying ‘work those center seams’. Not much help when you’ve cut out a pant 3 times too small..  So after thinking about it overnight, I decided to let out the center leg seams both front and back to a scant 1/4″. That meant taking the waistband off to add 1/2″ more circumference in the back. When stitching the WB back to the pant, I opted to use a 3/8″ SA thus adding 1/4″ length hoping to bring the pant up to the waist level I was expecting.

Well Fit #3

People often express surprise at my persistence with fitting. While I don’t look grossly deformed, my body does not closely match any standard measurement chart. I also know that I must change one thing at a time and see how that affects the rest of the fit. It’s the surgical method rather than shotgun method of fitting.

I’m no longer sandwiched or shoe horned into this muslin. No more VPL.  Replacing the 1/2″ seams with 1/4″ seams has added the ease I needed. Typically, I skim instructions looking for specifics (like seam allowance sizes) and concentrate on instructions for any unique details.  I re-read the instructions paying attention to every word.  There are 3 pages with the 4th saying “intentionally left blank”.  Twice, in bold letters it is stated that all seams allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise specified.  I didn’t see any alternate seam allowance specifications anywhere.  In fact, this is least notated pattern I think I’ve ever used. The pockets don’t even have notches.  I’d like to know what I did wrong.  I’m willing to take responsibility.

For Fit 4, I did an ‘undo’.  After Fit 01 I offset the side seams to add more ease to the front at the waistband.  I hesitated to make more than one change, but I just don’t like where the waistband is sitting. Since I had to adjust the waistband, I also stitched it now with 1/4″ seam allowances both when attaching to the pant and  to the facing.  The result was these felt good. I felt uplifted. I felt like ‘OK now I can tweak and perfect the fit’.

Did anyone think ‘hold on there, Bev’?

VPL  returned, not quite as bad but not good. While the WB is sitting better, maybe even right-for-me, it gapes CB.  I’m torn between trying to add more ease to the back and scooping the crotch. The crotch has continually, every fitting pulled on my rear.  It’s uncomfortable and while I should be more patient, I’m getting annoyed and anxious to fix it.  I rather expected the waistband to gap at CB  because from the back view, I have a waist; whereas from the front I do not.  All my top patterns look slightly odd as the back side seam is curved at the waist and the front side seam is straight or convex.  I’m the only person I know of why adds a notch at the waist side seam so I can be sure to ease the front and back waist together.  It’s totally unnoticeable when I wearing the garment.

The best thing about the side view, is that the side seam is fairly perpendicular. So much so that I’m reluctant to make changes.  My tripod does not hold my camera exactly right. I nearly always need to rotate my pics a few degrees. So I look and think ‘Is the side seam leaning forward or does the pic need a little rotating?’

Rarely does this happen, but the front is making me groan.  I mean typically the pant front looks perfect, the side view is OK and the back has me gnashing teeth.  I knew the front crotch curve was different from my fitted patterns, but I didn’t think it was this bad.

 

Fit 05.  How can I be so patient?  Well seeing progress helps. So does experience. My experience is I must make sure a garment fits at the hanging point (shoulders for blouses, waists for pants/skirts) before I can accurately fit lower down.  If I try to fit both the hanging point and parts below, I’ll end up undoing those lower places.  Whenever I make multiple fitting changes at the same time, I increase the total amount of time devoted to fitting. Patience is a necessity, not a luxury nor option.

It’s time to snug the waistband to my body. I  added two 1/4″ darts in the waistband with the big end of the dart at the waist.) It’s also time to start removing the puffiness in front above the crotch.  It’s like scooping but instead of the bottom of the back crotch, I’m placing the scoop at the front waist towards the sides.  Despite my lecture above,  I offset the side seams again. One-half inch,  this time favoring the back.

The front is markedly improved!  I’ll need to work on the crotch curve, but I think now that has to be done at the tissue phase.

I”m not unhappy with the side view. This pant has been off and on how many times?  I’ve never done more than a quick press at the site of the correction.  Once again, I think  the angle of the camera may have more to do with the perpendicularly of the side seam than a fitting issue.

The little waist scoop I did in front?  Needs to be extended to the back.  That’s something I do frequently when fitting pants.  Most of the VPL is gone. Ease is has become  an  odd issue.  I can pinch the side seam nearly a full inch yet the fabric  across my rear looks tight.  Also there is excess ease of the back thigh and I’m seeing those detested diagonal pulls at the knee.  I think it’s time to scoop

Fit 06. I went bold and scooped a full 1/2″.  It’s recommended that scooping be done 1/4″ at  time. From my TJ906 and PP113 patterns, I estimated that I would need at least a 1/2″ scoop.  I usually scoop as the last possible option.  When you scoop, you also have to trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Otherwise, the effect of the scoop is not seen. Or felt.  Once you scoop, you can’t un-scoop. It’s done. It’s permanent. Which is why this is so sad:

I can’t go back to a previous fit; and this is still so bad. I have a tight rear end at the same time I can pinch over an inch ease at the side seam:

I have camel toe with pull lines everywhere.

Although it’s not all that late… I think I should take a break.

Some things, just need to be considered carefully.

 

 

6017-LoriAnn Fit to Flatter

Lori Anne Fit to Flatter Classic Pants

My sewing angel gifted this pattern to me.

She was disappointed but assured me the pattern was well drafted. Her issue had been the close fit and the confusion with the pocket.  OK, I love a new pant pattern. I’ll try it out.

This pant has multiple pieces.  It is the ‘princess’ style for pants. Meaning that it has front, side front, back, side back and contoured waistband. It’s really a good fit idea. I first ran into this idea when I was doing a lot of machine knitting.  From the custom knitters I learned that this type pattern was their first choice because it is possible to adapt the knitting to wearer with small adjustments while stitching. That’s as opposed to knitting, stitching together and then ripping it all out and of course knitting once again. Maybe knitting several times.  Having those extra seams means that there are many places to make small adjustments.  Cumulatively, those small adjustments equal big changes and a badly fitting sweater can morph into a beautiful, fit praise worthy,  finished item.  So I’m inclined to favorably view ‘princess lines’ in pants.  I even have a pattern now, TJ906 which has princess lines only in the back leg. Combined with a contour waistband, it is the best fitting jean I’ve ever had.  My point is, I’m starting this pattern in a favorable frame of mind.

Sizing was the first issue I struggled with. One size is 1/2″ too small at the hip.  The size larger,  1″ too generous. My waist is shapely from behind, but nonexistent in front. I usually address that by leaving out the darts in front and adding or increased the depth of the darts in back. On this pattern I have the choice of 5″ too small at the waist or going up to the size waist which gives me 5″ too much at the hip.  That might be OK for a trouser but I thought this draft was to be close-fitting.  I chose a size in between and traced the size 16 which matches none of my measurements being both too big at the hip and too small at the waist.

As I traced I realized why my sewing angel may have found the pocket confusing. I didn’t find a single alignment notation for the pockets.  I think you’re being left to wonder, ‘have I aligned this correctly?’  I walked the seams of back and front side pieces. Marked the point where the front side should terminate. Then aligned my pocket with the curves of the front side and center seams before adding my own alignment marks.  You may think that is overkill. I had minor fit  issues with the Jalie Jean until I marked and matched the pockets. Since then, I just don’t take the chance.  I want to get the fit as good as possible the first time. I copy all notches and dots and I match them up when sewing. Myabe it’s just a security blanket type situation for me.

I also felt frustrated with two places where the various sized cutting lines  joined creating a solid 1/4″ line.

Where does my size cross in that 1/4″?  I’m disconcerted because I’ve definitely found that 1/4″ makes a difference in how clothing fits me.  With this many seams, I’m concerned about even 1/16″.  They add up, you know? I was a bit annoyed to be left guessing. I know my pattern was free to me, but I feel expensive Indy patterns should be very accurate.  I need to feel like we’re getting something extra for the extra cost.  Well lets move on.

After tracing La6017 in size 16, I compared with my well-fitting patterns PP113 and TJ906.

I like the nice deep U of  LA6017

but in comparison with PP113, I find that the back extension isn’t long enough for me. YMMV

To be fair, I followed Pamela Patterns instructions and added 1″ along the seam allowances for the first fitting of PP113.  While the 1″ was trimmed away from the other seams, I needed it along the back inseam .  So maybe I just need to add 1″ along the back inseam of LA 6017.

 

Next I compared with the aforementioned TJ906.  The front crotch curves are different.

Sorry it’s so hard to see. I took 3 pics. This was the best.

On me, this curve creates ripples/whiskers/drag lines in front. I may be able to correct at the muslin stage by scooping the front crotch a little.  I’m more concerned by the fact that TJ906 has a little more circumference at the  front waist.  Right where my tummy is.  I have tweaked the  TJ906 front crotch curve. I did not add circumference. Ever.  It was there in the pattern

I looked at the back crotch and think it’s possible that just scooping could fix any issues I might have.

But I look at how different the pant is proportioned when grain lines are parallel and doubt.

I also compared waistbands. TJ906 has been tweaked to fit me.  That means there is more front waistband than back and it is more curved.

Finished with my comparisons and onto initial conclusions and a sewing/fitting plan:

I’m not using a left and right waistband nor a right and left under waistband more commonly called a facing; only the left waistband. I didn’t even trace the zipper guards.  These are neat details and I do look for them in expensive clothing. They also have practical applications. A facing is cut just slightly narrower than waistband.  At the SM, the bottom edges of facing and waistband are aligned which causes the waistband to roll toward the inside. The facing will never be visible on the public side using this method. But, there are alternative sewing procedure I prefer to use.  I cut these pieces the same size and stitch the upper edges together. I press that edge, flat, then open and finally press the SA’s toward the facing side.  At the SM I use the triple zig zag  to secure the SA’s to the facing. I smooth the facing inside and pressed carefully before stitching in the ditch from the pubic side.  I’m not sure if it is more work or less. I am sure it feels easier and less fussy to me. Then end result is the same.  You’ll never see a facing on the public side of my pants either.

As for zipper guards/shields/facings, the real purpose is protecting tender skin and– err– fur from being caught by zipper teeth.  I use granny panties. No zipper will ever nip me or pull my fur.  Granny panties require no additional sewing.    I have therefore added a 1″ cut-on fly to the front pattern piece.

I traced the front stay, but won’t use it for the muslin. I’m afraid that I won’t see fit issues if the stay is acting as an old fashioned girdle or corset. I’d rather fit the pant carefully and use the stay for additional smoothing.

I’m also not making the pocket on the muslin.  Instead I’ve pinned the pocket in place and will cut the muslin to include it.

My sewing angel shortened the pattern leg length which suits me just fine. Even though I personally didn’t shorten the pattern, I want to note a needed alteration.

I increased  side seams to 1″ and the back inseam allowance to 1.5″. Just a little fit insurance.   I will baste the muslin along the original-default stitching-lines because I’d really like to see how this draft works for my body.  I’m always hopeful a new and however-slightly-different draft will make fitting magic. The straight of grain line is significantly different between LA6017 and TJ906. The crotch shape is significantly different.  But I do feel encouraged. These could fit. Pigs can fly.  They need the help of a tornado; but they can fly.