So you saw the finished garment. It is that dark and photos below are much lighted. The fabric was only 48″ wide . Fortunately I bought 3.5 yards when I ordered it from Fabricmartfabrics.com. I used 2-2/3 yards. Well a little less because there’s big hunk left from the 2-2/3 that is folded away with the full 1-1/3 yard back in the stash. BUT I’ll have to think carefully and pull some shenanigans if I try to use a fabric that is an even 2 yards long. BTW sewing was a breeze. Total 1 hr 45 minutes before pics. Clock started with ironing the fabric and does not include the pattern alterations.
Being mentioned, let’s go directly to the final tissue alterations. Starting with
Legs were shortened 1/2″
Hem changed to 1″, my preference in hems is 1.25″. Already I was thinking of reducing that 2.25 yard requirement.
Folded out 3/4″ (3/8″ tuck) from top to bottom of the front leg and front waist piece.
Before I go on let me share the final tissue:
Front ——————- Back
Hope those can be enlarged so you can see the changes.
Starting at the top:
The Side Front and Side Back (outermost pieces of the leg) each needed to be reduced in length by 2″. This is a depth change because it does not extend across the entire pattern piece and it is not the same width i.e. instead of a tuck it is a dart. As a matter of fact, 2 darts each 1/2″ deep reducing a total of 2″ length on both pieces. A 2″ dart is a monster producing jagged edges. Just as easy and produces a nicer edge is making the two 1″ darts. To me it was astonishing to see the curvature introduced on both sides of the side pieces. I wondered if I was going to have an issue sewing the center-leg back and front seams together. Answer is no, they are still the same length even though the curve as changed.
Added 3/8″ to both front and back crotch points. Which you don’t really see as I incorporated the change in the seam allowance changes.
Added 1/8″ to hip on both back and side back. Which again you can’t really see because it is incorporated into the seam allowances. If you could see my tissue compared with the original you would realize there is a greater curve then the designer drafted. It’s purpose is to add a little more circumference at furthest point of protrudence. It is a depth issue performing akin to a vertical fisheye dart except at the rear and adding fabric instead of taking fabric away. Depth, because the change is not the same from top to bottom.
Finally, I adjusted all the seam allowances to my preferences as follows
- 1/2″ Seam allowances
- side seams front and back
- 3/8″ Seam Allowances
- Bottom Yoke SA
- Top pant SA
- Back and front Crotch
- 1/4″ Seam Allowances
- Top of Yoke
- Top of Facing
- Yoke and Facing side seams
- Center Leg seam both back and front legs
- Crotch seams both back and front
It actually took me longer to reduce the seam allowances to my preferences then it did to make the Length, Circumference and Depth changes. All total about 45 minutes.
Continuing with the sewing saga… well nothing to it. I like to make the Yoke unit first when sewing Yoga-type waistbands. Because I had reduced seam allowances to 1/4″, I quickly serged the yoke side seams and facing side seams. Then put them together and serged the top of the waistband. I triple stitched the top seam to the facing. I cut 30″ of elastic at the same time as I cut the yoke and facing. Now I divided both into quarters. separating the facing from yoke and using a long triple stitch (5mm wide, 3mm long) I stitched the elastic to the facing at both side seams and center front, center back. I had aligned the two raw edges at center back and made 3 rows of stitching from top to bottom. This attached the elastic and marks the CB for easy identification going forward and during wear. I gave it a second good pressing and then serged the lower edge together. 10 minutes and my waistband unit was ready!
Next I serged the center leg seams of front and back, then serged the inseams making 2 units each consisting of a front plus back. I took the time to serge finish all the raw edges at this point. Which is tedious but all done instead of repeating the serge finish multiple times. I’m happy to say that the Imagine adjusted between single and double layers without missing a beat nor offsetting top layer to bottom. Happy because not having to adjust tensions back and forth actually speeds up sewing. next was sewing the side seams at the SM. I stopped to hem the legs at this point because it is always easier to handle less fabric. Then tucking one leg in the other, I stitched the long crotch seam. Last, also at the SM stitching the waist band to the legs unit. I did not baste but did use a 3mm stitch in case I need to rip anything out. Deep breath and “Alexa, Take a picture”.
So let’s talk fit:
I want you to notice that the side tops are not collapsing creating wrinkles. That 2 inches was absolutely necessary. Also take note that the top of the yoke, despite being shortened 1.5″ is still a little wavy. Oh and I dare not shorten any further. It was close — no stitches popped- when I pulled it up and over my hips. However, it’s not as gathered as some of the pants I’ve worn and it is acceptable to me. This is a woven fabric in a pull up pant. Has to gather at the waist.
I am truly pleased that the front looks excellent! Actually, I’m accustomed to the front looking excellent and have been surprised of late with front that are not attractive.
The back falls in the good+ category. Look no VPL, nothing bunching in between the cheeks; no X’s in back; knees aren’t dimpled. It’s been a long time since a semi-fitted pant has looked this good. But year I still wish I could remove a little more over the back thigh. I may have to accept that is not going to happen because it’s obvious I really do need the crotch extensions to be this long; and maybe just a tiny bit longer.
I love how the untouched photos make me look slim:
…and even though the hems finished at an unheard of 16″, they don’t look like *carrot pants either.
Possible Fit changes:
While the rest of the pant feels fantastic, the knee feels restricted. Since the yoke was “interesting” to pull up over my hips, I think I’ll change the tuck on the front pant leg and front yoke from 3/8″ to 1/4″ removing 1/2″ instead 3/4″ from each leg.
I may work on reducing a little more ease in the back hip. I mean, sometimes it is better to leave well enough alone and it ain’t bad right now.
Possible Style changes
I may or may not, increase the hem circumference. It’s a style change that isn’t essential but is available if I want to make the hem more current/trendy.
I may add a zipper and create a sleeker waistline.
I’m much more likely to use this as a block for other patterns. It was very fortuitous to read Morgan’s advice. Now armed with this new advice, I’m definitely thinking of revisiting other patterns that I felt failed me. I think the most important lesson learned with this pattern, thank you again Morgan, is the need for longer crotch extensions. Scooping does not seem to add the stride-length I need. It makes me think of all those pants which have a lovely fit, until I tried to reduce the hem circumference or thigh ease. Somehow, my stride is able to ‘borrow’ the extra length it needs when pants are less body-con. I don’t understand the mechanics but I’m not letting this bit of new knowledge go to waste.
- Think of a wide neck carrot extending into a single thin root.