I transfer changes back to the tissue. I didn’t cut the tissue. I carefully measured and marked and folded the new excess out of the way. I rounded the changes i.e. a 1 1/8″ change became a simple 1″. I was not fighting with measuring 1/16 or 1/32. Those are often a thread or two and I’ve said repeatedly if my pattern can’t abide a change of a thread or two, it’s not the pattern for me. I’m not a perfectionist sewer. I don’t like picky fussy clothes and and I don’t like picky fussy sewing.
Then I pick another nice fabric. It is 100% cotton in a novelty weave. A bit light in weight but comparable to many of my summer shorts. It’s just not a stiff denim twill which since 906 is a jeans pattern I feel I should be using a jean like fabric. At least for fitting. I cut my fabric and because I know the pattern still needs some adjusting, I serge finish all the edges before putting the zipper in with permanent stitching. I baste all the other seams with water soluble thread WST.
The first fitting and all the droop in front has returned:
I find this especially annoying. But also, I wonder why? Am I working on the wrong issue? Typically I find that if I fix an issue and it returns, then I’m not fixing the issue I’m fixing a symptom of the true issue. Like when the doc gives you aspirin for pneumonia. You need antibiotics. As long as he gives you aspirin your chances of recovery are low and you still look really sick. It’s not until I start attaching the waistband that I realize what is wrong. The front is too wide. How can it still have too much circumference? During fitting I took out 1 1/8″. I recheck and discover I’ve made the error Peggy’s always warns us about and why she prefers to use the fitted muslin for a pattern. I made the fitting change but did not transfer it to the tissue. I correct the tissue. Take apart all the stitching and recut the front. Also serge finish the new side seam and waist before using WST to put everything together again. That seems to have fixed nearly all the droop so I continue with Fitting 2; and then 3 and 4.
At fitting 4, I throw up my hands and declare “This is crazy”.
I’ve got rouching along the side seams
Rouching for which I have carefully and multiple times walked the side seams. I’m always careful to make the same amount of change to both front and back. Rouching? Rouching!
I’ve got bubbles in the waistband and below the waistband
At the same time the crotch is cutting into my own.
Which is does while concurrently looking like I have too much crotch length. And the last few changes to snug up the rear have re-created the front droop
Albeit that the droop is now almost in the leg instead of the tummy.
This is the worst fit so far. The worst fit in 5 test garments.
It should be getting better not worse. It should not be that hard to fit this pattern. I’ve always, like for the last 13 years, put a tape measure around my butt where it sticks out the furthest, and chosen a size based on the number read. I may need to take in the sides a little. I have scooped the crotch for some fabrics (but not most). I’ve tweaked the back seam under my bum to get it a little closer. But I’ve never made this many tests or these many adjustments. Never! I don’t think it is the method. I still think it should work to choose the size by the finished measurement. I think my finished measurement is wrong. I’ve started with far too big a size and struggled with tweaking it smaller through draping. I can’t brag that draping is working.
In sheer desperation, I pull out the tape measure and measure my bum. Look at the chart which says I’m between a 16 and an 18. I may be close enough to use a 16 but I trace the 18. Mostly because the very first test garment was a size 16 and I had such a hard time zipping it up! I take this pant as far apart as I can, (the zipper was put in permanently and I don’t want to rip); Then I compare the size 18 to the fabric. I’m thinking I’ll just cut this modified 20 to an 18 and start from there.
Except, the modified 20 is now smaller than the 18. Can’t recut. Complicating that process is that I’ve taken so much from the side seams that the sides are shorter than the 18. Can’t start over with a straight 18 on this fabric.
I can use fresh fabric. But will that work? If this test is smaller than the default 18 I’m going to be tweaking the size downward again. So far I’ve made massive changes without success. I’m doubtful of that process. But the 16, the size smaller, was too small. While the 20 crotch length was needed in the back. Looking at the pant above, I’m not sure if I need an even longer back crotch because the crotch is cutting into me but all those diagonals indicate the back crotch is too long.
I’m going to put this aside for a day or two while I contemplate my approach. I really want to start with the right size. I still believe in this pattern. I just think I’m going about it in the wrong way.
Despite the extreme inconvenience Photobucket has caused, I haven’t given up blogging. I haven’t even taken a real vacation. I did take a week to work with the embroidery capabilities of my Brother Dream. No post, but let’s just say I’m really impressed. Enough to wonder about trading in the paid-in-full Ruby.
The other time suck I’ve been involved in is refitting Trudy Jansen #906 Designer jean. I got sucked-in when looking carefully at the final pics of the Rose Short
I’m most concerned about the rouching that has developed along the side seams. I know that means I have somehow gotten one side (probably the back) longer than the front side seam. How, I’m not sure. I also am concerned with the developing pull lines around the crotch and the little bubble along the CB. First thing I wondered was when did this all develop.I remember this pattern being beautifully fitting. I can look back at my shorts and see that the side rouching has been apparent although to a lesser amount for the last 2 years. It’s not really evident in the long-legged pants I’ve made. I mean, there might be a little excess length. I didn’t walk the seams just look at them. So there could be a little excess but I don’t see it. I’m guessing the rouching mostly developed in the conversion from long-legged to short. The issues with the crotch are a different story. I don’t see them when the pant is hanging on the hanger (the rouching I can see). When I go back and look at photos, I see the crotch issue steadily developing. This could be due to size change. Lord knows I’ve tried to confront the skin cancer with white donuts. (Which BTW does nothing for the skin cancer either. Oh and does nothing for my other ailments but does make me happy.)But I digressed. This could be due to size changes but I also suspect that my rotary cutter has trimmed here and there accidentally. Bottom line, I think instead of continuing to alter the existing pattern I should start fresh.
And I do. I trace the size 16, which I’ve been using 2 years, from waist to knee notches. Then I trim the inseams and yoke seams to 1/4″; trim side seams to 1/2″ trim all the rest to 3/8″. Cut my fabric; permanently stitch the zipper, inseams,yokes, and baste the rest. I put the shorts on. Correction, I try to pull the shorts up. Foreboding wraps me in his cold arms. With great effort which includes a trip upstairs to lay on the bed, I zip this sucker up. Either I’ve traced the wrong size or those little white donuts have done more damage than estimated. Enough for one day.
Next day I decide I should really do this right the only exception I will make is not start with a true muslin or attempt the hip line dart. These shorts have always fit. It’s like Trudy Jansen recognized that women don’t need or need as much of a dart as is usually added to the hip line. I slip the tape measure around my hips, then decide I should choose my size from finished measurements. I choose to trace an 18 length wise but 20 width wise. I cut my fabric, a rather nasty polyester, and baste everything except the zipper. I do sew the zipper in place because I’m optimistic about fit. V2 is not really lovely and I’m surprised that it takes 4 fittings to get it that good. This pattern has always fit beautifully. But then again, I’ve always followed the designers instructions and selected by hip size. I transfer changes to the pattern because I’m getting such large amounts of change. In fact, I’m beginning to doubt that my recorded finished measurement is correct. The theory is absolutely correct, but you must first correctly identify your personal preferences. (And in Peggy’s defense re the earlier snark, she says repeatedly her instruction apply to Silhouette Patterns. She even refuses to drape someone else’s patterns because she doesn’t know what decisions they’ve made.)
Onto V3 i.e. Version 3. Despite the fitting photo directly above, I’m feeling little more confident and select a much better fabric for V3. It is a cotton/poly twill (2% stretch) in a deep, dark-chocolate brown. Makes my mouth water just looking at it. I was definitely improving the rouching along the side which is a combination of (1) the knee notches on the front are higher than the notches of the back pieces. I’m sure. I walked the originals. (2) The theory is if you take a 1/2″ dart on the front side seam, you need a 1/2″ dart on the back side seam. This isn’t working in actual practice. I think it is basic geometry. I think the curves of the side seam are becoming arcs of 2 different circles and therefore a half-inch change on one side does not create the same total length as the 1/2″ change on the other. You’ll just have to think back to your basic geometric rules. I’m not here to teach any kind of math.
All the pictures have been lightened greatly so that you can see the pant details.
So although the rouching is improving, I don’t have it nailed. Also, the crotch is definitely looking short. Which has me saying ??? I did as Peggy directs. I settled the crotch where it was comfortable for me. And it looked to be of correct length until I started removing excess circumference and making depth changes above the butt. Note: my depth adjustments do not extend to the CF or CB on these shorts. The crotch length is not being affected in any manner. Despite that crotch, I’m trying to copy the changes for this fitting to the tissue. DH calls for all garbage (does anybody else try to beat the garbage men to cans?) I clear out some old, old versions of 906 and out goes garbage. Unfortunately, I get confused as to what I’ve done and what I wanted to do. I look at my adjusted pattern pieces and I can’t walk seams. I recalculate. Re-walk. It’s almost like I’ve got pieces from different versions and the garbage is gone.
Day 4 I start over with Version 4. I mean I lost it some place. I need to start fresh with a clear mind. I keep the same waistband but trace the yoke, front and backs in a straight size 20. I already know that the 20 has far too much circumference but I think I need more crotch length. Along the way I’ve decided I prefer a 7.5″ finished inseam and trim the leg-length accordingly. Once again, I choose a nice cotton twill for my test garment. Once again, I put the zipper in permanently but use water-soluble thread the baste all the other pieces. As expected, the 20 is too large but it’s easier this time for me to see this issues. One of the first things I notice is that the front crotch is not too short, although I’d swear that was the case from looking at those chocolate-brown shorts. The front crotch is in fact almost 2″ too long. The back crotch however needs every 1/8″ of length it now has. I work at reducing circumference by taking in the side seams 1/2″. I have a depth issue that extends horizontally from mid back, across the sides, to center front — the 2″ excess length of the front crotch. This is not an easy fix. The depth/dart has to be taken on the back below the yoke, otherwise the yoke disappears along the side seam. If I take the dart at the same level on the front, I’ll have a weird-looking pair of shorts I don’t want to wear –and I’ve already embroidered the pockets i.e. I want to be able to wear this next pair. So I take the dart on the back below the yoke but on the front just below the waistband. Which works on the test garment…
Trouble is the changes have gotten so large, they are hard to handle. Preparing to start another hopefully final version, I transfer the changes back to the tissue. My usual way is to slash and overlap the tissue where I darted the muslin. . The changes are so large that tissue won’t lay anywhere near flat! I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience before. TBH here, I’ve never hit these personal measurements before and I’m sure my maturing (if you’re not pc that would be aging) body contributes to the new shape I’m fitting. I actually ruined the tissue trying to slash, over lap, dart …
..and had to trace yet another copy for Version 5. I am persistent. I will win. Instead of using the slash, overlap or dart, I plot points and draw new curves. For example, on the back I measure the dart depth and it’s position on my test garment, then at the top of the tissue I place a point on the side seam the width of the dart and using the french curve, draw a new curve from the top of the pant back to the dot. Repeat for other changes. I realize the front needs 2 changes (1) an even 3/4″ removed across the front and (2) a 1″ dart from side seam to mid front. The 2 changes make it easier to accomplish the big change. I mean the 2 smaller changes are easier to make on the tissue and keep the tissue flat. I walk seams again and realize that this method has introduced some circumference where I don’t want it. So I move the point I put on the side towards the center by the amount of unintended ease. Hey this isn’t a Craftsy Course. Besides, I’m the only person I’ve heard of that needed to do such a thing, so maybe good clear instructions aren’t relevant. I chose another nice 100% cotton twill for Version 5. I did a little more tweaking but stopped after 3 changes.
to be honest my enthusiasm is flagging. I’m continuing this fitting because I want to keep going while the changes are fresh in my mind and besides the pieces from the Rose Shorts (that were closer to fitting than what I have created) are gone with the garbage men. I’ve learned a couple of surprising things. I need a size maybe 2 smaller in front that in the back. I respect Peggy. I like Peggy and I know she would tell me I’m wrong… but… The front above has 2 vertical tucks to remove circumference . When I increased the side seams 1/2″, I got VPL. When I take tucks in the front, most of the excess ease is removed and the pant looks better fitted. The fitted front crotch is much shorter than the back. This is typical for me. Always has been. For a long time I called it a tilted waist. I was tremendously pleased when RTW for which I had to depend upon for work clothing, decided to alter their block and make a shorter front crotch standard. So, I’m not eager to copy the pattern another time, but I think it might be quicker if I chose a smaller size and then added length to the back crotch. Related to that, it might be easier to trace the pattern and add a Prominent Seat Adjustment which adds both length to the crotch and width across the butt. However, these days I’m desperately trying to follow Peggy Sagers and I’m continuing with the LCD process as I finish the fitting/refitting of TJ906. But I admit I have 1 maybe 2 more test garments before I’m satisfied.
Four of the 5 shorts test-garments are in my closet. Yes, even though there is room for improvement I plan to wear these at least this summer. When I look at my 2018 summer clothes they may be immediately discarded. Thing is they are no worse than anyone else is wearing. No kidding. I see shorts in SD that are either tight enough to count pubic hairs or loose enough I wonder why they haven’t dropped around the ankles. Once I get gussied up, my shorts look fine:
I talked about the embroidery elsewhere. Here I want to discuss sewing; construction choices.
I’m using a remnant I think from the now defunct Mill Ends in Sioux Falls. I truly miss that store. They had a small section of designer fabrics –rejects for one reason or another. Like too much stock; didn’t use in time; or crap for fabric. I also have a proclivity for upholstery fabrics. Many are manufactured in much wider widths and are higher quality than dressmaking fabrics; also surprisingly, better priced. (For example, when I considered fiber and width, dressmaking silks were more expensive and of lesser quality than silks in the HomeDec dept). This 100%, loosely woven canvas came from the upholstery remnants section of the store. Just barely 1.25 yards by 54″ wide. Just not enough for a pair of pants for my frame. Could have been a vest. In fact I think I did consider making it into a vest but never got that done. I need shorts now and I’m particularly interest in grey rather than black for summer.
This is a nonstretch fabric. It does not even possess the “give” of denim. I knew immediately I would be using Trudy Jansen’s 906 Fashion Jean. TJ906 is my goto pattern for nonstretch fabrics and has been or several years. Long enough for me to have developed several variations. About a year ago, I developed what I call the DG2 Waistband.. OK, I didn’t really develop this waistband. I bought a pair of jeans from Diane Gilman and realized what a sweet waistline finish she had used. I got my french curve and a la Peggy Sagers, copied it. Essentially, the front is extended at the top to include the waistband. The back yoke and back waistband are combined into a 2nd piece. The waistband pattern piece, is retained as the facing. Front pockets are not used. They would be a PITA, but optionally stitching which suggests there is a front pocket can be used. (I didn’t this time). DG2 uses back pockets. Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t. Lack of fabric was the deciding factor this time and these shorts have neither front nor back pockets. I installed a zipper because hello nonstretch? I need a way to get in and out. DG2 sometimes uses a zipper sometimes not. With the 8″ of stretch in DG2’s jeans they don’t need a zipper. I top stitched the back yoke seam. Mostly because it has a tendency to twist which can be irritating during wear. I also did 2 rows of top stitching on the hem mostly because the first row wasn’t high enough to secure the edge. That edge would have rolled again being an irritant during wear. (I’m surprised at how many RTW details can be traced back to making a garment easier to sew or more comfortable to wear. Listen to the hawkers on TV and you’d think it’s all about beautiful you. Nope.) When I installed the facing, I used 2 rows to secure the bottom edge because hey that looks like real jeans but also to echo the dual lines of stitching along the hem.
Must confess to one heart stopping moment during construction. I’ve made this pattern so many times that I just assumed it still fit. About half of the shorts I’m wearing every day were made, I thought, with this very same pattern. My existing shorts are comfortable. They fit the way I want. I thought I had both the shorts and long leg versions nailed! My heart stopping moment came when I aligned the waistband with the top of the waist. The CF is marked 1.5″ from the cut edge. The entire waistband was not long enough to finish the upper edge! Even using the 3″ designed as beyond the CF. What happened? I don’t remember having this issue before. No remarks in my blog about a too short WB or too long waistline — even when using the very same DG2 waistband center front over/underlap. The only thing I can think of is that I did not cut and sew immediately. I cut the pieces. Hung them while doing the embroidery and then stitched my shorts. The pieces hung for 2 days. I did not stay stitch or fuse, so it is possible that the waistline had stretched, I just doubt that it stretched 3″.
Instead of taking everything apart, adjusting and restitching, the way my Home Ec teacher would have insisted, I applied the facing, top stitched leaving the edges open along the zipper. Then I threaded 1.25″ elastic through the channel created by the top stitching.
I stitched the elastic and the facing along the zipper and then again at the side seams.
I Frey Checked the edges of the elastic and trimmed close with my pinking disk.
That stitching is enough to keep it all secured and the elastic evenly distributed. The elastic cheat? It’s one I learned/developed several years ago when having to deal with an expandable waist and tailored pants. The elastic is undetectable. The waistline fits no matter how much I eat or how bad the IBS becomes.
I will not change the waistband at ATM. I will keep it in mind as a possible future alterations. What does concern me is that the side front and the side back do not match. After all this time, I’ve made many pants and shorts, I don’t understand the mismatch. It would be easier to miss in a stretch fabric. I noticed it first with the cavanvas fabric because I had to stretch the sides slightly. Well more than slightly
The sides seams are really rounded and bubbly. It does almost completely press out
However is evident in the side views:
Have to admit, even the back seems to be a little loose
(I may take these in just a bit after the first wear and launder.)
I looked carefully at my previous shorts and said “Darn. They’ve got it too.”. Meaning that this excess length has been there a while and not the result of the DG2 waistband treatment.
Well despite that little issue, I think these pants are just beautiful. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t taken the time for embroidery. Canvas tends to pull free at the seams. I did use a 2.5″ stitch length at the SM, N (which I think is also 2.5) on the serger. I don’t know what it is about canvas that helps it escape from seams. I just know that I feel a pang of regret realizing this canvas probably won’t last 2 seasons. This much beauty deserves a place in my closet for several years.
I want a second pair of jeans shorts. I also want to tweak the shorts pattern just a little, (legs are too long) and I want to try out a waistband treatment from my favorite Diane Gilman jeans. From the outside my DG2 Jeans look like they have a typical contour waistband. In fact, I wore them several times before realizing it is a faced, cut-on waistband with top-stitching in strategic places.
I pulled out all the pieces from the jeans shorts just completed days ago. I trimmed 2″ from the bottom on the leg. I think knee-length dresses, tunics and shorts make me look shorter and stubbier.I think it’s just a proportion issue. Because I lengthen my dresses just enough to cover the knee brace, cut the tunics and shorts higher and the stubbiness goes away. Well, not completely because I am over weight and I am petite.
I traced the front and the yoke onto new paper and added 2-1/4″ (the width of my contour waistband) to the top of these two pieces:
I decided not to use front pockets, at least this first pair. I can get things ‘off’ with pockets so for a test garment I like to omit them. But I do want to use top stitching to suggest there are pockets. I traced along the top of the waistband and down the side seam about 8″. Using my curve, I marked a hand opening. then I trimmed along those lines to create this new piece:
After laying out and cutting my fabric, I align the new piece (now a pocket template) with the side seam and waist of the front’s fabrics
and chalk along the bottom edge of the template:
I should mention, I’m already running the embroidery machine at this point. I’ve found that I can maximize my time sewing if the embroidery machine can run while I’m doing other things. This combined with the lessor amount of embroidering I am doing, is becoming so successful that I may not need a stand alone embroidery machine. I’ve chosen a leaf/vine like pattern and wanted more of a tone-on-tone effect vs the typical gold jean stitching. Of course I still wanted the embroidery to show up. My fabric is a dark grey blue. I chose dark blue grey embroidery threads but they read much brighter in the pics:
While the embroidery was stitching….
Normally, I would use the waistband pattern to cut both a waistband and a facing. This time I needed only cut the facing. I also cut one interfacing. I’m not sure that’s good or not. I prefer to interfacing both sides of the waistband and I won’t be doing that. I load sewing machine, serger and cover stitch with thread. I serge-finish the side , waist and crotch before switching to the cover stitch and stitching along the chalked line of the fronts. I proceed to insert the front zipper and stitch the two back pieces of the back leg together (I am using TJ906 with has a 2-piece back leg.)
At this point, both pockets have been embroidered. These faster embroidery machines are wonderful. I finish the pockets which involves hemming, and attaching to the back of the pant at the cover stitch machine. I use SAS to turn the edges under neatly and secure for the cover stitch machine. I wanted to work on making the stitching at the point crisp. My bright idea was stitching to the point. Stopping and pulling the thread to the underside and repeat on the opposite side of the pocket. Then tying the loose threads at the point and sealing with a drop of Frey Check on the underside.
I think it worked really well. It is an extra step. Sometimes an extra step is worth taking. I continued my usual construction routine with a few minor changes. I made my belt loops at the cover stitch as usual but I cut them 4.5″ long instead of 3″ so that I would be able to place them exactly as desired along the faux waistband. I also discovered that somehow in adding equal amounts to the top of the front and yoke made the back side longer than the front. My first thought was I had put the yokes in backwards i.e. the deep end goes to center back and it’s not unusual for me to put the deep end on the side seam and have to rip it out. But, no, the yokes were correctly stitched. I wondered if I did the calculation of how much to add correctly (waistband width – seam allowances at leg top and waistband edge). I added the same to both. It shouldn’t change the overall length. Did I trim the same amount of length from the leg bottom when adjusting leg length? This is a close-fitting pant. My pattern pieces are really shaped. The excess, about 3/4″, is not in the lower portion of the leg. It is between yoke and hip. So I eased the front to the back
placed the leg over my pressing ham and steamed well.
Not perfect, but really good. It perplexes me. I used the same fabric and essentially the same pattern. My only other thought is I had somehow stretch both side, back pieces. It’s something I need to watch for when I makes shorts again.
I added the facing and then top stitched through the denim and the facing fabric approximating a contour waistband.
Note, I didn’t develop an overlap. I’ll be wearing a belt, so these will probably stay up and closed. But I’m always uneasy about that and also added a tap and button to the inside:
Fit surprised me. I needed to increase the side seams 1/8″. Why this time? I used the same fabric last time and 3/8″ SA on the side and back leg seam. This time the side seam needed to be 1/2″. Other than that, fit is about as expected:
Which I know you can’t see because they are so dark. Trust me, they look and feel pretty nice. I think the SOG should change on the yoke. It just didn’t feel right when sewing. My real issue is that all the top stitching I did, doesn’t really show up. I didn’t achieve the desired result i.e. copying the DG2 Waistband. My shorts look like a cut-on waistband. DG2’s looks like a contour waistband. Maybe if I had used gold jean thread it would have been more apparent. I was copying DG2 as much as possible and she used the blue thread. So for next time I’m purchasing jean thread in jean blue or jean black. Also I think I also want to increase the tension so that the cover stitching tunnels just a little. I think that would add to the illusion.
Every warm day we’ve had since April 1st, I’ve been testing my summer clothes from last year. Do they still look good? In need of repair? Do they still fit. While bust and hip have remained unchanged the last few years, my shoulder slope has increased and my tummy seems to have grown. My shorts made with elastic waists are still wearable but the jeans shorts just aren’t cutting it. Time to replace. I don’t want to fuss a lot with fit so I’m using my all time favorite pattern Trudy Jansen’s Designer Jean #906. I took the time to make a copy and cut it off at the knee notch. Not having any denim remnants, I selected and cut into a very nice stretch denim.
Loading 3 machines with thread is time-consuming. I can understand why some dressmakers look around their room and ask ‘is there anything else I can make that needs this color thread?”. I loaded my sewing machine and serger with dark blue thread. In the cover stitch, I used a dark grey for the looper and jean-gold in the two needles. If you don’t want a cover stitch for any other reason and you sew jeans, you need to buy a cover stitch. It made all the top stitching simple and quick:
I do have a little issue turning acute corners. Guess I need to practice more.
I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a little machine embroidery.
The whole design is on the back pocket. I just trimmed portions for the front pocket embellishment.
Truly, you have more designs than the number of files in your directories. It’s up to you to look and say ‘what can I do with this?”
I opted for a trouser hook and eye. My jeans buttons just dont’ seem to stay attached. With its metal backings and fabric piercing flanges, the trouser hook is done and stays done. Sewing was simple. For fitting, I added 1/4″ to the center front of the contour waistband. Fit, while could be tweaked, is about as expected and impossible to see unless the pics are tremendously lightened as I’ve done here:
This jean short was one of those experiences that enforces my love of TNT’s. I was able to do fun stuff (i.e. the embroidery and top stitching). Fit adjustments were minimal; and I had a nice wearable garment in about 3 hours.