906, Yoga Pants(NoYokeBack)

Ta Da Yoga Pants!

I wasn’t sure about these, until I took “dressed” pics:

Fix the back of my hair, and I look fine in the bank line. Well at least as good as anyone else.

To the previous pant pattern (where I merged the yoke with the pant leg)  I took a 1/8″ tuck in the front and back pieces. This takes out 1/4″ ease per piece and 1″ total from the pattern. I also put a 1/2″ dart in the side seams.  I always seem to be adjusting the side seam to take out little bulges and frown lines  in the front. I also made my Yoga Pant Waistband. Really no big deal except I wasn’t sure how long.  I easily calculated 5″ would be a good width. But how long?  If my fabric were non-stretch, I’d want the waistband to be slightly longer than my hip circumference. You know, just big enough to pull up over my hips.  But with stretch, I just wasn’t sure. I started with my hip circumference and to make adjustments easy, I made two pieces instead of the usual 1 piece yoga waistband.

I’m using a wonderous stretch corduroy purchased from FabricMartFabrics about this time last year.  It is cotton + Lycra and has a 40% stretch.  Due to the stretch factor I used 3/4 CM SA instead of my usual 3/8″

Mistake. First fitting was way too tight. I  thought a 40% stretch fabric would fit like a glove even if you made the pattern 40% smaller. So not true. I liked the leg, but eventually restitched all the seams with a 1/4″ SA. I also pondered over the rouching that I see on the front side seams.  Because this happened with the previous pair, I thought The pattern pieces must not be the same length.  I walked the pattern pieces and sure enough, the front was longer. Longer by maybe 1/16″.  I couldn’t believe that account for the rouching/gathering I see taking place between front leg and back leg on the side seam.  I offset the seams first by 1/4, then 1/2 and finally 3/4″.  The gathering occurs from knee to waist so that’s where I made the offset creating bunny ears at the top of the side seam. I don’t fully understand why this is happening.  I walked the side seams after making my pattern alterations. I know the side seams are the same length. It has to be on my body. Is the front of my body shorter than the back? Did I need both side seam darts (see para 1) or only a dart on the front side seam? This is pretty consistent and usually easy to correct at the first fitting. I’m just kind of tired of making the same garment alteration all the time. I’d like to take care of it at the pattern stage.  Truth is, I as age I need more alterations.  Patterns never have and never will fit me as originally drafted. During my teen years, I had narrow shoulders, short back-waist length and tilting waist.  To those 3 standard/personal alterations, I need a few more. No big deal, when I know what they are.

I’m  ready to put in the final stitching i.e. you’re not likely to see updated pics, because these are good and enough. See Pic above.  But at that time I will make a few other changes.

I’m not concerned about the winkles at the waistband itself. The waistband length ended up being equal to my waist. The elastic is 4″ less than my waist. That’s what it takes to hold the pant up and on my body. I’m using Louise’s elastic which I dearly love.  I’m waiting for her new pattern at which time I will be ordering 10 more yards. Of each color. This elastic is soft and comfortable and does not ride up.  Here, I’m wearing it without the additional stitching the MSS would use.

This pant, this fabric is wonderfully comfortable. So it surprises me to see any issues at all.  I could have used the 1″ ease I removed from the pattern. Fortunately, my blouses will always cover up that fact.  An interesting fact is that the X wrinkles above developed only as I added enough ease to remove the VPL.  I think I understand why some of young ladies have decided to quit wearing panties. Of course, the VPL would not be visible were I also in shapewear. Shapewear helps with my back pain. It also smooths the curves and lumps.  It does not make anyone, including me a size smaller.  I don’t always wear it.  Only when I know that I will be doing something that requires a little more support for my back. (I’ve wondered is it supporting the back, or relieve the back from the stress of carrying my tummy?)

I’m going to add cording to the leg seams and see if that eliminates the X wrinkles. This is again a soft fabric. I’m thinking that since the taped seams helped the back of the previous pants, it will probably help here.  My concern is not  eliminating the stretch.  That’s why I’m thinking of  yarn/cording instead of tape and top stitch.

Sometimes it is just hard to figure out what to do.  1/2″ offset left gathering on the front of the side seam. 3/4″ offset has gathers on the back. Fortunately, all the seams are stitched with water-soluble thread. I can easily rip the thread and put the final seam in with a 5/8″ offset.

Still a few frown lines which fortunately will be covered by my blouses.   I’m loving the final 17″ hem circumference.  A really big accomplishment! I’ve been able to slim this leg from it’s default 20″ (for my size) to 19 easily. But any more than that seemed to create those back leg X wrinkles. In one of the previous iterations (not my yoga pant series), I marked the “knee box”.  That’s the topmost and bottom most of my knee. I did my hem circumference  alterations from the bottom of the knee box.


906, Yoga Pants(NoYokeBack)

Done. Not Done. Done?

How Fit08 looks in the bank line.

Since I called the first no-yoke version of Tj906 done, I’ve made 5 more fittings. Each time I change something just slightly.  I realized I had not addressed the front bubbles.

Sometimes called frowns, on me they are the result of the front side seam being too long.  I opened the waistband and lifted the side seam 1/2″. That reduced both front and back side seam by 1/2″. I hoped that might help the back as well, but no.

Then an odd thing started happening. This pair of pants shrank. If you told me your polyester pants shrank, I would laugh and say “no way”.  But I’m telling you today that I’ve now let out all of the ease I took in after the first fitting. The pants shrink and continue to shrink with each pressing.  Which happens each time I restitch a seam.  I have a sister fabric, i.e. the same type fabric purchased at the same time in a different color.  I was thinking about using the sister fabric to test my changes. But I’ve decided that fabric needs to go into a generously sized PP113 so I can wear it a few times before it gets too small.  I’m really surprised by the fabric. Purchased from Hancocks last fall, October I think. It was not cheap and not on sale. But it had been several months since I found myself in company with good fabric. Anytime I can find bottom weight i.e. pants fabrics, I buy.

I decided to do some testing of seam finishes. I question if the body of denim is what makes this pattern fit so well. 906 has always given me perfect or near perfect jeans But I’ve also always used it with denim, twill or canvas. Oh yes and tarp one time.   At one time I purchased Trudy Jansens trouser pattern but could never get it to fit me well.  I tried several times, several sizes. 902 just didn’t work. Which perplexed me but at the same time I had other well-fitting trousers and simply lost interest. My question applies to trousers as well. Is the solution to good fit stiff fabrics? Can this be achieved with seam finishes?  So I made 4 samples (and may make more),

  1. Serged 4 thread seam.
    1. This is what I want to do. Just zoom and be done at the serger!
    2. Very flexible seam
    3. Hardly any body added
  2. Serged 4 thread seam Plus 2.5MM straight stitch at sewing machine.
    1. More work but usually what I do because it corrects ease discovered at  the first fitting.
    2. Little body added to the seam. I wouldn’t have noticed except I was looking and comparing with my serged only seam
  3. Serged 4 thread seam, pressed to one side and top stitched.
    1. This gives the look of a flat felled seam and afterwards will be referred to as the FFS Faux Felled Seam.
    2. So much more work than the previous two, but the look is worth it.
    3. Slightly more body to the seam.
  4. One side Taped,FFS.
    1. Definitely tape before and not after seaming.  Fit 08, seen above is the result of seam 2 followed by taping one side of the seam, pressing the seam to one side and then top stitching.  I did only the center-back leg seam on both sides. It’s difficult both at the ironing board while taping and again at the SM while trying to sew a leg that’s already sewn.
    2. Most definitely adds body.  This is almost like boning.
  5. Both sides taped, FFS
    1. May try this.
  6. Stitched and Boned
    1. Probably won’t try this.  I can’t imagine sitting on boned seams would be comfortable.
  7. A Faux Boning?
    1. Would be possible to serge over yarn or twine or cording of some kind and add more firmness to the seam without affecting comfort or mobility?
    2. Wish I’d thought of this before trying to tape the seam. Zig zagging over a cording would have been easier than fusing and top stitching a finished leg. Or at least, irritating during 1 process instead of two.


First Fit – Last Fit

I do think the last fit is much better than the first; and I do think that the taped seam is a major contributor to lessening the back leg wrinkles.

I think I’m done with this particular pant. Mostly because it keeps shrinking every time I press the seams. But I’m not done with the idea of beefing up the seams.

906, Yoga Pants(NoYokeBack)

If I can’t buy a Yoga Pant Pattern…

I’ve decided to morph my favorite fitting pant into a yoga pant. I expect some hiccups along the way because, Trudy Jansen 906 was developed as a jean draft for denim fabrics. Furthermore that would be a non-stretch denim.  But it has much of the shape I want.  It is semi fitted around the torso and thighs.  For me that means it doesn’t reveal my every curve but skims over them without using lots of ease.  This is one of the first patterns I worked with that also had a great crotch shape — for — ME.  I often transfer at least the bottom curve of this pant to other patterns.  I don’t understand why, I only know that the J shape which is lower in the back than the front crotch snugs up nicely over my nether regions.  I want to do this morph slowly so that I know what causes any hiccups.

For this first iteration, I divided the back yoke and attached it to the back leg pieces. (TJ906 is the two-piece back leg pattern.) I eliminated the front and back pockets.  I installed the zipper, serged the side and inseams and stitched the crotch before adding the curved waistband, belt loops and facings.  Sigh, most of the time I don’t realize I’ve aged. But this is one of those experiences which tells me, I’m just not a spring chicken any more. I forgot that the seam allowances are all 3/8″. Worse, I forgot that the “1” stamped on the sewing machine throat plate is not 3/8 but 1 cm and that the serger was set for a scant 1/4″ SA. The result is a weirdly fitting pant:


Not the near perfection I was expecting.  Once I realized the SA problem, most of the issues above just disappeared or at least relaxed into not bad. I also spent a few minutes decreased the flare.  That’s something I’ve been intending to do.  I still like a “baby flare” but for the most part I would prefer slim or semi-fitted cigarette legs.  To me, this amount of flare just adds weight to the below waist portions of my figure.

After corrections:

I think I’m back to wearable status, especially with the true colors instead of the highly lightened photos above:

I hadn’t worked with this pattern in a while (other than the wadder attempt to merge the two back pieces into a single leg.) I’d forgotten some things.

Ok there was the issue of the seam allowances.  I’ve now marked the SA’s so I won’t do that again.

I also need to make the waist band a little less long and more snug.  Even a belt won’t always hold my pants into place. The waistband is a continuing problem for me because my waist can be one size in the morning a different at lunch and change again before or after dinner. I need an adjustable waistband.  An elastic waistband or insert always works well.  A belt usually but not always helps.

I need to shorten the front side length. See  the little waves/drag lines about 4″ down from the waistband. Oddly, shortening the side length between the hip and waist takes care of those (both side and front view).

I also need to mark my front pattern piece to show exactly where the fold should be.  This time I made it a full 1 CM.  It was already nailed into place before I realized my mistake. Fortunately most of my tops will disguise the issue. But it’s better if I prevent those drag lines come from the tummy by stitching the center front where it should be.  I’m always surprised that such a small amount makes such a big difference.  By using 1CM, I took in the front a scant 1/4″. S-c-a-n-t.  But that’s enough to go from near perfect into too tight.

I like the current leg width, but still would like something narrower.  I’ve transferred the changes to the pattern pieces in such a manner that I can go back to this width. Also concerning me is that just the little bit difference makes the leg pull at the knee.

My last issue is with the fabric. .  This is a microfiber twill. Has a napped face and satin back. Not really a beefy fabric, but definitely not a light weight. Also it is 100% polyester and in my experience warm. I think it works best in a trouser draft.  Was hoping it would also be a great choice for a dressy yoga pant.  I’m wondering if firming up the seams would help.  Like with knit tops I always use fusible bias tape on the shoulders.  That keeps the shoulders smooth and hanging nicely throughout the life of the top.  I sometimes put the fusible tape on the neckline especially if it is a V or deep neckline.  I’m really wondering if firming up the seams a little bit would help the look of my pants?  Any thoughts? Has anyone done something similar?