5682 - Jeans, Arlie W/Video

Corded Pants with Airlie Pocket

I bought a lovely stripe shirting, 100% cotton,  on-line in the middle of last winter.  I was think of a nice, cheerful shirt. A sun-shiny shirt. However as soon as I lifted it from the UPS box, I knew this was not destined for my back. It’s a lot closer in nature, even after a wash, to cotton duck than to cotton shirting. It’s heavier, firmer, more fully bodied. Not really crisp–like I’d expect cotton shirting. Definitely not shirt worthy.  Might make a lightweight jacket (especially with interfacings and other finishes), but I really see it as summer pants for me.  Not winter. No, I wear dull and at least darker colors during winter. Not because of any depressed outlook, but simply because they are much better at being wearable after the road splash which always occurs winter and spring. Anyway, it has not set in the stash all that long. It’s number came up after I finished the side-tied knit top.  That was yellow, which had me digging around in my other yellows and because it is summer, it seemed like the yellow, cotton, corded shirting should be used now.

I used my much-loved Butterick 5682. It’s a non-stretch jeans pattern but I love the fit and have pressed it into service as an all around slim-pant pattern. I’m going to confess that the final fit is not 100% pleasing to me. Me like about 70%.  I made a couple of errors. Firstly, I truly wanted to use the Airlie pant pocket even if I couldn’t fit the Airlie pant. Truly, that pocket was why I bought the pattern.  Even before the pattern arrived and I decided to attempt fitting, I was envisioning transferring the pocket to both Silhouette Patterns 3200 and this 5682.  I knew I would need some adjustments for the pocket to work on a different pattern.  OK, so already I’m planning changes which I hope will be minor. I take the untested 5682 pocket pattern, duplicate it for the facing and trace the Airlie pocket facing onto my new facing. Before we go any further, did you catch that “untested”?  Because it’s my mistake.  I used an untested, unverified pattern to make further changes.  I can’t explain why I just completely spaced the fact that my pants pattern has been adapted to fit me, but the pocket had not been altered to fit my pants pattern.  Now the 5682 pocket probably needs only small changes. But it is still an error to use the unadapted pattern piece.  And the problem with small errors is they accumulate.  I’m lucky that the pant front fits as well as it does. To the jury-rigging that had to made for the pocket to fit and look as nicely as it does

I have to add an issue at the center front.  During the zipper application, my zipper facing would not fold and stitch nicely at the 1.5″ it is drafted/adapted. Partly this because I add a wedge at CF for tummy room. Most fabrics cooperate and fold along the new line.  This corded cotton would not.  If folded the way I wanted, big ripples formed along the stitching line and at the bottom of the stitching.  Just what you want right? Everyone looking and asking, “What’s wrong with your crotch?”  You know they don’t me you; they mean your pants, but when said aloud it sounds as if you suddenly developed a new disability. Right? So in the end, Oh and as Peggy  says “The fabric always wins.”,  I sewed the zipper in as the fabric allowed.

Bottom line, I have both some wonkiness from the pocket application and some wonkiness caused by not enough tummy room.  I am grateful that they fit as well as they do.

I am however extremely pleased with my waistband:

I haven’t used a squared-off, front, waistband application in years.  One of the reasons I quit is because it is difficult to turn a perfectly squared extension. The lumpiness will drive you nuts. I’m not crazy this time because I anticipated and sometimes just avoided things.  I did not stitch across the waistband and then back to the pant at the Wb lower edge. Nope, I stitched straight down across the end; Frey checked and carefully trimmed and clipped the end before inverting it.  It wanted to be lumpy, so I pulled out my rubber mallet and brick and whacked it a few times.  Once it submitted, I folded up the lower edge; whacked it too. When those ends in full submission, I top-stitched.  It turned out really nice because I was really mean.

Another questionable decision was in my elastic choice. I nearly always run elastic inside the waistbands after discovering this was the ‘secret’ of RTW. If RTW doesn’t have back-gap, it’s because of the barely discernible elastic.  Or your bought couture.   Anyway, I chose my elastic by the fact I wanted it white and 1-1/4″ wide. I measured it by wrapping around my naked waist (just dropped the clothes to hip level–no real show) and overlapping the ends till it was firmly against my skin.  Turned out to be 34″ which is typical for me. However inside the waistband, it seems to be really stretching; almost over-stretched. Worse, while it felt comfortably close during measuring, it seems too loose when the pant is worn.  I don’t like this, but until my next WAWAK order arrives, I think I’m stuck with it.

But it all comes down to the less than perfect front and sides above, and the even less perfect back:

Sigh, so it isn’t my usual excellent fit. That does happen i.e. the same pant pattern does not fit exactly the same with a different fabric.  It looks to me as if the sides and back  are drooping. If that’s the case, when the new elastic arrives and is installed I will have beautifully fitting pants. Until then, I think I’ll just cope.  The fabric is sun-shiny cheerful and the pants feel great to wear.



Airlie, Arlie W/Video, StyleArc

Style Arc Airlie

Not sure how to pronounce Airlie but it’s a new pant pattern from Style Arc. Has a really neat pocket and SA gave is a VIDEO of the pocket construction. Also it came with its own fabric, Bengaline.  I bought the Denim blue.  It takes a while for things to reach me from Australia and I shoved it to the back of my mind.  When it arrived I was excited and had to work on it NOW!

For me, prep work is the key, followed by a test fitting garment and finally ‘real’ fabric.  Yes I have been following Peggy Sagers fitting procedures . I still like them. I still recommend them but I find there comes a point when I have to stop and adapt for my personal anomalies. For pants that’s a large front waist, tilted waist, high-low back crotch, and short legs. This last year I’ve also found that adjusting for the depth of my body is very important. So it’s not enough that the crotch has the total length but that length has to be placed where I need it.

The first thing I did was start checking measurements. Style Arc lists the finished measurements in the brief pattern instructions. Which is how I discovered I bought the wrong size. When I looked at the measurement chart I saw  metric and  imperial charts. “Hallelujah!” I thought, ” I don’t need to convert from metric to inches.”  When the pattern arrived and I started checking measurements I realized I bought from the finished chart not the recommended size chart(which is the metric). I’m starting with a size too small.   Since I waited so long for the package to arrive, I decided to see if I could adapt.  I pulled out my favorite pattern, 5682, to measure. It involved measuring equivalent places and then subtracting seam allowances before comparing to the Style Arc Finished Measurements chart. For the crotch, I needed to add in the waistband (less seam allowances). You need math. Not interstellar distances, but tiny bits that make sure your pants go ’round your butt.

A half hour later I said “Huh.” All the measuring. All the calculating;  and I’m probably not doing anymore than I did to my Silhouette Pants patterns.

The crotch and tilted waist have me concerned.  I like the look of this crotch:


Nice scoop in the back, little hook in front. In total, there should be enough length but when front and back are compared separately, the front needs another 1-25″ while the back should be 3/4″ shorter. Additionally each crotch extension needs to be increased 1/2″.  OK so I add to the front take away from the back. But do I add at the top of the front crotch? Split between top and inseam? Do I reduce the back crotch upright by 3/4″ or by 1.25″ since I need to stick 1/2″ on the back at the inseam? I used to do long math strings all the time. Believe me, it makes lots of room for error. Sometimes to solve the errors, you have to work each change in turn. Not that hard todo in programming/computers but in sewing we’re talking 4-6 test garments? Oh and should I have reconsidered the effect of the waistband? See, many wrinkles.  The logic is not all the easy for me to sort through.

So decision for Test garment 1:

  • -2″ leg (As always. I have short legs. That doesn’t change no matter what pattern I buy.)
  • +1″ to side seam allowances
  • +1/2″ CF wedge (that tummy of mine has to have room yours’ does not.)
  • +1/2″ Front Crotch Extension (the body depth issue)
  • +1/2″ Back Crotch Extension (the other half of the body depth issue)
  • +1″ at top of CF. (the rest of the depth issue. You might think length but it’s really a continuation of the CF wedge to fit over the tummy)

I will not have a well-fitting pair of pants with the first test garment. But I should have enough length, circumference and depth to be ready for some real fabric. Off to check required stretch and choose a muslin fabric!