Uh-Oh we’re back to the thing which drives us nuts  when sewing garments. Let me recap. I was intrigued by the yoke construction of the pant in Burda September 2012 Style 145, but did not think it would fit because it had 5″ less ease than the last finished pant, Burda February 2011 #136.  Being that doubtful, I traced 2011-02-136 and added the style details i.e. no pockets, no zip, and 9″ yoke.  At the first fitting I removed1.5″ ease.  Didn’t even take pictures. What’s interesting was that for the previous version I added only 3/4″ overall ease. I removed more ease than I added.  This is what drives us nuts.  You can make a muslin. You can make several versions of the same pattern. But with each fabric change you will need to tweak the fit.

Now to be fair, my previous fabrics were all woven non-stretch.  I’m using a cotton twill with Lycra.  I forget how much Lycra, but I can give my fabric a firm pull and add nearly double  the width.  I found the fabric at a Hancock’s in the denim section.  I presume that someone had selected this fabric and then wandered into the denims. Whereupon they found a denim much more to their liking and on sale. They ditched this fabric and hauled the substantially reduced denim(s) to the cutting counter.  I don’t know if Hancock’s advertises their denim sales.  I always look for them and I always bring home at least a 2.5 yard cut just because when the sale is good, it is really good. So I headed straight for the denims as soon as I see the  sale sign.  Once there I pick up the twill.  I recognize this twill.  It was in a favorite pair of dress trousers purchased from a shop in MN mucho years ago.  They wore like iron; lasting through several weight changes. They were reluctantly discarded about 3 years ago only because having lost 50 pounds (at the time) they wouldn’t stay up on my body.  Naturally I purchased 2.5 yards of this at full price.  My only regret is that I didn’t buy the bolt. Yes that is my only regret.  Having to tweak the fit is nothing new whereas finding a fantastic fabric is.

For the final fit, I stitched the inseams and crotch in another 1/4″.  Overall I removed 2.5″ ease across the hips and 1.25″ ease from each leg.  I’m sure a lot of that is due to the stretchy nature of the present fabric, but it could also be the accumulative effect of having to add 3/4″ for the last pair in the non-woven and no-give fabric. Fabric makes a difference.  Now I’m sure there are some that would recommend removing more ease.  But I’m comfortable with myself and my life and prefer a semi-fitted look in all things. That is, I like the fabric to skim the body making me look womanly but not revealing the full extent of the lard on my …..

I’m showing you three pictures of the final fit.  The first is before I have applied lightening effects to the picture:

No lighting effects applied to this view.

I really can’t tell too much from the picture. I did attempt just a bit of styling.  I was much interested in knowing if the fabric buckling I’m seeing in the lower part of the (with this pattern in this and previous pants) is the way I’m standing or the shoes I’m wearing.  I’m most apt to wear this particular pair of pants with low heeled boots. So why am I wearing 1.5″ heels?  The boots are put away.  The shoes I keep thinking about replacing, after 2 years they are still uncomfortable to wear, and therefore still at hand.  I grabbed a belt. I wish it were the blue belt that I will be wearing with this pair of pants.  Unfortunately DH and I share similar esthetics in dress belts.  He is forever arguing that my belts are really his.  I didn’t want to take the time to raid his closet so I grabbed a belt. It works for this picture.  I’m also not wearing a blouse typical of what will be paired with these pants.  The pant fabric is definitely cool-weather friendly.  My blouse OTOH is appropriate for the 99 degree weather I’m currently enjoying. But you do have an idea of how the pants look when paired with similar accessories.

My next view reveals the *almost final fit quite well

Full fill-light effect applied to image.

It is this pic that I was thinking of when I wrote that others would recommend removing a bit more ease.  From this pattern, this pair of pants and no others, there is a bit too much fabric under the bum. It is the fitting issue which has plagued me the very most.  I do not have a flat behind. Look at my side pics, because it doesn’t look my my behind droops either.  I think my ol’ behind sticks right out there high and too proud. But I have excess ease under the bum in the pics of this pair of pants.  This pattern has a crotch-scoop of 3/4″. That’s why it works in the other fabrics. IOW there’s plenty of room for whatever I do have in that area for those non-stretch fabrics. I’m reluctant to remove more ease back there, because I’m gaining weight. This is the first week that I can report that the scales have not inched upward. I’m hoping with my last diet changes, I’m starting to get this back under control. But it’s been an 8 month fight.  I’m inclined to be cautious and to that end have not trimmed away the extra fabric created by the ease which I removed. I did my final stitching at a  3.0mm stitch length. I can easily make changes if needed.

Do note that with the addition of the 1.5″ heel, the leg is now too short but hangs very nicely.  No fabric stacking upon the floor and causing fabric folds all up the lower leg.

I also want to bring to your attention the effect of the yoke. I attempted to move the eye away from the yoke by stitching in the front crease,  making faux pockets and faux zipper plackette.  I find all those lines in the front slimming.  They move your eye up and away from my tummy.  I was anticipating a similar effect except moving away from the yoke. With a blouse hemmed at my normal preference, the horizontal line created by the yoke (and all that faux seaming) is invisible.

Opps! Please ignore the Velcro Bu!!

I’ll not repeat the other pictures just to save your bandwidth so please scroll up after reading my comments.  Initially, when looking at the untouched photo, I thought I was seeing a fit issue, a drag line across the hips.  When I applied the lightening effect, I could see that “drag line” was the yoke.  I’m pretty pleased about this.  With any very dark fabric, which most of my pants are, I feel that I can freely add and manipulate yokes.  I like that idea because it’s a real fabric saver!  I purchase 2.5 yards of fabric for pants. There is a difference of about 1/4″ in use between a contour waistband and a straight waistband. This type, with the cut-on waistband, usually takes the full 2.5 yards. Because of the yoke, I used 1-3/4 yards of 54″ fabric.  I could have increased the 3/4″ yard savings by using hem facings and  making a separate waistband.  As it is, I have enough fabric left to make a pair of dressy shorts next summer.  Another plus is the design elements this opens up for me.  I’ve often admired the yoke details on skirts but never thought they could be applied to pants.  Not any more.  I can borrow those details anytime I want, just for fun.

The last comment I want to make about this pattern is how quickly it sewed. If I start the ticker from tracing 2010-02-136, even with 3 fittings this pair of pants were done in 3 hours.  This takes me back to the years when double-knit pull-on pants swept through the US female population.  Most women could buy 2 yards of fabric and have a pair of nice looking pants in 2 hours.  We loooooved it. Polyester double-knit and an elastic waistband seemed like a godsend. These days, I don’t have wardrobe shortages (not really). I don’t need to be able to put clothes on my back in a couple of hours.  I’m more interested in design details, fabric manipulations, good fabrics etc etc all the things that make garment sewing rewarding.  Still it is nice to think if I had to, I could have a new pair of pants like that!


* After writing this post, I think I want to let out the inseams just 1/8″.  I think when I took them in to reduce ease in the leg, the crotch was shortened too much for my figure.


Burda 2012_09 Inspired-by-145

I’m particularly impressed with the September 2012 issue of Burda Style.  There are at least 4 tops/blouses I want to make and this pair of plus size pants, Style 145

This pair of pants was attractively displayed on a plus sized model (OK 14 is not a plus sized woman, but that’s the size the industry uses when they want to model plus sized clothing.) I’m always on the look out for patterns that might be used when I’m short on fabric.  I’ve got pants gussets down to a science…. on me. My first thought was this pattern might really useful in that regard.

I was concerned about the horizontal yoke line.  Often pants will have a flattering, narrow-angled yoke in either front, back or both. But a straight across yoke is rarely seen outside maternity wear.   I don’t wish to give the impression of  expecting a new family member and I’m really cautious about all horizontal lines.  I’m not only a pear shape, but I’m a large, nearly-plus-sized pear. I know others will disagree with me, and maybe it is entirely in my own mind, but I want horizontals falling where I want to look wider which is either bust or shoulders not hips.  So once I identified the pieces on the pattern sheet, traced, and added seam allowance, I taped the legs to the yoke and determined where that horizontal yoke would end on my body.  I was pleased to see that it should be well above the hem of any of my tops. I think if I also make it in a matching color, the line will be nearly invisible.

The suggested fabric is Stretch Nappa Leather for the legs and stretch Jersey for the yokes.  Although there is a dividing line at the knee, I didn’t find it on the pattern sheet. Of course, this could be an oversight on my part, but I believe that from the crotch down is one front piece and one back piece.  The upper portion, yoke, should be stretch Jersey which has me asking, why the waistline darts?  I traced all 4 pieces and then, since I do have a pattern which fits compared with Burda 2011 02 136.

I don’t work a lot with leather and I’ve never used it for clothing (other than gloves or hats).  My understanding is that leather will stretch some and will conform to the body it covers the longest.  But this pattern is at least 2.5″ narrower than my 136’s although the crotch curve including depth and length matches exactly.  Apparently Nappa Leather much have a lot of stretch.  Stretch akin to my tights. I wear tights as underwear. I never adopted the jeggings craze although I do like a narrow skim-the-curves leg. I also notice that the waistline is angled. It’s as if instead of having a diagonal cross the hips and tummy, thereby visually slimming those areas, the line is across the waist. It could be a fitting solution.  But I can’t be sure that is true, until the pants are actually basted together and tried on. This is one of those design features not visible in any pic or line drawing. Still am I willing to sacrafice  2 yards of fabric for a pants pattern that obviously has 5″ less ease than I’m accustomed to having?

In a word:  NO

But I still like the idea of the upper yoke, despite the silly darts. My solution?  I traced a copy of my 136’s.  I measured the length of the yoke for the 145’s. It was 9.5 “.  I made a dot at 9.5 inches down from the top along the straight of grain.  I made another dot 8.5” down at the side.  I connected these two dots with line and split the copied 136’s along this line.  It gives my Inspired-by-145 pants a slightly angled  and  long front yoke.

I will be using my navy blue stretch twill as this is to be my 2nd pair of pants in my 2012 Autumn 6PAC. Well, I’ll be back….


 I’ve realized that I’m often making multiple posts on a single project.  It may be terribly selfish but it is really helpful to me.  Writing my post(s) both documents my process(es) and helps me think through what I’m doing.