An Embroidery Break

I had to take a break sewing the Otto 2006-02-04 blouse.  Not that I wanted to but the stabiliser I used for the embroidery was dehydrating, shrinking and pulling the fabric out of shape.  I tried to continue but as soon as the steam from the iron passed over the stabiliser shrunk taking the blouse with it.  I was finished the facing and would be fitting next. Except shriveled as it was, fitting was impossible. The only option was to soak away the remaining stabiliser and dry the blouse. Hence, forced to take a sewing break from the blouse.

It just so opportunely or not, happened that I wanted/needed to sew another pair of shorts. The last pair , lovely thought they were, shredded at the pocket during the first wear. You read that correctly, the edge next to the pocket shredded.  These were already close fitting. There isn’t a 1/2″ of ease available to fix the pockets. Especially irking because the reason for the zig zag finishing of the slash edges is to prevent the any such freying. I worse those shorts for about 6 hours and then put them in the trash.

It leaves me short of shorts. IOW, I felt I had the minimum number of shorts in my wardrobe. After the demise of that pair, I didn’t have enough. I still have lots of remnants, though. From the stash I chose a light blue stretch woven. Pretty sure it’s 100% polyester. In its day this made wonderful jacket and pants. No idea why I still have this remnant. It must be 20 years old. I chose it now so that I wouldn’t have to change thread on the machines.

I’m using Burda 2013-02-143 again. I’m anxious to tweak this pattern and have added 1/2″ ease about 5″ down from the waistband and on the back piece only. At the same time I’ve removed another 1/8″ from the center back of the back waistband and increased the depth of both back darts. I need more bu_t room but less waist ease.


Unfortunately since this stretch woven has about 33% stretch, I can’t really be sure how my changes have affected the fit of the basic pattern. It is comfortable and looks slightly better than the previous versions. At the same time instead of the back ease being stretched to cover my rear, it is folding at the left side seam. This wasn’t something that I could photo and it is perplexing. But not visible to anyone but me because my top covers the fold and the fold is only on the left side.

I don’t have matching thread either all purpose sewing or serging thread. I chose not to use the coverstitch machine, because the difference would be obvious. Instead I did a simple 4mm straight stitch to secure the hems and waistband into place.

Did you notice the red arrow above the waistband?  I was trying to point out the new closures I’m using.  I purchased these from WAWAK. I think they are meant for men’s wear but I’ve grown to love them.  I purchased the 10 pack first and ruined about half because I removed them from the package and tossed the directions. Weeks later I couldn’t remember how to put these together. Hence leaning through destruction. Once I got the hang of them though, I was sold. I bought the 50 pack. The hold very well both during wear and through multiple laundry cycles. They’ve become my GOTO waistband fastener/closure.  I can have all 4 pieces secured in less time than it takes to choose a button. Just no dislikes here. Unless I particularly want to use a special button, I”m using this Pant Closure for all my pants.  As usually NAYY



Shorts 2 Finished

Pants are difficult to fit. Most men opt for comfort over looks.  As long as a man’s pants feel comfortable,  they look fine.  But women are different. We not only want are pants to feel good, but they must look good; and the standard for both looking and feeling good are different from person to person.


I finished these by hemming, completing the waistband with closure and scooping the bottom of the crotch 1/4″. A final pressing and into the closet they went, until I was able to finish a coordinating top (to be shared tomorrow on  sdBev.wordpress.com ).


I also walked the side seams and inseams and discovered that the pant front was 3/8″ longer than the pant back.  I ripped the seams open, trimmed 3/8″ from the bottom of the front; pressed out the previous hem fold and created another one all before doing the previously mentioned finishing.  As a result nearly all the side wrinkles are gone. I altered my tissue as well so that future shorts from this pattern, won’t have that particular issues.


I still need to add ease right at the bu-t.  I’m debating on adding 1/4 or 1/2″ only to the back piece.  At the same time, I think the back waist needs to be narrowed just a little more maybe 1/4″ (which would remove a total of 1/2″).  I’m not sure, but think it would be easier to alter the waistband and then increase the depth of the darts. The pattern shows 2 back darts. One of which is no more than 1/8″ wide. I didn’t stitch it because that small amount is easier for me to ease.

Overall I’m pleased with this pair of shorts and plan to wear them for the remainder of summer. When you see tomorrows pictures you’ll understand that despite the still visible drag lines, when worn with a typical T-shirt none of problems are visible.  These are good enough for this summer.


Final Alterations for 143 Shorts

I was really perplexed with how these shorts fit compared with the first long-legged version of the same pattern. After thinking about it, I removed the waistband and waistband facing. Then unpicked every single stitch made during alterations.  I pressed the legs carefully and hung them up.

I took the waistband and facing apart and carefully pressed each piece before comparing them to my tissues.  Whoa and Holy Cow. These pieces had grown in length by about 1.75″ on the front and another 3/4″ on the back. Further more, that growth occurred overnight between when I cut the fabric and when I cut/applied interfacing.  No wonder I was struggling.  The waist band pieces clearly were wrong.

After I  had the waistband/facing pieces unpicked, pressed trimmed to the correct size, I stitched their side seams again and tried to align them along the top of the pants fabric. Wouldn’t work. Clearly now the top of the pant had been stretched an equal or greater amount.  I ran a gathering line just over 1/4″ from the edge along the pants top.  Then I was able to gather the pants top to the waistband; fold down, press and pin the facing into place; and  again take fitting pictures.  The pictures above are what you’d see in the bank line (I might should reconsider wearing that shirt). The pics below are taken to expose the pant for criticism.


Already, I’m beginning to hate these pants.  I pressed the pieces when they were unpicked.  I pressed the pieces when they were sewn together.  I pressed everything, again just before the first set of 4th Alteration photos. I had to take 2 more sets of photos and iron the shorts that many times more to get viewable pics. This fabric wants to wrinkle. I swear it does. Those are not panty lines visible on the back or side. The fabric has folded in those places and refuses to hang any better despite the 3 pressings and 3 sets of photos At least the diagonal lines of the LL version have disappeared from all views. I’m not really sure what to think of the remaining wrinkles. For one thing, these shorts don’t look that bad when I look in the mirror. It’s possible that the camera is picking up subtle shadows that I don’t notice.  I am pleased that I can magnify all views and not see any feminine parts, other body parts or evidence of underwear being worn.  This is a humid, mid-level heat (86F) day. Perhaps the fabric is responding to the humidity.  I’m wondering if the fabric stretched this much from handling (admittedly a lot) or from the humidity and what will happen when it is laundered and baked dry. (Trust me. At some point DH will do laundry during which all fabric items are washed on the hot, sanitary setting and then  baked dry for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Whether they need it or not.)

This is disappointing in another way. I was hoping to at least be able to tell if the back crotch needed scooping.  As expected the LL pair softened and shaped itself to my body as the day wore on. But should I expect that or should I scoop the crotch?  I also wanted to know what was causing the diagonal lines on front and back between waist and hip. Still can’t be sure. Thirdly, I wanted to know if the drag line around the knee on the LL pants, is a knee issue or a bu_t issue. The way wrinkles have appeared, disappeared and reappeared, I still can’t tell about that either.

As much as I’m disappointed with these pictures, the bank line pictures above are satisfactory.  I did think I was closer to achieving perfect fit with this pattern. Now I wonder if I simply didn’t see the fitting issues on the previous pair because they were so dark. Then again, this fabric is something else. I’m not likely to photo these shorts again.  I will finish them and I will wear them (the bank pics aren’t so bad). But I will not make changes to the tissue. In fact I’ve already chosen the next fabric, a microfiber twill with ZERO stretch to make the exact same shorts.

Am I stubborn or what?


Fitting 2013-02-143 for Shorts

I’m perplexed and need a moment to think.  I expected these shorts to be easy to fit.  I transferred the changes made to the long legged version back to the pattern, and reduced the seam allowances to 1/4″. When it came time to cut the fabric, I added 1/4″ to the side seams giving me 1/2 inch of fitting room.  My fabric is a stretch cotton sateen. Not a big stretch, just 1% Lycra.  Normally that little bit of Lycra is just enough so that the pants will recover their shape whenever the body moves around.

But from the first try on and through 6 sessions of ripping and stitching,  these have defeated me. The first time I slipped them up to my waist and clipped the waistband together in front, the pants fell to my crotch. Obviously, the waist was too large. The whole pant felt too large.  I took in the side seams twice for a total of 3/4″ and took a big dart in the center back waistband just to get these to stay up. That’s when I took my first pics. To my horror, while the pants actually felt comfortable they looked pretty bad. I had removed  too much ease.

So side seams get ripped out and returned to the 1/4″ seam allowance. I left the center back dart because the waist band gaped pretty badly.  Next I made two alterations ripping out side seam from top of waistband to about 4″ down. I’d resew  with ever deeper seam allowances trying to narrow the waist enough to keep my pants up.  I had just finished my yet another ripping session when dinner was announced.  Sometimes I return to sewing after dinner. This was one of those not times. Which was a good thing. Over night I realized that I probably had two issues. First, when I transferred  my fitting changes of the long legged (LL) version, to the tissue the front waistband did not look as I expected. I rechecked my calculations. They seemed correct so I left the front waistband as altered and continued with this shorts version. A second hint that the front waistband was incorrect, occurred as I stitched the shorts waistband to the top of the shorts.  I should have been able to ease the two with the waistband being the shorter piece. Instead they were equal. So the front waistband was too long to being with

The second issue occurred way back while I was still trying to fit the LL version. There were diagonal lines beneath the waistband on front and back, but most prominently on the front. I assumed part of the issue was that the pants were drooping slightly due to the several alterations in the area and that possibly the side seams were too long.  I was attempting to work on this particular issue, when the seam between waistband and pant frayed practically beyond redemption and I was forced to call those done.

Now there was  3rd issues as well: the fabric itself. Generally, I don’t like to work with stretch fabrics early in the basic fitting process. By basic, I mean a standard set of sleeved blouse, sleeveless blouse, slacks and jeans. I’m pretty far along that list, having already fit or close to fitting all 4. Still I hadn’t resolved the issues of this particular pattern and probably should not have introduced the stretch factor. So here’s what I’m facing. Each picture shows the first, 2nd and 3rd fittings which correspond to sides seams, side waist fitting and 3rd altering the front waistband.

I’m astonished that throughout the fittings, what feels good, actually looks too tight across the rear. In fittings 1 and 2, my panty line is at least faintly visible.   With the 3rd fitting, the dipping back waistband would suggest that the back crotch is too short. however, those diagonal lines above only disappear when the pant back can be further hiked up or shortened. Below the waistband and above the hip are the diagonal wrinkles which I started trying to eliminate in the LL version.

Moving to the fronts, I actually like the first and 2nd fittings slightly better. It’s possible that pressing the front would make the 3rd look a little better. But the front is eased to the waistband on the 3rd version, instead of the 1:1 ratio previous.  It’ eased close to the gathering point. I’m not sure that pressing is going to help that issue. During the first and 2nd alterations, the front crotch had felt too long. On the 3rd alteration I offset the waistband/pant seam which had the effect of shortening the front crotch 1/4″. Obviously, not the answer I was looking for.

Onto the side. The side seam remains fairly upright through each alteration.  Many of the side wrinkles have disappeared, yet there are still diagonal lines above the hip and beneath the waistband, the same wrinkles discussed previously.

Oddly, these shorts sit lower, much lower than the LL version. Burda describes these as sitting 1CM below the natural waist. That is my preferred position, i.e. a mere 1/4 to 3/8″ below my waist. It is possible that I’m creating the diagonal wrinkles through unconsciously pulling the sides up, or maybe the sides travel upward on their own???

At this point, I’m just not sure how to fix my various issues.  That’s why I decided to write this post and upload these pics.  I’m hoping some insight will occur.

2013-02-143, Pockets

Summer Shorts with Another Easy, Low Bulk Pocket

… now rapidly becoming essential, I converted Burda 2013-02-143 into shorts pattern.  I aligned my ruler with the knee tic marks on the pattern and drew a Shorts Line 3.5″ above. Then I aligned a 3.5″ strip of tissue with the Shorts Line, taped it into place and trimmed the sides perpendicular to the Shorts Line.

After that, it’s a matter of folding up and pinning the lower leg  above the newly created Shorts Line


My next thought was, What fabric am I going to use? I can make shorts in as little as 2/3 yard of fabric. So the first place I check is that stash of less than 2 yard fabrics I create.  In case you didn’t read this elsewhere, I arrange my fabrics by color and usage.  So all the fabrics I know will be used for coats are in a stack by themselves. As is all the fabrics intended for Home Dec projects.  From the stash of dressmaking fabrics I pull the cuts that are 1 7/8 yard or less and stack on a shelf I think of as the “Under 2’s”. This is also the shelf where I place large remnants from previous projects.  I had been organizing these strictly by length as in anything less than 2 yards but greater than 1.5 yards. Anything 1.5 yards or less but greater than 1 yard; and a 3rd area, anything less than 1 yard.  However when starting this project, I knew I would want to make several pairs of shorts all at once. Why? Well I didn’t even try on shorts from last summer.  I figured if all the long legged pants constructed before April 2013 didn’t fit, the shorts wouldn’t either. All my previous shorts were separated into donate and rag piles and summarily disposed. With this in mind, I pulled the mess of fabrics from the area ( and it was a mess) and started pulling out fabrics that would be acceptable for summer shorts.  I neatly folded and returned the rest of the fabrics to the shelf. Boy was I surprised. What previously had been one big, messy messy mess, was now not only neatly arranged but taking at least a third less storage space:


To say I’m pleased with myself, is an understatement. From the stack on the far left, I chose a 50″ X 1- yard cotton/lycra sateen in a lovely light blue. (You’ll see it later). I’m still concerned about the fit of the pattern. I know that with shorts, I don’t have to worry about the diagonal pulls at the knee. Now by choosing a stretch fabric, I think I shouldn’t make any more pattern adjustments but should fit the shorts to me.  That is, I know that lycra will really affect the pattern fit. If I change the pattern to accommodate the stretch sateen, it won’t be right for non-stretch fabrics. So I laid out the tissue pieces and immediately  discovered I would be short on fabric. The first thing I did was the lay the waistband opposite the specified grain.  That gave me enough for waistband but not facings or pockets.  From the  Under 2’s I pulled another remnant, the last remains from HAF2 completed last week.  I don’t really care for these two fabrics together but facings will be not be visible.

Then I decide, I really want a pocket. Pockets are so handy during the summer. Well all year, but I’m outside a whole lot more during summer and fall weather.  Having a place to tuck a Kleenex or key is practically invaluable.  I fret about pockets.I don’t have enough fabric to make a pocket of any kind. I’m down to strips slightly larger than needed for belt loops. What can I do?  I recall a particular inside pocket, that almost hides completely inside a slit. It isn’t a welt. Just a slit with the pocket inside. I have enough of the 2nd remnant to make this pocket but again I fret. This I fret because my experience has been that the heart, interior hidden or ear pocket will show just a little on the outside. What to do?

I start by constructing my own pattern. I know that women’s pockets usually have an opening at least 6″ long/wide (depends on pocket orientation). Also children’s pocket should have the same minimum because who do you think will be emptying their 3″ pockets? Mom will and Mom needs at least 6″.  So I know that my pocket needs to be at least 6″ long and wide.  Since I want to be able to put something besides my hands in my pocket and not have that something fall out, I decide my pocket should be longer/deeper than 6″. In my tissue scraps (if you sew, you end up with several stashes) was a scrap 10″ X29. I want to double check and be sure of the width, so I lay my hand upon the tissue and make a little tick mark

I rotate the ruler and draw a line the width of the tissue

It’s a small matter than to fold on the line and trim the excess length.

From here the pocket can assume various shapes. I could leave it rectangular as above, or draw a heart shape

Several shapes are possible, my favorite is the rounded bottom corner.

I like this shape because things (dirt, fuzz, lint etc) tend to accumulate in sharp-corner pockets.   The heart shape pocket with the point inserted into the waistband, has the least bulk along the waist. I prefer the wider top. I think it gives my tummy a little more support and believe me, my tummy appreciates any support it can get.

When unfolded, it looks like this:

and can be placed on the fabric either in the open, unfolded position

or positioned on a fabric fold with the tissue also folded.

.Either way once the fabric is cut, I mark the center of the pocket.

Then remember how concerned I was about the pocket showing on the outside?  And the fact I had only strips of the shorts fabric left?  The solution is to cut strips of the shorts fabrics and apply it to the center, right side of the fabric.

I fused and then stitched using one of the edge finishing stitches.  I think it’s possible to fuse only or even straight stitch those edges.  I use Steam A Seam 2 to fuse such things. My experience has been that SAS will last several washings, but eventually the joined pieces will pull free.  I do think I need to stitch the pieces together. I also prefer an edge finishing stitch rather than straight. Again my experience, but there seems to be some raveling with just a straight stitch. Maybe the amount of raveling, won’t bother you.

Once the strip is satisfactorily attached, mark the pant where you want the pocket to be.  I marked from the side inward 3.5″ and from the waist down 7″. I know I said 6″, but the seam allowance at the top will eat up some of that extra inch and another 3/4″ for inserting and removing my hand will not cause a problem.

.Align the pant and pocket right sides together along the line just drawn and the center line previously drawn on the pocket.

I don’t just guess.  I insert a pin in the top (usually the back side of the pocket fabric) and then lift that fabric and make sure my pin “nails” the line on the 2nd fabric, usually my pants.

This is one of those times when close enough, is not good enough. If I don’t do it right, now I will have problems later on.  However 3 pins is usually enough, one at the top, one in the middle and one exactly where I want my stitching to end. Then it’s onto the sewing machine where, like sewing a neckline plackett, I like to sew 1/8″ on either side of the center line.  I like to frey check the bottom

.before cutting down the center and finishing the edges.

.I also used a narrow zig zag stitch to finish those edges (after pressing) because it can be hard to keep those narrow less than 1/8″ edges contained. The zig zag nicely finishes those edges and with a pressing, looks professional.

.Oh and yes I did cut the bottom box with triangles just like a bound button hole and I used my Ruby’s tack stitch to lock the triangles into position again just like a bound button hole. I hope the next steps are easy enough not to need a series of photos. Because once the pocket looks like it does above, then the pocket is folded in half and the long side/curve is serged together. Followed by aligning the pocket in place along the top and stay stitched. Here you see that I’ve already serged the top edge of the pant and pocket. I want the edge finished during fitting.

.On the outside view, you’ll see that my pockets tend to separate just a little so that the interior of the pocket is visible.

.Maybe that’s just something weird I always do to this easy pocket.  That’s why I made the effort o put the strips of pant fabric inside the pocket.  Had I used matching fabric, that extra strip wouldn’t have been needed.

Also, I know with all these pics, the pocket seemed like a big deal. But really, the first you work it through you’ll wonder why I bothered. It is a very simple pocket, that looks good and doesn’t add a lot of bulk to any of the seams.  I know that various designers have included this pocket in their designs. Often with a slightly different shape and interesting name.  I really feel this pocket must be in the public domain.  I’ve been using a variation of it since I was a teen.

OK I’m off to work on fitting.


Burda 2013-02-143 Finished

Well, this is where I quit tweaking:

In truth, I didn’t finish any seams before beginning the fit process. The front seam between waistband and pant leg started falling apart so it became necessary to finish up and make a final analysis. Pictures above is the Bank Line View. Below, the pic’s have been lightened to the max and I removed my belt so that the waistband is visible.

This was a good hair day. I almost didn’t cut off my head but decided I wanted to show pants so the head had to go. Without the belt, the pants drop a little from the waist. The waist needs to be a little tighter. I’ve accepted that I will always need something to help hold the waist into place because my waist fluctuates in size throughout the day. With the belt on, the back is flat (no little side dimple) and the tummy invisible. Most of the diagonal lines between waist and hip line, are just the pant settling downward because the waistband is slightly too large.  Really and truly, other than the drag lines at the back knee, this pant is dang near perfect.  These pants look good even having been on and off several times through-out the days and laying on the ironing board overnight.  The fabric is excellent: soft, comfortable to wear and recovers from body sitting, standing stooping walking, etc. This fabric came from FashionFabricsClub, but I”m not sure which fabric .  What I am sure is that I love to have more in several colors.

As I’m wearing the pants today, I note that while they look fabulous they are pulling right above the ta_l bone. This often happens to me. The pant will look perfect (yes I do eventually get perfect pants) but the back will be uncomfortable.  I’m hoping that wear will stretch these a little right where needed.  If not, I may be scooping the crotch not right in the bottom but at the back where it curves. I’m sure if this fabric had any lycra at all, I wouldn’t be feeling that pull.

This pattern is a keeper for me.  I transferred the changes for the tummy to the tissue and trimmed the excess tissue from the side seams which were cut 1.5″ wide. I’m eager to use the pattern again and see if I can fix the pull lines at the knee. One other thing, I cut the belt loops 3.5″ long. That’s too much. I need to make them no more than 3″ long and more like 2.5″.  One of the nice things about the contoured waistband with facing is that the belt loops are so easy to sew. Just pin them between seams and sew-on!


Burda 2013-02-143 Adding Room for My Tummy

I offset the side seams about 3/8″ favoring the front. I didn’t offset the entire side seam, only from about 1″ below the top of the waistband to mid-hip about 6″ down.  Immediately I decided that I wasn’t going to need to alter the crotch. That first try on after basting the pants together had felt tight in the torso and while the crotch had looked good it too felt like it was cutting into my wa hoo hoo.  So I was pleased with  this alteration immediately and took pictures:


Ok ok, that is the Bank Line View. If you can’t tell anything wrong, I’m pretty sure no one else can either. However, I really do want to share these and critique the fit, so I cropped the pics and lighten them as much as possible:

On the back I still see drag lines from the knee but the rest looks really good and feels even better. I’m pleased that those drag lines are not X-lines i.e. radiating both above and below the knee, Skip over to the front view where the prominent tummy has practically disappeared. There are some diagonal lines above the pockets but the pant feels comfortable and I’m pleased to note that there are no drag or feather lines along the front-thigh inseam. Apparently, Burda put enough ease in there for me; or maybe it was tracing the size large inseam??? I think the side view indicates that I need a touch more room for both tummy and hip. There is just a hint of the panty line but only on the side view.  Those horizontal pull lines are also slightly lifting.  In the past that has indicated that the side seam is too long between waist and thigh.  I think my next step is to stitch 1/8″ away from the first seam and to figure out how to remove just a little length on side below the waist band.

But I refer you to the Bank Line picture above. If I wanted to stop now, these are wearable.



Burda 2010-02-143 First Fitting

I used a variant of the Easy No-Bulk pocket shared previously. The other pockets were sharpely curved. Best finished by binding with bias tape. This pocket edge is straight. I added 1″ to the edge prior to cutting it out. (I did not cut the facing only the back pocket-pant  piece and the front). I interfaced the edge, folded it down twice and cover stitched. Then I fused the back pocket-pant into place, marked the edge with tailors chalk and cover stitched that into place. It is again a very easy, quick finish and helps me justify to myself the purchase of the cover stitch machine. I mean $500 because I’m too lazy to hem by hand seemed a little extravagent.  Having more uses eases my self-inflicted guilt.

This is a really short zipper. Maybe 4″.  I did permanently stitch the zipper, as well as the pockets, into place.  I’m concerned about that front crotch but if I need to add a gusset, the zipper will not be in the way. I hate ripping seams. I double-hate ripping zippers because zippers is one of the few places I sew with small (1.5-2mm) stitch lengths. So zipper is in permanently.

I interfaced the hems, pressed them up into place, but pinned instead of fusing or basting.  All the seams are basted. I’d rather not have to sew seams twice, but I don’t trust this pattern to fit without any effort.  I’m also a believer that my waistband/waist-treatment must fit before I can work on any other issues. So the waist facing has been basted together and in place but is pinned along bottom edge of the waistband.

Time to check on that first fit. Remember I said it would be hard to photo the dark navy?  Well I was right!  These pics have been lightened as much as possible. Try to look at how beautiful the fit is across the back from waist to crotch.  It feels tight, but is beautifully smooth and shapely.

Then entire back looks wonderful!  For me, normally the front of pants looks terrific and the back is a hot mess.  These are showing only a little pulling at the knee, my fat knee.

That diagonal line is better than the TJ906’s which I consider wearable now. These are an improvement!

However,  the front view is annoying.

In the pattern sizing analysis, I chose the size to trace based upon the waist.  In my mind, there should be enough ease in front and too much in back. But these clearly show a prominent tummy and not enough ease. I probably could get away with finishing these and wearing them. After all, my tops hang down to about mid hip.  So my tops would cover the tummy in front but the nice looking tush in back would still be visible. But I’m working on this pattern thinking of making future copies or similar styles.   So I examine the side view to see if it suggests the first obvious change.

I draw lines when I’m analyzing photos. The arrows show that my drag lines are pointing both to the tummy and to side at the widest point of my hip.   I also drew vertical lines following the side seam.  The side seam is fairly perpendicular from hem to that wide hip-point but then it leans forward between hip and waist. This suggests to me that the first issue to correct is adding additional ease for my tummy. The pant is sitting firmly on my waist neither too tight nor too loose.  I want to add ease for the tummy, but keep the waist the same. For now, I will not effect the hip or thigh fit. I’ve found that very often when I correct the obvious error, other problem just disappear.  I’ve also found that trying to make all the fixes at once, only creates more problems. Keep It Simple is a good rule for fitting.


Burda 2013-02 #143

I still need pants. I live in pants. I don’t have to have jeans, although I like jeans, but I do need comfortable nice looking pants.  In the last 3 months I’ve made over 30 pairs of pants. That includes muslins. In my closet are 9 pairs which get worn. 1 is a pair of shorts which won’t be worn much until the temps skyrocket. 1 is a dressy pair which I love but tend to reserve for dressier occasions. The 3rd pair I love and wear are the Mom Jeans. The last pair I love and count as perfect,  the brown cotton linen jeans with the curved yoke. The other pants in my closet have somewhat minor issues. The front crotch is too long but can’t be seen only felt. Another the back gaps – if I don’t wear a belt. A 3rd feels good all day long, looks good in the morning. As the day wears on the back droops until you would swear I was wearing Adult Depends. Two  have diagonal drag lines from knee to mid bu_t. I still wear all of these because they really don’t look bad and aren’t horribly uncomfortable, b-u-t  if I had replacements I wouldn’t wear any of the less than perfect pants. Even now, they are chosen only when my favorites are in the washer. Mind you I didn’t say dirty clothes, I said washer. As in wet and my front loading washer won’t let me open the door until the water is drained.  So I still need pants and I’m ready for some different styling. I’ve got the basic pant (JSM)  and a basic jean (B5403) fitting very well (fabric choices can still wreak havoc). I feel like I’ve added to my arsenal of pants fitting knowledge. Yep, I’m ready for something different but not too challenging.

For the next round of pants making I’ve chosen Style #143 from Burda issue 2/2013. The pattern was drafted for satin duchess and should work with my non-stretch woven. It has a faced, 1.5″ wide, contoured waistband which should sit 3/8″ below the natural waistline.  There are faced, slant front pockets but none drafted for the back.  It has a slim leg ending in an 18″ hem circumference.  I make a quick check of my measurements and then compared to Burda’s recommended sizes.  Burda recommends a 46 based on my hip size and a 48 for my waist.  I traced the size 48 and then remembering how easily Burda used to fit with a simple 1size larger inseam, I traced the size 50 front and back inseams.

Then I dithered about pattern alterations.  There are so many subtle and obvious difference between this pattern, my JSM pattern and the B5403 pattern. Too many to list.  I did chop 6″ from the bottom of the leg. The leg is fairly straight from knee to hem.  I didn’ see a special cuff or some other reason why the leg would be so long. Maybe I’m just accustomed to the shorter pants legs we’ve worn the last few years. The back crotch is very similar to the B5403 but the front crotch isn’t much more than a hook.  One of the features of B5403 which I think contributed to the ease of fitting, is  long front and back crotch extensions (sometimes called forks).  I shuffled pattern pieces around, pinned yokes and pockets into place and compared and compared and compared.  Finally I took out the tape measure. Using the size 48 there should be 4″ ease across the hip and 2 across my tummy. That should be plenty.  But I’ve suffered through this before. I know for a fact that all fabrics act just slightly differently.  More than once I’ve thought “x inches of ease is plenty” and then pieces the garment or tossed it into the garbage. So when it came time for adding seam allowances, I added 1.5″ to side seams and another 1″ to the front waistband because I want under/over laps.

My fabric is a 100% cotton brushed twill. It maybe more suitable for fall weather but I’m sure I’ll be glad to have this on cooler summer nights too.  Besides it is wonderfully soft and a deep dark navy which will be hard to photo but will look nice on me and with at least a third of my wardrobe.