E047-418

E047-418

I do my best thinking when I’m relaxed and looking not at the problem but at something else. I’m not alone in this. Many people have had the same experience. This time my conscious mind was directed at watching cops and robbers on TV, but it was picking away at the: Why?  Why couldn’t I fit this pattern? Why did it get worse with every change? Why did the Eleanors fit without a hitch? Why did Otto #11 5/2016 Fit easily? Why did I want to continue this mess when I had other patterns which did fit? Eureka! (and not the pants). I realized the Eleanor’s fit because I struggled with them last year. I had learned a lot about that pattern before I started refitting using Peggy Sager’s procedure.  I had a good starting point for the Eleanors:  I knew my size.  There’s another factor at work though. That is both the Eleanors and Otto pants were made with stretch fabrics. Although not the 8″ stretch of my DG2 Jeans, my fabrics had enough give to overcome some fitting/drafting issues.  I chose E047 #418 specifically because it was drafted for a non-stretch fabric.  I may have erred in that a drapey fabric is also recommended. If it really requires a light-weight drapey fabric, I should just throw the pattern away. The only drapey pants fabrics I have are also knits with stretch. “Light-weight” is debatable. My twill is not blouse weight but it’s not heavy either. It is perfect for warm-weather pants. But maybe I greatly erred in selecting this light weight twill.

So could I find a point of success to start with fitting E047-418? I pulled out Pamela’s Patterns 113 to compare. Thankfully, grain lines matched.

Look, I’ve got 4 or 5 different patterns with different crotches that all fit. Some are drafted for knits; some for denim jeans. But they all fit and they all are very different. I know from personal experience that it’s not just the crotch or the ease, it’s how the ease is distributed, how the grain line is placed, how the fabric drapes, moves, breathes;  and how the crotch is shaped. Sometimes I can’t even compare patterns. Comparing a jean to a trouser pattern never works. The back and grain is so canted, I don’t see how the crotches differ. They do differ; and it does matter. Comparing a knit to a trouser isn’t a better proposition either. A pattern drafted for knits will be shorter, narrower, have shallower curves. It’s not just a shrunk version of a non-stretch pattern. You can’t like offset the patterns 1/4″ and see they are the same. It’s comparing apples to oranges. Yeah we’ve got fruit but they taste and digest different.

The patterns aligned fairly easily so I could see important differences. I copied the differences to the 418 tissue. Then took apart the test garment, pressed, and carefully recut.   I had to add a gusset to the back crotch because Burda’s crotch was 1/2″ shorter than Pp113.

Back ——————————————–Front

As you can see from the trimmings above, I removed a lot from the top of the back along with a small sliver down the crotch. Not seen is the 1/2″ added to the crotch extension or how the back crotch was reshaped. The front crotch is boldly reshaped which also required cutting some from the fly.  The whole thing will move the crotch in towards the body about a 1/2″.  A full inch was trimmed from the front side seam. I just went with it. I decided this was my last try. I didn’t care if it worked or not as long as I’d given it my best effort.  I was surprised and pleased when this appeared in my pic files:

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Obviously too tight. I’m surprised and not surprised.  I saw the PP113 back was 1″ wider than 418 and didn’t correct the back piece. I have a few PP113’s in my closet that I’m wearing. The pants I’m wearing are quite roomy. I didn’t think I needed to worry about that inch.

The first pic was enough to convince me to keep trying. Truly nice was the loss of the almost-camel-toe front and while I have drag lines in back they aren’t as deep or as many and from butt to waist looks pretty good.  I did think it odd that the back side seam was shorten and not the front after making the changes from PP113’s but I figured my PP113’s didn’t have issues — so let it go.  I can tell from those drag lines on the side front I really should have rewalked the side seams. As a consequence, now I was ripping the side seams, shortening the front via a dart then restitching at a scant 1/4″ hoping to both make the side seams the same length and add enough ease. I took pics at this point but not sharing because I immediately added the 1/2″ deep hip line dart Peggy recommends and took a 2nd set of pics:
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Still has room for improvement so I also pinched and then stitched a 1/2″ horseshoe dart at the top of the inseam.

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It’s really time for a 2nd test garment/muslin. I’ve made substantial changes. It is so possible to introduce errors during recutting or pinning and basting. I especially remember pinning the horseshoe dart and then changing it slightly before stitching to keep cross grain.  A 2nd muslin with changes applied will eliminate those errors and create mirror changes for example:  both side seams will probably have the same number and depth of wrinkles if the changes are applied to the tissue and the fabric is cut and stitched once as opposed to the multiple try on’s, pressings and cuttings this fabric has experienced.

But I want to think about this first.  My point in making this test was to see if using Peggy Sager’s procedure I could once again fit Burda’s pants patterns quickly.  It would be nice not only because Burda publishes such a wide range of pants styles but also they use the same block. So once I fit this pattern, I would transfer the same changes to every Burda pant pattern I wanted to use. But I see no real value in creating a usable tissue from this pattern. Why?  Well the hem circumference is finishing at 17″ rather than the 11″ listed in the magazine. Probably because I cut the bottom 4″ off instead of  distributing the length adjustment through out the knee.

I actually don’t want an 11″ hem circumference.  I learned that from my encounter with Otto’s Carrot Pants.  A close hem makes my butt look huge. I mean H-U-U-U-UG-E. ( I’m trying to create the impression of balanced shoulder and hip girth. )  My best looks have hem circumferences between 14 and 18 inches. I can go up to a 20″ hem – which does make my butt look smaller but it also makes me look shorter.

Point is, I would need to alter the leg to reach a hem width I like which will end up creating the PP113 pattern I already use which has a 18″ hem circumference. I’ve done lots of work with PP113. I’ve made PP113 into my basic slacks pattern which includes a range of waistbands and pockets to choose from. I don’t need to do that with a Burda pattern. If I want a basic pant, I’ll pull out PP113 which I will point out again is the crotch shape I used to fit 418.   I think I’ll move along.  Not sure how quickly I’ll be working with another Burda but when I do I want to come back here and review

My Personal Procedure for Fitting Burda Pants Patterns

  1. Size: Trace  46; use 50 for back circumference
  2. Waistband:  Use PP113 for Straight Waistband; TJ906 for contoured
  3. Length adjustments
    1. -3″ leg length (leaves 1.25-1.5″ for hem)
    2. Note Size 46 should correct torso length
  4. Circumference Adjustments
    1. Sizing 46/50 should take care of most of that
    2. No front waist dart
    3. May need 2 back waist darts
  5. Crotch Shape
    1. Non-stretch/Wovens Copy from PP113
    2. Stretch/Knits copy from Eleanor
  6. Depth Adjustments
    1. 1/2″ hip line dart (total 1″ removed)
    2. 3/4″ Top of inseam horseshoe dart (total 1.5″) removed
    3. Scoop back crotch equal to hip line dart (1″ if using 1/2″ hip line dart)
  7. Seam Allowances
    1. Waist, waistband and Crotch 3/8″
    2. Side seams 1/2″

Just for fun

Fit 00/Out of the Envelope next to the Last fitting (read for test 2):

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Such a huge difference but still a little more work to do

 

 

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Burda, E047-418

So it wasn’t an adventure…

more like a nightmare. Generally pants will look good (at least) from the front and side views which I can also see in the mirror. It’s the back view that I can’t see very well and have a dickens’ of a time pinning. But I did try

Fit 0 (shared yesterday) and virtually “straight out of the envelope”

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since it was from a Burda magazine it was traced, seam allowances added and then seams walked. It was not a beautiful fit but looked like a place to start from especially since the Burda crotch looked good for me.  I can’t use a narrow V crotch nor a U crotch that’s evenly divided between front and back.  My best crotch is a U but the front is just barely a little hook and the back is a long ledge for sitting on. Even when I find such a crotch, I’ll still need to scoop a little. But at least Burda’s crotch looks like I’m starting with the right shape. Eager to work with Peggy Sager’s procedure I first evaluated length. Both front and crotch felt in about the right place. I could tell that the side seams were too long .  The sides collapsed into diagonal which met in a few places across the side seam. I thought the first thing to do was shorten the side seam by offsetting the waist band.  Easy, I ripped the waistband then marked 1/2″ down on the side seam and then replaced the waistband aligning it below the mark just made. Looked good in the mirror so I proceeded with Circumference changes. I took the side seams in 1/2″; then 1″. Not right but better

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Now I realized that the crotch was a little low, in fact it seemed as though the upper torso was too long except for center back.  I made a dart starting below back dart, crossing the side at about 1/2″ deep and continuing onto the front also 1/2″ deep. Repeated for the other side.

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I can always tell when I’m on the right track. The pant immediately felt better; and that’s even though it felt OK to start with.

Next up the two common adjustments that Peggy recommends 1) adding a 1/2″ deep hip line dart and 2) the 1/2″ deep horseshoe dart at the top of the inseam. I pinned these first but it’s hard to tell in the mirror when looking at the backside. So I basted them in.  To my horror

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this was obviously worse. So I return the side seams to their original 1/2″ depth Not good. I added enough to the pattern to have 1″ seam allowances, even worse returning to a 1/2″ SA was no help at all.

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OK time to think about this and start over with Round 2 by taking it all back to Fit00 with the 1″ seam allowances.. Looking closely, I could see that despite the 4″ of ease I added, the back was too tight even at Fit 0. Why I didn’t spot this before is beyond me. Also noted on close inspection that the front crotch looks odd. Not exactly camel toe but not very nice either.  I may need to reshape the front crotch, which won’t be easy. Easiest is adding a little ease to the back side.  First I let the seams out 1/2″.

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Didn’t help. Front has too much ease back, not enough. So I offset the seams stitching the back seam allowances at 1/4″ front at 1″.

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Holy cow. It looks like I’ve added ease to the front. I check to be sure I’m offsetting correctly (yes back SA is 1/4″; front 1″). Time to rethink and start again at Fit00 with Round 3.  I trim 4″ from the leg length. Obviously I’ll need to shorten the leg at some point and I want to be sure that’s not creating some of the leg, drag lines. I remove the waist band, yet again, create a 1/4″ stitched crease line in front (which removes 1/2″ from each front); stitch the side seams at an even 1/2″ and add a back dart which snugs the back of the pant to the waistband when I replace it.

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No help? I’m still seeing VPL in back with masses of front ease and that odd not-quite-camel-toe crotch.  I increase the depth of the front crease to 3/8″ which removes a total of 1.5″ ease from the front. I offset the side seams so that I’m stitching along a 1/4″ back SA but maintaining the front 1/2″ SA.

slide9_resizeSeems like I’m drooping everywhere so  I also extend the offset between waistband and pant so that I’m taking in 1/4″ at CB, 1/2″ at side seams and zeroing just before the center front.

 

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This just sucks canal water.  After 3 days, 11 fit and photo sessions, and I think 19 total alterations,  this thing, this test garment is getting worse and worse.  All the things I think I know or have learned about fitting aren’t working.  I’ve stuck to it this far because I’d love to be able to use Burda Pant patterns again. I love the little nuances of design that Burda incorporates. But I can’t get any closer to a decent fit then the very first basting.  I close it down. Put everything away. Even file the pics in the ‘Archive’ subdirectory. I’m really disheartened.

Fortunately, we’ve already made plans for dinner. A few drinks later, a belly full of good food and a few TV episodes (courtesy of Netflix) and I have another idea….

…to be shared tomorrow.

 

E047-418

Burda Plus Test

Loving the ease of fitting pants using Peggy Sagers procedure, I’ve decided to tackle fitting Burda pants to my figure.  There was a time I could easily fit Burda pants. That’s long passed and I haven’t been able to fit them even with much effort. I’m hoping that my recent success with the Eleanor and Otto #11 5/2016 are not flukes but a repeatable formula. To that end, I took new measurements and selected my size based on the Burda chart. Not surprisingly (because they both use European sizing and ease) , I use the same size in Burda as in Otto but with Burda I must use their Plus Size magazine patterns while Otto publishes all sizes in one book. I reviewed my Burda Plus magazines for pant patterns but looking specifically for non-stretch fabrics, classic slack styling (waistband at the waist, skim-the-curves ease) and  leg hem-circumference less than 18.   I was hoping for a 14-16″ hem circumference. E047 #418 boasts an 11″ circumference but otherwise filled all my other requirements. I noted that Burda doesn’t really publish many plus sized pants patterns and most of them are very similar. At least, in the magazines that I have. Style 418 was really an anomaly.  Most non-stretch, plus-sized Burda pants stated a hem circumference of 20″ or more.  A plump, 5’3″ senior, I’m not flattered by the extremes.  My best choices, the pants I like the best skim all the curves without revealing underwear and terminate with a 14-18″ hem. (I do have some 20″ hems that are acceptable but I never feel my best in them.)

I traced my size, added a fly front because that’s easier to fit that a side zipper and ignored the zippers at the leg hems. ( I don’t plan to wear this pair and pretty sure, I’m not going to let them finish at the very narrow 11″). Then I added seam allowances

  1. Waist 3/8″
  2. Crotch 3/8
  3. Inseam 1/4″
  4. Side seams
    1. Front 3/4″
    2. Back 1″

I used a different front and back side seam allowance because I’m constantly adding 1/4″ to the back of my patterns. I need extra ease for a prominent seat. The 1/4″ solves the issue. It’s built into my bodice blocks and now I’m adding it to pants. Also,I use a 3/8″ SA at the waist and crotch because typically  I sew those seams at the sewing machine.  That’s the easiest SA to accomplish on the SM. That and the 1/2″ I’ll trim the side seams once I’m sure of fit. I use 1/4″ along the inseams because I serge those. I seldom tamper with inseams, and certainly not at the beginning of fitting pants,  because that seems to be a receipe for disaster. The pattern calls for a straight waistband and gives dimensions. I pulled out my straight waistband from Pamela’s Patterns 113 Pant. It should fit or be really close after all, I am wearing pants made of the same pattern with the same waistband (PP113). It’s great to be able to start with something, anything that works. I walked the seams and made a minor adjustment in length on the side-seam, back piece. Even though I try to keep things from shifting, it’s possible I made a mistake while tracing the pattern. Equally possible to change things slightly when adding seam allowances, which is what I suspect happened because the difference was a mere 1/8″. Not much, but why start with a known error?

From my stack of muslin fabrics, I chose a cotton twill that has acquired fade lines and stains. This was a Walmart $1 fabric from eons ago (OK 25 years). When new it was lovely for pants. I know because I made several. However, time has had a negative effect and the remaining fabric is best used for test-and-dispose projects.

I used white thread in the needle,   water soluble thread in the bobbin through-out the stitching process. I want ripping to be super easy. Also, I want to recover the zipper when the fitting is done. I mean, this is a test. I don’t want to throw away a perfectly good zipper.

Once I stitched the pieces altogether, I made the first try on. This is almost wearable

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No this is not a beautiful fit. I’m not ready to hem the legs and walk down to the post office. But the crotch feels the right length both front and back. The butt has sufficient room-I’m not seeing underwear; and the back leg wrinkles are minimal. I did note that I’m experiencing a little gaposis at the back waistband, the front is too large by far and I’m experiencing drooping under the waistband at the side (it makes those odd , short diagonal lines between waist and high hip. The legs are too long by far, but who knows what length they will become once I start making changes.  So it’s not a beautiful fit, but it’s a good place to begin.

 

… and so the fitting journey starts.