DraftingFitting, RTW

An RTW Review: DG2, H by Halston

DG2 aka Diane Gillman 2 has been my jeans source for about 4 years.  I loved the way they fit with the very first pair. I chose that size as recommended, size 14. Beautiful in pictures but as the day wore on, I couldn’t breathe.  Couldn’t eat unless I unzipped and unbuttoned. Pull on jeans were the exception to eating problem but still restrictive to my breathing.  I bought the next pair in a size 16, i.e. one size up. Much better, at least in the morning. By dinner I still needed to unbutton. Carefully studying the charts convinced me that a 16PW would be the answer as the only measurement difference was in the waist. Well truly, that was a gift.  Same great fit everywhere, this time including the waist and tummy. I have continued to buy DG2 jeans. DG doesn’t seem to make slacks or trousers. Her other option seems to be skinny-skinnies. At least at this time on Evine.com. I’ve been happy with my 16PW jeans but noticed within a few wearing that the waist had gotten too large. I added elastic to the waistband. Which helped how they felt and kept them up instead of drooping. Recently, I’ve started seeing poorer fit in the pics of the newer jeans and the well-worn are feeling droopy. I’ve started taking pics of the older pairs and have been dismayed that nearly every older pair looks like this:

I might ignore the back and sides for a while longer but the front is just, IMO, ugly.  I can pinch 3″ ease on each side, that’s about 6″ total and not what anyone wants in their jeans. I’ve started putting my old DG jeans in the Goodwill box and am contemplating what to do next. The 16PW are not looking as good when I get them as they did a couple of years ago. I may have lost some weight -I don’t torture keep track myself. The real problem with the 16P (the size smaller than PW) had been a too tight waist.   I’ve created a Pinterest board Save-Waist to capture ideas for after-the-fact enlarging of the waist. ATM I’m planning to buy a 16P hopefully dirt-cheap so I can cut into the waist and make my chosen fix without regret. But I recognize I may need to go down another size and I could need to give up DG2 entirely. My body seems to change every few years. Maybe I’ve changed beyond the parameters of her block. In which case, I see no point in paying $60-90 for jeans I’m ashamed to wear.

Moving on to H by Halston

A SG friend recommended Halston to me saying she had many of the same fitting issues and a similar figure. Halston has been her salvation. When examining the pants in detail she discovered Halston made a radical change in the grainline. She believes this is what creates her beautiful fit.  She discovered this gem of information during taking a pair apart to make a pattern.  Sometimes I think if I could buy pants that fit, I’d never sew another.  Eh, I have a huge collection of very nice, some very expensive pants fabrics. I’d want to make pants just to wear these wonderful fabrics. So I’m game. Except I don’t want to spend $90+ for a pattern. I’d definitely have to sew the pants back together and wear it! So my friend pointed me in the direction of the sales, closeouts and discounts. I couldn’t find Halston’s On-Line return policy and I’m far far away from a real store. I mean if these things don’t look pretty good on me, do I want a pattern of them or do I just want to return them? So I dug into my favorite on-line shopping sites and may have hit the jackpot at QVC.  QVC has started carrying a H by Halston clothing line.  Supposedly same great fit and quality of Halston but exclusive for QVC. AND QVC has a sales, closeout and discounts section. I got busy and ordered 3 pair a 16, 16W and 18. So I thought, when they arrived I have two 16’s and an 18W. Oh well, I can work with what I have.


I knew these where too big when I zipped them up.  That was confirmed by having to hold them up at the waist during my “photo shoot”. The pics bear this out as well showing the same issues I usually see when I start with a tissue pattern that is too large.  One nice thing, this is a very light color. I will probably be able to trace the grain line before carefully packing away and returning to QVC

The next two I thought would photo well but their colors are just a little too dark.  I had to lighten the pics by 50% resulting in  the color being off in the photos. They do look much better IRL

16 Jean

These felt wonderful when I tried them on. OMG snugged to my waist.  No fifths in the back of these, I can tell you! Just heavenly. I can pinch about 1″ease on each side at hip level which is a little more than I like in jeans. However the pics say this is not the beautiful fit my friend is getting.  Talk about the sides first (above).  Collapsing about high hip level and then undulating wrinkles below i.e. the typical wrinkles of a too long side. That might be correctable (reset the waistband a little lower, along with the excess ease, but is it worth my while? How they feel and how the side look makes me reluctant to send them back but…..

how the front feels and how back and front look makes me reluctant to keep them. While I may have been able to pinch excess ease at the side seams, my tush is saying “give me room”. Possibly, that is a crotch length issue because despite feeling comfortable the waistband visually dips at center back.  I also have the hated diagonal lines between butt and knee. Arghhhhh!  The front feels good at the waistband, but too big below.  That’s quite typical with all my pants patterns as well but on them I can make a vertical fold 1/4-1/2″ deep and eliminate the problem forever.  What can I do to fix these and then do I want to do that everytime I buy a pair of pants? Hold on, the front other issues. It is poofy, even where it crests but the crotch seems too short. What a combination! I might be able to correct the fit by scooping the crotch giving length to both back and front. Will that fix the poofiness? Do I want to, especially every pair I buy????

16 Slacks

All the Halston pants were lightly steamed to discourage  deep wrinkles but have not been carefully pressed nor even given a whiff of starch.  This slack style is what I have been trying to create myself. OK I’ve been trying to find out why pants fit and why the don’t but that’s because I had 2 jeans pattern and a trouser that fit fairly easily while all the other patterns were a fight from start to trash. I can never get a semi-fit pant to look good. Since I don’t make a lot to pants, I would be satisfied with a jean, a slack and a trouser pattern. The slack has eluded me.  But this one make me drool.  I am seeing slight indication that the side seam is too long, again correctable. Especially this small amount. Otherwise, the pant hangs fairly straight, breaking over the foot as expected.

Not the worst pant, I’ve ever worn.  I wonder how much better they would look had I added a little starch and a careful press.  The front does have some extra ease like I find in most patterns but not as much, not as much extra as in the Hjean and almost the right amount for a slack. I believe the CF waistband is actually dipping as I felt the crotch pulling upward too. Between the two, I’d say, front crotch too short. The back waist is also dipping. Amazingly, the butt looks like it has enough ease.  There is only 1 diagonal (on each leg) which might disappear with a good pressing. Given the issue with the front crotch, I’m tempted to keep this one and scoop the crotch.  Of course it was the most expensive ($50 even with half off) which makes me wonder if I really want to start operating on it. Still I can imagine buying pant after pant, scooping the crotch a little and spending all my time creating great-looking, unique, imaginative tops.  Hmmmmmm off into dreamland


Overall, I would give Halston a thumbs up. Each H pant had 20% or a little more stretch. I think that is standard in good quality pants. I was annoyed that I had to open the buttonhole on each pant. Every. Last. One. It was quick and only about 1/16″ but H is not dirt-cheap even in the clearance bin. I expect more out of expensive pants. I expect little details to be right. I also was dismayed that each and every pair were too short in the crotch even the size 18.  The buttonhole is really a annoyance, but the crotch length can be a killer.

So what am I going to do?  Send back the 18? Yes but what about the two 16s? Well I already have a nice fitting jean (DG2) and jean pattern (TJ906). I’m just not certain I could fix it with a scoop and then what happens in the first laundry cycle? At $28 (again half off) not breaking the bank but not dir-cheap.  I lean towards sending it back, then reconsider. Not sure, I’m just not sure.  I don’t have a nice slim pant, a slack. This is not fit nice enough to just wear.  Shall I operate? Shall I  trace without ripping seams? Or plan to keep;, rip seams and trace; then operate? It will take 3-4 alterations.  Again, what happens in the first wash?  Ah, life is full of interesting questions and options.