Eureka Pant

First Good Fabric Eureka Pant

I spent a puzzling week working on the fit of this first pair. They never looked as good as the muslin. But as you can see, when I’m standing normally and dressed, they look OK

My fabric is a heavy ponte purchased from a new-new-to-me source, StylishFabric.com.  I particularly liked their descriptions which included the GSM (a weight reference).  I purchased several ponte roma swatches and bought this navy which is so dark it is almost black. It was also the heaviest weight they had at the time. I love its feel.  It is spongy and thick. Well, not fleece thick but thick compared to other fabrics. But it may be part of the issues I had during fitting. Also contributing was my desire for a Yoga Pant instead of the gathered, elasticized waistband of the muslin.  (Lots of stuff around my waist on that one.) Finally on the muslin I had offset the back side seam to have sufficient hip room and was still having issues with the CB pulling downward. Thus my decision to go up one, back-size without making another muslin.

I transferred the fitting changes to  the tissue. Copied the tissue and then cut a copy of it. I measured down 3″ along front and back waistband and removed that much all across. I created the Yoga waistband by measuring along the pant’s new upper edge and then cutting rectangles the length of that edge by 6.5″ wide.

 

No matter what I did, I could not remove the 2 diagonal wrinkles.

Believe me, I tweaked every seam.  Basted in changes and then removed same. Since the sideways, side seam, fish eye dart worked wonders on the muslin, I tried those again too. No dice. The diagonals from hip to inseam remain.

Before tackling the back wrinkles,  I struggled fitting the waistband.  After the pant was basted together including the waistband, I had removed the elastic from the muslin and threaded the same piece through my new Yoga waistband. When I tried the pant on, the waist would slowly sink so the top of the waistband was sitting on my high hip.  I wanted it just below the waist (like jeans). I fooled with that for the first entire session. Then emailed my sewing angel to ask her advice, who told me the fabric was too heavy for the elastic. When I returned for the next sewing session, I combined her idea with mine. My idea was a wider elastic. Her’s was pulling the elastic tight around the hip (or tummy if larger) and using that length.  I used a 2″ elastic and pulled it tight. Cut elastic that length + a seam allowance. At the try on the back was still too loose. Also there was just so much fabric at my waist. A yoga pant should be fairly smooth across the waistband–even smoother than below. I trimmed 1″ from both sides of the waistband (mine is in 2 pieces front and back so total of 4″ waistband length removed). I also removed 1/2″ from each side of the back, waist elastic.  Immediate improvement. But I did find that the back would still slowly pull down. Having already tried everything Fit For Art Recommends, I pulled out the Palmer Pletch pant fitting book. Their suggestion was adding to the front crotch. The back diagonals were unaffected and the front looks no nicer now than it did in the muslin.

The photo above? Is one the best of the pics.  While the back didn’t pull immediately down, it would slowly. Concurrently, the front would hike upwards almost to my bra. I don’t think I’ve seen a fix for that.

My fabric has 40% ways stretch both ways. The muslin, made in non-stretch fabric has excess ease.   I had expected to remove some circumference and maybe a little length in the crotch depth. I can pinch out about 4″ ease. But if I baste the seams deeper, multiple diagonal lines develop. The waist doesn’t stay at the waist. It see-saws back and forth as described above. I’m sure my still expanded tummy and waist contribute most of the issues but how much is a result of the heavy weight fabric? How much is from the real stretch of the fabric? Is the excess ease an issue?

After more than a week, I dressed and took photos. Because of my typical dressing habits and how I stand these pants are wearable. Only trouble is, they are so heavy I won’t be able to wear them all day until November (when the cold weather returns).  I spent Sunday afternoon completely finishing, took new pics and hung them in with the winter clothes.

Definitely think I made one change too many.  I am taking a short break from pants. But when I return, I will make a pair like the muslin in non-stretch fabric except using Back 3 large. I need to make these changes slowly so I can understand where things went so wrong. Hopefully by November, my body will have settled and  I will have this figured out.

 

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Eureka Pant

Muslin #3: Fitting Eureka a 3rd Time

I promised a continuation and here it is some 2 months/8 weeks later. The chemo was tough on me. So much so that I couldn’t do anything the first week after chemo and very little the 2nd week. It would be the 3rd week before I was functioning well enough to go downstairs to my sewing room. I’m a little confused as to the timing of events here but basically, I couldn’t try on the old muslin because I had deconstructed it. I compared the tissue to the muslin which convinced me I had transferred all the fitting changes. I measured the waist and thought there would be enough circumference. So  I selected a nice winter fabric (polyester moleskin) and cut a pair of pants. Basted them together and tried them on. OMG they were huge. Confused, I compared my tissue to the pattern. With the changes to my preferred seam allowances and the fitting changes, there is so much differences I just couldn’t tell what I had done. Plus I’m having chemo brain and can’t think. So I decide on a new muslin and fitting the Eureka for a 3rd time.  Should be easy right?

I started by taking my measurements. To my surprise my waist had increased substantially while my tummy and hips shrunk. Thinking I may have measured in the wrong places,I measured again while looking in the mirror to be sure.  So with new confirmed measurements in hand, I check the sizing charts again. I should fit a medium. Even with the much expanded waist, the medium should fit. I trace the pattern and all it’s markings. Shorten the leg 1″, then measure the waist. Ahhh, I’m not so sure the med waist is going to work. My measurements say I don’t need more circumference anywhere else, so I add 1/2″ at the side front and back only at the waist and tapering to 0 by the first HBL.  Select another yellow cotton twill (30 years ago, I must have really loved yellow pants) and cut Muslin #3. Basted it together and then….

It was time to go to the hospital for the full monty aka Full Hysterectomy.  Mind you I didn’t get all the above done in a day or two. I could work for only an hour at a time and as usual did my other chores. I actually could have started fitting but decided to wait until they had removed all the stuff in my abdomen.  I was under the delusion I might be smaller upon my return from the hospital. After the hospital I spent 2 weeks not doing much. Last week, I was able to return to the sewing room, but for only a half hour at a time.

Since Muslin 3 was basted together and my tummy looked no smaller, I decided just to start fitting.  I made several fitting adjustments but each one at a time.  So the waist was too big. I shortened the waistband. Then there was excess ease in the front. I took a 1/2″ tuck along the grainline. Following that, I decided it was really too long in the crotch. I don’t remember that happening before but I took a 1/2″ tuck horizontally across all 4 pieces. Then it looked too tight across the seat so I offset the side seams. Finally I take a 1/2″ tuck from side seam to mid way  across both front and back. Looks like a fish-eye dart but horizontally and at the side seam. Through it all, even though some improvement was seen, the fit wasn’t right. Especially the back X wrinkles:

Now understand, this was not a one day process. 5 changes took 5 days. On the 5th day, I was flummoxed. I gave serious thought. The X wrinkles had not happened with the previous muslin, why now? On the 6th day, I asked “Or did it happen now with Muslin III.”  I looked at original fitting, the one before I started marking changes:

It’s big all over, but not real X wrinkles

See? Big and droopy, alright, but those aren’t X wrinkles in the back. When did they start?  I look back through my fitting pics finding they started when I decreased the circumference of the front:

See. Front looks much nicer. Back would be Ok if not for the X wrinkle.  So did decreasing the circumference cause the X wrinkles? It must have because this was the 2nd change (decreasing the waistband length was first) and the first time the X wrinkles appeared.

At this point, I am having another problem. My waist is changing daily.  Some fittings I’m taking the waist in. Others I’m letting it out. Who can fit pants with an unstable waistline?  I had already planned to make my first real pair into yoga pants. That made my decision easy. Fit now with elastic waist. Try for classic fit later when my body settles.

OK decision to move to elastic waist pants made but I still have the issue of bad fitting.  I decide to do a Betzina pant fitting. I remove all the fitting adjustments and waist darts.  Then I hike it up and secure with elastic at the waist. Standing in front of the mirror, I pull up until the crotch feels comfortable and then pull up the sides until I can’t see the massive drapes. Before taking pics, I draw a line at the bottom of the elastic.

That front is not nice, plus I have pulled the crotches up too high but it tells me what I want to know:  Without the reduced front circumference, the back looks OK. Not great. Not fantastic but wearable.

I measure the distance from waist to the line drawn beneath the elastic in several places.  I realize the crotch length is too long by little more than 1″.  The sides  are another 1″ (total 2″) too long. I make a 5/8″ tuck horizontally across all 4 pieces on the 2nd HBL. Then  I make a 5/8″ fish-eye dart along the 3rd HBL.  I cut an waistband really an elastic casing, which I stitch to the top of the muslin and then insert elastic before trying the muslin on and taking pics.

This particular cotton twill does not make a gorgeous pant. It hasn’t been carefully pressed or lightly starched either. But it tells me exactly what I want to know. There are no X wrinkles on the back and, surprisingly both sides and front look nicer. Not fantastic but wearable.

So I’m calling this fit “Close Enough”.  I’m proceeding to make real pants.

Eureka Pant

Eureka! Again.

. II need to start talking about this happy journey way back in November 2018. At the time, I was working with the Halston pants.  I had such high hopes for creating a pattern from them because the RTW pant looked fairly nice on me. I could see a few  tweaks were needed; or so I thought. After ripping the finished pair apart, creating a pattern and beginning muslins, I learned that it wasn’t quite that easy. As a matter of fact, every change I made that should have improved the fit, created issues some place else. I was totally flummoxed.

Along about that time Rae Cumbie made a post about fitting the Eureka and in particular things not to do. I read the post and thought “Why did I stop using my Eureka?”  At one time I had used the Eureka pattern exclusively. Made many adaptations. Then new pants patterns were marketed. Even though I didn’t understand what made the Eureka fit when other patterns wouldn’t, I couldn’t resist trying the new pants patterns, always hoping for the best. Hoping for the miracle of pants that fit. I thought back to the time when I first fit the Eureka.  I remember it as being easy . I decided to pull out my copy and  use it again. Have to confess that I have purged patterns, shuffled patterns and reorganized them. Which resulted in my not finding my copy of Fit For Art’s Eureka pant.  So I bought another.  Someday, I will find I have 2 copies of the Eureka.

And that’s where this post starts. Er, when the new copy of the Eureka arrived which was within a week. I read the directions carefully.  I had already reviewed my experience post and discovered my  issues at the first fitting of the  Eureka were all self-inflicted. So, I read the instructions carefully and chose to make a Med size with Back #2. I chose my fabric based mostly on the fact that it is light-colored, the right weight for pants and oh yeah, I’m never going to sew pants from this 30-year-old  fabric again.  (At one time, I made pastel colored pants and would have loved a yellow pant. My life style has since changed and this fabric languishes.)

I got muslin 1 done:

Muslin 1 Back

 

I examined the back carefully. I begin with the back because the front and sides of nearly every pant pattern tend to be near perfect. It is the back which tortures me.  Overall, I’d say the back looked a bit tight and small. That’s typical for me.  Usually my solution is to slice the back vertically along the grain line and separate the 2 halves to add an inch of ease.  Unfortunately, that also makes the hem circumference much larger than I want. So I didn’t immediately take action.  I continued to evaluate the back. I think there is some excess ease around the thighs (also typical for me) but this is a woven, non-stretch fabric. A little extra ease could be a good thing.

I looked at the back photo while reading and examining the diagrams carefully and in detail. I’m not posting any pics from the instructions because well it is copyrighted but also this is the kind of information that works best when you are also working a test garment (muslin) made from the pattern.  Just like many other Indy pattern companies, Fit For Art has their own philosophy for fitting pants and they may disagree sharply with the another company’s procedure. Sometimes I think, I’m not a novice why can’t I just work with what I know to be true. But other times, like now, I think I paid a lot for their opinion. It worked last time (after I undid my preliminary changes). I thought, I should at least give their instructions a real chance.   Anyway, after careful study of my back side, the booklet drawings and text, I decided to follow the recommendation of choosing the next size larger back.  For me that was   Back 3 in size medium.

So I made Muslin 1.5 i.e.  I cut Medium, Back 3 from a new piece of fabric and replace the back two but kept  the front and waistband of muslin 1.

 

WOZER:

Muslin 1.5

The muslin is a little long in the leg for me and I’m standing in such a manner as to introduce a drag line on the right side, BUT It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a nice fitting back on me.

My Sewing Angel’s advice:  “Copy that crotch to poster board so you can use it everywhere.”  She finally confess her secret for great fitting pants nearly every time:  Several years ago she was carefully and perfectly fit. My Sewing Angel copied her crotch to poster board and transfers it to every pant pattern she tries.  When I think about it, she makes perfect sense.  No matter the pant pattern, it is still going to have to fit my body space.  Why not start fitting by using the crotch I know works with my body?  I do this with tops. I start a new top/blouse pattern by first copying my sloper/block. I line up center front/back and superimposed the shape of the new pattern onto a copy of my sloper.  By starting with my top my sloper, I have already adapted for my size, my shoulder slope, my round back, and rounded tummy. Why have I not been doing something similar with pant patterns?  I think  I never truly understood that I needed not only the circumference, but the circumference divided for my body (on skirts/pants I am larger in back than in front) and that the body space has to fit.  Maybe I haven’t used a pant sloper because I haven’t had one. OK, probably the real reason is I hoped all these designers were telling the truth when they said they’ve made all the changes for your perfect fitting pant. So sue me for being gullible, hopeful and believing.

With the back fitting pretty nice, I evaluated the front and sides of Muslin 1.5. Which oddly don’t look quite as nice as the back.

 

This seems typical to me, i.e. the back needed a change to the crotch so the circumference would be sufficient. But then my smaller needs a little less circumference. Both front and sides need some length adjustments. (It could be depth (darting).)  I made a few changes. Offset the waistband wich shortened the crotch depth and took a little ease from the front. I was pleased with muslin 1.5. Not saying it couldn’t be tweaked a little more, just that I was pleased with where I finished.

 

And that’s where I stopped pant fitting In November. At which point, DH and I drove off to Sioux Falls  a 3 day anniversary celebration 42 years is amazing. It’s worth celebrating!  Instead of celebrating in style, we made the Emergency Room trip and came home deflated by the diagnoses.  BUT the day we arrived in Sioux Falls,  I had time to shop at JoAnn’s.  I was impressed.  In the front were 2 full shelves of good pant fabrics.  I was overwhelmed with the selection.  Such richness had not been available to me in some time.  I buy pant fabric off the Internet by guess and by golly; always planing an alternative if the fabric is really not pant-worthy. JA’s pants offerings used to be 1/4 that volume and all in basic black.  I think the buying team has changed. Maybe they realized they are America’s leading Brick and Mortar store.  I quit drooling and decided to stick to my plan which was buying blue fabrics. I never seem to have blue pant fabrics have in my stash.  I went back to the hotel with 3 gorgeous slack fabrics.  And then it all went smash.

To be continued……

Eureka Pant

Fitting the 3-piece Leg

Back in the sewing room the next day, I reread the Spring 2009 ASG article. Going by the diagram provided (I’m reluctant to post it because I’m pretty sure this is copyright protected), I basted a shallow 1″ curve between knee and the crotch HBL. This was not an improvement. (Pictures are coming).  The static cling was increasing. I pin fit the back curve. Just by feel. I was not confident that this would fit but I basted the new curve only on one side. Making any effort is an improvement over giving up. Right? Next I carefully pressed and sprayed both my body and the pant with Static Guard. OMGosh. How can these have gotten so bad???

So let me explain what you are seeing.  On the far left, is the pant with 3 piece leg but no tweaking of the leg. I remember smoothing and smoothing the pant to get it to look that good. The static cling was not good but I didn’t expect it to get worse.  In the middle view, I’ve made the first shallow curve as described in the ASG article.  The far right is the deep curve that I fit with pins.  OK I know that the static cling is having a real effect.  I can see it in the side and front views of the finished but not tweaked pant. But this is repulsive. I didn’t just get out of bed. I used a little spray starch, carefully pressed and sprayed with static guard.

This is the fit and finished version. No tweaking the back leg fit.

I’d rather wear the pant above (finished not tweaked)  then the same pant with it’s back leg fitted.  I would think that having the extra seam in back would give me a better fit. But increasing the curve of that seam just made for more and more drag lines.  I checked on Craftsy to see what other people were experiencing. I was hit immediately by reports that they couldn’t get the pattern to fit despite following the course instructions (Pant Fitting Techniques).  OK maybe you don’t hear from the people who are successful only those that are having problems. Still I expected after 8 hours of pants fitting videos I would see glowing results from at least somebody. That’s not what popped up on my screen.

I think that static cling is my biggest enemy in fitting these pants. But I will also admit that maybe I did not use  a pant-weight Ponte.  It’s too late to add interfacing. Sorry, I’m not one to rip out all the serging and stitching. IMO, interfacing has to be planned and done ahead of time not as an after thought.

So I’ve got another pair of pants to wear around the house. They are comfortable. I also have another 2-1/3 yards of the same Ponte.  At the moment I’m contemplating whether to use the medium weight interfacing in the stash or purchase the light weight tricot Pam recommends for knits.  I know it can be hard to recommend when you can’t feel my fabric, but still I’d like your opinion. Should I buy the light weight tricot?

Eureka Pant

3-Piece Leg Continues

Once I developed my pattern pieces, I turned my attention to fabric.  I was fairly sure that unless the serger ate the fabric or some other disaster befell, I would end up with a wearable pant. So no need to look for muslin but I did want to use a fabric light enough in color that I could see any drag lines.  Plus, this is winter. I want warm pants to cover my legs during these neg 0 days. I decided upon a ponte purchased from Hancocks last fall.  It is a good fabric. Not the cheap Ponte that I used for the Yoga muslin but not the excellent Ponte de Roma sitting in the stack of black fabrics.  I believe , many years ago, I had RTW pants in this same fabric. I loved it at the time. So comfortable to wear. Laundered beautifully.  I thought the fit was terrific, but that was before I started taking pictures to check fit. My one complaint was that they lasted little more than a year and then I couldn’t find equivalents.  I mean, I loved them enough to forgive the fact that 9 months of wearing once a week caused them to develop pills on the inner thigh. I would have gladly purchased them again and in several colors. After discussing fabric weights with my sewing angel, I was concerned if it would be heavy enough for pants. But I went ahead.  I had 62″ wide and 2-1/3 yards of fabric.  The 3 piece leg can be a fabric hog but I ended up with a 1/3 yard scrap. Didn’t need a crotch gusset (a fabric saving technique I often use.) Fortunately, this is the kind of stuff you can use for bindings.

I wanted a pocket. These pocket-less pants are driving me nuts especially on the days when I’m wearing a pocket-less vest. I have no way to carry my cell or a tissue. I’ve been avoiding pockets while tweaking the Eureka’s fit.  This time I chose to make a pocket very similar to the one Kathy’s Rudy uses in her One Pattern Many Looks class. I used a deeper scoop for the hand entry.  My experience with Ponte suggests treating it like a non-stretch fabric.  You’d think a knit would stretch and I can measure some stretch in the flat fabric stage. But during wear the Ponte’s I’ve owned seem to not “give” like an interlock or other knit fabric and definitely don’t grow like denim. But there’s a first time for everything. So considering there’s a possibility I might need to take in the side seams, I made the scoop a bit deeper so I wouldn’t loose my hand opening.  The back pocket piece is larger than Kathy uses.  I like a generous pocket.  If I’m carrying something, I want it to snuggle down and stay inside the pocket.  With shallow pockets, I tend to lose my possessions.  I had plenty of fabric, so both pocket back and the front pocket facing were cut from Ponte.

I interfaced the pocket facing and the waistband. Boy that was enlightening. I cut my leftover interfacing scraps into 1-1/4 and 3″ widths. I use those in hems, waistbands and  now this pocket facing. I’m fairly sure I was grabbing ProWeft Medium from Fashion Sewing Supply. I wondered what this pant would be like had I interfaced all the fabric. That would make it kind of pricey.  I did buy this Ponte on sale. Even then it was $10/yard.  Add the interfacing at $12/yard and I could be buying some expensive RTW (if it fit). I decided since this was still kind of an experiment with possibility of failure, I wouldn’t interface this time.

OK, so I stitched the pockets and front zipper with permanent stitching. Then I swapped the bobbin out for the water-soluble thread and basted all the pieces together.  Just lickety split and try on the pants. I’ve used this pattern many times. Just made good fitting pants 2 weeks ago. The scale says I’ve not added any pounds.  I’ve started Yoga, but don’t expect to see any results so quickly. I can pinch almost a full inch of ease on both sides. So how come, there is a faint visible panty line?   It may not be what you think. Static is killing us.  DH regularly shocks me.  I mean with static. Gives a little extra zing when lips meet. But back to the pants, the over all fit was still good just had evidence of static cling. Oh and maybe it would have been a good idea to interface the Ponte.  Any how, I finished the pant. Serged all the seams. Added the waistband and belt loops. Hemmed the legs. AND got called for dinner. Guess that’s enough for one day.

Eureka Pant, SandraBetzina

3 Piece Leg

I’ve been wanting to convert my Eureka pant pattern into a 3-piece leg i.e. 1 pattern piece for the front + 2 pattern pieces for the back.  At this point, the Eureka is almost perfect for me.  I’d like to remove a little excess ease over the back thigh. I also want to discover a way to keep the pant from drooping during wear.

I think the drooping can be handled the same way I do for all my pants patterns. That is, add belt loops and a belt. I’ve been adding those without thought to my other patterns because I also need a way to adapt the waistband for my fluctuating waist. One of the things that impressed me with Dave Page Coffin’s trouser book was that he addressed the fluctuating waist problem an offered several suggestions.  So I know I’m not the only one who continuously (not just at Thanksgiving) faces this problem.  The belt works on both waist and drooping issues for me. It can’t be more than a 10 minute sewing job.  So no brainer, start adding belt loops.

The 2-piece back leg is especially interesting to me because the first jean fit I found and loved was Trudy Jansen’s  #906 Designer Jean. Those jeans don’t droop and don’t have excess ease over the back thigh. I was never able to fit her 3-piece trouser, think that’s 902.  But I was able to adapt the Designer Jean.  It’s not an easy process. The yoke must be divided and added back to the upper portion of the leg.  Not easy, but I did it and then I changed sizes. Then last winter (2012) I changed shaped. So this year I’ve started refitting all my pants patterns but had not gotten around to migrating the two piece jean into a two piece slack. One additional feature I wanted, but was never able to develop was moving from the contour waist band to the straight waistband. Changing TJ906 to the straight waistband involves adding the yoke to the legs, then adding the contour waistband, then extending the pattern up to the waist and finally adding the waistband. Definitely complex and not achieved by me. I like a straight waistband. I know that’s old-fashioned, but it feels secure. The contour waistband always seems to stretch and then my pants slide downward. Yes I’ve interfaced front and back. Yes, I’ve tried twill tape.  Yes I’ve read and followed Trudy’s instructions for fitting the waistband. I’m telling you that during wear the fabric stretches slightly at the waistline and the pant won’t sit up there. Don’t forget, I’ve got kind of a humpty-dumpty figure usually politely referred to as a pear.  Anyway, I prefer the straight waistband which sits at my waist and I wanted a 3-piece leg because I wanted the beautiful fit of TJ906.   I’m hoping that starting with an almost perfectly fitting pattern, the Eureka, which already sits at my natural waist,  I can develop slacks with a  2-piece back leg and then tweak the fit over the back thigh.

I’m not going into this totally blind. I have notes from Kathy Rudy’s One Pattern Many looks course. She recommends splitting the pant along a vertical line dropped from the center of the dart to the hem; remove the dart (which forms the curve and waist fitting); and then add seam allowances. I also have a Spring 2009 ASG article which my sewing angel provided that sows how to fit a princess seam pant.  I’m kind of a chicken. I have already developed a stretch and non-stretch version of the Eureka pant pattern. I decided to work with the non-stretch because the tweaks between the two are pretty small and I always seem to be making final adjustments at the first fitting. I started by tracing the back leg of fitted Eureka pattern and comparing it with the back leg pieces of Sandra Betzina  7179.

It was a difficult compare.  Her pattern pieces are pretty straight up and down, while I’m curvy everywhere.  I finally decided to split the pattern nearly in half and parallel to the grain line(because in her Pant Fitting Technique class, Sandra says this seam must always be parallel to the grain).   I added 1/4″ seam allowance to both sides and began contemplating fabric.

Crotch2010, Eureka Pant

A Stray Thought

I’ve resisted scooping the Eureka’s crotch.

So far, during fitting, I’ve gotten acceptable to excellent results (regarding how the back fits) without scooping the crotch. What I’ve noticed though, is that while taking pictures of blouses worn with Eureka’s pants, is that during wear the pants have developed flat-butt symptoms.

I share my side silhouette again:

This is  NOT a flat butt.  But during wear my Eureka pants are creating excess folds of fabric directly under the gluteals.  I actually loved Sandra Betzina when she said something to the effect (remember I was doing cold medicines at the times and my memory is a bit fuzzy) that just like boobs drop with age, so do seats. In her opinion when seats drop, they push against the crotch and push fabric under the seat creating the appearance of a flat butt.  The only solution, again in her opinion, is to scoop the crotch. (Thankfully she didn’t suggest some kind of push-up bra for the seat!)

I really want to try scooping the crotch just to see the effect upon the Eureka pattern. I’m reluctant because I think it means more rounds of fitting. I mean, the crotch is the perfect length and depth right now. When I change that, something else will have to be changed.  Also, I’ve got two Eureka patterns, now, one for knit and one for non-stretch fabrics. That’s 2 patterns that will need to be re-fit.

The other thing, is the years of pant-fitting lectures with instructors who adamantly declared “Don’t touch my drafted crotch. It fits everybody just as it is.  If you touch it you will ruin the fit”. OK first off, I know they’re lying. Every pattern is composed of averaged or some conflagration of added and divided measurements from a variety of people.  The sample might be limited to those of us who, uh, need mature-figure considerations. Or it might not. Regardless, any fool can see that the generous proportions of my crotch are going to sag and hang disgustingly on my trim DIL.  So I know the instructors probably mean well, but they are lying. I want to believe their lies. Well more accurately, I’m hoping that their sample of figures i.e. the variety of people their measured and based their calculations upon, I’m hoping that sample included a lot of people very,very, verrrrrry similar to me and finally I will have found the Holy Grail of pants patterns: (horns blaring TADA)  The ONE that fits with little if any change.

Sigh, that almost happened. The majority of the changes I made to the Eureka were length changes. Yeah, like most patterns they were drafted for the average 5’6″ figure. At 3″ shorter than the standard, I nearly always need to make length adjustments. Not having to adjust the crotch was a big deal. OTOH, I might need less fabric if I didn’t have to accommodate that big honking crotch.

What would you do?

Eureka Pant, SandraBetzina

A Velvet Eureka

I have this lovely fabric.  I know I purchased it thinking “jacket — velvetttttttt  jacket”.  However that purchase was made at least 15 years ago and a velvet jacket has yet to materialize. Nor is it likely.  Retirement brought many changes into my life, including how I dress. I don a jacket when I go outside and need extra warmth on my arms.  In the house, where I spend the majority of my time, I wear a vest or cardigan as my third layer.  Unless my life changes drastically again, I don’t expect to make or keep many jackets.  So why am I holding onto this velvet? I decided to use it for the pants that I do need.  To my surprise, this is not a typical velvet but more like a sweatshirt fabric.  Yes I was surprised. It has a plush feel and a rayon shine. The backing is clearly a cotton-jersey knit. It really would have made a nice hoody or other type jacket!  It handled really nice.  Did not ravel and despite its thickness, neither serger nor sewing machine balked.  I did use a universal point needle in the SM and selected the heavy-knit setting.

I’m still loving the Eureka pattern but tweaking the fit. I carefully walked the seams and marked the knee levels.  I thought I carefully marked the hip level but didn’t. It was obvious when I started sewing that I had marked the 3rd HBL on the back and the 2nd HBL on the front. Being that was the case, I pinned the legs together at the knee and carefully smoothed the rest of the seam into place –doing my very best not to stretch the fabric. Whew, it worked:

My seams are not only smooth but  not twisting.

The not twisting, could be due to another effort I made. I haven’t posted my review of Sandra Betzina’s Pants Fitting course on Craftsy.  I took the course when I was ill. I had a killer head cold that had me wanting to do no more than take a shower and go back to bed. Taking the course kept me up for at least a little bit each day.  I understand from a comment that Sandra made in the Questions and Answers that she taped this course when she herself was having some physical issues.  I had kind of a negative impression of the course but didn’t want to write about that until I can retake it with a clear and healthy mind.  Despite my current-hope-to-change attitude, I did take away something startling from her course. That was how she determines the grain line. Sandra says, and I agree, that when we make all the pattern changes that we need, the grain marked on the pattern is probably incorrect.  I followed her directions. Well, I watched the course again, stopping as needed so that I could write down the directions. I’ll say again, video is not my favorite learning medium. I don’t have a photographic memory.  I need something I can refer to when the knowledge is actually needed.  I’m good at taking notes. In fact, I’ve had the flattery of someone taking my notes and creating college-level computer classes. (Not saying the instructor didn’t add and make it better, just that he thought I had it 90% done and there was no need to re-invent the wheel just polish it to smoothness.)

So, I followed SB’s instructions for establishing the grain.  The front hardly changed at all. It’s maybe 1/16″ off from before.  I think I’ve said it before, but if the garment can’t stand that small of an error margin, I shouldn’t be the one making it. I’m good to go with the front. The back is a different animal.  The black horizontal lines mark the Crotch HBL and the Hem HBL. The RED line is the grain before applying Sandra’s instructions.  The GREEN line is the grain line established using Sandra’s instructions:

Yes, I think that’s enough difference to be significant and worth trying. Especially since Sandra says the “mystery wrinkle”, the wrinkle you can never get rid of or find its cause, is usually a result of the grain being off.  If the wrinkle is persistent i.e. every time you use this pattern you get this wrinkle, the pattern probably is mistaken or has become skewed due to alterations. Of course, I’m thinking of those diagonal lines between hip and knee that always occur on the back of my pants. Guess what?  This velvet pant made using the new grain line, doesn’t have those diagonal wrinkles:

But there’s a problem.  A problem with saying truing the grain-line fixed the diagonal drag line. I used my knit version of the Eureka pattern just as I did for that last Yoga Pant but I made changes to the pattern.  This is still a pull on pant, but not the wide yoga waistband. It is a narrow (1.5″) band which rests at my natural waist. I also removed the 1/4″ tuck from the lengthwise- center of the back pattern piece (i.e. added more ease).  Add to that, this fabric stretches much more than the Ponte used in the Yoga pant. Well, conclusion is, can’t really make a conclusion right now.  I did not do a fitting. I just seamed the pant together and tried it on when finished. Originally I used Louise Cuttings elastic but I removed and replaced it with the 1″ stiff stuff from Walmart. Louise’s soft elastic could not support the weight of the pant.  Even the stiff stuff is having a hard time holding the pant up to the waistline. You can clearly see that in the first pic I posted (the front view) because of all the excess fabric in the front at the knee. Unfortunately I can see that I will be altering this pant in the near future. I plan to take it in 1/4″ on the side seams and add belt loops so I can wear a belt and keep the waistline up at my waist.

OK maybe I can draw a few conclusions. First, I like this pant. I need to tweak it a bit (less ease, belt loops) but it’s good. Also changing the grain line according to Sandra Betzina’s instructions, did not hurt. It really could be the reason why the diagonal is gone.

Eureka Pant, Yoga

Eureka Yoga Finished

Done! Yes! But not without a little effort.

During fitting, I kept noticing that the crotch depth now seemed just a short.  Imagine my surprise when I measured the Yoke piece and found it was 1/2″ shorter than planned. Yep I’d cut it at 6″ instead of 6.5″.  Also, I planned to wear these just at waist level, but dang! I kept pulling the elastic up so that the bottom edge of the elastic rested at the waistline. My solution was to cut a second yoke  8.5″  wide which included the amount needed for waist band (1″*2) plus the seam allowances I’d omitted previously.  This caused another problem.  I cut the first yoke cross grain which stretched perfectly to fit the leg portion.  The new yoke had to be cut on-grain.  This ponte fabric has less stretch lengthwise.  I really had to tug to ease yoke #2 to the leg.

I planned to fold out 1/4″ length across the crotch and again above the knee.  This would remove a total of 1/2″ length.  Instead I folded out the 1/4″ at crotch and knee on the back but only folded out 1/4″ length across the front crotch.  At the same time I mismarked the knee HBL.  How do you do that?  Well my pattern has both the Knee HBL as designated by the designer and a second Knee HBL where my actual knee occurs.  There’s about an inch difference.  When I first started detecting ruching along the front leg, I attributed it to the mismarked HBL. After all that was something I had seen when trying to match the side seams.  I had not corrected the marking on the pant. I had smoothed the bottom leg across the top as I saw Angela Wolf and Kathy Ruddy doing in their classes.  Following that procedure, the legs matched.  Looking at those early pics, though, told me that I had missed something.  I walked the side and inseams and discovered the back leg was 1/2″ shorter from knee to hem and 1/4″ longer from Hip HBL to waist. I corrected the pattern for future use and trimmed the excess from pant.

I added a pocket!

Unlike the Pullon Pant, I was able to add a pocket without adding layers and layer of fabric in the waist area.  This is a simple patch pocket. I lined it, turned inside out and top stitched to the leg. I really am happy about this.  There are so many times when I need a place to tuck a kleenex or other small item.

I tried the CLA with intended changes i.e. my center pivot point is an inch lower and my top point was at the crotch instead of the widest hip. I’m not posting a picture because it was horrible. It made the wrinkles visibly worse. I’m not sure if that’s because I need so much removed or just something inherent to the alteration.I’m not exactly giving up on the CLA, but I’m not going to attempt it again until I have new information.  I did take advantage of Crafty’s last sale and am now working my way through Sandra Betzina’s Pants Fitting course. I’ve seen Sandra before and don’t know what to make of this course.  I’m already onto Lesson 4 and have learned nothing (other than I’m glad I didn’t pay the full price.) Also, it seems rushed and jumpy to me. Maybe it’s just that she is putting out so much more information than in comparison with her TV show. Maybe she really is rushing. Maybe I’d be more thrilled if I was making lots of notes. I promise to give a full review when I’ve finished the course. At this point, I’m still hoping she can suggest another solution for the back wrinkle situation. Because this:

didn’t thrill me either.  Wrinkles at the Yoke are probably caused by the 2nd yoke not being as stretch as the first. it will be covered up, so I’m not too sad.  I also note that in my effort to be sure the crotch was long enough, the yoke now seems to be too tall.  However that could be the result of the back being slightly too tight. Thankfully, also covered up by my tops. The leg on the left is not too bad. The one on the right has me asking questions.  Is my knee brace contributing to the wrinkles? I’m I standing oddly?  Do I really have an asymmetrical hip; and despite my Herculean efforts to correct leg lengths, both legs are obviously twisting between knee and hem.  So glad these are dark, light absorbing black, because in real life they feel great and don’t look bad at all

OK, I knew this first version of a Yoga style would be a wearable muslin. I’m not unqualifiedly in love with ponte. To me, this particular version always says “cheap” pants. It does hold up well to my normal laundry procedure and does recover fairly well to bending and stretching. So I”m not too unhappy that these aren’t perfect. In fact, I’m almost glad. Because if they were, I’d be lamenting them like I did the  Pull-on pant. I hate to make a perfectly fitting anything in poor fabric..  I’ll wear them until I make something better in the same color. If the yoke had stretched appropriately, I’d give the front two-thumbs up.  The side seam was perpendicular but still shows some issues with the leg length matching. The back view is puzzling. The left side looks OK. The right side look like: What the heck is going on?

I’ve already made changes to the pattern.

Yoke size is now 7″.5  x 21″

Side seams have been walked and are same length

Knee and Hip  HBL lines are at the same level on both back and front pieces. (This is where I place my notches.)

Back vertical tuck was removed adding 1/2″ ease to the back piece.

I think I’m ready to make another pair!

Eureka Pant, Yoga

Eureka Yoga’s

The last posts have been entirely too long. But I can’t seem to say what I want in fewer words. I thought well, I could make 2 posts for the next version. One of the preparation and a 2nd  post for sewing and fitting observations.

I do like the Eureka pattern for trousers and slacks. I think jeans require a different draft and I will continue to use TJ906, Jalie 2908 and B5403 when making jeans. But for any style that can be derived from a basic pant pattern, the Eureka is going to be my starting point.  Today I’m beginning the process to create a Yoga type pant.  I bought my first Yoga’s roughly 30 years ago.  It was a time of not impoverishment, but a period of my life in which every penny counted and needed to be stretched to its max.  Accordingly a girlfriend and I would spend every Saturday following payday shopping garage sales. This particular occasion, her mother accompanied us.  Typically, I didn’t purchase clothing at garage sales for myself. Even then I was an avid dressmaker and looked for fabric rather than garments.  My friend however preferred RTW. At one house she was frantically trying on garments by walking around a dividing wall and changing clothes while others came and left the sale. Oh yes, it was a sight and subject for titillation.  I was patient, a bit bored but patient because she would do the same for me. I couldn’t quite understand why she was so desperate to find dresses that would fit. Until her mother told me these were expensive designer clothes, some still with their $100, $200 tags still dangling.  I was a bit startled when from behind someone wrapped a garment around my hips.  It was the mother who urgently whispered in my ear “You need to buy these. They’re only a dollar.”  We had a short discussion regarding sizing and I did make the purchase.  These were my first Yoga pants.  They came without a label but were of obvious quality.  The very fabric was a dense knit I sometimes found in the “Couture” section of FabricLand (Reno Nv circa 1990 now out of business). She was right about those pants. They wore like iron for years.  I donated them only because DH was concerned the seams were about to burst.

Unfortunately Yoga pants are not always popular. It’s even hard to find a pattern when they are out of style. I’m glad to see that they have returned to fashion and for some reason, they are more of a staple instead of a trend. I’m sure I’ve seen various versions of Yoga pants for at least the last 6 years. Trends come and go almost within the same season. I did make a pair of Yoga pants a few weeks back using a ponte de roma and a pattern mashup of Otto 5/2010 #20 and the MSS. I wear those pants just about weekly. They are comfortable,but I always thought the leg was a little roomy.

I know I know, I’m still fighting the excess ease in the Eureka, but I want to do this anyway.  I want to use the Eureka pant and make a Yoga version. Despite yesterday’s experience with ITY fabrics, I also want to follow Kathy Ruddy’s suggestion and make a separate pattern for knit fabrics.  I traced the front and back to new tissue, marking the darts, knee, crotch and hip HBL’s.  Because of the changes I’ve made to the basic ease of the Eureka’s, I repositioned the grain line using Kathy Ruddy’s instructions. The front, didn’t move much, but the back moved about 3/4″. Kathy advises making a knit-muslin with this new pattern. I said “what did I just do with that ponte pant?” So instead of a completely new muslin, I adjusted the pattern based on what I experienced when the pant was first finished i.e. before being worn and stretched.   I folded both pattern pieces along the grain line. On the back I stitched a scant 1/8″ from the folded edge. That removes 1/4″  ease from each back. The front I stitched a scan 1/4″ from the fold which removed 1/2″ from each front. Then I folded the pieces on the knee and hip HBL’s. At each fold on each piece, I stitched a scan 1/4″.  Based on the soft brown ponte, that won’t be enough. But most of the stretch fabrics I use for pants are not that soft. At one time I would make pants from slinky. Pretty sure slinky would require a whole size smaller. My T-shirts do. But back to pants, I’m hoping this will be a nice compromise.  Some stretch pants I will need to stitch the side seams a little deeper, but most will be OK.

Then because I want Yoga styling, I traced the pattern altered for knits between the waist and the crotch HBL. Same as I did for the Pull-on Pant except for Yoga stylistic changes. This time I developed a 3″ yoke separated from the leg of the pant on both front and back pieces.  I didn’t use the yoke, although I did make the piece. I set that piece aside. The unique design of the Yoga pant calls for a rectangle of fabric to be used for the yoke rather than a curved yoke piece.  My question was what size should the rectangle be?  Could I just use the rectangle developed for the Yogastein pant?  I wasn’t sure. The MSS was developed for non-stretch fabrics.  While I kept the pieces, I know at fitting I made lots of changes.  I made it work. The Yogastein is a great pant. I want a reliable pattern so I can repeat that success over and over.  I decided upon a 6.5″ wide piece (twice the width of the yoke plus 2 1/4″ SA) the length of my hip.

I know I’m going to need to adjust the length of the yoke band. I’m also wanting to chip away at the excess thigh ease of the Eureka. I plan to establish the CLA using new points (Hip and Knee HBL and 1″ lower pivot) but not trim the leg.  First I want to baste the legs together without the CLA and make sure the diagonal lines don’t exist. Then I’ll baste along the CLA.  This may take a few sewing, photoing, ripping sessions. My fabric is a ponte knit with about 25% stretch. I measured the stretch over 4″ and know that I need to check the stretch factor.  It’s a firm fabric not at all soft like the last pant fabric.  I don’t particularly like this type ponte.  I purchased a sample from FashionFabrics to see what it was they were selling as ponte. I bought enough to make a pair of pants.  I figured if I don’t like the fabric, I could always use it to muslin pant patterns.  The only real downside is that the fabric is darkest black.  It will be difficult to see the shadows and wrinkles.

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I’ve had an interesting and good life.  I’ve had many friends of various faiths.  Please allow me to sign off this post with the sincerest wishes for a Merry Christmas. Whatever your personal beliefs, I send you good wishes and hope you enjoy the season in your own way.

sdBev