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.


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.


Eureka Pant, Pull-On

After A Day of Wear

There were several things I wanted to know about the Eureka Pull On pants that could only be answered through wear.

One question was, how well does Kathy’s “pull until resisted” method of determining elastic length work?  There’s lots of room for error and disagreeing with my findings. First, did I quit pulling too soon or too late? Should I have sought additional or less resistance? Did I follow Kathy Ruddy’s instructions as intended?  Also, I know for a fact that different widths of elastic will make a difference. I’ve even had elastic that was trimmed to the desired width at sewing time.  Guess what?  The 1/4″ width stretched more than the 1.5″ width. Of course, YMMV. Then there’s also the common knowledge that Louise’s elastic is very soft.  She designs her pants patterns to take advantage of that softness.  Louise intends that her pants draft will settle a bit downwards below the waist–a position that is flattering for most women.  There is also the effect of the weight of the fabric upon the elastic. Typically, I wouldn’t use lingerie elastic for pull-on pants because lingerie elastic is manufactured differently and cannot support the weight of trousers/slacks/jeans.  So how did my application of CLD’s elastic in the Eureka Pull-ons behave?  Badly.  Well not so badly I’m going to throw them out or even redo the elastic application. But I did wish I had added belt loops so I could wear a belt and thereby hold my pants up to my waistline–where they belonged. I still have confidence in CLD’s elastic.  I’ve used it multiple times in the last 6 years.  What’s bad is that I knew from experience with her patterns, that my elastic length needed to be 3″ shorter.  I just should have gone with the proven measurement and that is what I will do in the future. I count this one as my bad.

The front crotch length was another issue of concern.  The pants felt fine during fitting and picture taking. But the final pictures clearly showed the waistline rising at the center front. By that time I’d put way too many stitches into the fabric. I wasn’t ripping those out unless really necessary.  After wearing for the day, I made a 1/2″ reduction in the front crotch length to the pattern.

Although each of the other versions of this pant were the perfect leg length, this version felt long…… AND grew longer as the day wore on.

The wrinkles in back?  Didn’t get any less:

Left – final fitting. Right-after wearing.

..but at least the VPL has gone away. Yep this fabric softened and grew both length and width wise during wear. These are rapidly become pajama bottoms!

Still love the color. Not just because it’s a warm brown but because it’s a good color when fitting. I wasn’t aware of the VPL while looking in the mirror. It was the pictures which picked up and amplified the slightest shadow thereby alerting me to the fact the side seams were just a tad too deep at least on the back side. This wouldn’t have been apparent in a darker color; say — black.

I also learned that the ease change to the front and back (remember I folded out 1″ ease from front then slashed and spread the back 1″) is about right.  I don’t think the 3/4″ CLA was helpful at all in reducing the ease across the back thigh.

Although these are rapidly being relegated to PJ duty,  I like how they looked when first finished. They weren’t too tight. I dislike the opposite which is very wide loose pants.  When I look at pictures of myself in those type of pants, I feel depressed. I think a wide, loose pant makes me look much wider and heavier than I am. Despite the fact that pull-on pants are stylistically “old lady”, I like them and these in particular. I always wear my tops out. I’m high-waisted. Wearing my tops over my pants allows me to create the illusion that I could be normal. The pull-on pants are easy and would be quick to sew.  Even with the limited fitting I did, I spent less time sewing than adding my pattern alterations and style overlays. Definitely this would be a goto pattern when I need pants NOW or sooner.

Eureka Pant, Pull-On

Eureka Pull-Ons

Almost since the Eureka pattern arrived in the mail, I’ve been looking forward to making style changes. With this version I tackled the basic pull-on pant. While not my favorite style, it is the beginning of the Yoga and Loes Hines Euro pant styles which I do love.

Before making the style changes, I stopped to reconsider the alterations already made.  I was continually perplexed about the front length between waist and hip. I made several adjustments without seeming to fix the issue.  In sheer desperation, I pulled out the original and compared my heavily altered copy.  Once lined up together, I could easily see that I had somehow not made the length reduction evenly across the high hip line. In fact, the waist clearly inclines upward from side seam to center front. This alteration was made by slashing and overlapping. So I released the tape and carefully aligned the edges to make an even adjustment. I’ve reduced the pattern at the top by over 2″, but it is now evenly horizontal.

2ndly, I walked the seams once again.  To my surprise the front leg between knee and hem is 1/4″ shorter on the front. But the back was 1/8″ longer between hip and waist. The back inseam is also shorter, a theory I don’t really believe. I trimmed the side seams to correct lengths and added about 3/8″ to the tip of the crotch. This is the first time I have made any changes to the crotch.  I added at the same angle as the existing crotch and inseam convergence. The end result looks like I’ve scooped the crotch or copied the TJ906 back crotch.

Next, my sewing angel and I have been discussing the excess front ease.  This will be the 3rd pant, CLD-MSS and B5403 were the previous, in which I removed 1″ from the front and add 1″ to the back.  This is a quick and easy alteration. On the front I fold along the grainline from waist to hem 1/2″. This removes 1″ from the entire front.  The back I split along the grainline and spread 1″ there by adding 1″ ease to the back.  The net gain/loss is 0. I haven’t changed the total ease just put it where needed for my body.

I then drew the CLA onto the back leg and measured it.  I think I’m about done with the CLA. Making a 1″ CLA lengthens the back leg by 1/4″. Kathy Ruddy says this isn’t important. My screen shots say otherwise.

Finally, I addressed the styling changes I wanted to make.  Kathy makes all the changes on a single tracing, although she does have separate tracings for knit and non-stretch fabrics. Myself, I find the multiple lines confusing. I traced the front and back between hip line and waist. I didn’t copy the darts, but added the uprights from widest hip to waist and then added a casing. I carefully added description of the alteration to each piece.

To use, I align the bottom line with the hip line and temporarily tape into place. When done, I can remove the tracings and file them away until the next time.

I made the styling as if I were working with non-stretch fabric but I am using a very stretchy 100% polyester.  It was sold to me as a twill ponte.  I almost sent it back. This is not ponte. It is thick, beefy but soft and very stretchy. I recognized it as stuff that pills and snags easily.  A garment made of this fabric will not last a full season. Indeed, this one snagged when pinning the legs together. So before even being finished, my pants are snagged and ugly. (Unhappy face)   However, I kept the fabric  for just this occasion: the time when I need a knit muslin.

Since this snagged, I didn’t do much fitting. I serged side and inseams, then crotch. I hemmed at the cover stitch. I mean this snagged while pinning the first side seam. It doesn’t make sense to put a lot of effort into a pant that has little hope of being worn  a half-dozen times. I did baste the elastic into place.  I’m using Louise Cuttings elastic but instead of LC’s calculation, I’m using Kathy Ruddy’s method of “pull until you feel resistance”.  I do agree that all elastics have a different stretch factor. So saying cut your elastic this long is a recipe for failure.  I’m not sure the “pull until you feel resistance” method is the right answer either.  If I had used LC’s instructions, the elastic would have been 3″ shorter. But this is a muslin and I’m willing to experiment.

I discovered that I added too much at the top for the casing. I added twice the width of the elastic plus 1/8″ for turn of cloth.  I needed to add only one width of the elastic plus the TOC.  I did take in the side seams. The finished serged side seam is 5/8″. I’m not complaining about the front view. These are typical, classical and out of trend, pull on, knit pants. The arrow points to a drag line which Angela Wolf says indicates that the front inseam is too long.  Since this is a knit fabric, I won’t change my pattern — yet.  If I start seeing this repeated in future versions, I’ll make the adjustment. But for now, it’s OK. One thing I would like is a pocket.  I couldn’t figure out how to add a pocket without adding a lot of bulk in the waistline area.  Had this been a less beefy fabric, I might have added the pocket pieces anyway.

The side view shows clearly that the front crotch is still too long, at least for this particular knit. I couldn’t see it during fitting. I’m not sure I want to alter my pattern. This is a very stretchy knit. I’m thinking, I really need to follow Kathy’s lead instead of Angela’s.  Angela recommends using the same pattern for stretch and non-stretch jeans  adjusting at fitting by taking in side seams and inseams 1/4″ at a time. Kathy creates a 2nd copy of her favorite pattern and makes the common adjustments needed for knits. Peggy Saggers says the common adjustments are both length and circumference. Yeah, I’ve been listening to lots of folks.  I also note on this picture that the bottom of my knee brace is apparent. It’s a short horizontal line below the knee.  Not annotated, but can be seen is a hint of VPL.  I didn’t see that in the mirror. I’m not sure if I serged off too much or it was there before the final side seam serging. I had serged the side seams at 1/4″. Then basted at 1/2″. There still seemed to be too much ease, so I made the final serging at 5/8″. This could be my bad. Fortunately when fully dressed, you can’t see my VPL.

It is the back view which has me thinking Kathy’s CLA is not the answer for my issue with excess ease over the thigh.  Without her CLA, the pants hang without drag lines:

That is 3 versions without CLA. There is too much ease across the back thigh, but no hideous drag lines between butt and knee.  This version includes 1 more inch of ease in the back, with CLA:

… and ugly drag lines. I’d rather my rear looked like the 3 versions without CLA.  I also lowered the CLA pivot point 1″ for this version.  I thought perhaps the pivot was too high and was trimming needed ease from the hip.  My points are the widest hip, 4″ below and the knee.  I’ll give the CLA one more try using the crotch line instead of the widest hip.  I was just sure Kathy said to use the widest hip  as the top point. She was vague as to the center pivot point; stating in the comments to use the place which has the most excess ease. I also used a 3/4″ CLA, when I need more, because a smaller CLA  reduces the increase in the back side-seam length.  I’m not happy about the side seam length changing.  That’s a great way to get those side wrinkles like I have with the last pair:

If the side lengths are different, you are gathering one to fit the other. Very small amounts can be made without being noticed. Large amounts? Ugly.

Would you believe, I wish these were of good fabric?

I love this color and can see myself wearing these “a smidge too tight” pants.

Future changes?

The Eureka’s are good for many style changes. Fit wise

I still need to shorten the front crotch length. Debating on 1/4 or 1/2″

I also think I’ll remove that bit I added to the back crotch. While I don’t really believe in the “shorten the back crotch” theory, it didn’t hurt the previous versions. I can’t be sure if it is not affecting the current pair. Unless I rip the SA’s and restitch. Not doing that.

Make a separate pattern for stretch fabrics which will contain the common length and circumference changes.

Am I done with the CLA?  No I’ll try it one more time using the crotch line instead of widest hip as my top point. But if the CLA continues to add the diagonal lines, I’m done. There just as things you should accept as needed for the greatest flattery of your figure. Like shoulder pads to fill out the shoulder slope and visually widen the shoulder line, maybe I need excess ease over the thigh to fill out the valley between my butt and knee. Maybe that excess ease is key to a great looking pair of slacks/trousers. (Jeans and leggings are a different story.)

CLA--Crescent Leg Alteration, Eureka Pant

Better and Worse

I’m still working with Kathy Ruddy’s CLA  attempting to remove the excess ease over my back thigh.

Before I get too far into discussing my photos, I need to make excuses.  Normally I try to take pictures immediately after I’ve finished the garment.  In those final pictures, I’m checking the finished fit and the fabric/garment is probably at it’s best.  I delayed pic’s because I wanted to check these pants with the garments I planned to wear.  I thought I would dress and take photos immediately in the morning. However, several hours passed. Like most of the day. Enough of the day that I think these pants are OK to wear despite the negative commentary I’m about to make.

I successfully added pockets this time. The last attempt was disastrous. I used a jean type front opening. I wanted to finish the hand opening with bias tape and use a single back pocket piece thereby reducing bulk. This polyester moleskin with its satin backing is luxurious.  I fantasized making a cape but realized I’d never wear it.  As a pant, this heavy weight, non-stretch fabric needs a roomy draft with bulk reduction whenever possible. For the life of me, I couldn’t get the bias tape to smoothly round the pocket curve and fold over to the back. The bias tape insisted upon showing. I finally cut a facing from nylon gauze (think old curtain) stitched it in place, turned pressed and trimmed to about 1″ wide. This worked nicely, but what a pain.  The process does make a nice, bulk free, smooth pocket. But I’ll have to remember, it’s a NO-GO to use bias tape on the jean pocket.

The first pictures is not exactly how I’d planned to wear these.  I meant to wear the top shared here and worn in these pictures but with a different vest. The vest worn here:

Pants are suffering from the long day, long underwear and winter static cling.

… but the muted pink of this vest just has no pizzaz.  It looked “off” even as I assembled the 3 hangers (with garments) from the closet.  I think the black vest is a much better combination.  At the beginning of winter, I had started to discard the muted pink vest.  But I was seeing suggestions of this color in the stores and decided to keep the vest and make coordinating garments.  I’m good at moving things out of my closet, mostly to move new items in and  I’ve decided the decision to keep and sew was a mistake. The vest is in the donation box.

When fitting, I lowered the front waistline 3/4″.  I’d already removed 1/2″ at the pattern. You would think with a belly like mine,  lots of front crotch length would be needed. But that is just not the case. The length as given caused pouching just above the leg.  I think the whole front needs to be shortened at the pattern stage. Pulling up in front seems to contribute to diagonal lines at the side seams;  but I also need to take into consideration the CLA that I’m making.

I’m up to a 1″ adjustment, which is the max Kathy recommends during her course, One Pattern Many Looks.  In the discussion she did mention having to make an even larger adjustment for a particular client.

This  feels good when wearing.  It’s only in the pictures that I see I could remove more excess ease from the back thigh.  Except that those dreaded diagonal lines have developed.  Oddly, the finished pant has a little VPL across the back which was not present in the previous pictures.  The pictures just prior to this were made the night before when the pockets, zipper, inseams and crotch were permanently stitched but the side seams and waistband were only basted.  I do blame winter’s static cling for part of the issues. I keep a can of spray around because static cling is an issue every year.

Of the pictures I took, I think it’s the side view that is most telling:


The back VPL is just barely visible.  I still have 1″ seam allowances added to the pattern.  Since with every pant made, I’ve used the full 1″ SA, I plan to reduce the pattern SA.    Looking back at the other 2 front pictures, it’s like the whole front leg is too large and too long.  I’m a little bit surprised by those diagonals on the side-front. Both Kathy Ruddy and Angela Wolf stress laying the pant out on a flat surface and smoothing the leg across grain to avoid twisting the leg.  I did that and I pinned. Normally I put a pin at the knee, the waist and the hem.  I pinned every 3 inches. The leg is not twisted on the inseam, only at the side seam. Before the CLA, the side seams seemed to be even. It’s only after adding  1″ CLA  the leg lengths seem uneven.

I will be very careful when making alterations. I’m planning

  1. Trim Seam allowances (This fabric has no stretch. I can’t imagine another fabric with any less).
    1. Back 3/8″
    2. Front 1/2″ (finished SA 1/2″
  2. Trim 3/4″ across the entire front not just at the crotch.
  3. Walk the side seams

Until I’m satisfied with the CLA, I will continue to make it after the fabric is cut and not add it to the pattern. However, I will walk the seams, after making the CLA on the fabric because I want to know if the CLA is altering the side seam length. Kathy says it makes no difference, but that’s not what I’m seeing. Then again, shortening the front 3/4″ might just take care of all my issues.  In the meantime, I think this pant is fine to wear. I look no worse than anyone else in the bank line. Static cling get’s us all.