I realized with that last pair of Vanessa’s that I’d made a grave error during the original fitting. I had not made Peggy’s inseam dart. My fault. I know that most of the time I need that dart. But occasionally, I have not. It depends upon the underlying draft. When half the wrinkles reappeared after recutting to allow for changes made to the crotch by the Hip Line Dart, I should have known. But I didn’t. Can’t explain. Anyway, I traced size BB again, added 1.25″ for a hem. Made the 2″ Hip Line dart and added a 1/2″ wedge to the CF for the front pooch. This time I added a 1/2″ inseam dart on both back and front legs. I don’t really understand why the 1″ difference in length made such a difference in the fit of the leg. The leg tapers evenly from crotch to hem. The knee was comfortable but the hem was close. I didn’t want the hem to be any narrower. Sigh. Still don’t understand why that difference was needed but I made a 1/2″ horizontal tuck about 3″ above the knee on both back and front pattern pieces. After another pause, I decided to make a 1/4″ horizontal side-seam dart to shorten the upper leg side-seam. Nearly always, this is an issue. Most certainly has been with every version of my Vanessa’s that I’ve made. Instead of waiting for my sewing angel to point it out, I made the change now. Next I made my seam allowance changes. I prefer 1/4″ along the inseam and 1/2″ along the side seam, 3/8″ everywhere else. Finished my new pattern by trimming all the excess tissue. Note, I did not correct the total crotch length (that comfortable 15.5″ previously enjoyed). Nor at this point did I attempt to remove any more ease from the back leg. I felt it was important to see if I have eliminated the other issues before working on that back ease. As for the back crotch, I’m not 100% positive it needs to be 15.5″. I’m mentally more comfortable scooping it out during fitting (especially since I made that odd unusable crotch the muslin before.)
I selected a fabric I would love to wear for summer pants. It is a lighter weight cotton in a soft tan color. No stretch. 0. Zero. None. That does happen to be my preference when fitting a basic pattern. In record time, I had cut, serged or basted as needed for a first fitting.
OK to clarify, I wasn’t expecting Fit01 to fit. I knew I had removed 2″ from that wonderfully comfortable 15.5″ back crotch length. No way possible that the shorter crotch would be comfortable. This first fitting, I wanted to define the amount of scooping needed i.e. do I need the full 2″ which was removed or a bit less. From the pic I’m starting with a 1.5″ scoop but won’t be surprised if a greater dip is needed.
A note here: I’m trying to make this post more succinct than I’ve done in the past. Instead of multiple in-depth posts, I’m going for one summary. So while you are reading one post, please be aware that the activities have taken place over multiple days.
Before I could get back downstairs to scoop the crotch, I watched an interesting video from Peggy Sagers describing how to take a pant pattern you love and adjust the leg styling. I thought, she’s really right. With about 90% of the patterns I’ve purchased, I make all the same changes to the new pattern so it is very much like an older and already fitting pattern. Sometimes the differences are nil and I wonder why I bothered. Pants are a little different because of the 3 basic drafts, trousers, jeans and slacks.
As far as 3 drafts I can definitely be disagreed with. Many people see slacks as a styling change to trousers. I think of them as different drafts because of the change in straight-of-grain and a few other things which make the slack draft fit closer to the body. But, yes, they could be right and I know it.
I’d already realized the crotch of Sally’s pant 3200 looked a lot like the Vanessa crotch. It was the legs, from thigh to knee that looked vastly different. Oh and the waistband but that’s not a biggie IMO. With Peggy’s video fresh in mind, I inverted the pants legs into one; pinned on the ironing board and then superimposed the S3200 back. I allowed for a 3/8″ seam allowance at the top. The similarity was astonishing! (Keep in mind that S3200 has been fit to me and the pattern altered to reflect the fitting):
I compared the patterns and traced the S3200 crotch onto my Vanessa pattern tissue. I also traced the crotch onto the tan pant. Tracing onto a finished pant is fraught with inaccuracies and I did need to correct the pen marks using my curve before stitching and trimming the new crotch curve. Now, I’m hopeful but not truly expecting this to be the final change. What I’m honestly expecting is that I will need to make another tweak before I’m fully satisfied. None the less, after looking in the mirror I took Pics of Fitting #2 and ran upstairs to examine at the big PC.
These are pretty dang good! You really have to consider the fabric. It is non-stretch. Cotton. They look no worse, scratch that, they look better than many of the cotton, non-stretch pants that I’ve purchased off-the rack in years past. When I was a petite 96-pounder. (I graduated from high school weighing a mere 96 pounds. )
I wouldn’t mind wearing these walking down the street and revealing my knee support…
…but they tug a little on my rear and I can feel them creep downward at center-back as I move about. As initially expected, I need to tweak the crotch fit. But I’m tweaking. Not making a new muslin. Not making big changes.
So began a series of 3 scoops and pics to the back crotch; 1/2″ at a time until I had scooped 1.5″ with hardly any difference in feel or look.
My experience says, if you keep doing the same thing with little or no improvement your not doing the right thing. I prepared to put the pants into my closet thinking “until I can get smarter, these are at least not embarrassing to wear.” Then I had another thought. I got out my Curve Runner and measured 13.5″. Huh? I had assumed that copying the 17″ S3200 crotch would create at least a 15″ back crotch curve length. So I got out my flexible ruler, formed it into a curve which I traced along the back crotch.
I stitched, trimmed; and using the Curve Runner measured the new crotch at 15-3/8″. Despite being off 1/8″ I decided to try on and take pics.
If I’m not ‘there’, I’m really close. BUT I’ve got concerns. As well as things that please me.
First off that fabric. It creates so much mental conflict for me. I love the color. Very versatile. Can’t think of a single top this color won’t go-with. Love the weight and fiber (100% cotton). The ultimate comfort for summer. Hate the way it wrinkles. After each set of pics, I spritz with water or starch and press making the pant look good on the hanger. I take pics and the pant looks horribly wrinkled. It’s the fabric. I’ll probably wear these pants, in summer. Because I really need summer-comfortable pants which protect me from sun burn without causing heat stroke. Yes that happens when your temps routinely reach triple digit levels.
The side views are interesting/puzzling. Not really sure if I’m seeing something that needs correcting or just fabric that rumples badly. Once I’ve fit a pattern, I prefer to use fabric with a little poly or Lyrca for daily wear just because those fibers help a pant look/keep looking good as well as increasing the comfort level.
Let’s go onto the fronts which have gone from (as in the Autumn 6PAC) Good-First-Thing-in-the-Morning to OMG-I’m-Glad-I -Wear-Long-Untucked-Tops
I have to rethink my front alteration. Adding a wedge to the front, my long time fix, is definitely not working in congruence with the back crotch changes needed. As for the much improved back, there is now an issue of insufficient hip circumference.
I have seen warnings here and there, about possibly needing to add ease at the side as the crotch is scooped. I think I’m definitely beyond “possibility “and into the “how much” realm.
So I took ‘walking pics’ and hung these in the closet.
While creating a 15 3/8″ crotch length has wonderfully improved their look and feel, I’m really at the same point as at the end of Fit 02. Well except those were wearable and these are comfortably wearable. I need to fix the pattern for the front crotch; and the ease of the back hip; and the crotch length before I go any further towards my real target of reducing the ease over the back thigh. Besides, I’m red-faced to admit that I may not want to reduce that particular ease. I’ve noticed that when I sit, my thighs spread enough that these become the right thigh circumference. If I had a little Lycra in the fabric, it would be a different story. I truly want to fit a pattern with slim legs for a non-stretch fabric. Also, I’d really rather not make my knee support visible…
…which is clearly happening with this number of inches of fabric around my thigh-to-knee. Like most people, I’d rather not bring attention to any of my
disabilities physical challenges except of course when I’m challenged for parking in a handicapped parking spot to which I am legally entitled.
Despite all my criticism. I’m encouraged, not down-in-the-mouth. Overall, I like these. I can cover up or ignore my biggest complaints. Besides the deep cleaning I did at the beginning of my sewing session today, for the September Sewing room Soup-up, has reddened and swollen my nose, which is also accompanied by a catch in my back that will not stop until I can sit for an hour or more with a heat pad and taken a couple of mind-altering, prescribed pain pills.
Catch you later,