O pant

O pant: Fit 05

originally published 5/27/11

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One of the things I get out of blogging, is the opportunity to stop and think; and let my left brain and right brain communicate.  Really, the routine of loading pics, editing and starting to spurt out words in writing (which my right brain just loves to do) somehow allows the quieting of my mind and the passing of valuable information between the two minds. Today they came to the conclusion that it wasn’t necessary to add 1/4″ to the crotch extension.  It would be less bulky and easier to chop a 2″ piece off and add a 2-1/2 piece. I also trimmed 1/2″ from the front crotch.

 

I finished adding the gussets (one to each back crotch); and sewing the pant back together, I wore it for several minutes. Correction, I wore the pants comfortably for several minutes until I made an abrupt bend and change in direction which popped the WST. No mind. I already knew what I set out to learn. It was a little tricky getting the front and back pieces to ease smoothly together.  The nice thing about a small gusset is that it’s hardly viewable The back crotch extended and the front crotch shortened felt comfortable, the bubble in front was somewhat diminished. Not completely gone, but enough that it wasn’t  irritating.  The extra in the back completely eliminated any discomfort.  I was pleased with the feel of my crotch changes.

 

Now for the pics:

 

First off, this pair of pants has still has not been really well-steamed and pressed.  Every time I press a little more but with a dry iron.  I’m a real believer that steam makes the difference.

 

The Back

I see the bubbles just below the waistband and I’m thinking the pant needs just a bit more ease. Unfortunately there is no way I can add extra now.  I am, for the most part, satisfied with the fit and appearance from knee to waistband.  Below the knee, I don’t know.  The WST is in the waistband and darts. It is no longer affecting the inseam which appears to be ruched. Should I try taking some length out of the back leg?

 

The Side:

 

I think the side, too, looks pretty good.  The break at the knee is expected.  Also a little wrinkling below as the pant breaks on the front of the foot.  I don’t want my pants any shorter.  I will actually add at least 1″ to the back and probably 1/2″ to the front.  That means I’ve decided to live with a little wrinkling on the lower leg.

 

Front:

I’m still seeing my roll of fat underneath the waistband. I’m unlikely to ever to have this on display IRL because I prefer my tops to end at the high hip or a little lower.  It does bother me to know that this drag line exists. As with the pant back, a little more ease 1/4″ or so would probably solve the issue for me. I do believe that the wrinkling above the shoe and below the knee is due to the length of the pants and subsequent break on shoe top.

 

I’m going to finish these off.  I’m not sure when I’ll get final pics on my blog.  I do want to remove all marks, the misc WST that’s hanging everywhere and give my new trousers an excellent press before taking pics and wearing them in public.  In the meantime, this is Memorial Day Weekend for the U.S; officially the start of the Summer Vacation season and I plan to join several friends in various celebratory activities.  Sewing is my passion, but not the only thing I do in life.

 

The $64,000 question is will you make this pattern again?  I don’t think so.

  • First off, the pattern offers me nothing new and unique.  There are no interesting pockets or other design lines that I would want to copy.
  • It is marketed as an easy to fit trouser pattern “designed for your specific figure” in my case an oval. Yet it took 5 fittings to reach an acceptable wearable point. I can tell you that I am absolutely not one of the other 3 bodies types; and I’m not excited about the fit of this Oval shape.  It’s OK, but I’ve got 3 better fitting patterns.
  • This plain trouser pattern would be most useful if it fit me perfectly or nearly perfectly right out of the envelope.  A basic pattern such as this can be changed multiple ways.  But I’ve had to do so much fitting, that I’d be reluctant to make design changes.  I would be afraid that a design change would cause more fitting issues.
  • This pant took a larger amount of fabric than I’m accustomed to using.  I might be able to decrease the yardage requirement by permanently drafting front and back gussets. But if that’s my issue, why bother since I have 3 other reliable and perfectly fitting patterns that take much less fabric without doing the gusset thingy.
  • Lastly, this pattern does not fit perfectly even now after 5 fitting sessions.  I’ve spent about 10 hours (over 2 days) to reach this level of fit.  I don’t want to invest any more time in it because of the previous listed reasons.

 

Nonetheless, if you don’t have a good fitting pattern or you are feeling adventurous, you might want to try this pattern yourself.

 

I’m not disabled or deformed, yet I have fitting issues not common to most women.  Yes many are or have been overweight. But most people don’t have well developed calves, and bu++s from years of walking and running. (I won running awards while a teenager and still find walking an excellent stress reliever).  My posture contributes to my fitting issues.  I have a tendency to lock my knees which results in slightly more curvature to my spine.  Not a real sway back, but it does have some effect. Also, I’m not knock-kneed, but the tendancy to lock my knees creates the same drag lines.  I’m petite.  I remove the excess length as follows 1 inch between bra band and waistband; 1 inch above the knee and 1 inch below the knee.  Not affecting pants fitting, but I also have a narrow shoulder.  I’ve yet to run into another person with exactly my fitting issues.  I’m sure she’s out there, but I haven’t met her.

 

I would recommend this pattern because the designer is doing a detailed examination of what issues each body type faces.  She is drafting the patterns so that (hopefully) you can make tweaks instead of alterations. It’s not her fault I’m a little more weird than she anticipated. She is also open and accepting of various alteration methods.  She specifically states to “scoop as needed’.  While many pattern makers hold up silver crosses and run screaming from the room, she accepts and promotes this simple fitting alteration.  Although creating and adjusting the waistband LAST isn’t for me, it is a good idea.  Just as is the idea of tweaking the crotch-fit with the use of elastic.  I’ve used both techniques in the past when my fitting issues were less (and I didn’t have a digital camera to help me be @n@l about fitting.)  I’d recommend trying these methods just to have the experience under your belt and the knowledge of how to use them. It’s good knowledge.  Although the pattern isn’t for me, it could do wonders for you.  I’ll point out again, but with different words, this could be a real wardrobe builder.  Not kidding!  A well fitting basic pant can be changed  multiple ways.  Having a pant pattern that you can sew in a few hours is a blessing words fail to describe.

 

Especially, if you don’t have a good fitting pant pattern, read her website carefully, email her (She does have a busy schedule. Be sure to allow her time to reply.) and give this pattern a whirl.  It could be exactly what you need.

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O pant

O pant: Fit 04

originally published 5/27/11

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That was quick!  I want you to see this because it’s important.  In the next photo, I’m comparing my altered JSM pattern (the one I can take out, cut and sew a pair of pants in 2 hours and 1fitting) with the current pair of pants (from the O pattern).  I’ve carefully pinned the pant on top of the pattern.  Ever so carefully smoothed the fabric over the pattern and pinned along the way which reveals that the O pant is already scooped at least 1″ lower than my JSM pattern.

 

Maybe scooping was not necessary?  But can you also see that the crotch of the O pant is 1-1/4″ shorter than the JSM pattern?    Seeing that I decided to add a gusset to the back crotch of the O pant.  I was going to remove the serging (which prevented further unraveling); cut and add a gusset.  I steamed the heck out of the WST (water soluble thread) in the crotch area.  The WST, of course, fell apart to include the WST holding the inseam together at the 5/8″ mark.  My gosh, instant addition of crotch length.   I decided to see just how much addition by basting at the 1/4″ SA for both inseam and crotch and then, what else but taking pics?

Let’s change things about and evaluate the side view first.  Looks OK except for the wrinkling in the seam below the crotch.  That’s where the WST is holding the seam together at 5/8″.  I did not press before taking pics so I’m ignoring minor wrinkling.  But I do see a bubble on the back above the high hip. When did that get there?

 

On the front,

  • The hems definitely need pressing. Boy that’s ugly. But I’m ignoring that as a minor finishing issue.
  • The pu bic area is no longer dreadfully delineated.
  • I still see a little bit of a downward smile and of course
  • the padded roll just beneath the waistband.  I wonder if the smile will disappear when the pant is properly pressed?  But I think I’ll play it safe and let the pant front down from the waist band, maybe 1/8″.
  • What you can’t see is the bubble in the front of my pants which occurs only when sitting down.  This occurs when the front crotch extension is too long.  The excess must go somewhere so it bubbles up in front.  Obviously the back can’t use the extra, even if it would like to.

The back:

  • A little bit of a bubble above the high hip.  Maybe I should taper the raising of the front all the way back to the first back-dart. No, all the way to the CB.
  • I could probably stand another 1/4″ at the end of the back crotch extension. But I don’t have it for this pant and I hate to add a gusset for 1/4″. Especially since I’ll probably wear something on top to cover it up.
  • All the wrinkles along the inseam now from crotch to ankle bother me.  Is the WST creating problems? I have had a little steam going on which would cause the WST to shrink.  The wrinkles point from inseam angling up and out to side seams.  (Or is it from side seam in and down to inseam? I’m not sure.
  • The CB is still pulling downwards, but at least it is not rubbing my tailbone.  Perhaps now is the time to add just a bit of bottom scooping?

 

See ya in 15 to 20.

O pant, template

O pant: Fit 3

originally published 5/27/11

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I was perplexed as to how I was going to add more to the front when the side seams were now 1/4″ wide. I don’t like seam allowances any less than 1/4″.  My preference is for 3/8″. So letting out the side seams was not my preference.  I looked long and hard at the back crotch and let the back seam out 3/8″ (leaving that seam allowance at 1/4″) and the scooping out the bottom.  I did add the 1/4″ to the waistband and just eased the additional from the center back across the wb.  I also pulled the front up 1/2″ at the center front tapering to nothing at the sides. The waistband and front crotch now feel comfortable. But basically it is: WHAT A WASTE OF TIME”

 

The back doesn’t have X lines, but does show arrows clearly point to again, from knee to the rear exit. Kinda of a big neon sign says “exit this way” Yuck.  Think so, then look at the front

 

 

WOW clearly designated  pu bic area. Not my intention.

 

From the side and front, the pant y line is not exactly visible. But you are exposed to a roll of fat.

 

Sigh.  The back crotch is rubbing on my tailbone something fierce.  I scooped out the bottom. I think I need to find out how to scoop out the back. But I’m cautious about that because I could be seeing pant y lines, again.

 

Sadly, the third fit is not an improvement over the previous; and the first fitting was a waste of time as the front bubble really wasn’t discovered until the 2nd fitting.  This experience reiterates my thought expressed in prior blog posts:  For my body—- I’m being specific here.  I don’t think this can be a universal generalization.  For my body, I need to fit the waistband first and then work on other areas of concern.

 

One good note:  The hems were turned and tacked at 3″. They appear to be near perfect at this time.  But since I still need major fitting adjustments, I won’t trim and stitch them permanently just yet.

O pant

O Pants: 2nd Fitting

originally published 5/27/11

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I’ve put in 2 back darts and folded in a front pleat.  I removed the blinding white squares of masking tape.  They were no longer needed and served only to distract.  Then I stopped for more pics. After the pics I asked myself if I was actually going upstairs without altering the crotch.  The answer was Yes because I want to see the fit progress. But I could feel the back crotch cutting into my tailbone.  I know without even looking at the pics that something has to be done about

 

Well at least the pant y lines are gone from the back.

 

Not the front though:

 

I never have smilies in front.  I do in that photo. Although I can’t see it, the front crotch is not fitting close to my body.  If I sat down I’d have a bubble.   I need to

  • scoop the back
  • let out the side seams from the high hipp up
  • Which will mean taking in the back darts.
  • and I think adding 1/4″ to the front waistband would be good.
  • Raise the center front to remove the front bubble.
  • It might be time to start folding the hems into place.  But most of my focus is on the front and back crotch.

Hope you’re enjoying this step by step blog.  It’s almost like live because I’m sewing and then evaluating through my pics and blog.  This is the procedure I use with pants.  I can’t promise these won’t be wadders. But I can promise that I’ll do my best to fit them.

O pant

O Pant:Burn Test & First Fit

originally published 5/27/11

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I was curious about the fiber of this fabric  and performed a  burn test on my own.  Usually I do these with DH, because my nose doesn’t always work well.  I have allergic rhinitis, which produces a post nasal drip. So my olfactorys are nearly always coated and can’t smell a thing.  But today I wanted to know what this fiber was.  My test results:

First off there was no flame other than my lighter. The fabric seemed to shrivel away from the flame, scorch a little and the edge turn brownish-black. The edge is hard.  Which would tend to indicate that this is a man-made fiber.  I couldn’t smell anything, which is a disadvantage as that could make a difference determining the fiber type.   I’m going to guess this is nylon.  Polyester would have burned and smoked like the Iraq fires in 1991. So absent a smell, a flame and a large bead, I think the answer is nylon. But I’m telling you it feels and looks just like some silk I have in the stash. (The silk ravels differently).

 

I’ve fit pants before using this procedure.  The objective is to define your crotch lengths and depths. You don’t stitch in darts.  A length of elastic is tied around the waist and the basted pant edge is then pulled up under the elastic.  Settle the pants comfortably, and then mark just below the bottom of the elastic edge.

 

Yes Sandra Betzina!  I remembered.  Sandra Betzina drafted a pant similar to Louise Cuttings One-Seams.  It was a pull-on pant with elastic waist.  Once the waist was marked,  measure up 2.5 inches and cut off the excess. BTW it was an excellent and quick fit. I used that pattern for many years, always grading upwards.  When it was time to grade downwards, I decided to use the “real” One-Seams.  Unfortunately, with the different fitting routine, I never finished my real One-Seams.

 

This first fit is very rough.  The darts are unstitched.  The pant legs are turned up about 6″ and pinned.  I want the legs out of the want and not creating drag lines.  I had to serge the edges immediately; they raveled down  just hanging on a hanger.  The seams are basted at 5/8″ with water-soluble thread (WST).  I do love the basting stitch on my HV Ruby.  I especially love it with the WST.  Ruby makes a fast basting seam which is very quick for ripping out, but with WST I need only high steam to make the “thread” disintegrate.  Which means that for pressing, I could use very limited steam and these are there not well pressed. I’ll get to that later.

 

To my surprise, the front (at least during the first fitting) will need lowering only about 1/4″. The sides are fine and the back (not surprising) will need to be scooped to give me enough room and take care of the center back pulling down.  My first darts will be about 1/2″ deep in the back, less in the front. I may make small tucks/pleats in the front.  These are a trouser draft and pleats are fine for this draft.

 

I’m already seeing X wrinkles (look at the knee), which displeases me to no end. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good front shot. But judging by the perpendicular, side seam shot, I think letting out both front and back side seams would be a good start. Oh the white patches?  That’s my masking tape marking the right side.  I suppose that can be removed now.

 

I do see some other possible issues, but I think for now the best thing is to

  1. add back darts
  2. attach waistband
  3. take more pictures

 

I’ll be back.