Revisiting the ()neSeams

originally published 4/30/12


Photobucket I started the 2nd pair without realizing that I had cut the elastic too short.  I did not like the way the rayon pair looked although the crotch (scooped 3/8) and back were very improved.  For the 2nd pair, I chose a woven-stretch fabric, I’m not sure of the stretch factor.  This is an old fabric.  It’s been in my stash for at least 15 years and I think I bought it at a yard sale so it would have been in someone else’s stash for several years before that.  It is a good quality fabric.  I know I was thinking jacket but I don’t wear jackets often.  A nice pair of pants seemed to be a better choice even if I wouldn’t be able to wear them until this fall. Yes this is a cool weather fabric.  I did take the time to add front and back pockets.  I think pockets are an excellent design feature. Also pockets are slimming because they  break up all the big blank spaces. Once I replaced the elastic with the correct length, I could look objectively at the pant style. You know, I don’t think I care for the style. Photobucket

There is considerable bulk at the waist.  Vertical folds of fabric accumulate from the widest point of the hip up to the waist. and again below the widest point of the hip to the knee. These are the pants “What Not To Wear” and other fashionista urge everyone else to wear.  Interestingly there is only about a 5 inch difference between my waist and hip measurement. The problem for  me is the greatest amount of decrease happens in the 2 inches immediately after my front hip bones and up to my waist. I always seem to be shortening waist darts by about an inch. Oh and making them deeper as well.  It’s one of those personal fit issues that I’ve referred to. You know when I said I thought it was impossible for designers to make the claim that their design woud fit everyone because fit is subjective.  We each have our own view of what fit is.  For me a good fit includes a close waistband that will hold my clothes at my waist. Photobucket

I’m also noticing something I think may have been there but not seen before.  By the interior of my knee there appears to be a buldge.  You can’t see this in the back view, but it is forming on the back half of the pant. I don’t know if this is still an issue with the back hanging.  Removing any more from the length of the elastic distorts the entire pant and makes it look bad. I know because I tried.

I also think that there’s too much ease for the fabric.  Yes it’s on my body, but had this been a non-stretch fabric I think the ease would have a different appearance.  It’s possible I should have folded out 1/4to 1/2″ on the pattern side. I will wear these.  Probably with tights and/or long johns. Which means the extra ease will be filled out and look different.  Besides the true test of pants is the bank/grocery line.  If you’d been behind me at the grocery store today you would have seen: Photobucket

I think I passed.


Revisiting ()neSeams

originally published 4/29/12


Purging my patterns brought to light several pants patterns still in the boxes but no longer in the my index/database. I recognized these as being ()neSeams or variations and Kwik Sew patterns all of which I’d given up getting to fit.  When I worked with the Kwik Sew patterns, I’d not heard of scooping.  Of course for the ()neSeams, I’d been forbidden to touch the crotch shape.  Recognizing that my crotch my be differently shaped due to being broken, I now feel free to alter any pant pattern, regardless of the designers instructions; and before finally tossing these patterns, I decided to make one more attempt.

I was actually close to fitting the ()neSeams.  I was really close to creating a wearable pant on my own:

When the designer decided to step in and help. Now the designer did help me create a nice looking pant:

but it was uncomfortable to wear.  It rubbed uncomfortably on my tailbone. To which she had no response. Perhaps if I had told her of the decade old accident she would have been more sympathetic.

Now I wanted to test my new-found epiphany. I regretted having gotten rid of all my versions of  ()neSeams because it meant needing to sew another to test my idea. I chose a heavy, lightly crinkled, rayon. One think I will say about ()neSeams, they are fast to sew. I’d already done the fitting. All I had to do was prepare the fabric, layout the pattern, cut and then sew, not one but 5 seams. The way I sew it, I have 2 leg seams, 1 crotch seam, 1 waistband seam and one seam to join the elastic. Even with the designer’s help, I’ve never had fewer seams. But it’s pretty darn quick. I serged all the seams except the waistband. That I stitched into place using a basting length stitch. I then cut the elastic. I’ve gained a few pounds since that last fitting, so rather than use the length I recorded, I recalculated for my current sized waist. I slipped on this new creation to take a pic. I’m expecting something like the aqua pants, but in grey. What I see is… Photobucket 80-year-old butt. Now don’t start mentally making adjustments. For starters, this is not a flat butt:

And I’ll follow-up by saying, I was really perplexed that the same pattern produced pants which looked good (despite how they felt) and a pair of droopy butt ickies. I immediately thought there was no hope for this pattern.   But overnight I realized that I should continue to fit these just like any other pair of pants if I really want to test my theory.  So I start think and looking, taking pics and finally said “go back to the beginning”.  It’s a well-known saying “if you become lost along the way, go back to the beginning.”  So if I were fitting these from ground zero with no previous adjustments I would say “the back crotch is too long and everything is dropping underneath my butt.”. Huh? How could a crotch which fit perfectly previously and measures correctly, now be too big? It’s the waist.  I know I have to fit the waist first.  Why did I over look this fact?  Because I had fit the waist before. There’s only 1/2″ more around my middle than before and I followed the designer’s instructions for cutting the elastic. So skip the designers instructions and make that elastic the length it needs to be. That produces a great pair of

pajamas. Yeah, I’m not wearing these in public anytime soon. But I will point out that the diagonal drapes under the butt are gone. The pant leg is mostly hanging straight down. I do see a bit of pull and hanging up on my knees. Importantly, they don’t tug on my tailbone. They are comfortable to wear because the last thing I did was scoop the back crotch about 3/8″.

My final thought is that this drapey rayon is not a good choice for this leg width. So I transferred the scoop back to the pattern and hunted for a more suitable fabric.


Pants Using One Pattern Piece

originally published10/13/11


I desire to totally disassociate today’s post with the previous one, if possible.  My point today is:

why would this type this pattern not be my first choice when sewing my own clothing?

Why would someone heap praise upon a pattern; heap praise upon a designer and then completely reverse direction; completely disavow what was previously heralded as the promised land (er pants wise). Well lets think it through…


First my personal fit preference is:  Semi-Fitted.  I like clothing that skims the lumps and bumps. I like clothing that conceals all, reveals nothing but tantalizes the viewer with the suggestion of a figure… the suggestion of form…. the suggestion of beauty, loveliness, sexiness…


Too much fabric, as with loosely fitted garments, not only does not achieve my desired semi-fit, but often adds visual pounds to the figure. And that’s what happens to me with this pant. I look like I’ve gained 20 pounds overnight.



Mind you, I will chose the one-piece pant pattern when

  • I need pants NOW. I can actually cut and sew a shorts version of this pattern in less than an hour. These are not fabulous shorts, but they will do for the immediate occasion.
  • I want to make pants of a very RAVELY fabric. The fewer pieces that need to be handled, the more likely it is I can end up with a usable and probably fitting garment.
    • BTW with shorts, I’m likely to cover up over half the viewable portion of garment (i.e. the shorts.) Yep, I’m too heavy to wear short shorts, but I don’t care during triple digit summer highs. So a quick pair of shorts are perfect for a one pattern piece pant.
  • I’m using an extremely-drapey, astonishingly-drapey fabric. Oh yeah, they’re out there. Fabrics that cling to the body. Fabrics that need lots and lots of ease to look their best.



Today’s version was constructed from a very soft cotton.  For a cotton it does have an amazing drape as reflected in the front and side views.  Unfortunately the back view has developed the infamous puddling between knee and waist suggesting too much ease in that area.  I’m not sure if this a fabric issue or a fit issue.  The previous versions both used more substantial fabrics.  They also added 40 visual pounds instead of 20. But they didn’t suffer with the droopy drawers look. Their fabrics didn’t collapse into folds but stanchly stood in place. Of course, there is that little difference in distribution of the crotch length. Because the pattern is drafted for more of a soft, flowing look, I’ll add belt looks and pull the back up into place; and probably redistribute some of those gathers.When making up this pattern, I need to add belt loops and a belt every time.  I”ll always be conscience that the draft and this pant in particular does not meet my ideal, my preferred shape.


So why don’t I just ditch this pattern and go for something else, like my Burda 143s?


Well I do find this type pattern handy for the previously stated uses.  Also I’m contemplating and will be adapting the pattern with other ideas. The belt loops and belt looks like a permanent change.  I kept the length as calculated throughout the fitting process.  I used the measurements of myself in my flats, which is the most likely shoe wear for me.  I personally prefer a pant which skims about 1/4″ above the floor.  I’ll be adding to the length about an inch because that’s my preferred length. This is an each-to-his-own decision.  The calculated length is not unattractive. It just not me. Over all my conclusion is, this is not a pattern that will flatter me without any thought. It’s not like the 143’s, with their back crotch 3″ longer than the front,  that have looked good regardless of the fabric I’ve selected.   BUT using the right fabrics it can be a fabulous garment EVEN for me.  I’ll keep this pattern and  keep experimenting with this draft.  It is, after all is said and done, an ingenious idea.  An idea that deserves contemplation and further development/usage.


One Seams Prototype: 3

originally published 10/12/11


I’m pleased. I not only finished these, but wore them all day long. They are tremendously comfortable.



I need to stop right here and thank the people who insisted Louise’s elastic was entirely different and a substantial improvement over any other elastic for sale. They were right. Ummm, they ARE right. This elastic is well worth the cost and effort to acquire. Purchasing in 10 yard rolls makes it economical both in regards to the postage costs and most effective use. By purchasing 10 yards, I get 3 and nearly 4 free waistbands as opposed to buying 1 yard packages and throwing away 9″ from each. Using the joining procedure Louise Cutting recommends, that nearly a fourth becomes a full WB with the next purchase. I’m not a greenie, but I do like knowing that this purchase strategy nets me free waistbands.


I’m really pleased with this pattern. I love Louise’s instructions for fitting. Should I be asked, I would direct any and every -one to buy this pant pattern first. For one thing, an early success will have a new sewist eager to tackle other sewing projects. Once the average sewist has worked through the fitting instructions, I believe they have in their hands a pattern than can be pants in under 2 hours. Yep, do believe that the average sewist – once fitting issues are resolved – can start and be finished in under 2 hours. Within the envelope, are instructions for changes which will create seemingly different pants–all from the same fitting. If the sewist will develope a knit version, a shorts or a cropped version, they have in their hands the perfect tool for filling out their wardrobes; reclaiming all the orphaned tops in the closet; and creating coordinates out of the chaos called “My Closet”. This is an excellent pattern. Louise Cutting deserves all the praise and awards she has received……………………………………………………………… and a few more.


Does elastic really make a difference?

originally published10/3/11


In the mail yesterday, I received Louise Cuttings special elastic.  I could tell immediately it was like nothing I’d ever used.  Hard to describe it is wider and softer but looks like the usual sports elastic.  I wanted to know if it really made that much of a difference. Photos below are always in this order:

Pant with the New Elastic and settled around the natural waist–Pant with old elastic pulled up in front — Pant with old elastic settled around natural waist.


Photobucket Photobucket



Photobucket Photobucket



Photobucket Photobucket


OK, I could have spent more time arranging the waistband along the elastic.  I did not complete the additional rows of stitching through the elastic.  This pant is completly basted together so that it will be easy to make any changes.


The question is: Did using the elastic specified by the designer make a difference in how the pant looks or feels?


I’m not sure.  I think settling the pant waistband into my natural waistline made the most difference.  The “wrong” elastic is 1″ wide (I believe the elastic specified is 1-3/4″ wide) and I expected that to have some effect.  But both elastics are very soft.  Louise guarantees her elastic is durable.  I don’t know where I got the first elastic, or when for that matter, so I’m not sure of the quality or durability. Both elastics are comfortable and were easy to work with.   I’m quite likely to reorder and use Louise’s elastic. I do like it better than that non-roll stuff I usually use. I hated the sports elastic sold in stores.  I was reluctant to buy such a large quantity of elastic sight-unseen and totally relieved that it’s as good as Louise claims. None-the-less, I’m not sure it affected the fit of the trial pants.


Continuing the Adventure

originally published 9/30/11


I had several things to do yesterday as well as working on mending, alterations and the almost UFO. I did get back to the one seams and surprisingly, whipped up another pair.  The beauty of this style is how quick it sews.  This pair, is made from a plain weave nylon fabric.  I really thought it was microfiber and it may be.  I gave it the burn test.  I couldn’t smell anything but the description of the flame, ash and bead most closely resembles nylon. Most closely, but not exact.  I may need a different burn chart. I like this fabric for it’s unusual color, a grey on the blue side and wonderful drape. It has a napped feel and because of that I made a big mistake.  I measured the amount needed for one length, whacked it off, turned it around so the grains would match and then put my pattern piece on top and started cutting out.


Whoops, lets back up.  I reversed the crotch adjustment so that the front is 3/8″ shorter and the back is 3/8 longer.  Since I hated the flute at the top of the waistband, I marked 1/2″ and folded it down.  Although I’m still not convinced a 2″ hem or 4″ of waistband is really essential, I left those areas alone.  That can be fodder for future versions.


Back to the error, somehow when I whacked that first piece off, I cut it unevenly across the top and it was actually about 1″ shorter than I needed.  Big whoops.  Now there are number of possible fixes. So I didn’t let the whoops mean throw the fabric away.  I can see cutting off the waistband portion. After all I taped the 4-1/2″ piece to the waistband why not remove it and make a separate sewn on waistband?  (Allowing for seam allowances, of course.) How about some of the other waistband finishes such as facings, elastic facings, etc? What I decided up on was serging a piece to the top and then finish cutting the piece out.  I think of those other suggestions as possible changes for future versions. For now, I want to keep the pattern drafting pretty much intact. My solution however will look odd when worn.  One side of the waist will have a seam that the other does not.  I could make multiple straight line stitches across both sides of the waistband.  The odd seam would then hide within the “faux” seams. I opted for a belt.  It meant an additional 10 minutes making and attaching belt loops.  For fitting, I leave the belt off. When wearing in public, I will add a belt.


I edge stitched the top of the cut-on waistband and then stitched through all layers and belt loops 1-3/4″ below.  I did a nice job hemming this time, even though the pant is still serged on the outside edges and basted together in the seams.  I’m tired of making muslins and wanted this to be at least a prototype or wearable muslin. I used the same soft elastic as with the Louise muslin in the waistband.  I wore the pants for a half hour before taking pictures.  I remember what Louise said about the weight and heat of the body causing the pants to shift slightly downward and settle on the body.  I wondered if that was a factor with yesterday’s before and after photos.



I am really really pleased with the front.  It feels right as well as looking right. My opening pic for this post shows a slightly sloppier pant would occur from my usual posture.  I think TK tried to point out yesterday that this is a loosely fitting pant and should be accepted as such.

I’m also tickled with the side view. I can see I need a little better pressing of those hems, but I love how the pant just hangs from the side, skimming everything, revealing nothing.

And I’m totally flumnuxed by the back.  Were those wrinkles there yesterday?  Let’s go back and see


Not really. I wonder was it adding the 3/8 to the back crotch length, or taking it away from the front crotch that created the back wrinkles?  I seem to always have this problem with pants.  The front looks nice; the back is ugly.   Even with the additional 3/8, the back crotch is still pulling downward.  I feel air on my spine and I feel pressure against my lower seat.  I wonder if I’m running into Myrna’s anomaly where the seat drops lower than the crotch? A small flat rear end, I do not have.


I’m going to work with this pair and wear this pair.  My first alteration will be shortening the back crotch. If that takes the wrinkles out of the back leg, then I will work towards giving my rear some room.  I do have a 5/8″ seam allowance which can be let out some. And whether it’s highly frowned upon or not, I will scoop the crotch out  if that’s what my bu!! needs.  TIFN


Stylin’ Along

originally published9/29/11



I thought to post a pic of how I’d probably wear these pants, if I were to complete and wear them. 15 years ago this was a fabulous fabric.  I could wear these pants all day and look as nice as when the day started.  There were a very few versions of this 100% polyester twill that would wrinkle right across the front crotch, if you wore your pants a size too small.  But for the most part, many women wore these pants, started the laundry and set their timer.  As soon as the timer rang they rushed to the dryer and removed the almost dry trousers immediately to a hanger.  Many felt that the rush to the dryer was worth it because they were rushing by the iron.  I didn’t have that problem.  I don’t mind ironing. DH says I enjoy it.  None the less in it’s hey day, this was the fabric of choice for women in the office.  Then the weavers discovered how to merge Lycra with cotton. 1% Lycra 99% cotton is infinitely more comfortable to wear; ages nicely; resist pilling and resists snagging.


But back to the pic, I just look sloppy. The pants look too big in front. What’s with that?  Well I got it in my mind that I should take a pic with the waistline smoothed into place.  The first set of pics I pulled the waistline up in front until the pant front was smooth.  This time, I pulled the front waist down to my natural waist, which is tilted to the front. This difference is astonishing. Compare the two.  In each comparison, the left view is with the waistline pulled up, the right is the waistline in natural position



Amazingly, the back no longer looks too tight, but I still feel it pulling downward. I’m wondering if it needs scooping at the back crotch or just increasing? Side and front views look obviously looser creating that sloppy look in the opening pic.


I still haven’t heard from Louise.  Please take that as just a statement, not a whine or complaint. Louise did warn that she was terribly busy.  She’s also helping out of the goodness of her heart. Usually she gets paid to do this kind of work. My husband and I are retired. We often find that people expect us to drop everything and run to help them. The assumption seems to be that if you don’t have a 9-5 job, you don’t have anything to do and are obligated to assist whenever asked.  I certainly do not want to force myself on someone else, like has been done to us.  So Louise hasn’t had time. I’ve decided to hang these on a hanger and forget them. Just this pair.  If./when Louise comes back into the picture I can work with her some more. Until then I’ve decided to reverse the crotch adjustment and …………

…………………………………………………………………………………..make another muslin.


I want to fix the crotch issue before I even think about the excess ease I’m seeing in front.  I don’t know if that can be fixed.  I’m not a pattern drafter. I have very rudimentary knowledge of the process.  For me to fix a draft, it has to be simple.


I too am busy–retired is not the same as nothing to do– but I will get to my next muslin by the end of the day. Oh and I do admit that the changes Louise has suggested so far,(excepting the crotch tilt),  vastly improved the fit of these pants



One-Pattern-Piece Pants

originally published9/26/11


Louise Cutting is helping me fit the OneSeams over at the Stitchers Guild forum page 19. She’s very busy and I haven’t heard from her since yesterday morning.  That’s not a big deal. But, patience was never one of my virtues.  It appeared to me that she was walking me though the fitting instructions (included in the pattern) and she was doing the math for me.  Well I’m perfectly capable of doing the math myself.  I had skipped the math mostly out of curiousity to see how her one-pattern-piece pant would fit out-of the-envelope as compared to others that I’ve used.  I was concerned mostly about the side grain line leaning forward, some tightness across the rear with some looseness in the front.  I really thought the fit process was going pretty good and was slightly surpirsed when she looked at my pictures and said:


[quote author=LOUISE CUTTING link=topic=535.msg243560#msg243560 date=1317062539]

… I needed to step in and help.

…. lets start from the beginning…. [/quote]


One of the reasons I prefer to work with everyday sewists at SG instead of experts in their classes is that the everyday sewists will look at what you’ve got and offer opinions as to where to go from here.  The expert always wants you to throw the baby out with the bath water and make a new baby with them. But in this case I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the fit and not entirely sure what to do next. Yet it wasn’t a bad fit. Once styled with proper shoes and a nice top, that first muslin could have been completed and worn; and I would have been better dressed than 99% of the people in the bank line.  BUT, I really do want to improve my fitting process.  I really do want to be able to easily and quickly fit pants.  So if the only way to work with the experts is on their terms,then that’s what I’ll do.


So I read Louise’s instructions and follow them.  We had to stop for the night for me. Even the retired have obligations and responsibilities. Louise asked one question early the next morning about the elastic on hand and stated she had a lot to do.  My lack of patience has done me in.  Unable to control myself, I started reading the fit instructions.  Realized we had only 1 step left, adjusting the pant leg length.  I’m as capable of doing the math as anyone else and so I did.  I had my hem to waist measurement, subtracted 1/2″ because I’m using View B(tapered) and then compared the result to the Finished Length column of the provided chart.  My result was 2″ less than the chart’s finished measurement, so I tucked 1″ of the leg length  and then laid out my fabric and cut.


The instructions say just to serge finish the hem edge and the waistband edge. I anticpated a lot of handling (muslins usually require more handling) so I sergered all the edges.  I then basted everything, inseams, side seams, hem and waistband. I cut the elastic 27″ long, because that’s what I usually use. I can easily adjust that if needed.


I tried them on and carefully smoothed the pant into position.  I’m wearing flats in the  picture because that’s what I usually wear and that’s how I measured my hem to waist.

I’m much more satisfied with this front view.  However, I think the front crotch is far too long.  It rises up above my waistline while standing.  When sitting, I have this huge bubble of fabric.   I don’t like the fluted edgeing of the waistband. I don’t like it because my body bends it over creating a lump in the front.  But that’s what the paterrn instructions call for and I was trying to follow instructions exactly. I would still prefer a slimmer leg on the front view.


I do like the side viw.  The grainline is fairly perpendicular to the floor.  I could spend a little more time arranging the ease on the waist band. It might take care of those forward drag lines. But this is a pull on pant and there will be ease some place along the waistband.

The back has a couple of issues.  Is still feel there is too much ease in the legs, maybe I would have been better off to start with the latest version of the pattern instead of the,,, er classic. These are still too tight across the rear. While it may be hard to tell in this pic, the back crotch is pulling down wards.  When I sit, it really pulls downwards — like Plumber’s Bu!!.

I read these instructions through twice:

[quote author=LOUISE CUTTING link=topic=535.msg243598#msg243598 date=1317074520]

…You are not done yet….your waist goes up in the front and down in the back so should your pants…but you never change this at the waistline of the pants.



Draw another line about 1″ above from where you did the 3/4″ hipline fold. Slip a strip of paper long enough to reach from the CF to CB under this line. Cut along this line from [u]CF to the grain line[/u]…not through it and then cut from [u]CB to the grain line[/u]…there should be about a 1/8″ hinge at the grainline on this line. Now open the front up creating a very long narrow pie shape. Open up the vertical front CF line about 1/4″…you will see the back will now overlap the same amount. This does not change the crotch measurement, just where the fabric need to be when worn. Tape everyting together



Every pair of pants I’ve made or purchased has need a shorter front crotch and a longer back crotch. Her adjustment does just the opposite. What’s more she clearly thought this was correct. She said “your waist goes up in the front and down in the back so should your pants”  But I hate these pants just for the crotch and wouldn’t wear them anywhere.   I’m waiting for Louise.  I could make some down-n-dirty adjustments.  But I’m feel like I engaged Louise –for no cost – and I should be following her lead instead of winging it on my own.


So I’m setting it all aside and starting something else. I need to occupy my mind and hands with a different project and quit making a mess with these.



originally published9/26/11


I gave serious thought to the one-seams and decided: I need to pursue this pant style.  It really is wonderful to have  a pant pattern than can be whipped up in no time.  Especially since 99.% of my bottom are pants.  Having a nice pant pattern; one that is quick to sew and produces a flattering garment has got to be a joy to any dressmaker.


Which one-seam did I want to pursue?  I thought about this nearly all day long.  I wasn’t sure that the Betzina pant fit as well as I thought it did. I didn’t really want to purchase another pattern.  I’m sure I could have found something in Burda Style. I’m equally sure that I would receive no assistance from Burda should I have problems.  One of the Indy designers might have had something good and would have provided excellent support, if I didn’t mind surfing the net for a day or two to find what I wanted; and then waiting 7-10 days to receive my pattern.  I had no desire to purchase any of the various draft-your-own systems. No thank you. I really wanted a classy, pull-on pant for which I could find help when/if I encountered fitting problems. So I was back to Louise Cuttings, famous One-Seam Pant pattern.  I know it was disastrous the first time. But Louise assured me that my fabric choice on that pair was my biggest hurtle. I’d also completed a pair of EAC pants which were fairly decent.


So I pulled out the Louise’s One-Seam pattern instructions and began to read. I chose to trace a size large. My hip is 40.25 but my tummy is 42″. Louise specifically says that these pants need to be pulled up over the largest part of your body and you should use that measurement as your “hip”.  I was a little confused about the crotch measurement.  I used 1″ wide elastic pinned around my waist and measured from center back to center front.  But then I wondered was I supposed to measure from the top edge of the elastic? or bottom edge? or center?  As I checked the charts I realized that the large size hips and crotch came closest to my own.  So with some reservation, that’s what I traced.  I did read the instructions for altering for a tilted waist (definitely me) also the instructions for changing the leg length (also one of my problems). But I knew that Louise had made some alterations to the pattern already and I wasn’t sure I had the correct crotch measurement.. So I decided to wait on those 2 alterations until  after the first fitting.  I did alter the hem depth.  Louise seems to favor those 2″ hems. I long ago settled upon a 1-1/4″ hem depth for just about everything except coats.  I also didn’t want to go near a 2″ wide waistband.  I’m short waisted.  Having a wide waistband just about kills me. OK not really, but it does seem like the waistband of my pants is struggling with my bra band for room on my body.  If the waistband is right at my waistline, I’m happiest with a 1″ wide waistband.  I changed the 4-1/2 waistband to 2-1/2″


I cut my first muslin from a 100% polyester.  Wait, polyester quality is all over the map and this is actually a nice woven fabric.  I purchased it about 15 years ago to make a spring pant-suit. Had I followed through and made the pant-suit then, I would have had a charming, feminine, business-like garment. Years later, it’s more of a muslin fabric than a suiting fabric. I laid out my pattern, cut my fabric and then using a fine point sharpie marked on the fabric: the grain line, the waist line, the hip line and the hem line. I did that to both pieces.  I then serged the perimeter of both pieces. Yep all the way round.  I anticipated handling the fabric excessively and wanted it to survive. BTW this is a great time to use up bits and bobs of left over spools of thread. The more the thread contrasts with your fabric the easier it is for you.  I sort of followed Louise’s instructions.  I basted the legs together and then basted the hems. Next I put one leg inside the other and basted the crotch. I followed that up by carefully measuring and turning the waistband down, basting it into place and finally threading my elastic through the casing.  I actually was one step ahead of the game this time because I already knew that 27″ of 1″ wide elastic is the right width and length for me.


Once everything was basted into place, I gave the pants a quick press and tried them on.  I did take pictures, but I’m not sharing. Well, I’m not sharing the first 3 sets pics.  It took me 3 adjustments to get the crotch right.  First, the crotch seemed too long both front and back.  So I turned the waistband down another 1/4″ which when you measure 1/4″ turns into 1/2″.  Don’t ask me to explain.  You need to read the instructions and follow Louise’s logic.  She is right.  That gave me some weird pull lines, but I wasn’t really interested.  I know from experience, I have to get the waistband the right length first.  When that is right, I need to get the crotch depth correct.  I was concentrating on getting the crotch depth correct.  The third try, I left the front turned down the extra 1/4″ but made the back at it’s original depth.   As this was the third try, I was also tired of stepping on the pants legs and decided to take a 1″ tuck on the “shorten/lengthen here” line. WOWZER!


Keep in mind that this is a pull on pant, with elasticized waistband, tapered legs but 18″ hem circumference.  It’s going to have the 80’s pull on pant appearance BUT I don’t think the fit is going to get much better:




Honestly, I’m not sure what to tweak. They look a little small in the butt and large in the tummy. Maybe I could adjust some gathers towards the rear. I’d rather have the legs slightly slimmer, but I don’t want to tweak that until I have the waistline, crotch and hip perfected.  I do wish there was slightly less fullness at the waist and I note that Louise has provided templates for pleats or darts which I will make use of in future versions. Sigh for now,  I’ve decided to transfer the alterations to a new copy of the pattern and make up a nice fabric.  Hope to read your suggestions for improvement.


OnePatternPiecePants, template

How Juvenile was that?

originally published9/25/11


I’m  referring to my post on Friday, September 23.  At the conclusion of that post, I sorted through, located and discarded all one-seam type pants (except for the underwear in KS3661). Then I proceeded to the more urgent sewing, my outfit for the DU dinner. The excitement of planning and attending this major-to-me social event, allowed my left brain to contemplate the disaster from Sandra Betzina’s one-seam type pants and contemplate my own behavior and thought patterns.  Only 48 hours later and I’m realizing how very childish my reaction and final purging truly was.


For some strange reason, so strange I can’t imagine what it is, I’m still wanting “instant gratification” in a pants pattern.  I want to select my size from the measurements given; then  trace or trim the tissue of a new pants pattern; cut fabric and sew a nearly perfectly fitting pair of pants. Somewhere in the depths of my psyche, I want to make no more effort than just described and yet produce perfection.  I could be clinging to this fantasy because it is exactly what so many patterns promise.  They say words to the effect, all you need to do is measure where I tell you, alter where I tell you and you will have beautiful pants.  They say, if you’ll just abandon all the knowledge  you’ve accumulated through years of experiments and failures; if you’ll just believe on me and forget the reality which is you; all your trouser/pant fitting problems will be fixed with my perfect pattern.  Oh and I want to believe. Mind you, I don’t need a new God.  I don’t really want to abandon everything I’ve every learned; or turn my back on the teachings of experts that I’ve admired and followed for years.  But I have such problems fitting pants, I keep wanting to believing these new Satan’s.  Wanting to believe, even though I know I’m shorter than the figure they design for.  Wanting to believe, even though I know I’m heavier than the figure they design for.  Desperately wanting to believe, even though I know that my hip, tummy, tilted waist, and pudgy knees are rarely a consideration for any designer. So I try the new pattern, get disgusted and toss it into the trash.


Thing is, I do have a couple of Sewing Angels on my side. One of the most delightful women, who also shares my obsession with pants, marciae, believes that any pant pattern can be fitted to you IF you are willing to invest the time and material.  Please note it is not any pant which can be fitted; it is any pattern.  Obviously if a woman who is a size 3X buys a size 6 petite pant, there’s not nearly enough fabric to go around the fluffier body.  But the same lady could take a size 6 child’s PATTERN, invest much time, make several muslins AND finish with a nice pant.  So why was I in such a hurry to toss all my one-seam type pants patterns?  Honestly, I was trying to get together a nice outfit for the dinner and wanted to believe all the hype. I wanted to believe all the people who said “the biggest mistake I made on the first pair, was not using a good fabric so I could wear these.” Yep, there are people who can say and do that. I’m not amongst them.  I need to remember this experience for the future.  In the future, when I need garments quickly, I need to limit my choices to my TNT patterns. Right from the get-to, I need to say I’m only considering patterns already fit; already proven to be winners.


About the one-seams, I retrieved all the pattern from the trash and I’m seriously reconsidering.