603 Tapered pant

Verson 3

I’m skipping Version 2 of Petite Plus patterns #603 Tapered Pull on Pant and moving right along to the 90% successful completion Version 3.  I used a golden brown corduroy, 25% stretch and sister fabric to the oyster corduroy used in Muslin 1.  This is a really good fabric. Designer cut purchased from Fabricmartfabrics.com several years ago.  While I won’t wear white pants, I do wear light colors but I wear them in the summer. Corduroy, to me, is a winter fabric. So this fabric sat on the shelf  because it had a winter hand for a summer garment.

I have 4 sets of photos in which all the fronts are arranged, all the backs etc. I like to see the fit as it progresses..

…with Fit01 on the far left progressing through Fit 2, 3 and Finished on the far right. Actually, I did only 3 fittings before calling it done.

Fit 1 was just the pattern changes after Muslin 1 …

  • shorten leg 1″
  • shorten back and front crotch 1/2″ (using 1/4″ tuck)
  • use size 18 inseam
  • use 1/4″ back side seam
  • use 1-1/2″ front side seam

…and was a chance to see how those changes came together

As I studied those pics I decided to scoop before the next fitting (Fit02).  Generally, I don’t scoop until I have made every other possible tweak–probably a knee-jerk reaction that of listening to all the designers out there that scream “Don’t touch my crotch”.  However, I’d already tried a number of things with Muslin 1.  I was seeing rouched side seams, an odd front crotch and a too tight butt.

 

Also note the tilt of the side seams above.  They slant towards the front. However as fitting goes along I corrected that  though the elastic to WB application. As long as I perfectly quartered the pant and the elastic, the side seams would tilt forward.  When the pant waist is perfectly divided, the quarter mark is about 1.5″ on the back side of the side seam.  By matching the side seam with the quarter mark on the elastic, the tilt has practically disappeared in Fit 04.

Although in front the crotch was my biggest concern, I also noted it seemed a little big while the back a little small.  For Fit 03 I opted to offset the side seams so as to remove 1/2″ from each front (1″ total) and add 1/4″ to each back (1/2″) total.  At the time, I would have added more to the back, but that was as far as I could let out the back side seam.  I also walked the side seams of the pattern and found that I had a 1/2″ length difference in the leg and a 1/4″ difference in the height.  It is simplest to trim, so I trimmed both pant and pattern resulting in nearly all the rouching disappearing in Fit 04.

After Fit 02, my sewing angel recommended I scoop just a little more than the 5/8″. So before Fit 04, I added a 1/4″ scoop (7/8″ total) for the final fit.

Suddenly, the back is no longer too small but the front is still a little large. FINAL PICS:

  

In some pics I see the knock knees in others I don’t.  Which makes me wonder whether to take action or not. I also finally see what my Sewing Angel saw in Fit01, the front crotch is too long. That woman has an eye. She says she can usually fit a pant pattern with 2 muslins. I can understand why.  I mean, the front crotch length looked and felt fine to me right up through the final pics. It took me 3 fittings to see what she spotted in the first 5 minutes.

 

At the beginning of this post, I estimated a 90% success. My 603 has the ease of a trouser. I was looking for a semi-fit of the slack.  I might have been able to use a smaller size, the 14. It’s kind of a rumpled pant. I sort of expect that out of corduroy but in my life I have had some really nice sharp corduroy jeans. I much slimmer then. I also need to at least address the X wrinkle of the back knee which is screaming “Knock Knee”. I’m going to try the dart at the top of the inseam. It just feels like I have enough ease over the knee itself, so why would the fabric be pulling at that point? What I’ve heard and what most full bodied ladies experience is that in adding crotch length to go around our stomachs and behinds, the angle of the pant legs increases. That may be something you have to see to understand but the solution really is straightening the leg way up there by your special place.

So it’s good. I plan to wear these because, there’s nothing wrong with this:

..except my hair.  I haven’t had a good hair day in 4 months.

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NET PATTERN CHANGES

  • shorten leg 1″
  • shorten back and front crotch 1/2″ (using 1/4″ tuck)
  • shorten front crotch an additional 1/2″ with dart
  • Trace size 16 but use size 18 inseam
  • Add 1/4″ to back side seam (size 18)
  • Use size 16 front side seam.
    • these 2 actions move the ease from back to front
  • Scoop back crotch 7/8″
  • 1/4″ inseam dart
  • Walk the side seams to ensure they are equal in length.

 

 

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603 Tapered pant

603 Fitting

Next morning, I took another look at the very First Fitting pics.  My enthusiasm totally evaporated. I copied the pics and starter superimposing lines upon the wrinkles and folds.  Some folds and wrinkles said nothing to me.  For example, there is a series of almost crosshatching between knee and ankle.  The previous day, I had thought the leg too long. Now, I wasn’t so sure. So my planned first alterations changed completely. I ripped open the leg where the vent would have been and left it open. Then traced the size 18 inseam and basted at the stitching line. Ready fo the 2nd fitting.

Second Fitting:

At this point, I was  sure the leg was too long. Ripping open the vent, allowed the pant to fall into a pile on the top of my foot instead of stacking up in folds from the ankle all the way to the knee. The side view immediately looked somewhat less rumpled. Many of the wrinkles dropped away in front too, at least to the knee where they resumed  piling up down to the ankle. However,  the front crotch keyhole began to ghost through.  Happily I thought, the back was much better than Fit 01.  The stark diagonals between waist and tush are gone. Remaining of course, are vertical wrinkles under the WB which are part and parcel of  a gathered waist whether it’s gathered by elastic or some other means.   But the tush still looks  tight;  and there is still a fold under the tush albeit considerably reduced from the first fit. The diagonals along the inseam are lessened. The front inseam only has a ghost of the diagonal lines. Stepping back and looking with squinted eyes, I realized there is a big X wrinkle in front, ghosting i.e. not in your face obvious but there. I might not even have noticed it a few years ago when my fitting senses were less sharpened.  I can say the same of the back, ghosting plus the lower legs of the X are shorter. Which means I have done something right.

******

Dear Diary,

I started the next session, Fit03, by letting out the side seams 3/8″ (a full size) and taking 1/2″ tucks in the legs. The pants have an admirable 13″ hem circumference. I love it, but not when the length results in folds  around the ankles (similar to dropping my drawers when sitting on the porcelain throne). I realize for Fit 3, if I want to maintain the hem circumference I so admire, reducing the length has to be done further up the leg. I took 1/2″ tucks on each leg to shorten the length but I took the tuck above the knee on one leg and above the ankle on the other. With a tapered pant, it matters where the leg is shortened. I’m happy to report, most of the leg wrinkles have just dropped away following those changes. I’d say shortening the leg was a winner.

Decreasing the depth of the side seam allowances is a mixed bag.  I can plainly see what my sewing angel spotted in the first 5 minutes (or less) of viewing the original fitting pics: to the crotch is too long both front and back.  Alas I  now also see something Peggy Sagers says is impossible: I need less circumference in the front and more in the back.  I need to get over this and realize experienced sewists will not all have the same opinion.  That is her experience; her opinion. Mine is different and while it works for fitting clothing to my body, her experience could be more applicable to the vast majority of female figures.

Fit 4, I’m going to remove the tucks and fold up the leg 2.5″.  I will love that wonderful 13″ hem circumference but can’t preserve it this time. Fortunately when I make the change to the tissue,  I can make it above the ankle and after redrawing the cutting line  the 13″ hem circumference will be retained.  I think this muslin may make it as Winter 2018 PJ’s and so for now the hem circumference will be wider than the designer planned. Also for  Fit 04, I will offset front to back side seams 1″.  I’m jumping all the way to 1″ because that is what I have successfully used for other patterns. I can change it if that’s wrong.

Right now I need to figure out how much to shorten the crotch depth, so in Fit 04 I started with a 3/8″ tuck just under the waist and all around.  When I’m sure what needs to be done, I can trim the excess length crotch length  and reinstall the elastic WB.

Making the changes above did work quite as expected. I realized with Fit04 Pics, that I had done as much as possible with this fabric. So I started making permanent changes to the pants and alterations to the tissue.

I started by trimming the 1″ off at the pant hem and tucking the pattern leg 1″ so that future versions will be the right length . Then I moved onto a tuck across front and back below the waist 3/8″. That had been too much so I backed off a little. I trimmed 1/2″ from the waist of the pants and tucked the pattern just below the waist band 1/2″.  Since I was unable to remove enough ease from the front and add as much as I desired to the back, I reduced the side seams to 1/4″ . Then trimmed the pattern 1/4″ along the front side seam, but added 3/4″ to the back side seam.  I serged the inseam at the size 18 stitching line.  I usually leave my crotch at 3/8″ but so much handling has frayed the area and so I serged along the basting line reducing the SA to 1/4″ but basted at the size 16 stitching line.  After that, I serged the WB elastic to the top edge of the pant; turned and top stitched before totally finishing by hemming the pant leg.  I think it is interesting that I tried so many things but there is really not that many net alterations.

 

I recognize there is still some fitting I’d like to do but this muslin is done, done all the way done. So   I’m  sharing it as far as I was able achieve fit

I think the above final version is considerable better than the first fitting shared below:

 

 

 

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NET CHANGES

  • shorten leg 1″
  • shorten back and front crotch 1/2″ (using 1/4″ tuck)
  • use size 18 inseam
  • use 1/4″ back side seam
  • use 1-1/2″ front side seam.
603 Tapered pant

Petite Plus Patterns: Tapered Pull on Pant (603)

In doing a purge of my patterns (a required activity as I have no more storage room and can no longer even jam my fingers into the boxes), I came across this pattern purchased long ago  and apparently totally forgotten. It calls for 2.5 yards of either 45 or 60″ medium weight fabrics with 25% stretch. I checked the stash for something usable as a muslin. Truth is, I have more failures than successes with pants patterns. I expect success after 2+ muslins and innumerable fitting sessions and alterations; OR I expect flat-out failure. I love pants, but dang I have a hard time fitting them. So I checked the stash and happened upon this oyster-white, thin-wale corduroy. I love corduroy. I immediately think of it for winter pants. Why I bought oyster or any flavor of white is beyond comprehension. I do not wear white pants. Never have; and here I’ve bought a fabric especially for winter pants that I won’t wear. But it will make an excellent muslin. After all it had the right amount of stretch and the called for length of fabric.  A real plus is wrinkles and pull lines are easy to see in white (as well as underwear and cellulite but we won’t dwell on that.)

I vacillated for 2 days trying to figure out what size to trace and cut. OK I had two other projects in progress and putting off a 3rd one is more of a no brainer than stroke of earnest thought. I have made one other PP pattern in the past, the jean, I don’t have the pattern any more which greatly surprises me. I don’t recall any fitting issues or difficulties but I do remember finishing and wearing those pants until my figure changed. (Hmm my figure seems to be changing as often after 60 as it did before 6.)  I didn’t dwell on the past too long but started trying to figure size. As usual I’m right between sizes (14 and 16 to be exact).  I decided to compare with the crotch of  5682 because I really liked that pattern’s fit and appearance. That’s when the head scratching started. A size 14 crotch was  2″ too shorter in the stride (the part that goes between the legs) I’m a bit insecure over this. I finished 5682. Then altered 3200 and 3414 to the shape and length of the 5682 crotch. However 3418 was a disaster no matter what I did to the crotch, inseam, hip , anything.   Like I said, I debated with myself and finally decided to trace the recommended size 16 and the inseam of each of the other sizes. Admittedly a weird choice and truly indicative of someone who can’t make up their mind.

I cut my fabric; loaded the bobbin with water-soluble thread and basted everything together. No seam finishing. No serging. No trimming or clipping. Nothing but basting that can be removed with a spritz of water.  I did not have 1.25″ wide elastic. I’ve 1″ , 1.5″ 3″ also various 1″ and less wide elastics. But exactly 1.25″ as the pattern specifies, missing from my stash. Well not a big problem because I had WAWAK 2″ wide elastic (SKU : #EL52WH) in black and white on hand.

Side note:  I think this elastic is equivalent to much more expensive 2″ elastics sold by some Indy Pattern Makers for a much higher price. Wawak sells 12 yards currently for approx $9.  I bought mine on sale for $6 and bought both black and white. (Don’t forget the $5 shipping). Like other highly touted elastics, it can be cut down and both resulting widths used as desired. If  a thread happens to be cut during trimming to desired width, just pull it out. The elastic will not continue to fray. I think it is a good elastic; good buy. But as always YMMV and you might already have a favorite. Frankly, there’s nothing as good as your very own trusted favorite. Oh, I have no affiliation, was not asked to advertise , did not receive a discount just the usual good service yada yada.

Back to the pant construction, the waist band uses a tried and true procedure. Cut elastic to desired length and mark the quarters. Mark the quarters of the elastic. Zig zag one edge of the elastic to the upper (raw) edge of the pant waist. Turn down once and top stitch. Multiple times if desired, but this is a test and I top stitched with WST only 1 time before calling out:

“Alexa, Take a Picture”

Default SA is 3/8″.  I added 1/2″ at the side seam and basted said seams at 7/8″ which to me means I stitched as drafted for size 16.  I told you I traced all the inseams. Now, I folded my tissue along the size 16 inseam. Using a purple pen, I traced what should have been the size 16 cutting line.  When I stitched the inseams, they are stitched at the size 16 stitching line. Yep big ugly inseam at this point.  Without steam, I pressed open the side and in- seam allowances before stitching the crotch at the size 16 drafted stitching line.  So I have basted all seams along the size 16 stitching line be. Turned up the hem and clipped in place using Clover’s clips and

BLOW ME AWAY:

I can’t remember the last time a pant looked this good at the first fitting. I’m tempted to finish and wear it as it. With my long tops no one is likely to notice the issues. I’m going to discuss the back mostly. The sides look fine and the front not really bad although it might get tweaked along the way. Let’s start at the top Waist to Hip

The waist feels comfortable. Yes there are wrinkles all around. That’s why people like darts and zippers–to avoid what we call bulk at the waistline.  I am curious about the 2 diagonal wrinkles that almost meet at center back  just above the biggest part of my rear.

Looking from hip to cheek and just beyond, I think I might need a little more ease back there.  It would help the excess below the cheek slide up. One additional concern though is the front crotch

I think it is saying “little more tummy room please?” but I’m wondering if I don’t hear a slight please of “just a tisch more crotch length too.”

Continuing on and looking at the back from cheek to knee

This is not the bad mess I was seeing and could never remove in 3418.  There are not endless pull lines along the back inseam. But it is the same excess ease which I nearly always end up tolerating.  I think part of what is here indicates the need for more tush room which would allow the pant to slide up and redistribute the crotch length  a little. Also, I can’t really see but I feel like the crotch has pulled down at CB. Allowing the pant to slide up would help.  The other thing I’m really considering though is from Knee to ankle:

Generally the diagonal lines pointing to the knee  indicate my knock knee appearance (I refuse to admit I have knock knees. My knees do not turn inward even when I lock my knees back, but they do have a padding of fat on the inside which gives the above result). Generally they appear unless I’m wearing tights or 24″ wide legs (or when I weighted 118#) . Anything in-between and I’m forced to decide whether to ignore the diagonals or make the alterations.  For me, there is one possible easy alteration for knock knees. That is using the larger size inseam.  Used to do that with Burda for perfectly fitting pants. I’d trace a size 44 but use the size 46 inseam.  Worked like a charm until my 60+ body changed again.

Here they are for anyone who says, “I’d like to see the front and sides before I make a recommendation”:

When I get back to this tomorrow, I plan change to the size 18 inseam and stitch the size seams at 3/4″ instead of 7/8″. Wish me luck. Oh and pray I don’t ruin this one too.

PetitePlus_Jeans

The First Fitting

I knew these would be too big. In fact, they should be too big.  I chose sizing based on my hip size. My hip was 1/2″ larger than the hip measurements on the chart. Logic would say, make that size (because the next size up is 2″ larger) and let the seams out. But I’ve been bit by such logic before and ended up trying to work with 1/8″ seam allowances. That was not a lone incident either.  In another case I inserted a 1″ ribbon using 1/8″ seam allowances in order to have enough ease. So when I check for pattern sizes, I prefer to choose one size larger and sew wider seams.  But I admit, that was probably error #1.

2nd error occurred during comparing the  JSM trouser pattern with this Jean pattern. Jeans should fit closely. The JSM fits loosely. Grain lines are slightly different on jeans which permit the crotch seams to flex more and the fabric to wrap around the body.  During the comparison I noted that my jean tissue contained 1/8 to 1/4″ more ease than the trouser and that the back crotch length appeared to be 1/2″ longer. But I know that jeans and trousers can’t be exactly compared. I opted not to change the jean tissue instead waiting to see what happened when fabric was added to the equation.

Error #3 was probably the fabric. Purchased from FashionFabricsclub just recently it was advertised as 100% cotton denim.  It may be cotton, but I wouldn’t label this as denim.

 photo CocoaBrownStripeDenim_zps2257d773.jpg
Denim has a distinctive weave with a white warp and blue (or other colored) weft woven in a twill pattern. This may be cotton, same as denim, but it is a plain weave with slubbed yarns more like linen, faux linen or even silk noil. It has a firm hand, not stiff but not cushy denim. I wouldn’t want to use this in a trouser draft. It’s too stiff and would add visual pounds to the fluff I already carry around. It’s not really good for jeans either — not enough give to be comfortable. But it’s good for toile or muslin in a test garment as I’m doing for Petite Plus #605.

So I started with a pattern too large, a jean draft with trouser ease and a fabric not appropriate to the draft and then I stitched all the seams together use a 1/4″ seam allowance. Except for the crotch. I used the recommended 3/8″ SA for the crotch. (3/8″ is recommended for the entire pattern.)  The first trial felt surprising good. It was comfortable. I couldn’t wait to take pictures and really examine the fit. I wasn’t prepared for the mess under my rear:
 photo 01rear_zps34f1e9b3.jpg  photo 02afront_zpsc4d1af32.jpg
or the vertical front folds. The pockets on the rear were just hideous. This first pictures didn’t even say “mom jean”. They said “get rid of me fast”. I didn’t (probably mistake #4)

No I made another fitting effort. First I made all those seams 3/8″ as per the pattern instructions.  Per the pattern the gathers in the back should have been on the side.  I didn’t want my jeans gathered to the waistband anywhere. I deeped the back leg seams at the waist 1/2″  X 4″ long and fit the pant waistline to my waistband.  I tried the pants on again. Nope still too big.  This time I added a wedge across the back.  The pattern was not designed with a yoke, but I’ve managed to add one:
 photo 03Yoke_zpsaa02d245.jpg

and I took the side seams in but unevenly.  I removed the wings on the sides. Seriously, the side was curved out like a big ol’ C or Mickey Mouse Ears. Just what every mature woman wants: Mickey Mouse ears where our hips should be. I may have taken out too much. Can’t be sure because I’m dumb founded by:
 photo 04crotch_zps91979c68.jpg
what must be  the nastiest camel toe evah!  Originally it was just vertical lines indicating too much ease. Now it’s something bad. Really bad.

I haven’t decided what to do. I can’t take the jeans in across the hips any more.  Nor the legs either.  These are tight in the leg when walking up and down the stairs. The “yoke” removed 1″ across the back. I’m pretty sure even more needs to be removed to smooth out the back leg:

 photo 05backleg_zpsd504ea2f.jpg
If  I do that, I will need to scoop out the crotch, a lot. But that’s not going to fix the camel toe in front or help the knock-knee issues developing at the back knee. I’ve already checked the master pattern. Going down a size would not fix the issues. Go down two sizes and the jean will need to be graded up. Heck, I didn’t like this pattern anyway because it didn’t have a yoke or contour waistband. Maybe I should just chuck it.  I’ve already ordered Connie Crawford’s jean pattern #5403. At least it has a yoke.

PetitePlus_Jeans

Jeans: Petite Plus Style

Years ago, OK about 5, my sewing angel sent several pairs of pants which were too large for her but she thought I might be able to use.  The JSM became and remains a favorite. My second choice was Trudy Jansen 906 Jeans.  Amongst the several tried were a pair of Petite Plus Jeans.  At the time, TJ906 fit better and what’s more I was able to purchase it locally. Not that I’m against international trade. It’s just that my personal international shopping experiences have been fraught with delay, damage and substantially higher shipping costs. So as long as I could buy excellent patterns domestically <<shrug>> why go through the pain of an international sale. But this year my shape changed drastically (another of Life’s milestones).  It was difficult to achieve an acceptable fit with *TJ906.  I recalled the fit and comfort of this pair of jeans and decided to order the pattern #605:

 photo 605-cover-a_zps5f6f7ac5.jpg

It arrived earlier than expected.  While I’m pleased with the delivery speed, I rather wish I’d examined the pattern more closely.  A careful examination shows that these “jeans” lack a back yoke and posses a straight waistband. This is not  “jean” styling.  To me, jeans should fit closely, posses a back yoke, curved front pockets and butt pocket with detail. They should also posses a contoured waistband, fly front zipper along with zipper shield, belt loops and a coin pocket. Never mind that I never trace, cut or sew either the zipper shield or coin pocket, jean patterns should have these details; and had I seen the shortcomings  I would not have ordered the pattern.

Thankfully, I didn’t notice.  I traced the pattern in the size recommended for my hip circumference. I was really delighted that I didn’t need to trace pocket facing or the piece that becomes the visible pocket on the front. These pieces are the same, regardless of pattern size. Truthfully, I think that’s excellent.  I’ve been stunned by patterns that try to indicate 1/16″ differences between 8-10 sizes.  They end-up showing a solid black line anywhere between 1/4″ and 5/8″ wide. WTF?  Besides, if 1/16″ is going to make that big of a difference, I don’t think I even want to try out the pattern.  I measured my waistband against the pattern waistband and chose to use the 605 waistband but marked with my JSM equivalents i.e. side seam, center back and center front. I carefully compared front and back crotch lengths, general ease and over all length. I WAS STUNNED.  The crotch lengths that I’ve worked so hard at developing over the last few months was spot on with the Petite Plus pattern.   Same is true for the over all width and get this length.  The knee notches were exactly the same.  Not only that, but this is the first pattern EVER that I have not shortened.  Between the JSM and PP605 there is a difference in how the straight of grain is positioned and therefore the slope of the crotch and side seams as compared with a trouser draft BUT I expected this difference because PP605 is a JEAN pattern not a trouser.

I chose one of my recently purchased brown denims with which to test this pattern. The pattern indicated that 3 yards would be required. I’m not sure I read the instructions well enough because my 2.5 yards of 54″ denim was more than adequate.  In fact, I think I have enough left for the brown purse I’ve been desiring. I did press and fold the prewashed denim carefully and laid out the pattern pieces all in one direction. The pocket facing was cut from a lighter weight cotton. Waistband, zipper fly and hems are all interfaced; pocket edges are taped with fusible tape.  I can’t tell you how eager I am to begin sewing but <<sigh>> actual sewing must wait for another day.

 

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*I define acceptable fit  as possessing sufficient length and  width without  reveling any feminine bodily parts or underwear.  TJ906 meets the minimum but is somehow not attractive.