sdBev's Pants!

Archive for the ‘Pull-On’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

Left – final fitting. Right-after wearing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future changes?

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

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

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

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

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