3200 Sally's Pant, Shorts

First Summer Shorts

I was pretty happy with my shorts supply when I swapped out my winter for summer clothes.  I reasoned that with 6 pairs and I enough to go all summer. I knew I would want to add a pair or two just to make something new and also to keep refreshing the wardrobe. Shorts are, after all, something I can count on wearing every summer. I had a rude awakening when I started actually wearing my shorts. I had forgotten that all these were made before I finished tweaking my TNT’s, Peggy Sagers 3200 and Butterick 5682.  Pair had something seriously wrong.  One pair was fine while I was standing, but I couldn’t sit. Seriously, they had no stretch and would not give enough for my body to bend into sitting position.  How the heck did I wear those last year? I have not gained weight. The scales at my doctor’s office are steadly going down. Not rocketing to the bottom, but a pound less when I visit (my visits are quarterly). I’m 6 pounds less now then when I made the shorts. A few pulled sharply down at CB whenever I sat. Well, I have no intention of running around with my bum showing, so into the Goodwill box they went too. I’m left with 3 pairs of shorts which is not enough during hot weather. Time to start sewing shorts!

First pair is cut from a black and white stripe of cotton/poly seersucker. I don’t care whether seersucker is in or out, I love it for summer garments.  Most of my life, it’s been the fabric I could count on to look the same on a summer afternoon as it did in the morning.  I’d rather be slightly rumpled all day then to look like something the cat hacked up in the evening. KWIM?

I had already traced 3200 for shorts length. I did myself a favor by tracing it for the longest length shorts I would want and then marking fold lines along the leg for shorter versions. Now I folded it for the 4″ short.  I chalked an extra 1″ onto the sides and added 1-1/4″ length at the waist for a fold over waistband. My 4″ inseam is actually marked at the 5-1/4″ level to include the hem so no need to add for a hem. I wanted pockets so dug through my patterns until I could find what I call the CLD pocket.

The CLD pocket is really a thing of beauty.  Louise Cutting includes this pocket or instructions for it  in a number of her pants patterns.  The front side seam is faced at the pocket opening. A single pocket shape (you can vary it) is attached to the back side seam. The pocket attached to the back is placed under the front and top stitched. Yeah, so not clear. It is an easy pocket application. Has the virtue of never gaping; can be added after the fact (with a little seam ripping) and made from a scrap. But you do need to follow an exact procedure or you’ll muck it up. I did. I forgot to read the directions and missed steps resulting in some ripping and creative sewing..  Have a nice pocket, but this could have been so much easier.

I wanted to work some more with the new CS and used the 2340 to top stitch pockets and hems. Hems were fine — I’ve got a new if still awkward procedure for removing the work — but those pockets had me screaming. I used the pocket shape with sharp corners. 2340 does not make nice right angle turns. I had quite a mess..

.. which I top stitched at the sewing machine

trying to at least secure the pocket if not make it look a little better.  I was frustrated by the time I finished and even suggested, to myself, that I put the Janome back up and set the 2340 aside until I triple needles was the exact look I wanted.  But I remembered that it wasn’t all that easy when I first got the Janome 900CPX.  For months all I would do is a hemming stitch. I can remember letting out a deep relaxed sigh each time I completed a decent hem. It was months before I would try anything else. I haven had the 2340 but 3 weeks. Already I pushing it and probably myself.

Note: I can now see real advantages to my Janome 900CPX over the 2340CV.  The 900 is much easier to thread and to remove the work from machine. Removing the work from the 2340 is a real fight that seams to be accompanied by either rethreading the machine, or unintentionally raveling

the hem and having to over stitch at the sewing machine. Also, having 3 needles means threading THREE needles with THREE cones of thread. That’s just not going to happen with some colors. In which case I will be winding a bobbin to use at the 2340. I don’t like a lot of fuss. Sewing: YES. Fuss and futzing: NO. Threading is futzing.

A second goof, probably the first really because I did not add enough length for a fold over waistband.  I made it work but I must have spent 10 minutes measuring, pinning, folding etc. I think though my measuring was just a little off. These both look and feel just a little close in the crotch

Happily a little scooping took care of it but I don’t seem to have pics after the scoop.

Next time I’m going to read the pocket and waistband instructions. It’s nice to have a multitude of techniques to use, I just need to be reminded of the construction details before I cut.

3200 Sally's Pant, Elastic as Waistband

Embroidered Summer Pants

So into my stash I dug to find an excellent poly cotton in light blue. This is such a wonderful fabric. I wonder if it is still in production because this came from the old Walmart $1 table over 2 decades ago. At the time I bought 5 yards of every color they offered. Sniff, not only are those days over, this is the last of those fabrics; a fabric that handles and wears so well.

I didn’t spend an inordinate time choosing my embroidery design.  Knew immediately that it would be something small with lots of repeats.

A single motif would have had a lot of embroiders complaining it was too small to be any good. Repeated 3 rows and umpty-frat number of times across a 22″ hem it becomes impressive. Oh and took 4 hoopings, total 207,352 stitches and 3 days to finish. (4 bobbins, three 5000-yard spools of machine embroidery thread.) But it was worth it.

I used Silhouette Pattern 3200.  I had slimmed the leg hem. Originally it was 22″ and I slimmed it down to 20″.  I wanted a fuller leg. Something I wear occasionally even though I know the slimmer leg is more flattering and works with more tops. To make the hem fuller, I laid the fabric out, placed pattern pieces on top and with my tailor’s chalk  drew a vertical line from about thigh height to hem; angled to add 1″ at the side seam hem. I was envisioning a wider hem, but this is good.

Not only is the leg width not the best, this is also not a flattering stance!

I had to do a little playing to use the Elastic as Waistband method that Peggy Sagers introduced in her 3-Piece Yoga Pant Pattern 3418.  Initially, I had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around this waistband construction.  I even wrote Peggy whose response was something to the effect of just read it carefully and you’ll get it.  I did; and I grew to like this application even though initially it  seemed really weird to have visible elastic.   I’m wondering, will the feeling the white elastic looks like my underwear sticking out, will I get over that  and start liking the white elastic?  Time will tell and I’m not really sure it matters since I usually wear my blouses untucked which totally covers the waistband anyway.

So as I started to say, I needed a little playing to get this right for SP3200.  I cut the fabric as usual; serge finished all the edges; stitched the side seams and then spent 3 days embroidering the hems. Construction felt like nothing from that point. I zoomed through serging the inseams and stitching the crotch. I didn’t bother fitting because I’ve used this pattern many times after working at the fit through the first muslin. But I stopped at the waistband to ‘give it  think’.  My fabric waistband finishes 1″ wide. Sits at the waist and extends 1″ above. I like it. It feels secure unlike some of these low-rise crotches that I swear will be revealing all in seconds.  I cut my elastic the usual length for this brand. I am using the WAWAK 2″ elastic.  Developed quite a fondness for it but I keep a record of each elastic I purchase and the length that finally fit for me. All elastics are not all the same. For example, another excellent elastic I purchase from Cutting Line Designs is not snug enough unless I cut it 7″ shorter than my waist circumference. I joined my elastic in a circle by butting the ends and using a 3-step zig zag with a short length of bias tape beneath.  Really makes a nice flat join. Up to this point construction was pretty much typical with a 3-day break to embroider.  My thinking on the waistband went like this:  I’m using a 2″ elastic. I don’t want it to sit or extend higher than a fabric waistband would sit. So I need to trim some length at the top of the pant. How much? Well normally my WB extends 1″ above the waist which I still want. So 2″ wide elastic  -1″ wide WB,  would leave 1″ of elastic unneeded. Turn the thought around and that would be 1″ at the top of the pant not needed. Unsure because the elastic application instruction have me stitching 3/8″ above the bottom edge of the elastic, I basted the elastic to the pant 1-3/8″from the top of the pant. A quick try-on told me my initial thinking was correct. Spritz and rip the elastic from the pant and restitch after placing the elastic 1″ below the top of the pant.  Perfect!

And here it is worn with the camp shirt finished just days before:


Man, I can just see me walking barefoot down the beach!



3418: I officially quit

I give up on this pants pattern.  Before I get too far, let me say that even if successful,  I would not wear this pant.  It is too close-fitting for my taste and I started by tracing 2 sizes larger than my hips. I would not call this a yoga pant or even a skinny pant. It is to me in the same category as long johns and tights.  My Sewing Angel noted the same thing i.e. too tight to wear in public but easy to construct. The single review at PR said in effect she had no problems She was quite positive about her entire experience. However she did not provide a modeled shot. Only a front hanger pic. No back view. I will echo her comment that it was easy to sew. Pants nearly always are easy to sew, it’s the fitting which”bust my chops”. The PR reviewer made a size 14 in 1.5 yards of 60″ wide fabric.  For my first pair of size 24W I used 2.50 yards of 56″ fabric; 1-7/8 yards of 60″ of Ponte fabric.  This may not be quite the fabric hog I originally estimated. I may finish the two pairs I made to wear as PJ’s or even long johns but I will not wear them in public and I will not make any more. My copy of the pattern is on the way to the trash if I can’t get it back in the envelope to donate to Goodwill (they do accept uncut, complete patterns.)

My first fabric was Knit Ottoman with a unusual 40% cross and 70% lengthwise stretch.  Possibly I should have laid out the pattern cross grain as we do with Bengaline. The stretch factor always bothered me so before giving up I made a second pair of a nice RPL Ponte with the typical 20% stretch both ways. I started by basting together the pieces and situating the crotch so it was comfortable for me and marking where I wanted the waist. Things went down hill from there. I tried

  1. adding crotch length both front and back
  2. decreasing crotch length both front and back
  3. adding crotch extension (stride) length  both front and back
  4. decreasing crotch extension (stride) length both front and back
  5.  decreased the inseam depth
  6. increased the inseam depth
  7. crotch SA remained 3/8″ through out
  8. increasing side seam depth
  9. decreasing side seam depth
  10. increasing the center back seam depth
  11. decreasing the center back seam depth
  12. serging replacing basting.
  13. stitching with walking foot
  14. added  Peggy’s Hip line dart
    1.  transferred to the tissue for the 2nd pair made in Ponte
    2. removed from the Ottoman so I was working with original draft
  15. Added Peggy’s top of inseam dart,
    1. transferred to the tissue for 2nd pair made in Ponte
    2. removed from the Ottoman so I was working with original draft
  16. Shorten the side seam length
  17. ripped out the crotch seam 2″ on either side of the inseam and let it hang
  18. stitched that back together at 3/8″
  19. added a knock knee adjustment
  20. removed the knock knee adjustment
  21. scooped the back crotch 1/2″
  22. Repeat all for Ponte pair
  23. I made many of the adjustments in 1/4″ increments stopping and reversing the process around 2″ when I could start counting pubic hairs through the fabric.

I havent thrown either pant away–both are in time out. Winter is coming to an end and I wont need PJ’s before Nov 2018 so I’m in no hurry to nail all the seams/hems/elastic WB finished, add a knit top and  declare 2018 Winter PJ’s ready for use. So if you can suggest any changes not listed above, I’m willing  and have plenty of time to test anything I haven’t already tried.


Last fitting of Knit Ottoman Version

Ottoman Pics have been lightened 89% to better see drag lines/wrinkles.

1/2″ scoop was made and can’t be undone


Last fitting of RPL Ponte version

Ponte Pics lightened 20% to better see drag lines/wrinkles

Ponte tissue and therefore the pants themselves include the hip line and top of inseam darts

Scoop has been made and can’t be undone



3418: The Oddest Thing

I re-read my posts on Peggy’s other pants (the ones I’ve fit). Contemplated overnight what could be wrong. What could I do? What hadn’t I done? During the evening, I made a list of things to try.  I was preoccupied with my knitting machine and the TV, but the brain kept turning over and over. What the heck was wrong with 3418? Especially since I had previous fit 2, TWO different Silhouette Pant Patterns. This one should have been a breeze. It hit me with my morning coffee.

I carried my coffee into the big PC and looked at the back of my pants again, but from a different mental perspective

I had been thinking the reason for more wrinkles on the right leg than left was that the right leg  hanging up on my knee support. That’s something that happens. I ignore it. I need my knee support. If the knee support shows , well tuff. But with coffee flooding my veins and firing up my brain, I started asking was that really the problem?  Was the knee brace causing more wrinkles on the right? I was reminded of something I haven’t seen in a long while.  Know how aggregating it can be to top stitch the lapels of a tailored jacket?  You’ll have one side or even 2/3 of the top stitching just beautiful.  The rest will look great beneath the needle and even when you first look at it. But as the fabric relaxes, PUCKERS. Poop. A long, long time ago, think sometime in the 1980’s, I watched a girl in my college level textile classes struggle with a velvet pant. One leg was perfect. The other twisted. The instructor kept saying “try this…” and list a bunch of things. So seam ripper out and carefully remove stitching and just as carefully re-stitch because, in those days, you could ruin velvet just by stitching. Labs were 4 hours long. She was at it when I got there and still working when I left,  late as usual. She fixed it. At home.  In sheer desperation, she ripped both seams and stitched from the same direction same side i.e.  she stitched both seams with the front leg towards the feed dogs and from hem to waist. BTW, in those days we had little 7″ or less harps.  It was a big deal to get the fabric on the other side of the needle to perform this directional sewing. Not like my Dream Machine where I can roll up a king size quilt and shove it in the harp with room to spare.   Her directional stitching  worked! Twisting gone. Seams straight. Garment A+.

So I asked myself, could this be happening?  Did the action of stitching cause the seams to slip or rouche? If so, how could I know?  How could I test? At the big PC,  I pulled up the last pic of the back of the pants and looked carefully. Then, coffee splashing along the way, I trotted downstairs and laid my pants out on the cutting table and allowed them to relax. Umm, I did see a little rouching with the pant lying nearly flat.  All the trouble I had laying out this fabric at the beginning flashed through my mind. After all that effort, could I have shifted the fabric?  I’m one that listens to the fabric/ I do not pull threads or mark the grain.  I smooth the fabric until it is happy to lay smoothly. If it is skewed then, I dump it.  I’m not convinced I can un-skew a grain. Tried numerous times. First time through the wash, the garment is horribly skewed. Thing is, I did think I had carefully laid out the fabric and was disinclined to think my problem started before I even laid out the pattern pieces. Without thinking, I grabbed the right leg and popped the inseam and center back leg seam  in several places. It’s one of the unheralded advantages of WST .  WST will snap with a sudden exertion of force.  I was relaxing the tension of the seam. Can’t explain why my left brain suddenly took over and command my hands to pop those theads (he’s usually pretty retiring, shy, submissive”) but the result was:

Most of the wrinkles just dropped away!  I spent a whole day, well a whole sewing session of 4 hours working on those wrinkles!!!! Umm do I really need the inseam dart?

Without   ——————– With

Do I really need the hip line dart?

Without   ——————– With

I’m not really sure.  I see there are some more lines on the right leg. Possibly I need to pop the seam some more and release even more tension. But the left, looks only marginally better with the hip line dart (I never did an inseam dart on the left).

BTW, what’s happen on front?

WOW that front. Just WOW— in a negative way.  So what to do? Well the keyhole has to be corrected at the tissue level. A camel toe might be corrected in fabric by scooping the front crotch. Point is, I don’t think I can fix the front at this stage of the game.  Should I decide to finish the pant, I’d have to live with that look.

And the Back: I am not putting those darts back in. The fabric made it such a struggle and I didn’t place them nicely either. Mostly I am looking at the X wrinkle (orange) and the echo (pink) above it

So I serged 2 seams or 4 depending upon how you count them The center-back leg seams were serged at 1/4″ and then basted at 1/2 and 3/4″. I removed the basting. Put in a dozen pins while having the fabric lie flat on the cutting table and then serged at 3/4″.   I’ve decided to expand the stride length to the max possible with the fabric already cut so repeated similar for the inseams except serging at 1/4″.  Sounds quick, but oh those dozen pins.

Afterwards, I can’t say the back is better. In fact, I’m concerned that the sides are looking worse. I thought they’d  been falling smoothing since the very first try-on:

Sides At First Try-on

Well maybe not. Much as I hate to do it, back to a 1/2″ hip line dart because the 1″ tucked the crotch up between my cheeks and into my Hoo Hah. Also,  I re-stitched the front crotch with a bare 1/8″ seam allowance — a width that would NOT hold should I decide to wear the pants.


I was praying the change to the center front SA would help but not surprised when it was a waste of time.  Sadly, the sides don’t seem to look better than the last time, the back only marginally better. Compare the previous and current back


I am at the point of NO MORE. I’m just exhausted and feel like I’m beginning to run around in circles.  First of all, the fabric continues to spook me.  I have no idea whether my changes are applicable to other fabrics. I’d love to try this pattern again immediately but I don’t have a fabric with enough yardage. Like all good sewists, I’ve already  ordered some, just as soon as I realized I actually liked this pattern. It should be just a matter of adding tummy room and tweaking the crotch a little more to perfect or near perfect the pattern.  I hate this fabric, but maybe I didn’t give it a good chance. It was the only one on-hand with sufficient length and I was eager to test 3418. Knowing that handling that Knit Ottoman will require extra effort ahead of time, might make a difference in my feelings towards it and a finished garment. For now, I would have to find a particularly beautiful piece of Knit Ottoman to convince me to try it again and I would use a known pattern i.e. remove some of the variables.

I will make a few alterations  to the tissue while waiting shipment of my fabrics. I trimmed the 1″ length added to the top of the waist and to the hem.  I will add my 5/8″ wedge to the center-front waist (take care of that key hole problem). I will make a 3/4″ hip line dart on the tissue (a compromise between what did and did not make the cheeks prominent). I will also add the top of inseam dart on the tissue. Not trimming the inseam. That addition was helpful but I will be  trimming the tissue side seams to 1/2″, my preferred default. I added 1/2″ to the CB leg seam eventually stitching at 3/4″. The math is convoluted I want  a 1/4″ seam I can just zip through the serger. Debating on the side seams. To Peggy’s 3/8 I added 7/8. Why? I intended a full 1″ to play with and should have added 5/8″. Glad I kept notes. My side seams are at 1-1/8″ and with this 30% stretch fabric, there’s still plenty of circumference.  Would like to have my default 1/2″ on the side seams.

I’m still undecided about the elastic waistband. Not really sure I like the looks of it. BUT, it is tremendously comfortable. How much do I care about the looks when I’ll probably cover it up anyway.   I had the pant on and off, how many times??? Enough that if the elastic were to be a problem, I should have a hint. But it behaved perfectly. Every time. The elastic even wanted to flip inside. Sort of like it was saying “Here’s where I belong.”  I need to place an order with Wawak, so I’ll add white and black 2″ elastic.  I wonder how hard it would be to make this a Cover Stitch application ???

What’s the bottom line?  I’m liking the pattern, on the fence about the waistband and of course concerned about the amount of fabric required and not having solving all the back of leg wrinkles. I’m planning to make it again, at least once, to eliminate the fabric as a factor.  Can also say that, as always, Peggy’s draft is very good. Her instruction may need a little polish but her draft is just spot on. Once I adopted Peggy’s fitting routine, fitting has become so much simpler for me personally and I’ve become devoted to her patterns. Fabric.com, hurry up and send me my fabric.



3418, Elastic as Waistband, Silhouette Patterns - Peggy Sagers

3418: Depth (darting) Issues

If I had been following Peggy’s Pants Fitting Procedure, at this point I would reach back there and pinch a dart across my rear to remove all the wrinkles and mess below the seat. That does work. It works for me.  I was so excited when I first discovered the effectiveness of a hip line dart, that I trashed all my fitted pants patterns and refit using Peggy’s LCD process. Trouble was, the hip line dart worked only for the first wearing or two. Then the pant, regardless of pattern used, would change and I’d find that mess again. By find, I mean I would be taking pics of back view of tops and see the wrinkles on my backside.  My first thought had been to increase the hip line dart.  At one time my dart was 2″ deep (4″ total removed from back crotch length).  The result is that the waistband no longer sits level at the back waist-it dips- and the cheeks are — well I may as well not have worn anything. That’s how well they were silhouetted. So I had to trim the crotch. I’d trim away 1/4″ at a time until my cheeks were no longer “ghosting through”.  The pants would look great!!!  Just wonderful —– for the first wearing or two. I’ve no doubt the hip line dart was helpful, but it wasn’t the full solution. With B5682, I chanced upon a longer crotch length. Initially I had expected to trim away some of the stride length.  To my surprise, the first B5682 looked much better than any of my other pants (excepting my RTW DG2’s). I added a little length. Holy cow!  Not only did the back wrinkles go away,  they didn’t return.  I’ve been carefully watching my first few makes of 5682 (first use Oct 2017) and the wrinkles don’t return. Ah ha! I’m onto something.

So when I trotted downstairs to work on the depth issues of 3418,  rather than pinch a hip-line dart I ripped open the inseam. I let  out the inseam 3/8 both front and back thereby adding length to the stride of the crotch. And more pics:

OK s there are still wrinkles but I had to ask, how does this compare with before I made the adjustment:


Before Adj ——————————————After Adj

I’m going to say that adding the 3/4″ length (3/8*2=3/4) improved the wrinkles but not that much. Did it affect the rest of the pant negatively:

Not much.  The right leg is still be affected by my knee support. Interestingly, the front crotch key hole is a little more pronounced.

The original keyhole has gotten larger and is now flanked by 2 ghosts.  The tummy area itself looks better

I’m rather surprised by this development. At least this time I did something to the crotch which could have caused a change. Hmmm in fact I did 2. All the previous day  I had felt like the crotch was still a little long. But took no further action.  Today I not only made it longer by adding length to the stride, but I also settled my waistband more comfortably and definitely lower than the day before. This action would have put more fabric into the waist to crotch area. Well, not more,  just compressed it into the area. Sort of like a corrugated tin roof. Before the tin is corrugated into little ripples it’s quite a bit longer and straighter. Next up, time to tweak the crotch length.  I’ve had this in the back of my mind since the first crotch length adjustment. Now it is time to do it

So I go downstairs and decide I need to take the WB off to adjust the crotch length.  Then I decide I may as well remove the 1″ added back at the tissue stage because I obviously didn’t need it and I projected I would be struggling with even more fabric than before.  Once I got the WB off and the extra I added trimmed away, another thought occurred to me.  Sort of like the TV ad where the guy has been hunting a car. A girl comes along and finds it in 2 secs. His sarcastic reaction “Well, let’s just do it your way.” Remember that?  It’s about the way I felt.  I’ve done my best to avoid this waistband because the way I read the instructions, I don’t like the process or final result. But as long as I’m back to Peggy’s draft, I may as well take a few minutes and “do it your way”.  Hey Peggy, this would be a good Thursday topic. Either I didn’t read the directions correctly or the waistband was not easy. I’ve already posted my experieence HERE. It’s important to note, that after apply Peggy’s WB, the crotch feels right and this is the final look:

Which sadly did not further improve the fit either front or back. If anything, front looks worse. So time to try the Hip Line dart and face the fact, this really is going to be a muslin.

Let’s speed through a bit. I made a 1″ deep hip line dart (removing total 2″ from back crotch).  Didn’t see an improvement with the fit, so I made a 1″ inseam dart. Well judge for yourself.

W WB  ————- Hip Line Dart———-Inseam Dart— original

I’m honestly stumped. None of my alterations has so far achieve a noticeable improvement in the fit of the back leg .  I would say that the hip-line dart actually looked better by itself than the subsequent addition of the Inseam Dart (taken at the top of the right inseam). All views are only slightly better, if at all since the first fit before I made any corrections. I am disappointed. I have fit Silhouette Pant Patterns 3200 Sally’s Pant  and 3414-Woven Yoga. Both had the huge leg associated with plus size patterns (finishing with 20-27″ hem circumference). They are not perfectly fit, but look far better than the any of the pics above. I’ve been adding a little at a time to the stride of the 3414 making the rest of the wrinkles disappear a little at a time.  I’m pretty happy with 3414 and keep making more pants with it. So what now?

I don’t know maybe it’s time to think a bit more.




3418: Length and Circumference Issues

OMG this fabric is horrid!  I recall it being 100% polyester, described as a ‘Knit Ottoman’ like ponte and suitable for pants. It may be all that, but I won’t buy it again unless it wears like iron. It has a 30% crosswise stretch and a 70% lengthwise stretch. 70%!  Just getting it to lay on the cutting table was a struggle. It retreated in front of the rotary blade. I had to put my left hand on the fabric and below the rotary cutter  while pulling on the fabric so that it would cut. But I got it cut.  I made my favorite Yoga WB first. I started top stitching along the top edge of the WB. What a struggle. The fabric wanted to crawl away from the needle.  Stopped to rip and redo some of the stitching when I found that the top-stitched edge was not straight and neatly tailored but had ruffles and ridges. Holy Crap!  Took the top stitching out.  Even serging was difficult.  I normally let the fabric rest in my lap while I guide it to the serger blade. Well that small gap of about 8″ between table and lap was enough to stretch the fabric and stretch it  unevenly.  The edges  did not want to feed together under the needle. They wanted to separate. I had to hold the fabric up while trying to feed and align edges with needles. More pins you say?  So did I.  They drop out. Just fall away.  Even using my 3″ swords pins and taking 2 bites, the pins free themselves from the fabric. What a PITA.

But I got the waistband finished and  I serged the center back-leg seam before basting that at 1/2″. I did the CB leg seam next so I wouldn’t get the side stitched to the center-leg seam. Impossible you say?  Not for me. I’ve done that before. Several times.  Anyway, basted everything else with water-soluble thread in the bobbin including joining the waistband and the legs.  Notwithstanding my fabric, pants really are easy to sew.  They’d be quick and easy if not for fitting (and horrid fabrics).

Alexa, Take a pic!

Umm you don’t get to see the very first try-on because the waistband ended up covering my bra band.  Surprised I looked down; and  asked “Why are there FRONT center leg seams?” Duh, I had put the pants on backwards. Don’t even try to tell me you’ve never made that mistake.  I know why RTW includes a tag in the back, always.

Next set of pics and time to start the LCD Fitting routine.

Yeah, you caught it. The crotch is too long.  All that fuss about the crotch being too short even before adding elastic to be folded down for WB. All that and the crotch might be the right length without my added waistband.  Thing is I am afraid to change the length on the pattern. The fabric’s 70% stretch factor has me spooked. The fabric is heavy, especially after I put 4 weights (Clover Clips) on the hem of each leg.  For now, I offset the top of the pant and the waist band 1″ full inch.

BTW, I lightened all the photos 80%.  I wanted a better look at drag lines and such.

So now I’m pretty happy with the length from waist to crotch.  Especially in front. Did you notice that my usual diagonal lines in the front are missing? And no keyhole?

I am astonished. I can’t remember a pair of pants I haven’t had to shorten the sides to remove those side drag lines. Keyholes around the front crotch have become a consistent issue. Has to do with my large tummy which requires more ease at the tummy but not there in the umm zone. Keyholes have to be corrected at the tissue. I only have a 3/8″ crotch seam. I don’t that’s enough to correct the issue.

Overall length looks good. I may need to tweak it later on but for now time to turn my attention to C: Circumference.

In the above pics I’m seeing a little too much ease and feeling a lot. That’s probably because I went up a size to get the crotch shape I wanted. I pinch the sides a little and decide to baste them 3/8″ deeper. I also turned the leg hems up 2″ instead of the 1.25″ planned and replaced the Clover Clips with big safety pins.  I thought I was zeroing in on a fitting the back leg and put a pin right under my cheek so I would know where to start increasing the CB leg seam. And the verdict is:

Hey this isn’t looking bad at all.  I may need to shorten the crotch length again. It just feels a little long. But the back and side do look good. I think maybe the back leg is ready for some tweaking, until I look at the front.

Oops! I’ve gone from a little keyhole to a camel toe. How can that happen when all I did was remove a little ease. So back to the SM where I change the now 1-3/8″ side seams to 1-1/8 and increased the CB-leg seam from 1/2″ to 3/4″. Alexa take a pic.

Nope, changing the circumference of the front made no difference to the camel toe. It really shouldn’t have.  That’s an issue historically corrected by changing the crotch shape. Oh crap!  I did not add a center front wedge which has been successful for me in correcting all bubbles at the front. I usually add a little wedge to the tissue, about 1/2″ wide at the waist tapering to nothing where the curve of the tummy starts curving beneath. Ach! I should have thought about this. It would have been easy to trim away if not needed, but adding now? Way to obvious. Well I wasn’t sure I’d want to wear these pants when I pulled the fabric out of the stash.

Right Side                 Left Side

Another strike against this particular fabric is that it hugs and reveals every little divot beneath.   The right side leg is getting hung-up on my knee support and may be responding to some issues in the back, but those aren’t reflected on the left side. I don’t think the left side could look any nicer. It is exactly what I love to see with any pant. I’m calling the side view good to go.

I am not sure why Alexa took such a grainy picture of the back side. I do like the back between waist and crotch.  Again, I might be able to shorten the crotch length a little.

A close up from knee to ankle…

showing that as usual for me this area is good. I might remove a little more circumference but I’m not  uncomfortable nor noticing the extra while I’m wearing it. Kinda of think, the knee-to-ankle area is good to go too.

But of course crotch-to knee is a mess.

A mess just removing a bit of ease is not likely to fix. Well it is not as bad as some of my pants have been but it’s not in the acceptable range either.

I think at this point, I’m calling the Length and Circumference issues SOLVED. I think I’ve made all the major corrections.  There may be minor tweaks still to be made especially that back leg in the crotch-to-knee area. Think it’s time to starting handling some depth issues.


See you tomorrow…



3418, Silhouette Patterns - Peggy Sagers

SP 3418, Slim 4-Piece Yoga Pant

I bought the Silhouette Patterns  Spring Package  because every pattern had something I wanted. It made more sense to me to buy all 4 for $40 now than to pay each separately at $19.99 or buy 2 at a time for $19.99. (shipping extra). This yoga pant

particularly excited me with the center-back, leg seam. That seam is the 2nd biggest feature in my beloved TJ906 jean pattern which makes the 906 so easy to fit every time and most importantly helps me remove the excess ease below my butt and over my back thigh.   Peggy discussed all 4 patterns in her Spring Forecast Broadcast.   I don’t remember everything Peggy said, (of course, I’m old and could be getting senile.) I remember her talking about how simple 3418 was. Only 4 pieces front, back, side back and waistband. She was  particularly in love with the waistband. Calling it a Eileen Fisher creation, so simple to create, smooth, flattering, yada yada yada.  I mean Peggy was really taken with the waistband which of course made me even more interested in working with the pattern.

After the Spring Forecast  broadcast, I moved 3418  to NEXT in queue and started today.  I already have 2 of SP pants patterns fitting nicely. Not perfect, but nice and better  than most of my peers pants. The beauty of using SP patterns is that Peggy consistently bases all her patterns on about 6 basic drafts.Whatever you do to one, you should do to the others from the same base. So I could have chosen the same size and made the same adjustments — but I didn’t.

I realized recently that the last key to fitting pants for me is the stride length.  You know the bit of the crotch that goes between the legs. I did check the back of the envelope for size recommendations. For me that would be a 22W ( which is interesting because in RTW I take an 16P). Then I pulled out the front and back pattern piece from not my SP pants patterns but the pant pattern I think is darn near perfect:  Butterick 5682. I compared the length and shape of my fitted 5682 with the 3418  tissue starting with the 22W and moving upwards and backwards until I found the crotch that was  closest. That was a size 24W (long ways from 16).

I traced the 24W, put away the original tissues and started measuring.  The inseam was 29-1/4. That would be fine I didn’t need hems and seam allowances. The total crotch length was 24.5″ which is 2″ less than need not even counting seam allowances. Hip was generous as was waist.  I won’t quote them here but I knew  I wanted some finagling room even in test garment. To provide some ‘fit insurance’ I added

  • Waist : 1″ height
  • Hem: 1.25″
  • Side seams +7/8″
  • Crotch 0 no change I will sew it with 3/8″ SA

Had to stop and think for a few minutes to decide if that was all the changes I wanted to make.  Possibly, I won’t need the next changes

  • Inseam +7/8
  • CB seam +1/2″

but I wanted to be able to add a little more to the stride and I wanted to be able to add a little to the back if/when needed.  For every pants patterns, even the SP pants patterns that almost fit,  I tweak the final fit by removing 1″ circumference from the front and adding 1″ to the back. It’s a simple alteration. I fold the front in half vertically and stitch a 1/2″ tuck from waist to hem. For the back, I cut it in half vertically, slip in a little tissue paper and spread the 2 pieces apart 1″. The total circumference is the same, but where it is distributed makes a difference in how the pant feels and looks. Now, anyone who is a real fan of Peggy Sagers will tell me I’m not supposed to do this.  Peggy says over and over the the side seam doesn’t matter. Circumference is circumference and the side seam can be moved forward and back as  style dictates.  But for me personally, I know that every pant pattern I fit, looks too big in front and too small in back until I make these 2 alterations. So Peggy I love you and believe you but even on your pants patterns I was not satisfied before redistributing the ease between front and back. I consider it a personal issue.

So moving onto the waistband… I couldn’t find a waistband on either tissue (one tissue contains the regular sizes the other contains the womens sizes) . I thought “OK, there will be a note telling me to cut a rectangular strip of fabric…” yada yada. Nope. No such note. Neither the pattern pieces diagram, nor the fabric layouts indicate a waistband but every other instructional diagram suggests to me that there should be a  separate waistband.  When I slow down and read the instructions more carefully, I find that you are to cut 2″ wide elastic to the length you desire, join it in a circle and then attach one of the edges of the elastic to the top edge of the pant. The finished pant will be  folded down and inside where Peggy assures you it will rest snugly with no further stitches.

Bet Me.

I just can’t image that not rolling around, folding when it shouldn’t and being uncomfortable as well as a bit revealing. Next issue is that I measured the crotch lengths. As drafted, They are short about  what I think the waistband will add. But if I attach the elastic as directed the ‘waist’ will sit inches below my own. I don’t see that or find any reference to a low rider waist.  Sorry guys, I am not following the 3418 WB instructions.  You go for it. I’ll pass.  I measured the width of the waist of all 3 pieces (including the fit insurance). Then  drafted a 4.5″ wide waistband by that length (think it was 35″).

I know I need a test garment for this.  I quickly found in my stash a Fabricmartfabrics purchase. A ponte that I was unsure of the day it arrived.   It has about 30% stretch across grain but lots more (more than double)  on grain and that has me a bit concerned.   I’ve already preshrunk my fabric.   I lightly pressed to remove any wrinkles it might have acquired during the year it’s been in the stash; then laid it out on my cutting table and returned to the pattern instructions.  I haven’t seen this layout previously nor tried it. It’s not that big of a deal. I just haven’t  laid out my other 3-leg pants pattern this way.  The 2 back leg pieces are placed along either the fold or the selvedges and the front is placed between them staggered upwards on the cloth.  This I’m willing to try.  Carefully aligning with the grain, I layout the pattern pieces. Yeah I know, this is another one of those things Peggy says doesn’t matter. She says that knits don’t even have a grain. But I had a few disasters when I did not exercise care with grain or nap.  My personal belief is I’m better off to honor these things.

Ah time to snap off the lights and head upstairs. Sewing and fitting will commence, tomorrow.




3414 Jags Woven Yoga

3414 1A

When I’m having problems, I find that it really does help when I stop; put aside my project and turn my attention elsewhere. Yesterday, I put everything away neatly and went upstairs dinner and a Christmas movie. It’s that time of year. In the morning, I knew what to do.

I ripped out the crotch, again. Pulled one leg in the other and pinned the crotches together ready for recutting.  Then I pulled out the final tissue for 6461 to compare with 3414 1A. If you haven’t rad Morgan’s post at SG, I truly recommend you do so, especially if you are having problems fitting pants.  Morgan gives a list of things to check when your pants don’t fit. It’s not the normal or most familiar list.  At the end Morgan says, if none of the above work, probably the crotch shape does not match your own. (This is not an exact quote therefore not in quote marks.) So in the morning I said “Hmm. How can I check that easily?”  Hence, I pulled out 6461 and compared with 3414.

The 3414 1A front crotch extension was just slightly longer (and of course the inseam curve just a bit different).  That was what I wanted. I felt that  6461 could stand just a little more length, I was thinking 1/8″ on both front and back.

The back crotch was also a little longer but more importantly there is this distinctive scoop (colored with a black Sharpie for clarification).  The curve actually starts changing up by the hip line, swoops down at least 1/4″ deeper than 3414 1A, then bends back up and terminates at the 1/4″ back inseam. Huh!  Could that make enough difference?

So not entirely convinced I’d discovered the error and tired of unserging, I serge finished the crotch and the inseams so that can be easily ripped apart again.  I’ve got enough fabric left over to make a big, really big, like waist-to-knee gusset. If that’s what it takes. After trimming the back crotch to the new crotch shape, I stitched crotch and inseams with water-soluble thread. I also restitched the side seams, with WST,  after pinning them several places. I was hoping to remove the drag lines that suddenly appeared when I took the side seams in another inch.  I have the hems at 22″ now but I’d rather have 18-20″.  I like the 24″ hems for certain fabrics, certain occasions. Did I mention walking along the beach; wind blowing through my hair; tugging my pant legs?  Ah… back to SD in the winter…  I basted the inseams removing another 1/2″ at the inseam. Thereby reducing the hem circumference to 21″.  Little more than I prefer, but much improved over 24. Then of course it was “Take A Picture Alexa.”

Once again, my right-side pant-leg hangs pretty nice. I’d say beautifully but I’m sure someone will take exception and point out some bumps and drag lines below the knee. Sigh, the left side

Not so good. Nearly the same set of drag lines as the previous. I would hate to wear these pants looking like that.

OK so I didn’t get these pulled up evenly at the waist.  It’s one of the things I dislike about elastic waist pants. Any VPL is justified today and also I have a camisole tucked in. Fortunately I wear my tops long enough to cover this. Always. More concerned about the drag lines forming around the knee and not sure if that is fitting or fabric.  One of the reasons I prefer the 18-20″ hem is that it hangs better. Has less of a tendency to develop these kind of drag lines.  You know, it’s just too bad that Advertising has done so much air brushing that we expect to wear pants that have no  hint of a fabric fold, at all. Bottom line, I like the front.

Looking at the back

There is some improvement over the first photo.  I have not pressed well since before cutting the fabric. The WST likes to disappear when I hit it with steam so I put off pressing until I’m pretty sure I’ve made all my changes. It’s just that I’m wondering if that would be a benefit. But I have to admit, the back is still pulling towards the front, just not as much as when I started this party. I think it is definitely time for a different gusset and more length on the extensions. Oh, BTW, the last change to the back crotch created a barely peaked intersection.

So what became the final fit, I extended the crotches the old recommended way i.e. slice down and rotate out, spreading both front and back crotch points 1/2″.  I’ve added a total of 1″ length under there (stride) plus whatever little may have been added when the back crotch was scooped.  I cut a couple of big rectangles from my left overs and set aside. Then I sliced off the crotches of the pant-in-construction.  Lined up the rectangles with the newly trimmed crotches; and serged rectangles to crotch.  Pressed the seam just created and started an unexpectedly difficult aligning of the back crotch pieces and then front crotch pieces.  Oh my. They really didn’t want to cooperate. I finally got the fronts cut and started the same wrestling match on the back crotches.  One of my rectangles was not as wide as the other. So when I placed the tissue on top for cutting, I had a shorter side. A side not big enough for the entire crotch length.  At this point I’d already mentally decided I wasn’t applying another gusset to this pair of pants. I have more fabric, but the pant crotches have had it. I thought of cutting off the too short gusset but felt like the crotch just wouldn’t take the extra handling. So I trimmed off that gusset and added yet another piece  carefully aligned with the fabric stripe.  Now I cut a gusset of sufficient length.

Following on the thought that these pants weren’t going to make it through another gusset application, I serged back and front inseams together; serge finished crotch edges and then stitched the long inseams together. To my horror, the pants developed an even bigger point in the crotch that ever before. To smooth the curve out, because I can’t wear something like that, I stitch straight across the point.

I measured.  I removed an inch in length. I removed equal to what I have added during the 3 sewing/fitting sessions of 1A! Now totally assured that this pant is done and likely not to fit, I finished all the seams.  Removed the WST and stitched with thread at the original sewing line i.e. even though I have been trying to narrow the pant leg, I stitched it at the full 24″. I had not managed to make the left side seam look any nicer then it did to begin with. In my mind, no use in sewing it that way, let’s go back to where that seam was nice.  I also removed the 1/2″ very nice seams that I made 1/2″ in at the inseam.  I hemmed with hardly any care but did lightly starch and carefully press, not sparing the steam.  “Alexa, Take a pic.”

Both side seams look exceptionally nice, again.

Actually the front doesn’t look too bad.  The left side is rather good except for the fold that develops along the side of my leg.  Not sure if I should be concerned about that. After all, a drapey fabric will follow the body beneath.  My front waist is pulled again to the right side somehow.  I don’t understand this. I quartered the elastic; quartered the waistband. The elastic is stitched on the facing side and aligned with the quarter marks. It shouldn’t move around. Yet, it wants to pull left. I’m not exactly sure what to do but it may not matter if the back is as bad as expected.

… and then the back, totally surprised me. This is not terrible. It’s not even bad. I thought with that awful gusset and having actually cut off the length added, it would be uglier than sin. These things are WEARABLE.  Holy cow, I need to quit now and do something else.




3414 Jags Woven Yoga

3414 V1A

Following my experience with Butterick 6461 in that deep rich corduroy, I couldn’t wait to check my previous patterns and see if extending the crotch extension length (the stride) would be the final key in making pants fit my  (clearing throat) maturing body. I’ve retrieved my first  tracing  of 3414 on which I made only the hip and inseam darts (Peggy’s standard for taking away the back leg wrinkles) and the side darts (I need because my sides are shorter in comparison to the crotch upright lengths).  My title “1A” is because in my mind this is the 2nd time I’ve done this dance but is totally different from the V2-4 tissue copies.

I chose a nice fabric although 100% polyester.  This is the type fabric that causes me to groan when people lump all polyesters into the ‘sticky, icky’ category.  Poly has been researched, investigated, and developed into tremendously better fabrics although I can still find an icky sticky (usually on the $1 table).  This one feels like a good wool flannel but it goes into the washer and dryer without any adverse effect. It is not entirely a dark brown and hard to read, because the 2nd thread in the herringbone weave is almost a golden  brown.

My objective was to increase the length of the crotch extensions. I started by adding a largish tissue rectangle behind the crotch then made a tick mark 1/2″ beyond and level with the crotch tip.  One of my challenges is all the excess ease over the back thigh which gets there due to fabric needed across my butt and in the crotch. Hoping to minimize the amount of fabric added, I fetched my curve and drew a new curve  joining the inseam as quickly as possible. Repeat for the front.

Love this pattern. 3 pieces. Front, back and waistband. I cut and finished the waistband first with all permanent stitching.  I cut the back and front and serged them together along the inseam. I serged finished the resulting large pieces but stitched the side seams and joined waistband to pant with water-soluble thread.  I turned up the hem and fused it, all except for 4″ over the side seam. First try on had me asking “What the >>>???”

Camel Toe. Butt parts. Wrinkles and drag lines. This pattern used to fit pretty nice. I was working only on narrowing the hem circumference when I tucked it away.   OK have to confess I did see an issue when I was sewing.  I like to join the inseams and then sew the crotch seam in one long go. I like the way that feels when I wear my pants. However the new crotch formed a distinct peak.  In order to smooth that uncomfortable thing, I stitched a smooth arc removing about3/8″ from the length of the extension. In effect, I added 1/2″ length but took some back. I should have been looking at the last version only slightly improved, not this.

I think it over and go back to the tissue where I added more Aisle Runner (can I start calling that AR?).  I roughly traced the existing crotch then drew a new one which is a full 1/2″ longer but 1/2″ lower on the back and 1/4″ lower on the front. Huh?  Well my sewing angel told me the best pants she’d ever had were altered by an expert by simply dropping the back crotch another 1/2″ and making kind of an L  crotch but a bit lower. Since I’m feeling a bit of downward tug at the back,  I decided a little more length to the upright was not a bad thing.

Back to the fabric again, lots of WST in this so no issue ripping that out of the some seams.  Ripping out the serged seams a bit of pain. But eventually I was able to open the inseam and crotch seams enough that I could get in there and add a gusset. In this case, I serged  an approximate 3×4″ rectangle to the crotches, serging off the excess and previous crotch extension.  Then I put one leg in the other, pinned the front to the front and back to the back crotch; put the corresponding pattern piece on top and cut the new crotch. Repeat for the other side. Much faster to tell and share photos that it was to do. I tell you both the fabric and the pattern wanted to fight me.  Probably because I wasn’t taking close as good enough. I made it as exact as I can.  Sadly, my crotch still peaks

more than I’d like.  A  I thought the previous alteration would work perfectly. I thought surely dropping the points would eliminate all issues. Fortunately, it’s only about an extra 1/8″ that needed to be stitched on the body side of the crotch seam.

At the same time, I basted the side seam from about level with the crotch to the hem gradually until it was 1-1/2″ deep instead of the 1/2″ I drafted.  I like the 24″ hem for summer pants. Love walking on the beach with my pant legs fluttering in the breeze.  Also love the air circulation up the legs when I’m sweating like a ***** when the heat hits triple digits and I need long pants to protect me from the blistering, sun burning, orb in the sky. Anyway, I basted a 22″ hem making the change on the side seam only.  I know the advice is to subtract evenly from both inseam and side seam. But when I looked at the first pics, I just did not want to take any more fabric from between my legs.

And the verdict is….

Well one  side seam is not as smooth as the other. I’d say possibly I stretched the fabric or the fabric shifted during stitching. Because I’m seeing a few curves not previously visible,  I also wonder if I started the seam too high. But the really important thing is the front and the back:

I think the front crotch is nearly perfect.  I’m see a little pubis bump far above my own?  Not sure what caused that. I’m also seeing diagonal drag lines from leg to side seam.  They were there before in previous versions and I’m not sure why.

But the kicker is the back crotch and leg:

Oddly, I’m seeing VPL which can’t be because I’m wearing boy short and they rest at the waist. I mean there is no panty elastic or anything else where that horizontal line is. Honestly, I don’t think  I know why that line is there. The crotch itself looks and feels good, but I still have upward diagonal lines that disappeared in 6461 when I added length to the crotch. I’ve added more length to 3414 1A than I did to 6461. What’s up with that?


I question what to do next. I’ve already made both the maximum  hip and inseam darts Peggy recommends and there is a point where they cease to have an effect.  Peggy herself has said that a dart can only affect so much effect.  Do I make another gusset???


………………………………………………………Please come back. I”ll have more to say tomorrow.


Silhouette Patterns - Peggy Sagers

A perplexing point in my pants fitting

I’m working with Silhouette Patterns 3414

and I’m definitely at a stop-and-think-what-you-are-doing point.  I acknowledge some astonishing success with 3200, Sally’s Pant.

OK I followed the rules. I bought the pattern, checked finished measurements and then made a muslin. It was pretty good but required modest (1/2) hip line  and small (1/4″) upper inseam darts and a few nominal changes like shortening the legs drafted for a 5’6″ figure to fit a 5’3″ woman. Nothing spectacular. My biggest disappointment was that the envelope stated the hem circumference would be about 17″ for the large sizes (which I am).  My hem was 5″ larger–not even close to promised.

I always intended to go back and slim that leg but got side tracked and along the way bought 3414 which I’m working with now. My first version of 3414 was similarly pleasing. Crossing my fingers for luck I applied the same 1/2″ hip line and 1/4″ inseam darts that were successful for me previously. Oh, as well as the few other changes I need like shortening the legs. This pair finished with 24″ hem circumferences (me not happy). But had the back had looked as good as 3200, I would have been OK.

It did not. So I set about making a real muslin. Tweaking it and then a 2nd test fabric.

(Sorry the pic is so dark. I promise I lightened it.)

Next version, I doubled the depth of both the hip line and upper inseam darts.  I scooped out the crotch because it was cutting into me. However, this was not the answer

I took a step back, restored the crotch and for Version 3, I narrowed the hem circumference 2″ to 22″ and during fitting pinched out the excess material over the thigh.  This seemed fairly successful:


So for Version 4, current version, I marked the excess of V3 onto the tissue splitting the resulting fish eye dart between side seam (3/4″) and inseam (1/4″). I also reduced the hem circumference another 2″ to finish at 20″.  It didn’t work.

I think they are almost the same as the first Version! Like other pants patterns that I’ve tried to fit, I seem to have made a circuit. Never fully correcting the issues nor creating the pants I want to wear.

SoI doubled down on the fish eye dart for the side seam.  I increased it from the 1″ of V3 to 2″:

I’d call that a mistake. Why it worked that one time (later pictures of V3 are not so nice), I don’t know.

But I had a brain storm. Fish-eye dart wasn’t working. With apologies to all devoted Peggy Sagers Fans, hip line and upper inseam dart were unhelpful when making changes to the hem circumference. So, I pulled the pant up at the waist 1″ and scooped the crotch 1″


Much better but still not exactly what I want.  The hip is now too tight. I’m getting VPL and there is an apparent pulling at the knee and drag lines through the lower leg that previously did not exist! Much as I love Peggy, I really have come to love her, I don’t think her fitting procedure is doing all that I want.  It seemed to work as long as I didn’t want a style change. As long as I’m satisfied with a big hem circumference.

Honestly, not sure what direction I will be taking with pant fitting. I have a goal, trouser/slacks that sit at the waist with an 18-20″ hem circumference. Not skin-tight but curve skimming.  Just not sure how to get there.