I looked over the holiday dressing I’ve sewn for the last few days and decided I needed to finish a 6PAC for the travel we plan to do in the next 6 weeks. Not that I couldn’t take things from my closet but I’ve made a nice start already with the shrug, tops, fringed skirt set and Leopard pants, KWIM. So my next garment is to be a 2nd pair of bottoms and since I will be in some nice places I opted to use a stretch herringbone I purchased about 2 years ago from Fabricmartfabrics.com Shopping on-line is kind of a crap shoot. I never really know how the nice the fabric will be until I get it and sometimes until I actually sew and wear it. This suiting was a surprise when it arrived and pleasure to work with. It is beefy, but drapes i.e. for all its cushy goodness it does not stick out adding more pounds to my frame . A stretch-woven fabric, it has my favorite stretch factor 10%. 10% usually gives me a nice stable garment, recovers quickly but doesn’t stretch out of shape.
I’m still perfecting the Woven Yoga pattern (Silhouette Patters 3414). I like it and wear the versions already made, but I think there is room for improvement and I would like a narrower hem. I transferred my last alterations and trimmed some circumference from the hem so I’m starting with a 22″ hem which is what I used to consider the ‘absolute max’ for me. I say ‘used to’ because the Autumn 6PAC contained Sally’s Pant #3200 with 25″ hems and it is lovely. Looks really nice on me. The fabric wins again (the fabric always wins). I also tweaked the previous alterations a bit more. I increased the 1/2″ hip line dart to 1″ and the inseam darts from 1/4″ to 1/2″ because the last 3414 still had diagonal lines across the back of the thighs.
But, there are things I already like about this pattern. The waist band fits comfortably and is easy to slide up over my hips. I love the leg- length. OK that should have been a given since once of the first things I did was alter the first tracing to my preferred length. I love how the pant falls smoothly on front, and sides. I’m not struggling with the lines between waist and hip; or the distribution of ease front and back. It is for the most part, already a very lovely pant on me. It’s just I would like to change the hem circumference and remove the diagonal back lines which appeared just as I fit the other areas perfectly.
I assembled the waistband read to be attached to the pant; and permanently stitched inseams and crotch. I turned up the hem using Steam-A-Seam to hold it in place during construction. Loving this pant as it is, although I would mind if it were 20″ instead of 22″ at the hem, I decided this was the time to work on fitting the back thigh.
I marked my prominent seat, then the bottom of the butt cheek and my knee. I offset the front to back leg just between knee and B-cheek. The offset looks like an orange slice or half a fish-eye dart. Didn’t know how much I wanted to remove, so I started with 3/4″ on the LEFT leg only
Good so increase from 3/4″ to 1″
Decided that my fisheye was too low, so I raised it 2″ which left a dimple just at my knee.
Sorry, forgot to lift my blouse for the pic so you can’t see the whole leg. I’m fine with the progress, except the side view didn’t thrill me
After that pic, I made the fish eye longer at both ends. That means I started it about even with my greatest seat prominence, kept the depth at the same place but extended the dart 2″ below the knee. Good. Repeat for the right leg, also good. No pics of the in progress because at this point, I said, “Done!” Really it was as good as I want. I do not mind a little dimple at the knee. I rather expect a close-fitting pant to have out-right horizontal pull lines right at the knee. So I’m thinking I’m all done and finished the pant completely, including serging the back side seam so it was an even 1/2″. I was hoping that would allow the side seam to relax and loosen any remaining pull lines on the side seam.
Did not t transfer the fish-eye dart It’s really big and looks weird.
I added a dashed, green line to help show how deep the change is and how long. When I transfer to the tissue, I want it to be a smooth curve. But I’m unsure. Should I transfer the entire dart to the side seam? Split between side seam and inseam? I don’t want to place it in the center of the pattern piece because that will warp the tissue. Also, when the hip line dart was added the hip curve changed. Adding the inseam dart changed the hip curve even more. Narrow the leg and the curve is emphasized. . Looking at it now and comparing with the front, I realize how much additional curve was introduced
I’m especially concerned because my body on the side is pretty straight. I’m wondering if I should start by smoothing out the curve, making it less convex and more straight up and down and then pin out the dart on both back inseam and side seam. ” Back” because the front is fine. It is the back under my bum and above my knee that need refining. Actually, I’m afraid if I start twiddling with the front of those seams I will ruin the front’s perfect fit. My fish eye dart starts at my hips greatest prominence which is several inches above the crotch point/inseam. I needed to extend it that far to make the fisheye less convex, yet I worry about changing the curve up there by my prominence where I need the circumference.
Then I wonder about other pants patterns. Will 3200 which fit so nicely just weeks ago, start developing the under butt lines when I start slimming the leg? Will I need a similar fisheye dart on 5268? Would the fish eye dart be the solution on past patterns that I’ve given up on (i.e. the Eleanors, PP113, etc). I just don’t know.
And why didn’t I do this fitting before? Really it was 3 quick lines of basting! Oh wait, I remember. I thought excess circumference would show up as vertical lines and the diagonal lines meant something else. I thought I wanted to correct the something else before tweaking the circumference.
Anyway finished the pant took final pics. Would you believe:
So I gave it some thought over night. I decided to put it back on and make sure the pant was sitting where it was supposed to, ie not twisted in the back. This was more of a prayer than actual thought I would fix the drag lines. Even doing this bothered me because I’m not sure every time I wear this pair of pants that I’m going to carefully position the center back seam. I probably won’t remember to do it.
Apologies, I seemed to be a step too close to Alexa in this pics and we can’t see all the way to the hem.
As you can see, it was a waste of effort, but sometimes you just have to try. So starts a series of fitting tweaks. I scooped the crotch 1/2″. Sooner or later I come to this solution. Even though I didn’t need it with 3200, I thought may as well give it a try. My crotch is more of an L shape than the smoother curve SP drafted.
…and it wasn’t the answer I was looking for. No idea what to do next, so I started working on the leg circumference. I marked the mid knee, bottom of my butt cheek and my seat prominence with chalk. I transferred those measurements (From Hem Knee 14.5″; Cheek 25.25″ and Seat 31″). I marked 1″ in at the hem of the side seam; 1/2″ at the knee. using the curve, I drew a line from check to knee; using the straight ruler from knee to hem. Both sides and stitched. Took a pic. Next I measured in 1/2″ at the hem and drew a line from knee to hem on the inseam; Stitched and took a pic. This takes my hem circumference from 25″ to 22. Still too large for my tastes but considerably improved and no didn’t help with the back X wrinkle either..
Then I experienced a BF and hiked my pants up at CB waist.
Crapola, the real answer may be that the 1/2″ added didn’t help at all. But I’ve already scooped out the crotch. No going back which is why I usually wait until the very last to do a scoop. I can offset it a bit (WB to CB) and maybe that will help. But you know what, if living color
You can’t see a dang thing. I haven’t changed my pattern. I’m going to copy my pattern and trim away the 3″ I’ve altered on the leg circumference and fold out the hip line dart and 1/2″. Then try again, next time I make pants.
Sp093 stitched up so quickly, I was still test driving the first version of Jag’s Woven Yoga’s when I started the 2nd. I added 1/2″ to the top of the back crotch and 1/4″ to the back side seam. The crotch just isn’t quite right and I’m not sure what I want to do about it. There is also too much easy over the back thigh. If I add to the crotch extension, I will have even more ease back there. So I’m thinking scoop however that can affect how the tight the pant feels. I’m hoping it will only take an easy tweak and then I can start reducing the leg circumference. While I don’t hate the 25″ circumference, it is not my fav. To use this pattern over and over, I will want that circumference reduced to at least 20″.
My fabulous 100% polyester fabric is purchased from Fabricmartfabrics.com. I love this fabric in pants and purchase it in every colorway. It is at once weighty and drapey but not so weighty. It’s not the fabric I’d wear in a blizzard. I’ve got snow pants for that. But it can be worn through the winter with tights and through all but the hottest of summer days. Best of all, it is wash and drip dry.
Because I’d done the majority of the fitting previously, today I made two quick adjustments to the pattern and cut fabric. I started sewing and had the first fitting pics in 1.5 hours. I love how the first are so dark you’d think they were perfect and ready to wear.
The waistband is completely finished and has the tag-in-the-back. Inseams are serged and the faux front fly is nailed into place. All else was serge finished. The side seams are stitched and the hems turned up. Hems are kept them in place with steam-a-seam. The waistband is stitched with water-soluble thread. So there are some easy areas to get into for the needed fixes.
Once again this is a dark fabric. It is a dark chocolate-brown for the pics lightened 80%. I’d say the sides are good.
I’m a little less enthusiastic about the front. Like the previous fabric, this one had fabric folds that had to be vigorously steamed to be released. I’d say I’m looking at that here but I also wonder about those vertical lines. Did I pull up too vigorously? Or is something else awry? If that’s the only issue, (and so far it is), I always wear my tops out and will completely cover the problem.
and that back makes me groan. I know it’s hard for you too see. It was hard for me. I lightened and zoomed in. OK the waist is going to have some vertical lines of fabric. What happens when the waist is big enough to slid up over your hips without stretch, is lots of excess gathered with the elastic . From enlarging the pic, I can tell that I twisted the pant some when putting it on and that is causing some pulls as well. The 1/2″ added at the top of the back crotch was a good idea; and I can tell you that the X’s are not as prominent as the first pair, but they haven’t cleared up completely either. I was hoping to work on leg circumference, but I think I need to take a step back to look at those diagonals.
Sigh for a pant that looked almost perfect this is most disappointing. The stretch is about the same, less than 10%. The fiber is the same. Just the texture and exact weight are different. The pattern has had the excess ease, which was mostly added fitting insurance, all removed. And I’ve trimmed seam allowances to my favorite. Essentially, this was sewn together on the size 4 stitching lines. I need to think about it…
So the plan was 3 changes (hemming, back crotch extension, offsetting WB) but when I got back downstairs (the next day), I did only 2.
As planned, I turned the hem up 2″ (originally it was 1.25″) . But I skipped changes to the crotch and went straight to the sides and waistband. After I’d had time to think, I wondered if these:
weren’t just a continuation of these
it looks like a waterfall except it’s on my pants instead of a cardigan. So the 2nd alteration I made was to offset the WB to the pant at the side seam 1″ which in effect lifts the side. Then take pics for Fit 02. And compare them with the pics from Fit01.
Want to know my biggest take away? It was “Oh I do need to work on circumference!” It was not that I skipped Peggy’s fitting steps. I did settle the crotch in place, check for length (hence the hem needing shortening); and I did look at circumference but I thought only that it was generous. I didn’t think I needed to adjust the circumference which had made me happy because despite all the fit insurance added, I was stitching a default Size 4.
Shortening the side length by 1″ (and hemming) was really a good idea. Most of the upper diagonals disappeared. And now I can see that yes the waistband, front and back crotch really are sitting as nicely as they feel. With Fit03 I started a series of small tweaks to see what worked best on me. I took pics but didn’t share. My changes were small, the sewing quick and because of Alexa Look, I could see immediately what I needed to do next. (Before the Look, I had to run upstairs, up load pics and edit to see the results of my fitting changes.) I finished the waistband changing out the 2″ elastic for 1.5″; serged the raw edges together and did some little things to step up my garment just a little,
I edge stitched at the top of the waist band
and added a Tag In the Back
On Fit 03, I stitched the side seams 3/8″ deeper and lifted the side another 1/2″ (total 1.5: offset at the side seams). Fit 04 I stitched the inseams 1/4″ deeper. On Fit 05, I let out the inseams i.e. returned them to the Size 4 drafted stitching line. While the crotch looked good, it didn’t feel good and I had really started seeing the start of X wrinkles. The X wrinkles were hinted at before, but now they were clear and there was a hint of pubis in front, so I did more than just let out the inseam, I let it out another 1/8″. Then I finished the pants. Couldn’t think of anything else that would improve the fit; and while the hem circumference finished at 25″ which is much more than I like, it isn’t a fit issue and I didn’t want to work on it now. I didn’t want to change the basic draft more the needed to get a nice fit.
The sides and front look really wonderful. No complaints at all. While I prefer a 18-20″ hem circumference, this looks good. I”m pleased, in fact terribly pleased that it didn’t take that much effort to fit.
I still have issues on the back, which I’m not sure if part of these are because of my final stitching. When I thought my fitting was done, I serged off the excess; sprayed the WST with water and removed any basting. It is possible I didn’t serge in the right places. But it is more likely that having removed all the excess seam allowances, the true fit is coming through
Couple of things happening here. I still need to add a smidge of length at the CB waist. Also, I’m pulling up on the sides which means the WB was not resting in a spot comfortable to me. This is a personal problem. I just am unconsciously uncomfortable with pants that sit below the waist. I pull up on the sides without noticing my behavior but I can see it in the pics.
There is too much ease over the back thigh. Not the butt. The butt and the tummy have just enough ease. (What appears to be a horizontal pull line is a fabric fold I attempted to press 4 different times. There were 5 of these folds. The others were removed by the pressings, this one will need a trip through the laundry). So enough butt, ease, too much at the thigh but <sigh><big sigh> the hint of the X wrinkles fanning out from the knee is apparent. Interestingly, changing position, changes the wrinkles position and severity:
And of course not lightened, which I do specifically so we can see these wrinkles, they’re hardly noticeable
During finishing I carefully measured and transferred changes to the pattern. I removed the excess tissue from side seams, inseams and the hem. 2″ makes a nice hem but I like the fabric conserving 1.25″ . To secure the elastic I stitched across the waistband in line with side seams. It resembles a Stitch in the Ditch which is practically invisible. In fact the eye has a tendency to follow the line of the side seam and not realize there is visible stitching
1.75″ is the final amount I lifted the sides. For the garment, I trimmed a wedge at the top of the pant leg
On the tissue I made a 7/8″ deep dart about 3″ below the waist
and then trued the side seam (cut off that little nubbin you see in the pic.) I like that the dart changes the side length without change the waist shaping.
All in all, I’m really happy with the fitting journey. No pant is going to fit me out of the envelope. Heck, some of the tights I’ve purchased didn’t fit. You’d think something that is practically sprayed on wouldn’t have a fit issue. Net Pattern changes:
Shorten back and front leg 2.75″
Add 1/2″ wedge to CF at waist
1″ height added across front and back at waist
1/2″ Hip line dart
1/4″ Top of Inseam Dart
Side 7/8″ dart 3″ below waist
Extend front waist and side seam to eliminate pocket
Inseams trimmed to 1/4″
Side seams trimmed to 1/2″
Add 1/4″ top of CB crotch
Add 1/4″ to inseam or scoop. I’ve got too much ease over the thigh now. Scooping won’t add any more, extending the crotch does.
I stitched most of the seams at the default stitching line. For example I added 1″ to the inseams and I stitched the inseams at 1-3/8″. If you recall, I added 1.5″ to the back side seam (instead of the 1″ added everywhere else.) But I want to point out that I added more than I took away because I’m expecting a hem circumference at 22″ or there abouts because that’s what the back of the envelope says. My hem circumference is 26 “. Even if I subtract the 1/2″ extra I added, the hem is 3.5″ bigger than the pattern advertises. This is truly annoying to be. I expect this measurement to be in the ball park. Think what it would have done to me had I been expecting the hip circumference of 48.5 but experience 52″? I’d be pissed. Feel the same way about the hem. YMMV of course, but I am pissed. Well moving on
I stitched the waist to waistband at 1/4″ The pattern specifies 2″ elastic. Just prior to starting 3414, I happened to be in a store and found 2″ elastic. Normally I use whatever I have on hand. But I have the failed yoga pant memory haunting me. I wanted to do as much as possible just as Peggy suggested. I wanted to give the pattern to be a success with me sewing it. To my surprise the waistband folded in half does not allow for a 3/8″ seam allowance with 2″ wide elastic. Which may not be that big of a deal because I really don’t like this 2” wide elastic either.
This pattern though exemplifies the phrase “just ran it up on the sewing machine.” Yeah as a young girl I’d hear my aunts and mother speak in such terms. What they really meant was they’d stay up late that night and sew like a demon. But those were times when people took pride in understating their effort and were happier albeit still modest that you should praise the result, the accomplishment rather than the effort. Still the actual sewing experience of 3414 made me think of that phrase. Note, I did not of typical pre-work. None of the edges are serge finished, or even serged for that matter. The hem was folded up and light pressed before being clipped together for pics. Rather than “no effort was spared” it was like ‘every effort was avoided’. Which is part of why the first fitting was such a pleasant surprise.
Of course there are some issues, some more interesting that others.
First I added 1″ at the top waist. Well if I want my yoga pant to sit at the waist I’m fine. If I want it to sit below the waist, I’ve got to make a change.
The back is such a nice surprise, I want to talk about it next:
I do think I have enough ease. The waist dips slightly at the CB. I’ll need to make a change one way or the other. I need to length the CB if I want the WB to sit where it is otherwise, I”m need to remove the inch of height I added to the tissue. I’ve got the back twisted in the photo and the light is striking the curve of my hip, but no VPL. That’s really important to me. The leg circumference is much more than I desire and the length is still a little more than I like for every day. For now, I want to hem the pant another 3/4″ inch higher but ignore the circumference I’m not sure if the leg is twisting or if I still have a crotch issue. I did note that the crotch extension measured between 1 and 2.5″ shorter than the beloved #3200. For now I will offset the front and back inseam thereby adding 1″ to the back extension. Unfortunately, it also added a little ease to the upper thigh.
The more I look at the first fitting pics, the better I like the way the waistband is sitting. I do think the WB is supposed to reside below the waist but … dang it! They’re my pants. My only criticism while looking at the front view, is the twisting inner leg. For now, I work on the inseam as described for the back.
Side seams show an interesting development
Now I carefully walked the side seams. I added my own notches (Peggy has only the pocket pieces notched). I transferred my marking after cutting the fabric and I matched my notches for sewing. Yet the front, both fronts appear to be rouching along the side seam and they are drooping:
So 3 changes on Fit 01
Increase hem depth 3/4″ (total 2″); Offset back/front crotch at inseam 1/2″; offset WB to pant increase back crotch length 1/2″, decrease side seam 1/2″ leave CF unchanged.
I checked the back of the envelope for recommended fabric and sizing. Both important considerations IMO.
Fabric because some of the stash fabrics I wanted to use for yoga pants aren’t specifically recommended. With those, I’m taking a chance the pattern cutter (Peggy Sagers) doesn’t recommend. But I do have several fabrics which should work beautifully. Unfortunately, none of them are in the muslins stack. I think the aisle runner fabric I’ve recently used for muslins would not give me an accurate idea of fit. Do I take a chance or find something better suited for the pattern?
Sizing became a big glitch. # 3200, Peggy’s basic pant pattern and the basis (she says) of all her woven pants has 4-18 and 14w-24w sizing scale. 3414 is sized 1-4 and 5w-8w. Is there an intersecting/translating point? I looked at finished hip measurement. On #3200 I used size 24w because it had a finished 49″ hip. In my notes, I commented that I could have gone down a size. I perused the 3414 sizing and discovered size 4 had a finished hip of 48.5. Hmm, could be a winner. Next I compared the pant back of 3414 size 4 with 3200 size 24w. I compared original tissues (not my fitted pattern which BTW I love my 3200 as a trouser pattern.) I am a bit uneasy. No matter what size I choose with 3414, the back crotch extension will be between 1.5 and 3″ shorter than 3200. Definitely I was wrong to assume that 3414 would be 3200 with yoga-pant style features. Another sticking point for me is the crotch upright which is shorter by an inch (comparing 3414 to 3200). But this is a yoga pant which I believe sits slightly below the waist while 3200, the trouser, sits at the waist. Even if that’s not the defining point, it is easy to add 1″ at the tissue stage. In choosing Size 4, #3414 the final tipping point was seeing that the 4’s waist appeared to slant upward from side to CB/CF. One of the alterations I do and have done for years, is if the crotch length is correct, the sides are too tall and must be shortened via a dart on the side in the tissue or lopping off the side waist of the fabric.
I decided to waste one, pretty-good, piece of fabric on the size 4 ( with some additional alterations to be discussed below). I chose a nicely draping fabric from the green stack. It’s a stack that gets added to occasionally but never used. Interestingly enough, although I don’t reach first for green fabric after they are made I keep them in regular rotation until they wear out or are otherwise ugly from wear. Although the fabric is dark, it is not a black-green. I think I will be able to lighten to pics enough to see details. I’ve lost the tag that describes the fiber content. I am concerned that it has slight stretch, 10% or a little less. Generally I like 10% stretch especially in blouse fabrics because the blouse will read as a crisp woven fabric but have enough give to be comfortable during wear. I am concerned however that using and fitting for 10% stretch now could bite me in the future when I use a fabric with no stretch at all.
Having made my fabric and size selections, I traced the size 4 and began considering tissue alterations. Well actually the first thing I considered was the dang front pocket. No matter how I lined it up,
it didn’t entirely align with the pant front pattern. Please believe me, I rotated that pocket in tiny increments several times!!!
I’ve seen this misalignment several times from different companies. Is this deliberate? I mean it’s not like a 1/16″ that I’d dismiss as stray pencil. By the time I lined up the pocket as best possible and smoothed out the line with my hip curve, I added 3/8″ at the side seam.
Over a short distances (less than 3″) but still I changed the shape of the side seam, which BTW means that the pocket pieces won’t fit my front pattern piece. I’ll have to draft my own pocket and facing, which is not a biggie. I just wonder if this is misalignment something the better drafters do. I’ve had some exposure to drafting pants and they have never shown what I’m seeing. Anyway first alteration was;
Extend the front waist and side seam to eliminate the pocket.
I followed that by measuring the inseam and folding out 2″ length. I’m short. Got to shorten the legs or they’ll drag the ground.
Still considering how much to do to the tissue before the test garment, I went upstairs for dinner. After dinner I trotted back down to add a 1/2″ wedge at center front. This is sort of like my 5/8″ RBA. If I don’t add it now, I will add it after I’ve ruined the first test garment. Always. I think it is time to accept that I have not only a rounded-back but a rounded tummy and both need adjustments at the tissue stage.
I gave it further tissue alterations more thought. Lots more. Like over night more. In the morning I decided to add the 1/2″ hip line and upper inseam darts. I thought and thought and thought. The need for these darts can vary depending upon fabric, pattern, drafter. But the only pant pattern to which I haven’t added them are the jeans which still don’t fit. The question haunting me was should I take these alterations now or wait for the test garment to prove they are needed? It’s a catch-22. If I take it now and it isn’t needed I’ve got a wadder. If I don’t make the alterations and they are needed, there is a chance I can make the change to the tissue and recut the same fabric. There’s still the chance that due to the angle changes resulting for these alterations, I won’t be able to recut the fabric. I’m assuming (but acknowledging I could be very wrong; I’m assuming Peggy added the back pant dart. She did it on 3200. I had to make the hip line and inseam correction to 3200. I’m assuming it’s the same for 3414; and those were the next tissue alterations made.
Just for fitting insurance, I added an even 1″ to the top of pant front and back. I’m not sure I need it. As I said above, it is a yoga pant which generally is expected to sit just below the waist whereas the pant I am comparing with sits at my waist. That alone could be cause of the crotch length difference. I added the 1″ height/length, but plan to baste on the original stitching line. I can use the extra 1″ if I need it or just trim it away if I don’t.
I increased the inseam and front side seam-allowances 1″ That should give me an opportunity to correct the crotch extension if it really does need to be longer and gives me a little front fitting room if it turns out that the 48.5″ finished hip really isn’t enough circumference.
I added 1.5″ to the back side seam allowance (back inseam increased 1″ as was the front). I’m always adding extra to the back. Always. Oft times, I remove 1″ ease from the front and at the same time add 1″ ease to the back. I don’t really understand this. It seems to me that if I don’t have enough ease in back, it should pull the side seam into a serpentine shape. But I tell you, I look at my pics and see that the back is too tight, the side seam straight and the front is too loose; just flapping around. Anyway, since I’m using real fabric and not muslin or aisle runner I want to make allowances. I’d really like to end up with a wearable.
I increased the length of the waistband 2″. That makes it equal to my hip measurement. I”m not putting a zipper in these so the waistband has to be pulled up and over. ergo waistband must be equal to hip girth. This can look and feel bulky so I may change the pattern later on to incorporate a zipper and at that time decrease the length of the waistband. For now, despite all the alterations I’ve just detailed, I like to stick close to what the pattern cutter, Peggy Sagers, designed.
Tissue Alterations Before Cutting Fabric
Extend front waist and side seam to eliminate pocket
Shorten back and front leg 2″
Add 1/2″ wedge to CF at waist
1″ height added across front and back at hem
1/2″ Hip line dart
1/4″ Top of Inseam Dart
Inseams (both) increase 1″
*”The fabric always wins” is attributed to Peggy Sages in several of her broadcasts and her DVD of same name.
I purchased that beautiful, warm-brown rayon a year or two ago from Casual Elegance. No they don’t have any now. It was recommended for pants. As soon as it arrived I knew why. It is a crepe weave which means it will resist wrinkling and hang nicely. Additionally it is heavy. Not wool coat heavy but heavier than the typical wool crepe you might buy for pants. I’ve wanted to use it but held out until I had a pattern I could trust. That pattern is Sally’s Pant #3200, Silhouette Patterns. Sally’s pant surprised me. Back in May I worked with it a second time. I thought I had lots more work to do, but suddenly it was close enough and good enough to be used. I was however disappointed with the hem circumference. I was expecting 17-18 inches. It finished at 22″. For me. With all my alterations, it finished at 22″. However, that’s a nice circumference for the trouser pants I needed and made for my Autumn 2016 6PAC.
I made 1 fitting change. I made a 1/4″ dart above the hip extending about 4″ towards the center back/front. Just enough to remove the diagonal wrinkles (orange arrows) that had been forming on the previous versions. I also walked the side seams and trimmed them to match which removed any rouching (red arrows) occurring on side seam
I wanted these to be great. Not just good, but GREAT! I added a front zipper, double stitching the crotch to keep it from stretching; added the slant pockets; stitched all the darts (all 6 of them) and carefully added the waistband, button and buttonhole.
Good fabric deserves good design. These feel wonderful to wear. They almost have a swish–the result of the 22″ hem circumference. Any of the folds you see move about depending upon how I stand. The fabric is much darker IRL. I had to lighten it 85% so we could see details.
They look and feel perfect. Love them.
I really love this pair of pants and will keep the pattern intact. However, I still would prefer that my trouser have a hem circumference of 20″ or less. In fact I like 18 best. Still I don’t want to ruin a good pattern. When I attempt to change the hem in the future, I’ll start by making a copy of this pattern.
As I was making the changes for Fit03, I realized there wasn’t much more I could change. I’d already let out the seam allowances to the max. I wouldn’t be taking those suckers in. I might scoop the crotch but so far the crotch looked fine. It was ease across the butt that concerned me. I might fold the waistband casing a little differently, but not much. So why was I basting? I switched out the WST bobbin and finished the pants in total.
I did let out the back crotch that barely 1/8″.
Please note the two colors of lines. The orange line is the original 3/8″ stitching line which goes all the way around the curve. I let out above the curve stitching on the purple line just across from the fullest part of my butt. The crotch curve itself was unchanged which is especially important. Nearly all the time time I must scoop the bottom of the crotch. Depending upon fabric and on occasion, even my beloved TJ906 will need scoping. I have not scooped Sally although I admit that might be a possibility if in the future I try again to remove some ease over the back crotch.
I also folded the cut edge of the waist down 1.25″ at CF and CB. At the side seams the fold is 2″. After stitching at 1.25″ from the folded edge I trimmed the waist SA to be an even 1/4″. I did press. I put the pants on and walked about for 3 or 4 minutes before taking pics. I wanted them to settle into place. Truthfully, I expected my pants to look a little better.
yet, I’m not entirely unhappy. I won’t be able to wear these over another pair of pants and I will depend upon a 3rd layer to cover my tush. At least there isn’t any VPL and the diagonals are significantly reduced. Bottom line, these are hanging in my closet for possible wear. Compared side by side or as the processors may rearrange First Fitting above 3rd
The 3rd fitting does look better.
I’m not sure what to think about the underlining. I don’t recall an underlining changing size. I don’t remember needing additional ease for underlining or even sewing at a 1/2″ instead of 5/8″ SA. But I know my Sally I looked (to me) like it fit in the butt while Sally 2 looks too tight.
An interesting note is that I intended to attempt reducing the excess ease over the thigh. However, after releasing the side seams and adding ease from waist to hem, I didn’t notice the excess ease. Is this because of the added ease? The difference in fabrics? The difference in fibers? A result of underlining? All I know is that I dont feel like I’m grabbing or experiencing excess ease over the thigh.
I’ve added 3/4″ ease to the back pattern piece. I did so by splitting along the SOG, inserting new tissue and taping back together. This does mean I’ve added 3/4″ at the waist, the complained about thigh and hem. This is not what I want for a year round trouser. Not even for the summer trouser. For the summer trouser, I will add another inch of ease, shared between front and back. For the fall/winter? I’m still thinking.
Should be easy, right? Just pull out one of TNTs and start sewing? But I made a grave error last year. I got so excited wih the very idea that I even could fit pants using Peggy Sagers procedures that I tossed all my pant TNTs. All except TJ906 because it’s a jean and it doesn’t ever need fitting. When I was evaluating pants for spring and summer, I was shocked to see all those pants I fit using Peggy’s procedure had developed X wrinkles. I don’t think this is Peggy’s fault or that her procedure is at fault. I think I’m missing some critical piece of information. I need the answer to exactly why are my pants distorted through wear? (Remember they were beautiful when first fit and in pictures taken in the next few weeks). I need exacts that I can translate into pattern alterations. In the mean time, I still need pants to wear. Specifically, I want loose pants for summer. “Loose” so on those days that start nice but get windy and cool, I don’t need to change pants. Just pull these loose pants over whatever I’m already wearing. Or on those blistering, hot days, those days I know I must cover up my legs or cope with 2nd degree sunburn, I can slip these loose pant on- without shorts beneath- and be protected from the sun but not overheated as I would be with in a good pair of jeans. I’m continuing to work with Sally’s Pant because I think the majority of my fit issues are already solved whereas with my other pants patterns I need to start from scratch..
To use this pattern year round, I’d want to reduce the hem circumference and reduce the excess ease over the back thigh. Well, for summer loose pants, I don’t need to worry at all about the hem circumference. I may even want a little more. But I do think I’d like to take away at least some of that thigh ease. I carefully looked at the inseams of the tissue. I shortened the legs by folding out 3.5″ at the knee level then trued the inseam and side seam with my curve and ruler. Especially after watching Suzy Furrer draft a pants sloper, I’m wondering if I could draw the inseam different. I saw her plot a few points and then freehand draw in the crotch. With the inseam, she shifted a hip curve, not the french curve, up and down until she found a curve she liked. Those two important curves were determined not by body shape but by whim. Is that how all pattern makers draft pants? I’m thinking I should be looking more intently and adjusting that curve to correspond with my body. So the next pair is going to be another test/muslin garment but I’m crossing my fingers hoping I can make a wearable.
Even so, I chose fabric from the stash pile. It’s a 56″ wide cotton/poly with aqua, white and peach stripes. It’s a nice fabric except that aqua color has never matched or been in the same hue range as any other blue I’ve ever purchased. It is also transparent/semi-transparent. Do I really want to make pants that show my polka-dot panties? I have several similar fabrics I’ve purchased over the years with which I wanted to make light weight pants. The fabrics looked fine in the store (or the online pic with description), but single layer in my hands look far too transparent. I’ve decided to work on solutions for the opaqueness with the promise that if I can’t find easy solutions, all those fabrics will go in the muslin stash. I mean, I don’t want to keep pulling fabrics out and putting them away because they don’t meet my transparency requirements. Neither do I want to donate a box of beautiful fabrics. I’ve got one idea to try: underlining with another transparent fabric. Because it is summer, I don’t want to use any of my poly fabrics. Don’t want to use any of the crinkle fabrics. Don’t want to use patterned fabrics that would grin through. After rejecting my way through the stash, I finally ordered a 100% cotton voile. I like the weight, the transparency. Don’t like the shrinkage (2 yards became 1-3/4). Don’t like the wrinkle. But I’m using it for this pair of pants. If it works, I plan to order more.
I have a clear view of what I want my summer pants to look like. Long legs, yes. But because these are a “quick change garment” and to minimize the bulk when wearing 2 pairs of pants (at the same time) I want to make pull-on pants with a 1″ wide elastic waistband. That’s nobody’s favorite look and certainly not flattering to me. It is possible to achieve this style with a separate waistband. However, I decided to make a cut on waistband to again minimize bulk but especially because it makes sewing time so much shorter. No zipper. No waistband. That much less sewing. But I extended 2-3/4″ upward from the waist. This edge will be folded down 1.5″ and stitched at 3/8″ before inserting the elastic. I didn’t alter the pattern piece. I chalked it on the fabric and wrote down details for future reference. The downside to the cut-on waistband is that I definitely have to have 2-1/4″ yards of fabric. A separate waistband is fabric conserving. A cut-on is not.
One more note before we get going. Peggy is absolutely right that neither serge finishing nor underlining are not faster than lining a garment. I cut fabric, underlining and then serged around all 4 sides of all 4 pieces. Whatever time I saved by skipping the zipper and separate waistband was more than consumed by the underlining. Still, I prefer to either serge-finish or underline. Once the serging is done (I realize I could have basted the sides instead of serging), I’m no longer dealing with 8 pieces but 4. At that point, making a single garment instead 0f 2 which much be joined. Also, an underlined garment is easier for me to iron. A lining always drives me nuts at the ironing board. I just can’t seem to manipulate the lining and fashion fabric equally. Usually I settle for making the fashion fabric look good and console myself with the idea that the lining won’t show. IOW no one will know my lining is wrinkled is because I couldn’t iron it.
The first fitting :
Let’s be honest, it could have been a lot worse. Instead I noted that the butt was tighter than expected. Did the wool of Muslin 1 really adapt that much or is it that the 2 layers (fashion fabric + underlining) were much less… um…. forgiving? I noted that the X wrinkles are beginning to form at my knees. The front and sides seem to be most affected by extra length between waist and hip (diagonal drag lines from waist to high hip). Is that because I chalked in the waistband or again the change in fabric? Or because I made an on-the-fly adaptation? I had planned to fold down 1.5″ and stitch 3/8″ from the cut edge. The elastic wouldn’t feed through so restitched at 1/4″ from the edge. I think the pants could have gained about 1/4″ length at the waist.
For fitting #2, I folded the waistband at the side seams 1-3/4″ (instead of the 1.5″ planned) and restitched the WB 1.25″ from the folded edge vs the cut edge. I restitched the legs with a 1/4″ seam allowance .
The butt is still too tight and there’s not much more I can do. Both side and inseams are stitched with 1/4″. seam allowances I can’t let them out any more. I can let the back crotch out 1/8″ which will add total 1/4″ ease across. An interesting point on both Fit 01 and 02 is that the side seams appear to be perpendicular to the floor. The front now has too much ease. It is larger and looser than what I would normally prefer. The butt still too tight. Why isn’t the side seam pulling towards the back? I know that has happened to me in the past. Shirley Adams clearly illustrated this in her series. But it seems as though it doesn’t happen anymore to my pants. The back does not take the ease it needs from side and front. Why not? What has changed?
I’m pleased with that most of the diagonal lines have disappeared beneath the waist. Maybe a little more adjustment is needed?
For fit 3 I’m making 2 changes: 1) release the back crotch seam 1/8″; 2) shorten the side seam another 1/4″ ie. fold down 2″ stitch at 1.25″
I purchased this pattern sometime ago, I think late 2016. I dwaddled and delayed when it came to using and fitting because my previous experiences with Silhouette Patterns have not been wonderful. I finally decided I wanted to do this now. I have a number of woven, non-stretch fabrics I’d like to use as pants. I want a narrower leg then my other patterns produce. Not a skinny. But a slim leg 16-17″ in circumference at most 18″. I am unable to tweak the leg of any of my patterns down to that circumference. I have tried. When I do, my pants develop really awful X wrinkles in the back. I’m hoping the key to success is starting with a pattern that has been drafted for the mature figure and for the smaller circumference.
I used Peggy’s sitting measurement method i.e. I draped the tape measure around my hips and sat down. Knowing that I like semi-fitted to semi-loose clothing, I allowed the tape measure to slip just a bit more and noted that number. Then I compared the regular and the W sizing. I fit Peggy’s description of the small woman who has added padding. I looked at the W and the regular back and opted to use the W. Let me share a pic of the crotch
The regular does not have that nice long ledge called a crotch extension. The regular would probably be suitable for the typical 65-year-old who complains they have no butt. I have the issue of being as deep as I am broad and I need that ledge. I compared it with my fitted PP113
PP113 is the pattern on top with all the red, yellow, cut and pasting. The new 3400 back just barely peeks out beneath the crotch extension, on the inseam and up at the waist side-seam. While there are differences, the two backs are a lot alike which gave me hope. The truth is, my shape is my shape. Any pattern which is going to fit me, is going to fit my shape and is probably going to look a lot like other patterns which fit my shape.
For the record, I chose size 24W. (In retrospect, I might have been able to go down 1 size.)
I’m really having problems choosing test fabric. Although I’ve added several more to the muslin stack, I never seem to have good test-fabrics. I used a balanced weave poly/cotton fabric. Quite old. I’m sure I bought this fabric years ago. I’m also sure I bought pants and blouses made from this fabric. (Back when I didn’t have time to sew, I bought whether it fit or not.) It is a light weight fabric and looks crappy just sitting on the ironing board. No amount of starch improved its looks. But it was good enough to diagnose major wrinkles.
I cut my fabric with an extra 1″ seam allowance along the side and in- seams. I trimmed the hems off with a pinking blade. I had no desire to pin up or stitch hems but I didn’t want the excess length to contribute extra wrinkles. I basted everything together with water-soluble thread in the bobbin. That includes adding the waistband. Peggy fits without the waistband attached. It’s one of those personal experience things. My experience is that I start with a waistband that fits or I redo all the fitting when I finally attach the waistband. YMMV. Peggy certainly does not agree.
As much as possible, I intended to follow Peggy’s fitting procedure, but I couldn’t resist looking at the fresh-from-the-envelope fit:
I’ve had worse. The first fitting at least felt comfortable; the back X wasn’t prominent; nor was the keyhole front.
I settled the crotch into position. The back crotch looked OK . So instead of an even tuck I made a 1/2″ dart across the front which narrowed to 1/4″ at the side seams and continued across the back terminating just under the dart next to the back crotch. I could not resist at this point taking a little ease from the front and made a 1/4″ vertical tuck. It is entirely usual for me to make a vertical tuck of 1/2″ on the front then spread the back vertically 1″ thereby transferring ease from front to back. I know what Peggy says about circumference. My body, my sewing for my body repeatedly suggests taking ease from the front and putting it in the back. Peggy’s directions make sense (circumference is circumference) and I’ve wondered why my garments don’t just use the ease on the front. Why don’t they just pull what they need from the front with the only indication of error being a side seam curving? I don’t know. But you can clearly see that the front above looks too large; while the front below looks fine.
Still some issues with the back. So I made a 1/2″ hip line dart as Peggy advises:
Well photos could be better. As I said before, the fabric did not respond to starch. Also since I had WST in the bobbin I was spraying carefully to avoid seams and ironing with a dry iron. I was especially pleased that the back leg is falling relatively nicely. There aren’t any X wrinkles. The front crotch hints at an issue, but it’s not bad enough for me to fix right now. It could after all be the crappy fabric. I did make a few other tweaks in a few other fittings. I tried to pinch out a little ease along the side seam, but then I got VPL. Reset the waistband up and down 1/8-1/4″ but decided that wasn’t helping either. I also extended the crotch depth adjustments completely across the back (earlier I had terminated it under the darts)…
…which seemed to help. But I decided overall the changes I was making weren’t improving the fit. So it was time for a decent fabric. When I started transferring the alterations to the tissue, I realized I had inadvertently add 3/4″ to the hem circumference (shouldn’t that be mostly offset by the 1/2″ ease I removed from the front?). When cutting, I had added 1″ fit insurance to the side and in seams. The side seams were stitched at 1-3/8″ (Peggy uses a 3/8″ SA). But I stitched the inseams at 1″ which added 3/8″ ease to hems and crotch. I took a few minutes to correct that error and regretted it as soon as I saw the pics:
I think that’s especially interesting when you look back up at the tissue pictures and see how similar the crotches are.
My tissue alterations became:
Leg Length -3.5″
Front and back crotch extensions+3/8″
Crotch length 1/4″ tuck (evenly across front, side,back)
Hem Allowance 1.25″
waist no change (3/8″
crotch no change (3/8″)
Side seam 1/2″
copied from PP113 with side seams and belt loops marked
I also made an inseam pocket pattern piece.
I must have chosen, ironed and put away 10 fabrics when trying to choose for a ‘real’ pant. I wasn’t wild about the final fit of the test pair. Even knowing that fabric was wrong and old couldn’t alleviate the unease I was feeling. My final choice was a herringbone-weave, tropical-weight wool. In days gone by, I would have shopped long and hard for such a fabric. Tropical weight wool could be worn most of the year excepting the very hottest weeks in summer. I knew a few women who wore it even then. Tropical weight wool seemed wrinkle resistant; would give almost like denim. Was long wearing. Weight gain seemed to be its greatest enemy. But my life is more casual now. Fabrics perfect for the office have become dress-up items . I wanted to make casual pants. I opted to make the dressier tropical-weight wool because if this bombed, I probably wouldn’t mind. I stitched with poly thread in both the bobbin and needle as well as the serger. I serged the inseams as well as finishing all the other raw edges with the serger. I did baste the waistband in place for the first fitting. But I hadn’t needed to. After examining those pics, I went back down stairs and finished the pants.
Despite the pic on the index page, I’m not loving these pants. I find it odd that the back of the pants in fitting looked better than the finished pair.
Fitting ———————– Finished
What’s with that? The change is hemming the legs and nailing down the waistband. Yet the finished back looks worse than the fitting.
Again hemming and stitching the waistband produced a front with a keyhole
Really? I will admit that I saw hints of the keyhole all the way back to Fit01 of Muslin 1. It just wasn’t this prominent. Good news though, when I get dressed “It” is covered.
Never underestimate the value of styling and accessories!
There’s a predictable series of question that need answering. Things we dressmakers are always have interest. but I won’t answer them in PR Order. I already indicated size and fabric choices and a laundry list of changes I made. I didn’t follow the pattern instructions. I followed the instructions that Peggy sprinkles through-out her YouTube videos. For anyone that is a visual learner, I’d recommend self-immersion in the videos. You’ll see her process over and over with many different types of bodies.
Would you recommend it to others? Yes, absolutely. Peggy’s drafting is above reproach. My changes result from my fitting issues. Other than my fitting issues, I had no problems with the pattern. The final pair, I cut, stitched, did Fit 01 and finished in about 2 hours time. It doesn’t get better than that for me.
Would you sew it again? YES. In fact I’m planning 2 pairs with some style changes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Let me start with LIKES
That was probably the easiest choosing size process I’ve ever used. I didn’t measure the pattern in multiple places. Didn’t check crotch length/depth. Just let the tape measure go limp.
Despite the length and verbiage of this post, that’s the fastest I think I’ve fit pants since I was a kid. Definitely beats the 9 month I spent in 2003/4. I did follow Peggy’s steps. Because I’m fitting alone it takes me a little longer that the 5-7 minutes she shows in the videos. Peggy pins, visually checks and asks her model. I pinch, then baste, take pics. Repeat. I make one change at a time. When Peggy is fitting, she pins one area at a time then continues the next. Her model’s pants baste the 3-4 changes needed in one trip to the sewing machine. Even with the extra time I need for taking pics, trotting upstairs and processing photos, I was able to fit this pattern in about 6 hours including choosing size, fabric and cutting said fabric.
Just one: Leg and Hem circumference. I put these two together because one affects the other. I knew from the very first try-on that the back leg had too much ease. I didn’t complain because I thought I would fit it out.
All this ease makes for a big, elephant-leg appearance which I could not remove. Unfortunately my butt needs the circumference. I can’t just tuck from waist to hem and remove the ease. I know I added to the problem when I inadvertently added 3/8″ to the crotch points. I couldn’t remove those either. I tried. When I took in the inseam the crotch cut into both front and back as well as inseams rippling, pulling upward and general ugliness. I need the crotch length.
I am really unhappy with the hem circumference. My leg finished at 21-3/4″. Without my error, it would have been 21″. Why do I care? Because the back of the envelope said
21″ is a long way from the 17″ I was promised. I bought this pattern this pattern because it advertised a 17″ hem circumference. 17.5″ would be close. 21 is not. I’m very unhappy with hem circumference and I DO NOT THINK THE GARMENT LOOKS LIKE THE ENVELOPE. (Sorry, Wordpress only gives me so many tool to emphasize a point). The leg on the envelope looks much, much slimmer than the leg in my pics.
So what’s in my future for this pattern? I’m wanting a couple of very casual summer pants. I envision them with 22-24″ hems, in light weight, flowing fabrics. While my standard hem is 1.25″ I think this is a place for a deeper hem 2″ at least maybe 3″. Depends upon how much fabric I have because hem’s are a place where fabric can be conserved or consumed. The 21″ hem will be easy to adapt for my desired 22-24″. I will scoop the front crotch a little. I already tried adjusting the crotch depth and length as well as messing the waistband. I’m convinced now that the curve is wrong in relation to my body. It could be just fine for you. Beyond that, I’m just not sure. I could try regular instead of women’s sizing. I could curve the inseam more and revisit the correction I made when removing leg length. (Just a note, I removed leg length at about the knee level so I could leave the 17″ hem intact.) Frankly, I could do a lot of work trying to reach a 20″ hem, but I already have 2 patterns that do. I have no hope of turning the 21″ circumference into 17. None.
It may be time to admit that my body needs either jeans draft (TJ906), a stretch pant/jean (DG2) or a women’s trouser (PP113, Eureka) with a 19-20″ hem. It may be time to let go of the woven-pant-with-17″-hem dream. I’ve certainly thrown enough patterns, fabric and time at that dream. Maybe it’s better to pursue something else?