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.