2017 Autumn 6PAC: Pants #2

I’m not expecting these pants to look any better than the final fit of the linen Vanessa. But I am expecting that the wrinkles wont be so highly visible in this deep green and black poly/cotton/lycra. Also, I’m not really expecting the lycra to have much of an effect. There was no appreciable stretch with the 4″ test swatch. I changed to a 10″ and just barely reached 10% — and only by pulling hard. I would think this was a stable stretch fabric. I like these kind of fabrics especially for blouses because they are comfortable to wear and almost act as a slimmer.

So I laid out fabric and pattern pieces. I changed the waistband from the 2 piece with the little inset in front to  2 pieces that  reached from side seam to side seam. I also took a step back in the fitting process and used the pattern pieces with minimum ease, the 2″ hip line dart but no changes to the crotch. When I first looked at the pics, I couldn’t help but be pleased”

Not too bad I think. So then I lightened the pics 80% and I think I blanched:

Simply put, they don’t look as good as any of the Vanessa linen muslin pics! Crap. Another WTF moment. I’m dealing with the back of leg mess,  front side seams that are rouched and I don’t  think that’s a key hole nor camel toe but I seem to have male anatomy hanging from my tummy. Ouch!

Not too much I can do with the front crotch seam. It was already sewn with a  1/4″ seam allowance. Fortunately, I wear my blouses untucked and long. The odd anatomical feature will never be visible especially since my fabric is such a dark color. I took in the side seams 1/4″. It may be the wrong assumption, but I knew that when I adjusted the ease during the muslin  the fit improved enormously. I also secured the elastic in place so that the waistband and elastic are distributed evenly for my figure. ( I need a little more in front.)  Finally I scooped just the back of the crotch 1/2″. For the final muslin I had dropped the entire crotch 2″. I figure right now I should correct obvious errors and that waistband wants to dip in back about 1/2″.

Did those 3 changes help any?

Both the side and the back are improved and that despite the hint of VPL. (I may ignore the VPL. After all it is also covered by my tops.) The front however is if anything worse.

I have to admit that the center back is still dipping. So I scooped another 1/2″  and this time also scooped the front crotch  1/4″ deeper and out in the crotch front. TBH I think the fix for the front is a wedge added at CF that creates more ease for my tummy. But that’s not possible after fabric is cut, so I guess I continue to be glad my tops will cover this, er, anomaly.

So after the 2nd scoop in back, scoop in front and curve over the tummy,  I have an improved front.

A side that looks better than the muslin ( and a whole lot better than it did at the first fitting of this pair of pants)

A back which remains unsat but is also improved over the first fitting

I’m not sure if I want to let out the side seam. Yes it could take care of the VPL, but  the original excess ease contributed to the unattractive first fitting.  The back waist is no longer dipping. It doesn’t make sense, really, to scoop any more. I had scooped the linen muslin past the point of scooping helping. Did that make sense?  I mean I scooped it 3 times and it helped but the 4th scoop made no difference. I’m of the opinion that if I keep making the fitting changes and they don’t provide improvement OR if I make fitting changes to the muslin and the garment retains the ills of the muslin, I am not making the correct changes. So I’m leaving this pant like this:

unless I suddenly get smarter and know exactly what to do to fix it.

On the up side, I’m not terribly in love with this pant anyway.  It is the color. I buy dark greens as a relief to my usual blue, brow black. I tell my myself  greens look good with my peaches and apricot tops. But green isn’t really necessary in my closet. Actually, I chose my colors this quarter hoping to use up some of these less loved colors and eliminate them from the stash.

Plus,  I think I may have another approach to fitting. Not my own, something that Peggy Sagers says occasionally when fitting pants about choosing size. Every once in a while she recommends that the person with thin thighs choose their size according to what they need around their thighs. She says most of these women have large stomachs (oh it that me?) and that choosing by hip or waist results is too much fabric around the leg (again me?). I don’t think my thighs are thin, but in comparison to my tummy ??? I want to try this sizing idea. I start with an advantage this time because I know what lengths I like; know the ease I want around the waist and stomach; know my thigh measurement but not my desired thigh ease. I don’t want to explore this fit idea right now.  I want to finish my Autumn 6PAC and then complete the September Sewing Room Gussy-Up.  My gussy plans are not extensive but I am looking forward to the newly cleaned spaces, some changes and some new equipment.  Next up though, will be the final blouse.


906, Uncategorized

My aging Body VS Pants

I’ve had an incredibly frustrating  couple of weeks.  Having easily finished the black Velvet-Like Corduroy  pants to the point of near perfection, I turned my attention to creating a pair from the same pattern in a dark brown.  I’ll take the time to point out I had also used the same pattern to create my pants for my Spring 6PAC.  Then this happened

Photo lightened 100%

Same pattern. Incredibly different results.Why?

I wondered about measurement changes. I had just slipped the tape measure around me in several places when I attempted drafting the week before last. A quick check revealed that my numbers hadn’t changed at all between then and now. I wondered if I had otherwise overly trimmed the pattern pieces .  To my relief, my copies were reasonably close to the original pattern sheets.  So then I checked the envelope to see if I had traced the correct size.  Size correct.  I searched my blog to see when I’d last fit this pattern and what changes I’ve been making along the way.  As near as I can tell  the real problem is my aging body and the differing amount of stretch between fabrics. This fabric had a mere 11% stretch vs the 50% of the yoga pants and 25 % of the corduroy pants.

I wasn’t sure of all the changes I’d made to this  version. I have been tweaking and playing with it for quite some time.  I opted to trace the same size, because according to my hip measurement, that was the right size.  I was a bit over-confident. I trimmed the inseams, crotch and waist seam allowances to 1/4″. Figuring with 5/8″ allowance in two other seams (side and center back leg), I would have enough ease to adapt to my figure.  I chose another fabric a 100% cotton i.e. no-stretch.  I wanted to create a base pattern that I could adapt to fabrics of varying stretch. I want to correctly establish correct length and style at the pattern stage and the adapt for stretch during fit.  And then this happened:

Oh and that was  the 2nd fitting after I had let out the seams as far as possible.

Back to the original pattern to trace  the next size up.  Slightly humbled, I didn’t trim a single seam allowance. I  did shorten the leg at the hem 3″. I’m short. The leg needs to be shortened. I chose a new fabric. I depleted the supply of non-stretch dark browns, which is what I wanted to add to my wardrobe, and decided to work with what was called a dark olive.  It’s not black. Even though it is named dark olive, it is lighter in value than the 2 previous fabrics.  It is a soft soft, 100% cotton, corduroy. If I remember correctly I purchased this from the fabric store in Mitchell. I remember loving the feel of the fabric but hesitating over the color.  Sure enough, this fabric has sat in my stash at least 3 years. It just doesn’t look good to me next to most of my other colors.  I reasoned now was the time. If this version of 906 didn’t work either, I wouldn’t have wasted a truly admired fabric.

I spent 9 fittings trying to get this to fit me.   Nine. 09. N_I_N_E

Photos Lightened 100%

Here’s the problem. #1, the fabric is too soft. It just collapses. It shows VPL even when I can pinch an inch of fabric directly over that area. It  wants to stick and cling despite multiple applications static spray.  It doesn’t stretch which I wanted.  But fabric isn’t the only problem. The other problem is that some alterations must be made at the tissue level. Trying to correct later only creates other issues. Same applies to trying to make too many changes or really big changes. They accumulate and cause other issues. I finished this pair by ripping out most of the fitting changes (the other two were binned). From this version I took   two style and 1 fitting change.

  1. Folded out 3/4″ crotch depth on all 3 leg pieces.
    1. I really want the wider waistband  created by using a 3/8″ SA along both edges of the waistband. But then I have to compensate for the additional crotch length.
  2. Trimmed leg width 1/4″ by the inseam and 1/2″ by the side seam between hem and 2″ below knee.
    1. I like a baby bell but not the 23″ hem circumference included in this pattern
    2.  Because of my knee shape taking out more ease on the inseam size causes the leg to pull at the knee.
    3. Taking out more ease around the knee also causes drag lines emanating from the knee.
  3. Fitting change:  added 3/8 ease to the CB seam of the leg.
    1. Just in case the VPL was not solely due to the softness of the fabric.

I decided to choose another fabric from the olive/khaki stack. I’ve accumulated these fabrics because they look differently in the store or on-line than at home  in the natural light.  I’ve now officially designated olive/khaki as “muslin” and am proceeding to whittle their numbers down.  The next fabric was called “suiting”. It too is a 100% cotton.  If I was making a suit, I would completely interface this fabric. It is beefy but lacks body. It wouldn’t make a good suit without help from interfacing. 3rd fitting and nearly done:

Yeah you can’t see much until the pictures are lightened 100%

I haven’t secured the pockets. I like to place the pockets when the jean is flat. So the back does look a little off.  I added an even 3/8″ to the CB leg.  Then decided that I needed to add at least half of that to the back yoke so that I could ease instead of gather the leg and yoke. The yoke is then eased to the back of the waist band. In actuality, I need the ease just over the curve of my bottom.   When I make permanent stitching, I’ll take the ease out of the yoke and curve the top of the CB leg to eliminate the 3/8.  Kind of like changing a C cup for the previous B or an FBA directly over the rear.  What I”m most concerned about now, is that the back of the leg of this pattern has always fit beautifully. It’s what I love about the pattern. I feel like the leg has gotten too big. Which if I compare with the measurement chart is correct. According to the measurement chart I need to use two sizes smaller.  But you saw how that fit second picture from the top).  I’m not retracing. I want to get the pattern to fit, not to figure out fit theory. Besides I’m happy with the side view. I will scoop the front crotch just a bit. It looks like the beginning of camel toe. I know from experience that the front crotch has to be a little more curved than drafted.  A little spay starch and a good pressing and this pair is wearable.

So to the next version (there must be a next version because I”m not entirely satisfied with this one)

  1. (Style Change) Folded out 3/4″ crotch depth on all 3 leg pieces
  2. (Style Change) Trimmed leg width 1/4″ by the inseam and 1/2″ by the side seam between hem and 2″ below knee.
  3. (Fitting change):  added 3/8 ease to the CB seam of the leg (curved above and below the bump).
  4. (Fitting change): 3/4″  wedge removed at side seam extending from side back belt loop to side front belt loop

Stay tuned, another version is coming up soon.


Easiest Belt Loops -Ever

Well that’s what I think.  I’m a loyal patron of Heirloom Creations in Sioux Falls SD.  One of the reasons they deserve my loyalty is their blog which this month posted instruction for using the Bernina and Viking flat felling feet. I was fascinated and had to watch both videos. Rather than trying to describe the process just let me link the two videos from Heirloom Creations Blog but pay special attention to the bonus instructions for ties:
With the Bernina foot:

With the Viking Foot:

Now as soon as I saw the Sarah stitching the ties I said “Belt Loops”.  Yep right here in front of the computer all by my lonesome I said it out loud.  Couldn’t wait to get to the monthly Sewtopia meeting and look for the Viking foot. And the first thing I did when I got home was to start working with the foot.  OK, the first time I worked with the foot it wasn’t quite as easy as Sarah’s demonstration.  But I turned out a decent flat felled seam from two rectangular scraps on the first try and decided to move along to the real  subject of my interest the tie.  Let me show my results first:

Created with Viking Flat Fell Foot

I’m using a woven stretch fabric for testing.  I did that because it’s my favorite fabric to use for pants and I was anxious that the process work with stretch woven fabrics.

The narrowest tie (on the left) was created from a 1.25″ strip cut along the grain.  In fact all strips were cut on grain, not cross grain or bias.  I made the flat felled seam (not shown) and then immediately made the narrow tie.  It took one pass through the foot.  It was a little stretched out, so I pressed it immediately and that’s the final tie.  It finished about 1/4″ wide.

The middle strip is made from a 1.75″ wide stripe and proves that you can stitch in the wrong place.  I don’t know why but I realized that I was pulling the the fabric over to the left too far as it fed into the foot.  I’m thinking too much control. Because after that I just watched the bottom fold and made sure it was lining up with the visible groove on the foot. 1.75″ is what I usually cut for belt loops which then finish to about 1/2″.  My current process is to cut the 1.75″ strip, serge the raw edges together, turn the strip using my brass tube turners and give it a good pressing while trying to get the seam (now inside the tube) to lay on one side and not twist.  Usually this is the biggest problem for me and I make twice the amount of tubing that I need so I can cut around the goofs.  The last step is to stitch twice more; once on each edge of the tube.  This produces a nice crisp edge but take a long time.  Using the felling foot, the 1.75″ strips finishes about 3/8″ in a quarter of the time.

Now I’m nearly a plus sized woman.  I’m better visually-balanced if I make things like belt loops a little wider.   So for strip #3, the widest strip (on the right in the pic), I cut a 2″ strip on-grain.  It is passed through the machine twice.  Once to fold and stitch the left edge and then a second time to top stitch the other edge.  I could have changed to the edge-stitching foot for the final stitching, but I don’t think it’s necessary.  I also had better results of the last row of stitching by placing the strip under the foot and not through the guides.  Of course, YMMV.

Finally, I did try to fold and stitch both sides of a 2″ strip using an 8.0 twin needle.  If successful, it would have been 1 pass through the machine with the downside of a clearly distinguishable public and private side.  I wasn’t successful.  In fact that was the most frustrating  and I spent more time trying to use the twin needle than all the time  previously spent!  I noticed my mounting frustration and said , heck I can make beautiful belt loops with two quick, easy passes through the machine. Why go to this bother?  I may attempt it in the future.  The 6.0 twin needle was not wide enough for the 2″ strip.  The edge stitches would have been about 3/16 in from each side.  I wanted edge stitching which the 8.0 would have given me.  So I could try switching to the 1.75″ strip and a 6.0 twin needle.   I also used a sharp needle with a stretch woven because I didn’t have a ball-point or universal 8.0 needle.  So two more variables would be using non-stretch material or purchasing a different pointed needle.

Point is, right now I have found a new, quick and very easy way to stitch perfect belt loops.  I’m happy with that.


A comment about fabrics

originally published 4/10/12


in particular my stash of fabrics.  A few days ago I organized my fabrics by major color i.e. all the browns together, all the blues together, reds together, yellows etc   At the time I had been frantically hunting for dark brown fabrics suitable for summer slacks. Hunting without success, I might add.  Organizing the fabrics by color made sure that none of the desired browns were hiding out between the folds of other fabrics.  After so organizing, I ordered basic brown, black and brown fabrics mostly in pant weights. The reorg served me well for that particular fabric order.

But something else happened.  When my fabrics were organized in rainbow fashion, I was totally enamoured by their beautiful colors blending across my room. Try it with your own stash some time. It’s mesmerizing. Now that the fabrics are not in rainbow order, I’m seeing something else.  I’m seeing that I have purchased a lot of fabrics I may never use.  True, retirement changed my clothing needs.  Some of those fabrics stashed years ago when I anticipated an active corporate life, are languishing and I’m not buying more of them.

But beyond that  I’m also seeing fabrics which I bought without thinking through from purchase to actual use.  I have stacks of corduroys in wide wales that I know I won’t make into pants or jackets. I know because these fabrics have been sitting in my stash for years and I’ve never considered using them once.  I know I won’t use wide wales in pants and yet that is my primary use of corduroy fabrics, winter pants.  I’m also seeing darks colors in blouse weight fabrics.  I’m that classic pear shape.  I like my figure best when I visually balance the top and bottom halves of my figure.  One of the ways to do this is by using the lighter or brighter color on my top half in blouses or tops.  So dark blouse fabrics languish and make me wonder, what was I thinking?   Thirdly I notice stacks of “almost” my colors.  I’m pretty sure what happens with these.  Take lilac for instance.  Lilac is not my color.  Periwinkle is.  This difference?  Periwinkle has slightly more blue than red.  Lilac slightly more red than blue.  Or consider aqua-blue and aqua-green. One color has slightly more blue, the other slightly more yellow.  One is more flattering next to my face than the other.  At least for these colors, I do know why I acquire the wrong one.  The store lighting changes the color just enough that I don’t realize I’ve purchased the wrong color.  I also have this issue when buying on-line.  I have 2 cuts of daffodil yellow in my stash.  Daffodil yellow is a very intense bright color.  Through a spectrum you’d see that it has a touch of blue.  In real life you’d see it’s not the best yellow for me. It also conflicts with my personality.  I feel uncomfortable wearing this glaring yellow.  Why do I have 2 cuts?  Because I couldn’t see how bright it was in the on-line store. Why don’t I return these?  Well the B&M stores are too far away.  I never get back to them within their 30-day limit.  I’ve just ignored the fabrics purchased on-line. I feel like it’s partly my fault and besides I can always use muslin fabrics right?

Except that as I look through my fabrics, I have a lot of these fabrics which I don’t really want to wear yet don’t get rid of.  The number of fabrics I have which I want to sew with turns out to be much smaller.  Small enough that I don’t want to use those until I’m sure the pattern fits.  Which left me in a quandary about making the first “real” pair of 1010’s.  I wanted to use a good fabric. I wanted this pattern to have a real chance to be successful for me. But I didn’t want to use one of really good fabrics because the 1010 may not be a success–just yet.  I’m still concerned about where the waist sits and I’ve not fully fit the pattern so I don’t know if I can.  I love Kwik Sew patterns but I don’t use their pants patterns because a KS pattern will always have X wrinkles in the back. ALWAYS. Point is, I’m not sure yet about Christine Jonsens 1010 pants pattern and had a hard time deciding upon which fabric to use.

I think I’m formulating a new plan to purge my fabrics.  I’m asking myself, why am I housing these fabrics? And What can I do about these fabrics?


Everyone Should find Their Personal Colors

originally published4/12/12


I am writing specifically of the colors in your wardrobe which flatter your personal coloring.  There are several systems available. Personally, I think each system has something to offer. I won’t provide URL’s or recommends beyond go find your colors.  No today, I want to show one of the fabulous ways your colors work for you.


This spring I find 7 pounds has crept up on my frame.  That’s 7 plus the 20 the doctor wanted me to lose at my last checkup. I keep ignoring the doctor’s advice because it’s a lot of work to refit those TNT’s. 20 pounds means doing that at least twice and up to 4 times. 5 pounds can make the difference in how clothes hang from my frame. Now I have no choice really.  Every time I pull out one of my spring garments, it’s too small.  The knit tops will stretch (unattractively) to cover. But the woven blouses and pants refuse to even attempt.  Yes yes, I’ve already begun the diet and started the exercise. But that will take time.


In the mean time, I’m making clothing for the current me and I’m using fabrics from the “almost my color” stacks.   I figure I should use these up now.  Normally when I make something I want it to be in my wardrobe for a few years. So I want to make it to fit and flatter my body in my colors.  The almost-colors lose out. They get left on the shelf and on the rack because I’d rather have the most attractive item on my back.  I know for a fact I reach for the clothing which is most attractive on me.  The other stuff gets passed over and eventually donated in nearly pristine condition. Why make something I’m not going to wear?  But what I’m sewing now, I don’t want to wear next year.  I need clothing now that will not fit this time next year.  I”m wanting temporary items. What better time will there be for working with these almost-colors? Get them out of the stash and get some use, some return for my money.


And the fabulous way my colors are working?  Well the almost colors tend to work my colors.  Take the last pair of pants made from the current TNT JSM pattern in the almost-color of green-turquoise.


I feared I would not have coordinates and would be reduced to wearing white. But as I looked in my closet I found this TBP


completed 2 months ago.  Here I’m wearing it with blue cords and a light turquoise top.  The light turquoise  top, also works well with newly sewn green-turquoise pants.  Also lurking in my closet are short sleeve and sleeveless tops in nearly the same yellow.  The yellow, is “my yellow”. So I’m consistently making and buying garment items in this color. It’s difficult to use in bottoms.  Show through is the biggest issue for me.  When I find my colors in bottom weight fabrics, I will make and wear them. But mostly yellow is an accent color for me and is sprinkled through all season’s wardrobes as blouses, knit top, and jewelry.


These turquoise pants are not all that versatile. The fabric was really too heavy for a blouse.  It might have made a jacket or skirt (I’m not a skirt person).  I chose pants because I needed to refit my TNT pattern and would be least sorry if having wasted this particular fabric.  They will not look good with my navy blue tops. I won’t wear them with any of the blues or browns in my closet.  I haven’t decided yet but there is the possibility of wearing with my peaches, pinks and beige pieces.


The point being that knowing my colors and ensuring my wardrobe is densely packed with my colors, the pants in the off-color is not a big glitch.  I probably wouldn’t pack these for trip. But I do have enough coordinating pieces to wear these pants this spring and summer. God willing, by fall I’ll need a new pair.


Fabric Shopping

originally published 4/1/2010


We spent a few days in the South West part of SD. Yes in Sturgis and the surrounding area, but not for the Sturgis rally (which isn’t until August anyway).  We’re not motorcyclist at all and our state does have other attractions.  As we were out and about, I was pleased to see that most people were dressing just a step up.  If they wore jeans, it was nice jeans with a nice shirt.  Instead of worn jeans with stained T-shirt.  I like jeans.  I like T-shirts (especially when I make them from Pamela’s Pattern).  But I like them clean, and tucked in.  Most people were adding belts and nice shoes or boots.  I only saw one pair of sandels.  The weather got into the 70’s one day and I guess one lady just couldn’t help herself.  But I also saw slim jeans and platform heels. Wuh! Kickin IT! Even in South Dakota.  I saw many women in nice trousers, with lovely blouses and light jackets.  It really was eye candy.  I saw only a few people who just didn’t seem to care. One lady in baggy exercise clothes that still crawled up her butt and another that dressed in scrubs.  To me both these looks say “I’ve given up. I don’t care about me. I don’t care about you. ”   Same ladies had some nasty looking hair too.  All I can say is, I’m sorry life is so bad.  Get some help.  You deserve to be happy too.  But, this is important, we were out and about the better part of 3 days.  I only saw 2 people  in this condition.  Everyone else was taking it at least a step up.  From clean, to slightly styled.  From dressed, to put together.  Maybe we’re not New-York-City-Sophisticated, but we are GOOD.


I did  get to a fabric store, Hancocks to be exact.  They were in the midst of a big sale and yes I brought home several nice pieces.  But I had trouble finding spring/summer fabrics and hardly anything similar to what the stores have stocked.  In fact it looked like Hancocks really wasn’t getting their spring/summer stock.  I looked around the store.  It was clean, the rows were all well stocked.  It wasn’t as if this was a going out sale, just not much in the way of spring/summer.  Maybe the sale is for cleaning off the shelves getting ready for spring/summer shipments.   I did find some fabulous stretch denim.  Black, my favorite, in 4% lycra.  I like 8% except that it seems to continue stretching all day.  So I felt like I really scored my favorite color in my favorite stretch.  It is 8oz, which is good for spring/summer, but I usually like just a little heftier denim.  I also purchased 2 non-stretch denims in a yellow and periwinkle/lilac.  These are light weight denim.  Didn’t say on the top what they were.  But if the stretch was 8 oz, I say these were like 4.  However, this is just what I want for summer.  I sunburn easily and terribly.  I need relief from the summer heat, but protection from the summer sun.  So light weight fabrics made up into long sleeve and long leg garments are the key for summer fun for me.  I found one print that was similar to fabrics in the stores.  But it was 100% cotton and was right in front of the quilting cottons.  I hesitated to purchase it.  But decided I would prewash and dry and then decide if it needed to be quilts or could be used in a blouse.  I also found a mesh knit which color-cordinates with that periwinkle/lilac denim; and found some light and sheer cotton/lycra knits.  In the store I thought I would use double layers or the sheer knits  to control see through.  But I may just go ahead and make summer cardigans.  Sorry I didn’t take pictures.  I’ve got everything sorted and ready to wash.  But after that’s done I’ll try to get a shot and post it here.


Do You Ever Just Get Disgusted With Sewing?

originally published 5/24/2010

I’m at that point right now. With pants. Yeah I had a bolo on the knit, surplice-blouse, but that isn’t what is disgusting me. What is really annoying me is all the time that I’ve spent (like about 9 months) fitting pants and it looks like I’m going to have to start all over. From square one. Measuring, square one. I think back to my Jalie 2908 experiences and I’m disgusted too. Why does a pant fit perfectly, but is a little too tight all over, not fit when I make the next larger size? Why is lycra the devil?


Those are all rhetorical questions. As I said I am disgusted with having to start back at square one and knowing I’ll probably be doing this once or twice more. I have been slowly losing weight since about 2006. This year I unintentionally accelerated the rate at which I’m losing. My doctor said that she preferred I lose like 6 pounds a year or nothing. She thinks that people who lose weight slowly .5 to 1 pound a month make life style changes and the weight they lose stays off. Like so many people I wish I hadn’t gone on my first diet. It seems that after that I’ve been on this treadmill of lose 5 gain 10. I’ve been happy to comply with my doctors instructions, the only downside is that my clothing is constantly being replaced. I’ve found that about every 10 pounds I need a smaller size. The accelerated lose occurred this year when I deliberately added water to my daily regimine and cut back on the sweets . I had gained 3 pounds between Nov 1 and Jan 1. I knew it was from the extra sweets consumed during the holidays. So I cut sweets out and added more daily water consumption. I lost the 3 pounds in one month. Great. So I added back some sweets, only at meal times as dessert. I continued to lose 3 pounds each month. It’s the water. Has to be.


So what does all that have to do with my disgust? I tried on all the shorts in my closet. I think I counted 11 pairs. Not a single one fits perfectly. 11 pairs, some bought some made and not one fits. Either they have front smile lines , butt vortii or pull tightly over my upper back hip. I really should have seen the front smiles. But the back I wasn’t aware of. I didn’t start taking photos of my backside until Fall 2009. That’s when I discovered I can’t tell from a mirror if the backside fits. Spring 2010, I find that not a single pair of my shorts is wearable. I want to toss all my shorts. I think it will be easy. I have 3 long-leg pants-patterns that fit. I can just fold up the leg to the desired length, cut and sew. Nope. Doesn’t work. I tried that first on my beloved Joyce Simmons Murphy trousers. I was astounded at how big they were. Neither front nor back crotch was anywhere near to fitting. I set them aside to give myself thinking time. I decided to wear them loose, ignore what would become funky, unusable pockets and fit the crotches the Betzina way. I removed the waistband. Then slipped the shorts on and tied a ¼” elastic band around my waist. I pulled the pants up until they comfortable and marked the bottom of the elastic with my disappearing marker. I trued the line some and cut off from the top 2” in front 2.5 inches in back and about 1.5” at each side. My waistline looks really funny. Remember the icon for waves? That’s what it looks like. I stitched the waistband back on and I’m wearing these shorts today. I don’t think I will keep them. Even using this method, the back crotch feels too short and the front too long. I don’t know why that would be.


I’ve decided now is the time to take up drafting. I have instructions from Trudy Jansen. Yesterday evening I took a gazillion measurements. Today I draft my first pants pattern. I will concentrate on knee length shorts, constructed in woven non-stretch fabrics with particular emphasis on front and back crotch fitting. If I use pockets they will be patch pockets that can be added at the last second. Ya know, I’m just disgusted with spending hours adding cute details that can’t be worn.


Hello world!

I think I’m mostly known for my long struggle and copious pants making efforts at sdBev.blogspot.com.  When I moved my blog to WordPress.com, I also decided to move the pants making topic to a blog of it’s own.  Your journey towards perfect pants will be different from my own. I hope my experience will help and encourage you to create pants that fit that way you want them to fit. 

You’ll find the rest of my past and current posts at sdBev.Wordpress.com.