3400 Silhouette Yoga, Yoga

3400: Round 1

Always curious, I ordered Silhouette Patterns Yoga Pant #3400. Well, it’s more than curiosity, although it is that too. I mean, don’t you want to try the patterns from new designers?  Don’t you want to test new delicious details?  But it is more than curiosity because I have a few patterns which fit me nicely but I still have issues.  I’m still wanting a pant with a slim leg.  The slim legs that I do have are either too slim (and thus reveal all that I would like to keep concealed) or have volumes of excess fabric each over the back thigh. I’ve made several attempts to slim down my favorite patterns, (Pp113, the Eureka, MSS…) I even took my favorite jean TJ906 and tried to put the pieces together to form a slim leg. No joy. In fact, slimming these pants beyond a certain point, causes them to develop diagonal back wrinkles.  As a result,  I’m always interested in seeing if a new draft can offer me a slim leg and nice fitting pant.

I chose to use size 16W.  Although hesitant, I also used the envelope instructions and wrapped my Ponti De Roma fabric around me and measured the fabric. I was perplexed that the envelope listed 16 and 16W as having the same measurements.  I emailed Peggy and then deciding that it was too late for her to answer that day, I decided to compare the two sizes. The 16W appeared to me to have a longer back crotch extension. My muslin plan had been to add 3/4″ to the side seams and 3/4 to the back inseam.  With the thought that the back inseam was already longer, I decided to use the 16W and add only the 3/4″ side seam insurance.   I also shortened the leg 3″. I always have to shorten the legs. I think it is difficult to see how the leg hangs when it is puddled on the floor.  So I shorten the leg immediately.  In summary just 2 changes, 1)add 3/4″ to side seams, 2) shorten legs 3″.

I basted all seams except for the crotch. Those I serged. Also I didn’t have 2″ elastic. The widest on hand was 1.5″. So I slipped that into my waistband and basted directly beneath the lower edge of the elastic before basting the waistband to the pant.

My first fitting was horrible.

The front and back were obviously too tight. Enormously too tight. I was so surprised at how tight it was that I rechecked pattern instructions, size recommendation and then whether I had copied the correct size.  (Copying the wrong size happens.)  With everything saying I had the right size, I decided to measure the pattern itself. I aligned front and back along the side seams but did not over lap. I measured at the hip line and it was nowhere near 43″.  I started sliding the tape measure down to find the widest point above the crotch which did measure 43″ but that includes the four 3/8″ seam allowances. I don’t calculate the seam allowances in the finished measurements. Had I known the SA was included I would have started with a larger size.

Well I still had my 3/4″ SA insurance. I let out the side seams as much as possible. In fact I changed all my seam allowances to 1/4″.  Doesn’t sound like much but it is adding 1/8″ per SA per side. Across the hip are 4 seams. So that would be 4 seams * 2( 2 pieces of fabric at each seam) * 1/8 (the amount being let out).  That alone adds 1″ ease.  Letting out the side seams added at least another 2 ” [2 (side seams) *2 (2 pieces of fabric) * 1/2″ (amount let out)]. I’ve added a total of 3″ ease. The pant should no longer have negative ease. It should have a total of 2.5″ ease.  And still looks like h@ll:

I’ve watched Peggy’s videos. She insists that taking a dart along the hip line will remove the diagonal below the leg.  This never worked for me before. But I haven’t tried this particular procedure in a while and thought it wouldn’t hurt.

Yeah, no joy .  (You can’t see the dart very well. I took it on the inside.).  I tried several other things pulling the sides up and down; pulled the CB up even higher.  Eventually I even scooped the back crotch. There was hardly any change to the appearance of the pants.

No joy for Bev with Silhouette 3400.

I’ve put the pattern away, for now.   I realize I have a contributing fabric issue.  This was purchased from Joanns bottom weight fabrics just last November. It is beefy, like I expect a bottom weight to be. It is Ponte Di Roma which includes a significant amount of rayon but also includes some poly. I don’t remember the exact percentages. Joanns is not known as a fine fabrics store, but I have found and sewn with better pant fabrics than this. In the end, I agree with the Clothingengineer: fabric can make the difference between a favorite and a wadder.

I might not be interested in this pattern at all except for the shaping in the legs. A lot of thought went into allowing room for hips, thighs, knees.  When I did my leg length alterations, I removed 1.5″ above the knee. I compared this pattern with my PP113 and aligned the knee.  Peggy has shaped side seam and inseam of both the back and front. This is meant to be a close-fitting or at least semi-fitted pant.  I would love to take advantage of the shaping. I always cringe when Peggy says that a hip dart will remove the back  diagonal wrinkles. Cringe again when it works on her models.  I’ve never had that work for me.  About 8 years ago, I also “did a round” with putting a dart on the back thigh just under the bum.  It would work beautifully on my muslin. Transfer to the pattern and make another copy and the diagonals were back again. What has worked for me, is sufficient fabric across the back, a nonclingy fabric, a  generous back crotch. The L and V-shaped crotches do not work for me, e-v-a-h. I need a nice deep J.  This crotch was not only kind of flat across the back extension like an L, but the upright rose at an angle.  I need the upright to be really upright.  I don’t understand why that makes a difference but it does for my body.

I’ve put this pattern  away to give myself time to think.   I’d like to use the side and inseam shaping. I just don’t know how at the moment.



BTW the hem circumference of this pant is 19″. That’s not a slim leg IMO.

Peggy responded much more quickly than I expected. Her advice was a it depends. She said the two, 16 and 16W were exactly the same (so why have 2). But if I felt I had a larger waist, go with the W.

Wrapping the fabric around me, is not the way for me to choose size. I can’t see what’s happening in back. Besides, I learned a long time ago that just because it goes around you doesn’t mean it fits.

Eureka Pant, Yoga

Eureka Yoga Finished

Done! Yes! But not without a little effort.

During fitting, I kept noticing that the crotch depth now seemed just a short.  Imagine my surprise when I measured the Yoke piece and found it was 1/2″ shorter than planned. Yep I’d cut it at 6″ instead of 6.5″.  Also, I planned to wear these just at waist level, but dang! I kept pulling the elastic up so that the bottom edge of the elastic rested at the waistline. My solution was to cut a second yoke  8.5″  wide which included the amount needed for waist band (1″*2) plus the seam allowances I’d omitted previously.  This caused another problem.  I cut the first yoke cross grain which stretched perfectly to fit the leg portion.  The new yoke had to be cut on-grain.  This ponte fabric has less stretch lengthwise.  I really had to tug to ease yoke #2 to the leg.

I planned to fold out 1/4″ length across the crotch and again above the knee.  This would remove a total of 1/2″ length.  Instead I folded out the 1/4″ at crotch and knee on the back but only folded out 1/4″ length across the front crotch.  At the same time I mismarked the knee HBL.  How do you do that?  Well my pattern has both the Knee HBL as designated by the designer and a second Knee HBL where my actual knee occurs.  There’s about an inch difference.  When I first started detecting ruching along the front leg, I attributed it to the mismarked HBL. After all that was something I had seen when trying to match the side seams.  I had not corrected the marking on the pant. I had smoothed the bottom leg across the top as I saw Angela Wolf and Kathy Ruddy doing in their classes.  Following that procedure, the legs matched.  Looking at those early pics, though, told me that I had missed something.  I walked the side and inseams and discovered the back leg was 1/2″ shorter from knee to hem and 1/4″ longer from Hip HBL to waist. I corrected the pattern for future use and trimmed the excess from pant.

I added a pocket!

Unlike the Pullon Pant, I was able to add a pocket without adding layers and layer of fabric in the waist area.  This is a simple patch pocket. I lined it, turned inside out and top stitched to the leg. I really am happy about this.  There are so many times when I need a place to tuck a kleenex or other small item.

I tried the CLA with intended changes i.e. my center pivot point is an inch lower and my top point was at the crotch instead of the widest hip. I’m not posting a picture because it was horrible. It made the wrinkles visibly worse. I’m not sure if that’s because I need so much removed or just something inherent to the alteration.I’m not exactly giving up on the CLA, but I’m not going to attempt it again until I have new information.  I did take advantage of Crafty’s last sale and am now working my way through Sandra Betzina’s Pants Fitting course. I’ve seen Sandra before and don’t know what to make of this course.  I’m already onto Lesson 4 and have learned nothing (other than I’m glad I didn’t pay the full price.) Also, it seems rushed and jumpy to me. Maybe it’s just that she is putting out so much more information than in comparison with her TV show. Maybe she really is rushing. Maybe I’d be more thrilled if I was making lots of notes. I promise to give a full review when I’ve finished the course. At this point, I’m still hoping she can suggest another solution for the back wrinkle situation. Because this:

didn’t thrill me either.  Wrinkles at the Yoke are probably caused by the 2nd yoke not being as stretch as the first. it will be covered up, so I’m not too sad.  I also note that in my effort to be sure the crotch was long enough, the yoke now seems to be too tall.  However that could be the result of the back being slightly too tight. Thankfully, also covered up by my tops. The leg on the left is not too bad. The one on the right has me asking questions.  Is my knee brace contributing to the wrinkles? I’m I standing oddly?  Do I really have an asymmetrical hip; and despite my Herculean efforts to correct leg lengths, both legs are obviously twisting between knee and hem.  So glad these are dark, light absorbing black, because in real life they feel great and don’t look bad at all

OK, I knew this first version of a Yoga style would be a wearable muslin. I’m not unqualifiedly in love with ponte. To me, this particular version always says “cheap” pants. It does hold up well to my normal laundry procedure and does recover fairly well to bending and stretching. So I”m not too unhappy that these aren’t perfect. In fact, I’m almost glad. Because if they were, I’d be lamenting them like I did the  Pull-on pant. I hate to make a perfectly fitting anything in poor fabric..  I’ll wear them until I make something better in the same color. If the yoke had stretched appropriately, I’d give the front two-thumbs up.  The side seam was perpendicular but still shows some issues with the leg length matching. The back view is puzzling. The left side looks OK. The right side look like: What the heck is going on?

I’ve already made changes to the pattern.

Yoke size is now 7″.5  x 21″

Side seams have been walked and are same length

Knee and Hip  HBL lines are at the same level on both back and front pieces. (This is where I place my notches.)

Back vertical tuck was removed adding 1/2″ ease to the back piece.

I think I’m ready to make another pair!

Eureka Pant, Yoga

Eureka Yoga’s

The last posts have been entirely too long. But I can’t seem to say what I want in fewer words. I thought well, I could make 2 posts for the next version. One of the preparation and a 2nd  post for sewing and fitting observations.

I do like the Eureka pattern for trousers and slacks. I think jeans require a different draft and I will continue to use TJ906, Jalie 2908 and B5403 when making jeans. But for any style that can be derived from a basic pant pattern, the Eureka is going to be my starting point.  Today I’m beginning the process to create a Yoga type pant.  I bought my first Yoga’s roughly 30 years ago.  It was a time of not impoverishment, but a period of my life in which every penny counted and needed to be stretched to its max.  Accordingly a girlfriend and I would spend every Saturday following payday shopping garage sales. This particular occasion, her mother accompanied us.  Typically, I didn’t purchase clothing at garage sales for myself. Even then I was an avid dressmaker and looked for fabric rather than garments.  My friend however preferred RTW. At one house she was frantically trying on garments by walking around a dividing wall and changing clothes while others came and left the sale. Oh yes, it was a sight and subject for titillation.  I was patient, a bit bored but patient because she would do the same for me. I couldn’t quite understand why she was so desperate to find dresses that would fit. Until her mother told me these were expensive designer clothes, some still with their $100, $200 tags still dangling.  I was a bit startled when from behind someone wrapped a garment around my hips.  It was the mother who urgently whispered in my ear “You need to buy these. They’re only a dollar.”  We had a short discussion regarding sizing and I did make the purchase.  These were my first Yoga pants.  They came without a label but were of obvious quality.  The very fabric was a dense knit I sometimes found in the “Couture” section of FabricLand (Reno Nv circa 1990 now out of business). She was right about those pants. They wore like iron for years.  I donated them only because DH was concerned the seams were about to burst.

Unfortunately Yoga pants are not always popular. It’s even hard to find a pattern when they are out of style. I’m glad to see that they have returned to fashion and for some reason, they are more of a staple instead of a trend. I’m sure I’ve seen various versions of Yoga pants for at least the last 6 years. Trends come and go almost within the same season. I did make a pair of Yoga pants a few weeks back using a ponte de roma and a pattern mashup of Otto 5/2010 #20 and the MSS. I wear those pants just about weekly. They are comfortable,but I always thought the leg was a little roomy.

I know I know, I’m still fighting the excess ease in the Eureka, but I want to do this anyway.  I want to use the Eureka pant and make a Yoga version. Despite yesterday’s experience with ITY fabrics, I also want to follow Kathy Ruddy’s suggestion and make a separate pattern for knit fabrics.  I traced the front and back to new tissue, marking the darts, knee, crotch and hip HBL’s.  Because of the changes I’ve made to the basic ease of the Eureka’s, I repositioned the grain line using Kathy Ruddy’s instructions. The front, didn’t move much, but the back moved about 3/4″. Kathy advises making a knit-muslin with this new pattern. I said “what did I just do with that ponte pant?” So instead of a completely new muslin, I adjusted the pattern based on what I experienced when the pant was first finished i.e. before being worn and stretched.   I folded both pattern pieces along the grain line. On the back I stitched a scant 1/8″ from the folded edge. That removes 1/4″  ease from each back. The front I stitched a scan 1/4″ from the fold which removed 1/2″ from each front. Then I folded the pieces on the knee and hip HBL’s. At each fold on each piece, I stitched a scan 1/4″.  Based on the soft brown ponte, that won’t be enough. But most of the stretch fabrics I use for pants are not that soft. At one time I would make pants from slinky. Pretty sure slinky would require a whole size smaller. My T-shirts do. But back to pants, I’m hoping this will be a nice compromise.  Some stretch pants I will need to stitch the side seams a little deeper, but most will be OK.

Then because I want Yoga styling, I traced the pattern altered for knits between the waist and the crotch HBL. Same as I did for the Pull-on Pant except for Yoga stylistic changes. This time I developed a 3″ yoke separated from the leg of the pant on both front and back pieces.  I didn’t use the yoke, although I did make the piece. I set that piece aside. The unique design of the Yoga pant calls for a rectangle of fabric to be used for the yoke rather than a curved yoke piece.  My question was what size should the rectangle be?  Could I just use the rectangle developed for the Yogastein pant?  I wasn’t sure. The MSS was developed for non-stretch fabrics.  While I kept the pieces, I know at fitting I made lots of changes.  I made it work. The Yogastein is a great pant. I want a reliable pattern so I can repeat that success over and over.  I decided upon a 6.5″ wide piece (twice the width of the yoke plus 2 1/4″ SA) the length of my hip.

I know I’m going to need to adjust the length of the yoke band. I’m also wanting to chip away at the excess thigh ease of the Eureka. I plan to establish the CLA using new points (Hip and Knee HBL and 1″ lower pivot) but not trim the leg.  First I want to baste the legs together without the CLA and make sure the diagonal lines don’t exist. Then I’ll baste along the CLA.  This may take a few sewing, photoing, ripping sessions. My fabric is a ponte knit with about 25% stretch. I measured the stretch over 4″ and know that I need to check the stretch factor.  It’s a firm fabric not at all soft like the last pant fabric.  I don’t particularly like this type ponte.  I purchased a sample from FashionFabrics to see what it was they were selling as ponte. I bought enough to make a pair of pants.  I figured if I don’t like the fabric, I could always use it to muslin pant patterns.  The only real downside is that the fabric is darkest black.  It will be difficult to see the shadows and wrinkles.


I’ve had an interesting and good life.  I’ve had many friends of various faiths.  Please allow me to sign off this post with the sincerest wishes for a Merry Christmas. Whatever your personal beliefs, I send you good wishes and hope you enjoy the season in your own way.


2010/5-20, Yoga


Similar to franken- pattern, Otto 5/2010 #20 has become a yoga pant frankenstein or yogastein.  I wanted to pursue fitting this pattern and during a recent shopping trip purchased two fabrics I thought would work well.  One is a ponte de roma with purple plaid on the face side. It is a nice fabric, but with that plaid I well understand why it was in the sell aisle at Hancocks for $2/yard.  The other fabric is a royal blue 100% polyester ponte.  I start with the ponte de roma thinking “muslin’ but then realize that I can use the inside as the public side. The inside is dark grey with darker grey lines appearing opposite of the plaid on the face.

As I was pretreating the fabrics, I realized I’m unnecessarily torturing myself with the fit process.   I have 4 pants patterns that fit perfectly or at least really well.  Each pattern required 2-3 muslins to achieve the fit I like. Each has almost exactly the same crotch curve and the same minimal ease.  Does it really make sense to start from square one, yet again?

Is there a way to jump start the fitting process of pants?  I think so. I was told that your crotch curve is your crotch curve.  Which makes sense. It’s quite likely that a body  of a particular shape and size is going to need the same curve and minimal ease with every garment. Oh sure, if I change styles drastically as from ski-slacks to a sarouel  this wouldn’t be true. But I wear typical American trousers, slacks and jeans.  The curve is much the same. Ease differs and grain lines change, but the curve is much the same.  I started by looking at the MSS short pattern. I think I’ve made a pair every other week.  After the first 3 pairs, I played with length and pockets but essentially it was the same short over and over. I faced the fact I would not be making or wearing shorts again until sometime in 2014.   To work with this pattern now, my yoga shorts must change to yoga pants. I wasn’t sure though if I had transferred all the changes from the shorts back to the long-legged pants version.   I pulled out the MSS tissues and compared them. The long legged version, required another 1/4″ scoop from the back crotch.   I don’t really want to mess up this pattern i.e. I don’t want to be chopping it apart, so I put fresh tissue beneath the front and back and using the rotary cutter, created a new working version.   Now I compared the MSS (working version) with the Yoga pant (OYP) tissue that I’d already traced and created an unsatisfactory version.  To my surprise the crotch curve, extensions and uprights were identical. The greatest difference is how the crotch of the OYP is slanted. Indeed the whole top portion (between hip line and waist). juts off at an angle.   I’m going to share two pictures.  The first shows the the two patterns with the grain lines aligned and the OYP on top.

The next one the OYP is still on top, but the crotch curves are aligned

I remember fighting with Kwik Sew patterns and never being able to eliminate the back leg wrinkles. KS has  the same angle as the OYP.  At the time someone kindly told me that they too were never able to sew successfully with KS pants patterns and felt that the issue was the angle of the crotch.  I really don’t feel like fighting any longer with this:

I aligned the pattern pieces by grain and trimmed the MSS to the same height as the OYP. Then I put the leg pieces of the OYP aside (and later threw them in the trash).

I cut my fabric and basted the pieces together.  There was no question in my mind that I would be ripping and resewing seams. I used water soluble thread (WST) in the bobbin to make that process as painless as possible.  I plinked with fitting the pant but couldn’t really figure out what was wrong until I realized the pant wasn’t wrong; I was wanting a narrower waistband piece.  Otto’s design is an 8″ piece, cut two, fold in half and attach to the top of the pant.  There is nothing wrong with this process. Having two pieces gives you two seams to tweak the fit for the waist.  When I realized it was my esthetics that were the issue, I quickly trimmed the waistband piece to my desired length.  I still needed to remove 1/2″ from the top of the legs starting on the front about 2″ from the side seam, completely traversing the back and then onto the other front for about 2″.  This did wonders for the wrinkles on the back, upper leg, but of course meant the crotch was now too short.  I scooped the crotch and also tweaked the front just a tiny bit by removing another 1/4″ from the top at the side seams. The MSS leg is wider than I want with a yoga pant.  Since I’ve changed just about everything else, I decided to remove 1″ from the side seams (total 4″ ease) below the hip.  I was taking pictures at this point when DH happened by and assured me that these pants were perfect.  Apparently he looked only between waist and crotch and pronounced perfection upon seeing:


LOL but they really are pretty good.  I’ve lightened the photos to the max so you can see what I’m seeing. I do think the front is perfect, or will be when I get those legs hemmed.  This is what I expect of a Yoga pant, something comfortable which doesn’t restrict movement but also does not have a lot of ease. (Big floppy pants can also restrict movement.) As far as I’m concerned nothing to dislike about the front.

I’m not sharing a side view, but  it was wrong. I need to remove 1″ ease from the front and add it to the back. It’s possible I might even need a little more ease than that for my rear. My issue is giving my rear enough ease without adding too much over the back-thigh.   I see the wrinkles on the left just under the waistband, I think I don’t have the pant sitting correctly.  Close fitting, knit fabric wants to grab a spot and stay there. So I’m not going to worry about it. It’s possible I should add a little more ease across the butt and take more from the back of the leg especially over the thigh. I do see the vertical line on the left thigh but it’s not mirrored on the right. Instead the right leg has horizontal wrinkles on the back of the knee. I’m inclined to believe that it may be the way I’m standing. Certainly the back of this pant looks nothing like the light blue version above. This is entirely wearable. That blue version was not.   

Will I make these again?  Yes but not right away.  There are a few other garments I really want to make first.  I have high hopes the next time I make these, I can make them even better.

2010/5-20, Yoga

Otto 5/2010 #20 Yoga Pants

OK this just isn’t working for me and to be truthful, I think the fabric is entirely to blame. The interlock which makes a nice beefy T-shirt, is too soft for the lower portion of my body.  It clings what I want  skimmed. I’m not finishing this muslin.  I will note a few lessons learned.

1) Oddly enough size 52 which is 6 sizes too large has the perfect ease for the back.

2) The front needs at least 2″ removed which would reduce it to my usual Otto size.

3) The back crotch needs to be scooped and formed into the Fish hook configuration that works best for me with other patterns.

4) My usual 1″ elastic did not work well. As a minimum  I need to add 2 more inches in length.  More could be better.  A softer elastic might be better.

5) A stretchy fabric with more body is a definite must.  The interlock chosen was just too soft for this style.


I’ve not abandoned the pattern. It is on hold probably until 2014.  I need to locate and purchase the correct fabric for the style.  I hope my readers are not terribly disappointed at not seeing this made up. Since I do like a yoga pant, I’d like to give this pattern a fighting chance to shine.  I promise to share the results when I’m able to find the right fabric. 

2010/5-20, Yoga

Ottobre Design Style 20, Issue 5/2010

For a time, several (15) years ago, I had one pair of yoga pants which I loved dearly.  Loved as in as soon as they were washed and dried, they were worn again.  My weight changed; my body changed;  and I believe  you should dress for the body you have now.  So, with great sorrow, I passed the pants onto another via Goodwill. Why was I fond of these pants and reluctant to let them go?  They were as comfortable as sweat pants but looked nice enough for business casual wear. No kidding. Mine was made of an expensive rayon/poly blend that skimmed the curves; never wrinkled; and laundered easily.  Travel? Oh yes, they could be worn on the plane all day, matched with top and a little bling to be worn for evening cocktails.  While I prefer to send my clothes out for laundering, this pair of pants also took well to a basin of water and dried overnight (usually). They were a great pair of pants.  Why did I not have more?  I purchased these in RTW.  Never had a pattern. Only years later did I realize I was kidding myself about any RTW pants really fitting.  Once I started taking photos of my pants, I realized none, not a single pair either RTW or self sewn, fit my rear.  My initial search pants patterns were for pants which could be tweaked to fit me using woven, non-stretch fabrics.  Knit and woven stretch fabrics were an entirely different nightmare.  I always intended to seek out a pattern for yoga pants and finally, they found me in Ottobre Design Issue 5/2010 Style 20.

I looked through this issue without crediting the photos highly.  Otto has a real ability to make the best patterns look disgusting.  Hey, it’s not just me.  Other sewist who recommended Otto to me warned me that Otto’s fabric choices and photography were woeful and not to be trusted.  I barely glanced at the action shots.  I was unimpressed with these pants until I saw the line drawing.  Then, very pleased, I said “Yoga Shorts!”.  With that, this pattern went into my sewing queue for spring, summer and fall 2013. Here’s the problem. I envisioned shorts. These are not shorts which is clearly shown on page 32 (I think).  They are Capris.

Firstly I can’t create good proportions for myself with Capris.  Partly it’s my figure and partly it’s my choice of lengths for my tops.  The best pant lengths for me are hemmed between mid-knee and  2″ above. A second good range is between my ankle and 1/2″ above the floor. As soon as I focused my eyes on the picture of the model in these pants, I realized I would need to shorten the legs.

I’ve made two other pairs of Otto pants. It wasn’t easy.  One became an immediate donation to Goodwill.  The other was finished and worn after multiple scoops, tucks and as I recall an insertion here and there. Also, the skill for  matching appropriate fabric to the pattern eludes me.  So I’m cautious about proceeding.  Usually I trace an Otto pattern as the sections relate to my body, plus 1 size.  What that means, is the Otto sizing chart says I have a size 42 bust.  A 42 bust is always too small.  It also says I have a size 44 hip. Nope, I can’t even pull my pants up or tops down if I trace a size 44.  After tracing multiple Otto patterns, I’ve settled on a scheme which works fairly well for me:  neck/shoulders 38; front bust 44, back 46; waist and hip 48.  I use a french curve to create the armscye and smooth out the side seam curves after I make my 1″ back waist length adjustment. But this time,,,, this time I threw that all out the window and traced the largest size given.  Here’s my delimna. First off, as explained, the size they say fits me never has enough ease to cover my body. Never.  Next, everyone complains that the American Big 4 pattern companies have way too much ease…. except for me.  I find that I need to narrow the shoulder and trim some off the front bust as well as making the BWL, but over all I don’t think they give me enough ease.  Partly that’s because of my fit preferences.  I like garments that skim my curves and give me a feminine shape but don’t reveal how really overweight I am.  I like the “Skims everything; Reveals nothing” ease formula. AND then there is my final issue, which I admit is totally self-inflicted:  I never seem to choose a fabric with the same stretch-factor as the fabric Otto chose when drafting the pattern. That can be a killer. It has caused me real heart ache time and time again.

I chose again to sew from my remnants.  Pants are difficult for me to fit. I prefer the first pair to be, at the most, a wearable muslin.  The pattern calls for a knit with 10% stretch.  I have nothing like that in my remnants.  I chose a medium weight, interlock, cotton/poly, knit with 25% stretch.  If this works well, I have another pair of shorts for late summer and early fall.  If this is bad news, I’ve made good use of a remnant and moved it out of the stash.

Oh I said “shorts” and the description is “Capri pants”.  After tracing the largest size, I added 1/4″ seams. I found and marked the straight of grain and hip line on both front and back pieces.  Then I compared with my MSS shorts pattern and folded the legs up to end at 1″ above the knee. I added hem allowances with side seam shaping so that I will have above the knee shorts with side-vents.

Next I aligned the back and front pattern pieces so the hems were even and the hip seam lines just touched at the side seam.  I measured.  From looking at the tissue I expected to split the back and front in half vertically and add more ease. But, my measurements say there should be enough fabric to construct these shorts with woven, non-stretch fabrics.  I also compared the crotch curve with the MSS shorts. The curve is slightly different. Not quite as deep or angled. But a crotch for stretchy fabrics should be a little different.  I’m leaving both crotch shape and ease alone for now.  I expect (I hope, hope, hope) that I will be taking in the side seams and even shortening the crotch uprights.  My plan is to baste all the pieces together, excepting the elastic.  To hold during fitting the elastic is going to need sturdy stitches.  But the rest can be held together for a quick photo session using 2.5mm stitch lengths and water-soluble thread (WST) in the bobbin.

I have to admit this decision was partly based on following evjc as she altered a jacket for herself using good fabric and basting stitches.  This is not necessarily a quick or easy fitting method. It is a reliable method if you start with enough fabric and if you apply a little patience to the procedure.