B5681 Front (above) and back (below): the white tracing paper (on the right) shows the pattern I made. The one on the left shows the original pattern tissue modified to suit length, size, crotch depth, crotch shape and dart length. We'll refer to it as version 2. Note that in both instances the darts are shut.is the reason that these were such a bitch to fit:
Some things to note:
- Don't think a muslin will save you when it comes to pants. Sometimes it's 2 or 3 muslins that will save you. Though you'll want to kill yourself by then.
- The pleat is so heavy on this first version (the one pictured, and the one after the muslins), that it drops below the outside hem of the legs. Mind you, I think it's designed to do that - even though I don't like it. It is not observable when you wear it, but it's quite observable in photos.
- The pleat was so heavy on the inside of the garment that I stabilized it by adding a short horizontal row of stitches right at the front where it meets the crotch. Way ugly, but the only recourse, as I could see it.
- I used the actual pattern to make the next round of alterations: additional shortening of crotch length by another half inch (on top of the inch removed in the first version).
- I cut the 14, not the 16. This may still be too large, but I can work with it when sewing.
- I closed the darts permanently on the new version.
- I made sure the crotch arches in version 2 match the first version's. That worked well.
- I lengthened and narrowed the back darts, as per the first version.
- I cut three inches off of the bottom. (On version 1 I had to cut about 5 inches off the bottom and I still had a inch of hem allowance.)
- Version 1 is still too big, just less too big.
- I used the original tissue pattern to make version 2 cuz, if it doesn't work, I am definitely NOT using this pattern again. Low risk, I say.
Here's a shot of the inside pockets. They're a dog's breakfast as is everything interior on these - I was basically slashing and burning as I went. In truth, given what I had to do to make them fit, the inside is in remarkably good shape:
The hem and a shot of that pleat which will never be sewn by me again. Getting that fabric to hold a pleat was an insanity.
And here's the zipper. Note the totally bizarre situation where the 2 pleats meet at the inner crotch but the extra fabric bulks at the front and back crotch.
Here you can see that unsightly horizontal stabilizing line just above the pleats at the front crotch:
I had to manipulate a lot of these photos to make detail visible, but the colour of the fabric is most like that in the first shot of the culottes lying on the bed.
So, experiment complete. But I will make them once again, probably sooner rather than later, because I did spend more than an hour altering a paper pattern to reflect what I think will be a well-proportioned garment next time around.
Please do give my your feedback. Are you surprised I've had to make so many changes to the next version, given that I did make 2 muslins? Do you like these, in theory, at least? Aren't the pleats bizarre? Let's talk!