Saturday, February 15, 2014

StyleArc Claudia Pants: The Fitting Continues

Well this is getting interesting...

Remember this altered pattern, which I lengthened by 3/8" at the top and to which I added fabric to the crotch curve and inner thigh?

Left pieces are the front of the pants, right piece is the back...
Well, I spent a while basting the shell together, to see what would come of it and here's what I discovered (other than, man - they were way too big just about everywhere):

The fabric shows my first iteration of the altered pattern, discussed in the previous post linked to above. The paper shows the new alterations on the basis of what I learned having basted the first iteration, cut fabric together.

Just to complicate things visually, in this pic, the left piece is the back of the pants and the right pieces are the front. The pattern has been altered to reflect the changes I believe are required having tried on the basted muslin for fit.
Important note: Ordinarily, I would start with new fabric because I shortened the crotch from the midpoint of the crotch curve, where that flap of fabric is now, and the back piece (having a hem dart) from below the knee. Alas, one cannot do that with one's already cut fabric, so I'm shortening this muslin from the top and bottom of the pattern. Because I have SO much excess fabric, I can do this (though we don't know if it will have unknown impacts re: grain). I suspect not, given the lengthwise and widthwise stretch of this fabric, but I do think it bears mention.

This round of alterations:
  • Adding 3/8" of fabric at the waist wasn't a bad idea - but I did need to remove 1.25" of depth in the crotch all around.
  • Shortened the length of the pants, below the knee, by 2 inches. I guess my legs are really not that long...
  • When I shortened the front curve, it made almost NO difference to the line of the front crotch because that front curve is practically flat almost to the base. I did have to take some width out of the hip (probably that extra inch I added in when I altered the original pattern per my denim leggings pattern) and a bit out of the inner and outer legs. BTW, I sense that the front curve looks like that because of the relative fullness of my abdomen.
  • The back piece got most of the attention... That little wedge of paper taped on top of the piece is the amount I had to remove from the previously altered back crotch curve once I shortened the rise (as I trued the pattern piece to reflect the new rise). If you look at the top photo (the one showing my starting point before this round of alterations) you'll observe that what I've done, essentially, is return the curve to that of the original pattern by removing a lot of the extra width I added into the primary alteration of this crotch curve (on the basis of what I learned the last time I made stretch woven pants (denim leggings)). My point is, all I've really done to alter this pattern is shorten the crotch curve by 1.25 inches and add about an inch of extra fabric to the inner thigh (from the back piece). Oh, and shorten the legs below the knee.
  • Less notably, I also had to remove a reasonable amount of width from the hip and leg on the back piece...
What actually fit right out of the envelope? Well, the proportion was almost smack on for my body, which you can more or less discern by looking at the newly altered pieces atop the, as-yet unaltered cut fabric. The waist height, once I addressed the crotch depth, was almost perfect. The darts were a good width, as drawn. The waist fit almost perfectly.

Even though, when I tried on the basted muslin, I might have called it a disaster, on 5 minutes of reflection, this was fairly easy to improve.

Now let's see how the next version works. This time I'm actually going to sew.

10 comments:

  1. Kristin -- Perhaps you could do a try-on for this version and ask readers to assess the fit -- I've seen that methodology very successfully for pants! BTW, I do think you can cut the previous pants. I think for grain, what I learned in my pants seminar is lining up the pattern points on the knees is very very important to keep the grain straight -- ....With all that said, I love J Stern, Jalie and HotPatterns pants, but when I made Judy Kessinger's or Burda's -- they were disaster because I didn't use my own TNT patterns slope for the crotch curve. . (Sorry Judy!). I guess my Judy Kessinger pattern is still a work in progress. Good luck! I would think you could rock Jalie, though.

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    1. Hey Pam: I'm not really into the fitting photos (or any photos, really) at this time. I'm just not feeling great about pointing to flaws given my current state of mind. But I agree, it would be perhaps my most useful strategy... I haven't heard of Judy K - should go look her up. And I do enjoy Jalie pants. I've made a couple of those patterns with success.

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  2. these look promising! it's great you were able to recut from your existing cut fabric to tweak the fit, can't wait to see how these come out!

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    1. It was lucky, but in the end that muslin was a wash. Onto the next batch of fabric :-)

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  3. Well, I was very glad to hear that you are enjoying the process. Looking forward to seeing the next (final?) version.

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    1. Apparently not final. Stay tuned for Muslin 4.

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  4. Ooh pants-fitting! It's definitely worth the time to work through it. Working with stretch adds another puzzle, too. In my experience a lot of stretch pants patterns have been roomier than the intended fit. Perhaps the stretch reductions were conservative to give us room to fit? I hope you share when you're finished!

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    1. It's true, every stretch fabric ups the ante. I guess they're giving you as much opportunity as possible, or so they think, with the roomy pattern drafting. I say, find a stretch content you like, and stick to it. Then make the pants as fitted as possible with that degree of stretch in mind.

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  5. Pants fitting is something else and your process working through this pattern is very interesting. I am watching with great interest.

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    1. :-) Hopefully it will stay exciting!

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