Sunday, May 15, 2011

04-2009-119 - a bit improved

*** a quick update after wearing them all day today (in normal shoes and socks !) Fabulously comfy ! ***

Had the day to myself and used it to finish the waistband, button, buttonhole and hems of the latest pants.

Text below is taken directly from my PR review - link to the real thing is on the sidebar.

Pattern Description: Trousers with curved four-piece waistband that are fitted at the waist and hips and gently flare to the hem.
I made this up 'as is' once and have since used it as a jumping off point for a narrower leg pant - possibly not my best decision.

Pattern Sizing: 34-46 - Originally, I cut a 44 waist blending to a 42 at the hip but as this is my 3rd tweak of the pattern, I have no idea what number it's at now for size. I do know it's smaller though !

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Nope

Were the instructions easy to follow? Burda ? Instructions ? Easy ?! I used Readers Digest, Singer's Pants that Fit, Sandra Betzina's fly tutorial as well as help from PR, specifically Sew4Fun's shifted leg recommendation and how-to.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It's a great basic pant - if I could only get a handle on those wrinkles !

Fabric Used: Same as last time - I found 10yds of a lovely, cushy bottomweight to use for pants practice. I want to say RPL but it could be just poly. It wears VERY well throughout the day.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Here we I said, this is my 3rd go at this pattern. My adjustments to date include:

Design changes:
- added pockets - I used the pockets from Butterick 6420. This was my first attempt at franken-patterning and had a bit of a problem. One of the pieces was measured too small and I had to redo it. I'm pretty happy with them now. I did not cut a pocket stay and was a bit worried about gaping, but once the waistband went on, they don't gape hardly at all.

- narrowed legs by marking 1-1/4 inch on each side of the leg at the hem and blending up to 1/4 inch at 2 inches below crotch line.

- took in the the back darts to a 3/4 inch depth (but left them the original length)

- took in 1/4 inch on each side seam from waist blending down over the hip and flattened that curve a bit.

- lowered center back waist by 1/2 inch

- scooped crotch approx 1/4 inch

- sewed a 3/8 inch deeper seam on the straight part of the CB seam

- on the back inseam I shortened the crotch extension almost 3/4 inch

- to remove some of the under-butt wrinkles I removed a wedge from the back leg under the crotch - 1/2 inch

After posting for help both here and on the Fitting Woes board on PR (and receiving soooo much feedback), I decided to try Sew4Fun's suggestion of shifting the leg. I cut the back leg in two just under the crotch and shifted the leg towards the inseam. After the fact, I realized I should have shifted the leg at the KNEE not the crotch, but the muslin showed the wrinkles were noticeably less - Wow !

However, I saw the grainlines were really distorted.

During sewing up the pants, those crooked grainlines were really bugging me - the inseams were so far forward and the side seams so far to the back.

With 3/4 inch SAs to play with, I sewed the fronts to the backs with 3/4 SAs for the back pieces and 1/4inch SAs (yes, it's too tiny, but I did it anyway) for the front pieces. This helped recenter the grainlines and place the seams centered to my leg, but in the final pics, those wrinkles are back !

The muslin pic above does NOT have the waistband attached. That may be part of the problem and shifting the seam allowances may have had a detrimental effect - but I'm not sure. Should have left well enough alone and just made one change at a time.

I DO like the front views and the back view is much better when I stand with one leg forward - we all know those wrinkles are worse when we're standing still LOL.

Please ignore the fashion disaster - I would not normally wear bright fuschia socks with heels !

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I do recommend the original pattern, but probably won't make it again as I prefer a narrower leg.

Conclusion: They're not perfect, but they're better than the previous pair, no worse than my RTW pants, and are wearable. I'm still working on a TNT pants pattern but I've learned a lot so far with these.

Now, I think I'm going to put this pattern aside for a bit. HP patterns have had good things said about them in regards to the L-shaped crotch for a flat butt. I've got Razor Sharp, Weekender Chinos, Plain & Simple and the Jean Jeanius patterns all in my stash. Plain & Simple would probably be the most logical one to start with, but the Razor Sharps are drawing my eye :-)


  1. Looking really GOOD, Claire!! The pants, too!! ;)

  2. I hooted at your comments about the instructions with the Burda pattern! The pants are looking pretty good, and I promise to ignore fuschia socks and heels - we all have those days!

  3. Great looking pants Claire...and
    I really do love the color of your socks too ;)


Thanks for talking to me - I love comments !