Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pants - they're why I prefer skirts

This is not a pretty post.

I used to know exactly what alterations I needed to make to fit pants.
Then I gained weight.

I've read over and over how much everyone loves the Burda draft for pant patterns.
So, I decided to make a pair of capris using a BWOF pattern.
Using BWOF 03.2008.126 I cut a size 50 with 1" seam allowances in strategic places, thinking I could avoid a pant muslin.
D'Nile is not just a river in Egypt, as the saying goes.

What was I thinking?
Who was I trying to kid?

first round: No pics.
I stitched them together, then had to rearrange the seams for my tilted waist/sway back, and take in quite a bit from the waist. I marked them up, then took them apart, made the changes to the pattern tissue, recut the cotton/lycra blend, then reassembled.
I don't like the front pocket shaping - which is neither here nor there in terms of the fitting.
Then I assembled the pocket in the front, and stitched together the pants, minus waistband and zipper. I'd forgotten to take off the wedge from the CB, so it's sticking out in the following pics.
The closure is a side zipper, so the left side is only pinned at the top - creating that bulge.

I have issues.
I don't know why it is so difficult for me to diagnose my own fitting issues here, except that I'm in such a state of denial about my whole shape and size.
I know that I need to alter the pant legs for my well developed calves - bike riding has changed the shape of my calves forever.
So next I put the waistband on, then put the zipper in, and released the side seam on the left leg, just to see how it would hang. I can't change the angle of the leg enough to get rid of all those XX in the back. The front fits ok. It's the back.

I know that what I really need to do is make a muslin - with all those black lines drawn - vertical and horizontal, and then grab a fitting partner here and get a pair of pants fit that I can make over and over again.
This is just pure ridiculousness.

Do you think if I just started with a skirt pattern that fit and then used the latest Threads pant article to draft my own I'd have better luck?

I've got Joyce Murphy's articles open here next to me, from Threads 121 and 119, and honestly, I did use the flexible ruler, and measure the crotch curve, and match it to the curve on the BWOF pattern, and it truly wasn't that much different.

What's going on here?
Should I just go back to skirts?

my parting shot (Summerset, you really do need to lay claim to the concept)
Stuffed summer squash.
halve the squash, then scoop out the flesh - I used a melon baller.
For best results parboil the squash boats for a minute or two.
chop the squash then combine with 1/2 c diced onion and 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced.
Toss in some fresh herbs. I went out back and cut some thyme and used it.
Sautee the mixture til onion and squash are tender.
Add diced tomato - I used a handful of cherry tomatoes since that's what I had.
Continue to saute for another 2 or 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 c seasoned Italian bread crumbs, S&P, and then fill waiting squash boats.
Top with a bit of grated parmesan, back for 12-15 minutes at 350.


Carol said...

I've had issues with skirts and pants alike. I measure me and I measure the pattern, but somewhere around my hips there is always a problem. I always end up taking things in about an inch either side. So I bought a Vogue fitting shell. It only arrived by post today, so I have yet to try it, but I think by going through that whole process I will come out with something that shows me exactly where I differ from the standard pattern and help me get it right one of these days.

Last night I drape fitted a shirt pattern for DH - he's huge in the chest and tiny in the waist, so his shirts need a massive darting at the back to fit. I pinned the muslin on tight and then traced the pin line with a crayon. When you take it off you get a good shape to compare to a pattern. Perhaps you could do something similar with a pants muslin? If I weren't on the other side of the world I'd offer to come and help you. Good luck!

toy said...

oh boy, there is so much I can say about this post, I can only imagine who you were feeling see that the weight gain has been rubbing you the wrong way lately, looking on the bright side, when you do get back to your normal weight you will be able to help others are have the same issues you have know because you've been there, you know how it is to deal with these unnecessary gliches to make patterns work for a curvier figure, and its very inspirational when you are going through it because there is a lot of people that need the advice, the help, you know
keep smiling

Anonymous said...

Please don't give up on the pants, Marji. They are going to look so nice with a bit of work. IMHO and from personal experience with almost the same wrinkles in pant muslins, I think the back is too large. Try taking in by pinning in the back side seam, inseam and maybe pinning up a tuck from CB over to the side, and see if that helps. BEST WISHES. Delurking here to let you know I love your blog and check every day :>)


Mary Beth said...

Hi Marji: Are these pants made with fabric containing lycra? You'll have a better experience while you're trying to fit your new figger using just plain woven. Joyce Murphy's pants are a good start but she cuts with a lot of ease and they just don't look like RTW no matter how well you fit them. It's the length of the crotch and the lay of the grain in the legs. After having good results with Sandra Betzina's new jean pattern I suggest that you try that one before you give up on pants. I don't have great results with BWOF without some well known (to me) alterations BTW. One that has to be done is to make the back crotch seam more vertical.

merry-one said...

Marji, you are not alone. I too prefer skirts for similar reasons. I drank the cool-aid last year, once again, after reading all of the positive comments comments about Burda pants. My experience was ugly. So, I retired, again, from pants. But I need some. So as you are one of my sewing hero's I'll be glued to the screen to see your amazing results. Which will give me hope. Oh mighty Isis. (now that probably dates me....he he he)

Nancy K said...

I feel your pain. It took me so long to get a tnt pant pattern, I have blocked it out. I even drafted a pair with Kenneth Kings cd book. Eventually I got a pair that fit, but I still wasn't happy. Then I got a pair of HP pants, the Razer, with that L shaped back crotch. Wow, what a difference. I still had other issues, but this was the closest I had ever come. I eliminated those side front pockets. They just make my hips look even bigger, but the basic draft is good.
I did it on my own with a 3 way mirror and a digital camera. I didn't try to fix everything at once and I kept copying over the original pattern and dating it and the muslins so that I could go back if the fix didn't work out.
I live in pants with my job and I was highly motivated to make it work. I don't buy other pants patterns anymore, but I add details to my tnt pants. I change the waist, the pant width etc. It is a lot easier than fitting a new pair of pants.

Nancy K said...

Now for the fitting issues. I think that a side view picture is necessary. Your posture may be part of the problem, but this can only be seen in a side view. I think that you need to pin out a fisheye dart between the crotch and the knee in the back. Debbie Cook has a tutorial on this on her blog. You also seem to need more room in the outside seem. Those diagonal wrinkles point to this. There is also too much body space in the back and you may need to lower the back crotch and remove some length from the top of the cb seam. The L shaped back crotch makes these adjustments much easier to do. You add to the cb down to the crotch and then draw a line from about 2" from the inseam to the back crotch point lowering as you go. I lower it a lot!

Lorraine said...

Marji- Size and shape issues aside- I think you look fantastic- what has been a revelation to me is Trinny & Susannah's "The Body Shape Bible"- because it's learning what best suits your shape that can change your life.
The TV series is better- you can see what they do for people, but basically it's all about the shape,

I'm a saddlebagging pear, btw.

Nancy K said...

Somehow I missed the side view. A wider leg would work better and give you more room for your calves. I think that Lorraine's comment is a good one. We have to realize what shape pant works for our body, and it isn't necessarily the one that worked 20 lbs ago.

kbenco said...

I am not qualified to comment on your pants, but can I offer sympathy, and competition? My pants look much, much worse than yours.
The squash look really good, I think I will try this with eggplant. Thanks for the recipe.

cidell said...

WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM!! I don't mean to shout. But, I'm getting closer and closer to the fact that I'm not an out of the envelope for pants.

Erica B. said...

I'll never be an out of the envelope kinda girl. Pants have been the bain of my existence. I look back on pants I did in my early blogging days and the ones I make now. I've made vast improvements. Not perfect, but better than what they use to be and better than RTW.

a little sewing on the side said...

*hugs* Marji, you are the warrior type, you WILL get the most amazing fit, because, that is what you do! I laughed at your post about my bike riding- I'm not even up to 5 miles! And you are recovering from and injury and you are out there doing quadruple...
You go, girl!

Linda said...

If it helps at all, I am up 7 pounds myself. I am sitting here eating my diet food for lunch. You are not alone.

And count me as one of those who never got a good fit on Burda pants. I got the same CB wedge problem you did and then I would get the wrinkles you got too. I am just not the same as the person they fit. I am opposite of you. I carry everything with a round profile, no saddlebags and I still can't get a fit either. I have not made pants in at least 2 years, maybe more. I'll live vicariously through you and cheer you on from the sidelines.