Well having rushed through work to finish early today I was able to make my first test pair of pants, this pair from my duct tape pattern copy.
These are loose fitting pull-on elastic waist pants and I need a pattern for these, good for summer and schlepping and weekends. Now they are loose pants not really a test of fine fitting but I am super pleased with them for what they are. More precise fitting will be for future pants from different patterns and methods and I needed something wearable and comfortable at the beginning of this project.
A couple of notes:
- I made a traced copy of the front waistband from my original pants in which the front waist band is its own piece and interfaced. I noticed that this front waistband is curved and fits the body quite well, I don't know if you can see that in the picture.
- I inserted the elastic in the back and stitched through it once. In real pair I would probably do more stitching lines to distribute the gathers.
- I learned something important about fitting my tummy. You will note there are no front darts in these pants - I don't need them. What is there to fit? You will also see, as I did right away. that as this is very drapey fabric that there are a couple of vertical folds running from my middle down the front. These are produced by my soft middle aged stomach and disappear if I pull in the side seams or pinch out a pleat down the top of each leg, however if I do this I really articulate my round stomach and this is not at all flattering in the side view. Basically what is happening is my stomach is just there and there is extra fabric where my stomach ends. I have decided that I will leave these as is rather than over fitting to remove this fabric and revealing my real stomach shape. I will probably be wearing pants like this with a shorter top out over the waistband so it should be OK, but you may have other opinions and advice. I like the way, in the all important side view, that my stomach and nice round rear disappear the way it is now.
- The only issue I had with the ready-to-wear original was that it grabbed me at the back (for a good illustration of this see previous post of me standing out on my front step in my linen pants). This, for obvious reasons (see my body in my leo shots), has always been a problem. The awful thing if you have ever had it, with this problem is not just that you look like a dope, it is also really, really uncomfortable. I have for at least 20 years + being following the advice in all the books and articles and sewn a deeper seam to give more sitting room. If that had really worked I wouldn't be engaged in this experiment I guess. Anyway after reading at Stitchers' Guild about another and quite opposite approach, adding to the back crotch seam not subtracting from it, see previous post, I tried that. It worked! First of all by adding about 3/4" to the lower back crotch curve I acquired all the comfort room I needed and it looks smoother too, although not maybe in this picture but I am blaming the lighting.
- I can't tell you how happy I am with the shorter front crotch. I am sitting here writing this in my test pants and I look down and see a nice flat (relatively) stomach and not the poufy extra fabric I usually see.
This is a good start. Tomorrow I am making these up for real in what my mother would call "the good fabric" and move on to my Pivot and Slide test (if I can summon the energy I am going to get up at 7:00 a.m. to watch Sewing with Nancy as a gesture of respect - you know you are marginal in your interests when your best shows are that early on a Saturday morning, but I am counting on the recession to change that). The general shape of these pants has taught me a lot and if I want too I am sure I could refine and add darts.
Now off to dinner cooked by my patient husband. Let me know what you think.