Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 2011 Pants completed

As I took these pictures the pants kept getting more and more static-y. It's very "winter" dry in our home and my skin is like an alligator's so please forgive the pants looking like they are sticking to themselves in places. They are! I have already purchased anti static lining for the next pair.
What I like about these pants:
  • I like that they have a waistband. It adds length to my 5 foot tall frame.  To say it makes my legs look long would be a stretch, but it helps. Another reason I like the waistband is because my waistline dips in the front. On no waist pants it just drops and looks awful. Pants with a waist keep it in line where it is supposed to be.
  • I like the way the legs taper in very slightly. Yes, I have wide hips. Yes, Stacy and Clinton say its a crime to not wear pants that fall straight from the widest part of your hips. But, back to the five foot tall thing, if I wear straight cut pants AND a style without a waistline, I look like a block, a nearly square block. So don't believe everything Stacy and Clinton tell you.
  • I really like that I was able to conquer my lopsided hip bones, thanks to Nancy K's suggestion. It was simply a matter of cutting the right waistline higher, more later. Thanks again, Nancy. 
  • FWIW, I don't like my clothing tight and these pants may be a little looser than the way some like their pants but they are the way I like them.

What I don't like about these pants:
  • The back crotch seam, down low still has a bit of sag. I am not sure if I need to make the inseam shorter, or raise the crotch, or BOTH? Clearly further tweaking is in order.  I am sure the static isn't helping either. I will play with my muslin a bit more.
  • I don't like the static. My next pair will be lined and with an anti static lining. 
Otherwise I am pretty happy and will continue to tweak the pants on the February pair.

I have had questions regarding my use of oaktag. First, where do I get big oaktag? I don't. I use manila folders and duct tape them together.
I did commit this pattern, which I copied from a pair of 20 year old pants, to the oak tag. I will make changes on it as I tweak along here. You can see how I had to make each separate piece due to the difference in my left and right sides.
Straight of grain is drawn on each piece and they are clearly labeled. I think it is important to put the date on the pants. A bit ago it occurred to me that it wouldn't be a bad idea to put my weight on the pieces as well. That way, next time I make a pair, I will hit the scale, something I don't do often, and can see if adjustments are coming. Its hard to see here but the details are drawn on with tracing paper and a tracing wheel, very easy. The darts are cut out to make the marking easier on the next pair. You can see the pockets drawn on as well. This pair didn't have pockets but the next will. .

Fitting changes I made:
  • Again, about 20 years ago, I attended a traveling sewing seminar in NH. They focused on pants fitting and I was lucky enough to be picked to be the fitting model/ guinea pig for the afternoon. What I learned there I transferred later to what I think was a Donna Karan suit pattern's pants, not sure. First I reduced the leg length above the knee as well as below the knee to maintain the shape. She also gave us measurements based on our height for the width of the hem and I like what she came up with for my size. I usually didn't wear pants that narrow on the bottom and they seemed more flattering with her suggestion. Do you see the difference in the taper on the front piece and the back piece? That's how the original pattern was and it seems to work. Comments? I may try matching them on the muslin just to see what will happen. It would take some more volume out.Hmmmm.....
  • Fast forward. I did Peggy Sager's technique on her website for changing pleated pants to darted ones. You can find it here.
  • Next I added the height to the right side seam, both front and back, tapering to nothing at the first dart. 
I need to fine tune that rear a bit but overall I think it came out better than I planned. I am looking forward to February's pants which will have the slanted pockets, like the original and be traditionally lined. I may split the waist band at the back. We will see. The fabric for the next pair is another poly rayon and looks linen-y but is much softer and heavier, if that makes sense. It's a journey, isn't it?
Thank you to everyone for all your lovely, kind, and inspiring comments on the Rose Sweater. Admiration from your peers is always wonderful to receive and I thank you so much. I really look forward to communicating with you all each day and so appreciate you stopping by to visit. It can be a bit isolating up here at this dreary time of year and being able to share time with others who totally understand my passion is such a gift. thank you,,,,Bunny


  1. They look good, static and all. I totally agree about making yourself into a little rectangle when choosing pant width. I've done that once and am not going back! Do you have two darts on each side of the pant back? I have found this necessary in straight skirts, too. It helps to take up the excess when the ratio between waist and hip is pretty big. The split center back seam is a must for me in pants, although I rarely make them. I can fine tune the waist fit just a little better with one.

  2. Bunny ~ what a great job you did on your pants. I think I need to oaktag my pants pattern now that I have a sewing room again and a place to hang them...but I digress, I really wanted to tell you that my pants hang from my hips and don't cup my buttocks either. It is not a fit/look that I like so I totally understand and agree with the way your pants look.

    To me fit is what works for your lifestyle and your body.

  3. Carolyn said it perfectly! As "professional" as Stacey and Clinton are (and I love their show!), some advice is not "one size fits all"! I love your pants, and the oaktag pattern makes perfect sense for any TNT pattern! Great idea!

  4. Oaktagging my pants pattern is a good idea.
    I just re watched Peggy Sagers pants fitting video and according to Peggy, it's either crotch depth, length or width and she takes in at the side seam s only. Everybody has their own point of view and she's pretty opinionated. I think that she would take a tuck at the rear, horizontally out to nothing at the side seam. She'd probably also take in the side seam a bit. But you said that you like them a little fuller, so really they look pretty damn good. One thing that Claire Kennedy said to me is that if you want to sit down comfortably y you may have to sacrifice a perfectly smooth rear end. There comes a point when the cb starts pulling down when you sit. You got rid of those pesky diagonal wrinkles and the rest is personal taste.

  5. Summerset, I do have two darts on the rear and you are so right. With a large ration between hip and waist you really need that number two dart.

    Nancy, I figure I may possibly go back to work and these pants would be "sat" in all day. So that extra "scosh" is OK.

    Glad you like the oak tag idea. My goal is to get a TNT pencil skirt and a TNT princess seamed blouse and jacket, lots of oak tag!

  6. I think those pants look great on you. You're such a tiny little thing that how could they miss?

  7. Lovely! I've got a pair of pants "on the go", hope they turn out as nicely as yours.
    As for large sheets of oaktag, have you tried an art supply store? I live in a major centre (Edmonton, Alberta) and have no trouble getting it. Not sure how easily found it would be for you. File folders would work quite easily, though. I like your idea of using oak tag for TnT patterns. I've a straight skirt pattern I make and use all the time that I need to preserve.

    Well, got to get ready for teaching, have a good day and stay warm and safe with the snow!

  8. Bunny - these look great - I mean great. They hang beautifully, and I agree with hanging straight from the widest point - we short folks have to watch that...I solve that by making that line as straight as possible so that there's no "under curve".

    Usually when you have a "sag" like that in your crotch area, usually means that it's being drawn down for one reason or another. Those reasons could be that the curve on the crotch is flat or has a lot of fabric horizontally "hanging" without much vertical support, OR that it's being forced down because the crotch is too high. Because of the fit of your pants it might be a little more of the former than the later, but it could be either one. To prevent the sagging, you can do a little interfacing through the crotch area or you can straighten that curve to offer more vertical support in the fabric. I hope that makes sense.

    But here's the real fact. These pants are wonderful, and this is a VERY minor little glitch that most folks won't even see. And you have a pants pattern that works for you, fits you, fits your lifestyle, fits your shape, feels comfortable and workable for you. Since you're wearing them - that makes it even nicer!!! I know a duh! comment, but amazing how we forget that. We are not Beyonce, Twiggy, Kate Moss, Catherine Zeta Jones all in one body (thank heavens - what pressure that would be!)

    I love your pants!

  9. Nice trousers, and even better that you're happy with them!

    I write the date, my weight and measurements on altered patterns. Started last year and I hope it helps.


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