The surprising change in the fit of this pattern has me thinking hard. The first really successful pair was the 3rd version and constructed using a medium-wale, cotton corduroy.
The fabric has no discernible stretch. The pants have been worn and laundered at least once a week since their construction. The fabric has continued to soften and remain comfortable despite my physical changes. The leg is slightly flared, but the flare is not evident in the photos or during wear. In the photo there is only a slight indicate of my knees, the ease in the back thigh (which cannot be felt) and the slight tightness across the stomach (again not felt during wear). At the time and even now, I felt that the crotch as a whole was just a bit too long and the last change I did was to create a 1/8″ fold across the torso on both the front and back pieces. I felt I had the perfect jean pattern for non-stretch fabrics.
Then I made the Pin Stripe pants.
Frankly, the change in fit is astonishing. Had this been the third version, I would have ditched the pattern. The fabric is a cotton/Lycra twill. Very light on the Lycra. The pants will only stretch from 4″ to 4.5″. Even with the Lycra, this is a firm fabric; definitely medium-weight; definitely pant weight. I could wear these in the summer but not during the triple-digit temperatures. These pants are obviously too tight across the stomach and hips AND have EXCESS ease behind the thigh and throughout the leg. They look more like trousers than jeans. To be honest I expected body heat to soften and stretch the fabric creating a more attractive look after a short period of wear. To my surprise:
4 hours of wear creates a saggy, wrinkling mess! The legs of these were narrowed just before finishing. So not at the pattern or during cutting but just before hemming was completed. Only 1/2″ was removed from the hem using the same darting technique as shown with the canvas pants. Admittedly the pin stripe has less body than the corduroy. Still I didn’t expect the obvious drooping under the butt or horizontal pulling at the front thigh. No ease was removed at the knee. The pant should not be pulling at the knee. No ease was removed from the back thigh. The pant should not be pulling at the front thigh. I may chalk this mess up to the fabric and discard the pants . The pin stripe really isn’t that versatile in fact I made a coordinating knit top so that I would be able to even wear these pants.
Then onto the cotton canvas pants, now officially a member of the Brown 6PAC for Spring 2013. The pictures below have been lightened to the extreme. This brown is so dark and photos so poorly that I wouldn’t bother with posting a pic had I not wanted to examine the fitting issues.
The hem was narrowed a total of 2″ and the knee was narrowed 1/2″ by altering the pattern. This canvas fabric is medium to heavy weight and full-bodied. It’s not stiff as a board but has a hefty hand. With the narrowed leg, the front pant leg from knee to hem looks very nice to me. I expect the break over the front of the shoe which also creates a fold in the leg just above. This is a result of how long I like to wear my pants. Some things are what they are. This is one. If I don’t want the break or the fold, I must either shorten the leg to above the ankle or peg the hem. I’m not anxious to peg hems either. So I accept this is a good-looking lower leg.
It is the X wrinkles on the back leg which annoy me the most. How am I to remove the excess ease behind the thigh, if even 1/2″ causes the X wrinkles? And, LOL, while there is clearly excess ease behind the thigh, the front of the thigh appears too tight. I can’t really see what’s happening at the bu tt level on the back. The front crotch really seems to be pulling towards the rear. I assume that the back crotch is doing the same. The stomach area is begging for more room, while the waistband is suddenly too large. I think what is happening is that the torso is trying to push upwards as if despite the handfuls of ease in the back thigh, there is insufficient ease higher up. I thought I saw VPL and then realized it was the back pocket edge. I wear thigh highs. Lower wrinkles are lower wrinkling not VPL. Looking at the side view, I’m beginning to think that the entire back should be one size larger than the front, except that would add even more excess ease over the back-thigh.
But I’m not going to do anything other than plan to wear when the winter snows melt. Why? Well first off, my weight has been creeping upwards. I’ve added one more change to my lifestyle which should cut about 1000 calories per week from my diet. There are days, when I’d be happy just to stop gaining weight. But the true goal is to make enough changes that the weight decreases into the “normal for age and physical characteristics” range. I have another change coming up–that of adding a group exercise program–which won’t happen until the snows melt. (I don’t get out in the snow or mud unless absolutely necessary. Exercise can be done at home, inside the house.) And the long-awaited tapered pants from CLD should be in the mail. Now that I know what to do, I plan to follow step by step, starting by remeasuring. If the new pattern fits perfectly but pulls across my ta ilbone (as did the 1seampant on me), I’ll scoop the back crotch. I’ve come to the conclusion that my body has special fitting needs. So experts be damned, I’ll do what it needs.