Category Archives: 2007/5-16 Otto jeans

Analyzing Otto 5/2007 Style 16

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.

This is as light as I can get the pictures.

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.


Finally Pants for the Brown 6PAC


Hard to see I know, but these were constructed using Otto 5/2007 #16, by now a TNT and favorite jean pattern.  I’m using a fabulous fabric. It’s cotton canvas in  deep cocoa brown just like what came out of the Hershey’s can when mom baked from scratch. One side of this fabric is rough like canvas, as expected. The other however has a velvety finish.  I used the velvet finish as the public side.

The fabric falls into the medium to heavy weight class.  I doubt that I will be tempted to wear these pants on into summer, but they will be perfect for spring and more than welcome when the first cold snap occurs next Sept/Oct.

I narrowed the leg and reduced some of the back thigh ease by darting out the ease on two sides of the pattern. I’ve indicated where I placed the darts with the green shading in the diagram below.

Darts were placed on both front and back leg pieces. Darts were 1/4″ wide at the hem. The inseam dart ended about 1″ below the knee. The dart on the side seam narrowed to 1/8″ at the knee and then ceased about at crotch level.  When sewn, each dart remove 1/2″ at hem level for a total of 2″ from each leg hem and 1/4″ from each knee.  Looking at the back leg of the PinStripe pants:

Feb 2013 Pin Stripe


I felt that 2″ was and acceptable reduction.  I folded the darts and taped with repositionable tape. I didn’t want to remove the width permanently because I remember how good the corduroy pants  legs look and feel. If ever I use a beefier fabric, I would remove the darts and use the pattern as originally drafted.

Dec 2012 Corduroy Pant


The finished slimmer leg in cotton duck ..

Brown 6 PAC


even though hard to see in the pic, has the same look and feel as the corduroy pant– even though it is a full 2″ narrower.   Unfortunately the slimmer leg created my dreaded X wrinkles


There are other fitting issues, which I want to discuss in a subsequent post. In this post I wanted to document the fabric used and the pattern alteration. To me it proves that the simplistic answer (demonstrated above) for narrowing legs does not work for my figure.

Pants for the Brown 6PAC

Chocolate on white pinstripe pants

My fabric is rather new. Not more than 18 months. I’m sure I bought it specifically thinking of summer yet here I am using it in the middle of winter for spring wear. I wanted to fill out the basics in my brown capsule.  I was thinking: “I already have a solid dark brown pant. The dark brown strip matches exactly the existing pant. So why not use this one. ”  Also in mind was the sheer boredom just days ago of having worked with the solid black fabrics. There are several troubling aspects to this fabric choice but I’ll write more on that later. I’m not sure where I purchased it either. I have been “keeping an eye out” for pant weight fabrics with just a touch of stretch.   This is a twill weave of mostly cotton with just a bit of Lycra.  It has what Peggy Saggers would call a “slight stretch”.  a 4″ swatch stretches only to 4.5″. I think that’s perfect for woven fabrics. Usually I don’t notice any difference in sewing but during wear the garments are more comfortable and resist wrinkling.

No belt= funny wrinkles

I decided the fabric needed to be made with a pattern designed for non-stretch fabrics and I had jeans on my mind.  (I really want a new pair of jeans.) So I decided upon using Ottobre 5/2007 #16.   It was more difficult to fit the Otto pant to my own figure. But once fit, this pattern has become a favorite.

But as I was sewing I came to believe that I’d made several mistakes. I think this fabric would have been better utilized in a trouser style.  Undoubtedly, some of those wrinkles are from the pant being too long.  Generally I do make my pants a bit long.  I find that they tend to continue to shrink lengthwise.  In a year’s time, most of my pants would be too short, for my personal taste, if they had originally been hemmed at exactly the right length. So some of the folds can be chalked up to length, but others are the result of fabric characteristics and lack of a belt. Compare today’s (above) cotton twill with the corduroy pair  made December 2012

Corduroy, Dec 2012 Same pattern

OK the belt definitely helps and the turned up hem on one leg certainly detracted  but the point is this cotton twill hangs differently from the cotton corduroy.

Alrighty then today’s pictures have several issues. The pants are hemmed at the longest length; one hem caught and turned up; I’m not wearing a belt and the waistband is not finished. After these pictures, I took in the side seams from just below the crotch to the hem 1/8 to 1/4″ I made like a big dart with the pointy end at the hip. So I slimmed the hems by a total of 1/2″. I also finished the waistband, top stitching it and  nailing the facing into place before adding a hook and eye closure. The finished pant with belt looks slightly nicer.

But I still think these pants are an error. Noting that they would be better as trousers than jeans, I threw away the pockets and skipped most of the top stitching. I top stitched the edge of the waistband because I find that’s my best method for keeping the waistband crisply turned and  the facing on the inside.

This fabric doesn’t “read” as brown. No from 10 feett away the pants look  “white” and as such don’t round out my brown 6PAC.

I also ran into issues when selecting fabrics for the tops. I didn’t like anything other than plain white in combination with this fabrics. I had wanted to use yellow as my “pop” of color. I didn’t like the looks of the pin stripe against the yellows. I tried the pinks, peaches, other browns. I think my distaste is wacko. But there it is, I liked only a plain white top with this fabric. That means I won’t wear these pants with any of my other tops; ergo they aren’t a good basic and they aren’t a good  for my Brown 6PAC. Ugh.  Pants done, but 6PAC is out of kilter.

Style 16 Ottobre 5-2007 Version 2 Finished

Originally Published

I’ve noticed something. I’m probably not the first to notice this. It’s probably been noted long ago somewhere else. But I’ve noticed that the better my clothes fit, the more comfortable they are to wear. I’ve also seen that the better my clothes fit, the closer to the body they can be fitted and therefore I can often wear a size smaller than would be anticipated.

V2 Finished

When I put these on to take final pics, I didn’t want to take them off.  Seriously, they felt that good.  But I had problems when finishing them. My new serger the Viking S21 didn’t like more than 4 layers of thick corduroy.  You get more (don’t forget the thread from serging) at the pockets. You get even more at the belt loops. It also didn’t like trimming off 3/4″ of 2 layers of thick corduroy especially at crossed seams.  This is a hefty fabric.  I bought it intending to make a jacket.  I used it for pants because I faced the fact I was never making a jacket of this particular color. I don’t wear many jackets and this color is simply not that versatile in my wardrobe, YMMV.  I broke a needle. BROKE. A. SERGER. NEEDLE. SIZE 90. To solve my problems, I manually trimmed the excess seam allowance with my rotary cutter before serging. Where the serger skipped stitches, or the thread broke leaving only one row of locking stitches, I reinforced at the sewing machine, my Viking Designer Ruby.

Ruby loves all fabrics.  Give her the right foot and she mows through the toughest situations like its everyday routine.  For these seams I used a new foot which was designed for Janome machines.  It’s called a Rotary Feed (RFF) foot. I’ve marked it with a green arrow

Janome Rotary Even Feed Foot

because it comes with the 5 attachments shown.  I didn’t use any of the attachments just the basic foot which I introduced to DH as “My personal Sherman Tank”.  He could see what I meant immediately.  I have a Janome, MC9500.  I love it for embroidery but don’t like to sew with it.  I gambled that the foot would fit on my Ruby because the MC9500 came with several feet which I use on my Ruby.  I often like the Janome version of the same foot better.  Maybe the Janome feet have to be better because the machine sews like a squirrel.

Maybe I should explain that.  If you’ve never sewn with a Janome or maybe you only sewn with a Janome you have a different experience from my own.  I love the way the Bernina 9mm feet control the feed of the fabric. I have the same experience with my Ruby.  As I stated above, put the right foot on Ruby and she sews anything and begs for more.  The Janome stitches fine. Comes with a nice range of stitches as well as making beautiful embroidery but when I sew on it the fabrics seem to float.  I have more uneven seams and wavy seams than I would think possible for a woman with over 5 decades of sewing experience.  I should be able to execute a straight seam in my sleep.  But if I’m sewing at the Janome, I have to pay attention because the feed system is different, the fabric will float and I will have wavy seams. 

So I took a chance and sure enough, the RFF not only fit my machine but works wonders.  I had the straight stitch foot on, but with it Ruby had problems dealing with the edges, especially during back stitching (usually solved with a shim of some type).  Slip the RFF on and the problems were gone.  I could have used the Walking Foot., I bought one. Spent an hour trying-out it and its interchangeable parts. The first time I really needed the Walking Foot, I spent 10 minutes jiggling it around without getting it in place. Frankly, I’ve gotten so accustomed to the easy slip on/off feet of the Viking that I’ve forgotten how to use the feet which need to clamp on. I think the RFF will replace my walking foot.

Back to the pants,

V2 Finished

because I had sewing issues the final stitching wasn’t exactly on the basted stitching. Oh and I had to rip out some of the basting. Some of the seams crossed and had to be ripped back just a bit to allow serging of the uncrossed. I had also noticed when stitching the legs that the back leg seems just a bit longer than the front. Just a little, like maybe it was the effect of the corduroy either slipping during cutting or during stitching.  Because the butt kept bagging a little, I ripped the yoke from the leg and trimmed 1/2″ off the top of the leg (where it meets the yoke).  In the end the pant is more than good enough to wear.  The waist is still a bit large most notable by the fact that the back and center front both sag a little. If I keep gaining weight, I may come to appreciate the extra ease.

I didn’t intend to make two versions let alone 3 of this same pattern.  But I”m going to.  I wanted a classic jean pattern for woven non-stretch fabrics.  I wanted it fitted and ready to use on a moment’s notice. Well it’s fitted but I wouldn’t want to start another pair with this tissue. I made too many changes.  Too many to remember; too many that were geared to altering this specific garment to fit.  I’ve decided to make another pair. On the next tissue

Back will be cut size 50 with size 52 inseam

Front will be cut size 50

Legs shorten 1.5″ above the knee and 2.75″ below the knee

Front waistband add 3/4″

I haven’t decided what to do about the back crotch.  The TJ906 back leg doesn’t line up with Style 16.  Tj906 is drafted for 2 back leg pieces as well as the yoke and waistband. The dart and ease can be shifted around and divided up a lot more with that many pieces.  Also I scooped twice.  It’s difficult to determine where to line up the pattern pieces to create the same scoop.  I’m thinking I might be able to borrow a Burda back crotch from one of the Burda pants I’ve already fit.  Trouble there is that those patterns were designed for slacks and trousers. The draft for slacks and trousers is vastly different from jeans.  Even the grain is marked differently. I know that grain can be manipulated successfully but and that’s a big BUT you need to know what you are doing or you will get  spurious results.  If I do this wrong, instead of a nice fitting crotch and cute tush, I could get something ugly.

Note about sizing.  According to my cm’s I should select an Otto size 44.   A womanly size but much smaller than the 50 I will be using for this jean pattern.  I think the difference is with the way I want clothing to fit. I like a little ease.  I would describe my desired fit as semi-fitted but maybe loose is more accurate.  I like enough ease so that nothing is pulling, straining or hampering my movements.  That’s part of why I choose to wear the styles that I do.  But I like my clothing close enough to still show I’m a lady.  I believe the Europeans like their clothing to fit closer and perhaps the 44 would feel fine if I were European. Conversely, with the Big4 patterns I’m always using 2 sizes smaller than they recommend.  I’ve noted many, including other Americans, stating that the ease in American patterns is drowning.  There was great excitement about the Australian company, Style Arc, because the ease is more like all of us expect from RTW and what the majority like to wear. For myself though, I gave away both my Style Arc patterns because they were too small even though I purchased the size they recommended.  I have wondered if I’m taking measurements correctly. In fact I measured in several places to be sure I’m using the largest bottom measurements

Style16 V2F3

Originally Published

Again V2F3 would mean Version 2 Fit #3 of Style 16 in Ottobre 5-2007.  In the third fitting I concentrated on fitting the crotch.  At one point I could not continue to ignore that the waistband was too large as were the sides after having been let out 1/4″.  I took the time to sew the sides seams 1/4″ deeper at the waist, tapering to just inside the previous stitching lines.  So a variable amount was changed on the side seams.  I also added the belt loops, but not the facing.  My facing is a woven jacquard which while it will look lovely is not up to repeated stitch and rip sessions during fitting.

I scooped the back crotch twice.  Understand that scooping the crotch is something that cannot be done timidly. Nor can you unscoop.  You must stitch and then trim fabric.  If you don’t trim the fabric the crotch will not reshape. But once trimmed, it’s gone.  Nonetheless, I know from experience that I need a big scoop.  I scooped a full 1/2″ the first time. I measured down in the crotch 1/2″ and drew a curve to reconnect center back,  crotch bottom and crotch front. I stitched, no I serged to the left of that curve. Serging removed the excess at the same times as the crotch was scooper. Oh and BTW before scooping the crotch, I serged the inseams thus replacing basting in that area too.

But 1/2″ was not enough.  I pulled out the newly fitting back crotch piece from TJ906.  I didn’t do this frivolously. I know that, despite other’s claims, a crotch cannot just be swapped from pattern to pattern.  There are multiple details which are set to determine a good fit from any particular draft.  Changing one detail can cause all the others to be off. A huge difference between this draft and TJ906 is not only the depth and hook but also that TJ906 has a very upright center back seam.  That upright center back seam works in conjuction with a 2-piece back leg, the hook shape and numerous other details. But I copied it. I didn’t feel that scooping 1/2″ had gotten me far enough fast enough. So I copied the always successful TJ906.  In doing so I largely but not completely straightened the center back curve of OttoStyle 16 as well as it’s hook.  And then I tried the pants on to take pics.

What I see preplexes me.

After scooping a full 1 inch, the butt on the right, “After using tJ906 Crotch” looks good. Cute even.  Hard to imagine it belongs to the same person who’s rear is on the left, titled “Before Scooping”.

It’s the wrinkles below that I still have issues with:

.The major wrinkles are all coming from the knees.  Yes there are still a few small wrinkles pointing to butt, however I have seen similar wrinkles disappear when the knee wrinkles are fixes.  It’s too late to fix the knee wrinkles. Yeah sorry. Those are fixed by adding at least 1/4″ to the inseam.

So is this a wadder?  Not to me.  The butt looks cute. Front and side look good. The pant will wrinkle some place as I move and most people won’t notice the other back leg wrinkles. Why?  Because they will be looking at my cute butt.  Verdict:  Finish the jeans.


Originally Published
i.e. Version 2 Fitting 2 which was letting out the side seams 1/4″.  The markings on my throat plate are in millimeters (mm).  I stitched at the 20 instead of 25 line which means that I let out the side seams slightly less than 1/4″.  Despite that bit of quibbling it is safe to say I added 1″ ease (1/4″ to each of 4 side seams or 1″) with the following result:


It’s important to note that the side seam was released only below the waistband all the way to the knee. The waistband is the same as in the first fitting.  I released to the knee because of the glaring X wrinkles on the back.  Both the front and the side look OK.  There’s no real pointing to my tummy as before.  I think the slight horizontal folds, which only show up in the PICS, are probably developing because the waist has stretched.  I’ll pull the waist back into shape when I add the facing and of course I’ll have belt loops and a belt to hold it in shape and place once the pant is completely finished.

So front and side good onto the back:


While the tightness across the hip has disappeared along with most horizontal lines, the X wrinkles are still prominent and most people would now be recommending that I perform a flat-butt adjustment.  But I know myself and I see not merely the folds of fabric below the seat but also the tendency of the crotch to creep between my cheeks. I feel relieved and a bit vindicated that my original thought had been that the Otto back crotch could not possibly fit my own back side.  Above is proof. With the exception of the knee,  all other issues have been eliminated or reduced to nearly nothing.  The only thing remaining are the wrinkles in back which will be removed by scooping the crotch changing it from that deep paren to a J shape.  To scoop out the correct amount make take a few fittings.

I am wondering if the yoke isn’t a bit wide for me.  It has continually billowed just a little.  I won’t change it though until I see how much the back rises when scoop out the crotch.

Style 16 V2: Fabric and First Fitting

Originally published
My next fabric is a wide wale corduroy.  I think this is 6 wales to the inch.  It’s a soft rose brown originally purchased to make a jacket. But truth is, I’m not wearing many jackets. I also don’t have any pant fabrics that match this color.  I do have fabrics that will work well as tops paired with bottoms. So jeans style  it is.  My fabric is 100% cotton and has been washed once.

I’d like this to be a wearable muslin.  I mean V1 is wearable and once I add a vest, the only visible flaw in V1  is that the legs are too wide – which can be fixed.  To be sure I can use this as a wearable muslin, when I  cut the fabric I added 3/4″ to the side seams.  I don’t know exactly what size this translates to other than the size likely to fit me.

Already I can tell you the change in fit is AMAZING!

Version 2 First Fitting (V2F1)

The front and back pockets are permanently stitched as is the zipper. Everything else has been stitched together using my Viking Ruby’s basting stitch. If you’ve got to baste, this is the way to do it.  The default setting for the basting stitch covers ground quickly!  The pants are unhemmed but rolled up high.  I did not want the excess length affecting the hang of the pants.

I want to remind myself of the changes since V1. The yoke, waistband and entire back were traced one size larger than the front.  The legs have been shortened by almost 3 inches.  During cutting I added 3/4″ to the side seams.  During basting, I basted at the proposed seam line i.e. my side seams are 1″ deep all the rest are 1/4″.  I’m not sure why I chose to make these 1/4″.  I prefer a 3/8″ seam and when I convert this to a permanent pattern, I will change the seam allowances all to 3/8″.

The side is such a telling view, that I’m starting my evaluation of Version 2 Fitting 1 (V2F1) with the side view:


BTW all these photos are clickable so that you can see larger more detailed versions. The orange line at the bottom of the leg traverses the folded up hem.  I topped it with a blue horizontal line and truthfully, I’m not paying attention to what happened within that area.  I noted that from the blue line up to about knee level there are breaks, maybe drag lines, along the side seam. Corduroy is a very firm fabric. The leg might have hung better had it been a softer fabric. The side seam (red line) is perpendicular from the knee up to almost the top of the waistband.  It angles forward slightly at the waistband.  I find this interesting because the waist band feels too loose. I have not stitched the facing at all.  It’s sitting in a pile on my cutting board.  I stay stitched the corduroy waistband, but did not tape it.  I’m  wondering if the stay stitching was enough i.e. did the waistband stretch just a bit; OR do I need to reduce the width of the waistband at the top only on the back OR when I add facings and belt loops will this issue go away?  Everything affects everything else. So at this point, I think I’ll just note this is still an issue.

I also added green arrows where I could see some drag lines.  The front still feels a little close across the belly. It maybe that I need a bit more ease in front. But there is also the green arrow in back where the yoke is bubbling up beneath the waistband. It would seem that the hip still wants a little more ease and is pushing the fabric upward.  I think the front view affirms that a bit more ease is required in front:


This is something wonderful about photo editing software.  I’m using ACDSee which has limited editing capability.  I enjoy the most, the ability to draw  lines and arrows.  When I started drawing arrows on the front, I thought I might be seeing a too short front crotch. But when I finished drawing arrows, stepped back (so to speak) and looked at the big picture, I said “Dang. Looks just like the FFRP diagram of a prominent stomach. ” For this version, I will let out the side seams (remember I have two inches of ease to play with). But I will alter the pattern to add a front wedge between pant and fly. This wedge will also fix the pulling forward of the side seam.

Onto the back:


I must say I’m not particularly surprised.  I really believed that the crotch shape of the pattern

View of Pattern Back Crotch

would not, could not fit my backside.  I’m not surprised to see the X wrinkles (blue crossing arrows reinforced by red angular arrows. I’m also not surprised that the fabric is trying to crawl in between my cheeks back there. This is not the crotch shape for me, but I had to be sure.  Had to be sure that the Ottobre pant draft didn’t do something spectacularly different that would work. OK so now I know.  But that’s not the next thing I will fix.

For the second fitting “here’s a what I’m a goin’ a do” (is it OK to quote a commercial from my youth? That’s where my quote comes from.)

Let out the side seams between knee and waist about 1/4″.  This will add tummy and hip ease. It may allow the back of the jean to drop into place, but it may not.

Make and attach belt loops– I often find that when I add my belt which holds my pants into place those back of the leg wrinkles just go away. But they may not.

Make and attach waistband facing.  The finished unit, waistband and facing, can affect the final hang of the garment. So finishing may have an affect upon the back wrinkles. but it may not.

Hem the pants, still folding up during the fit pictures for  evaluation. The jeans will be too long and will cause drag lines.  Drag lines that I can live with the first 6 months of wearing.

Style 16 Version 2: Begins

Orignally Published 
I really want a jeans pattern for woven, non-stretch fabrics.  So after a few days off,  I began again to work on Style 16 from Ottobre 5-2007. I realized I had made several changes based upon my previous fitting experience that might not apply to Ottobre. I decided that I needed to abandon or at least set aside previous fitting rules and start from scratch.  Well, no start from the first muslin AKA V1.  My personal experience has been that I need to fit the garment starting from the point at which it hangs on my body.  Pants hang from the waistband wherever that sits on the body. These are positioned about an inch below my natural waistline.   The first thing I evaluated was the waistline at the side seam:

V1 Evaluating Fit at side and waist

I cropped the picture at the knee. The first thing I want you notice is the yellow arrow pointing to a diagonal line. Disregard the diagonal line. That’s because the leg is still too long.  I make my jeans too long initially because it always seems to me that jeans continue to shrink lengthwise for as long as I own the garment.  So pants are too long. They are puddling around the ankle building up excess which finally pushes up into the diagonal line at the knee. 

What’s important is the red dashed line.  It starts out rising fairly perpendicular at the knee  but slowly leans towards the back half until the waistband. At the waistband the side seam pulls sharply forward.  I’m expecting the forward pulling at the waistband. Most of my weight is being carried up front in my tummy.  What I didn’t expect was the side seam being pulled towards the back side.

So the first step in fitting V2 is adding additional ease to the back pants pattern.  I determined by measuring that if I traced the back a full size larger than the front, just shy of 3/4″ would be added to each back piece.  The back I traced the next larger size.  I shortened the legs so they would be the same as the front (which I did not retrace).

I’ll note that the tummy does not seem to be fitting well.  The photo above shows tightness across the tummy, a pocket facing that can’t stay inside (because it’s being pulled outside for additional ease) and a front view that’s positively frightening:

V1 Frightening Front View

The jean is not buttoned at the waistline which accounts for at least some of the gap.  Nonetheless, I think adding to the back is the best first step.  I think most of these issues will disappear if the back has enough room.

I also not address the back crotch:

V1 Back Crotch

It’s pretty ugly IMO, but until the waist and upper hip fit, I can’t be sure what is wrong I only think I have the solution. The easiest pants to fit me have all had a deep J or Fishhook crotch. The slim paren “)” used by the Big 4 and many of the independent’s always involves a frustratingly long process to fit; if indeed I am ever able to fit.  There is something very different about the “)” crotch draft that doesn’t work with my body. The Ottobre crotch is a bit different.  It’s not a J, L or ) shape. But it’s not exactly a C shape either.

Ottobre Style 16 Back

If you look closely you’ll see that the center back leans in a distinctly jeans fashion and very similar to a ski-jump.  The back crotch is long. It not a little nip taken out of the back.  Now we are looking at a woman’s pattern, so it’s intended to cover some grown up thighs and rear end. But the point is that’s not the J I’m looking for, but it’s not the little “)” that I won’t even fool with anymore.

I”m also not worried about the leg width.

V1 Large Legs

I stated a few posts back that they looked 4 sizes too large.  Too large for jeans that is.  They’d be fine in trousers.  The real issue here, is that I added 1.5″ ease in order to fit at the hip.  I will get back to slimming the legs just a bit, because I want jean style s@xy legs.  Oh and I’ll make sure the pattern reflects the alteration.

So my biggest concern to day, is to document the issues of V1 and plan what to do with V2.  I will be fitting  in this order:

1 Waistline

2 hip

3 back crotch

4 legs

…and I’ll be back.

Style 16 Time to Say Some Good Things.

Originally published

I’m really analytical and can get pretty bogged down in examining little nuances. I forget that people are reading my posts and making decisions based upon some of my comments.  I doubt that you realize how excited I am about this pattern. Yes I’m really pleased and excited.  Let me tell you why.

You probably don’t notice this but:  There are NO diagonal lines on the back  between knee and butt in any of the pictures I’ve posted. I can’t be sure that’s because I used my Burda fix (cutting the back inseam one size larger) or if it’s part of the Ottobre draft.

The waistband pattern is long enough that I easily created an underlap.  I’m fond of underlaps. I don’t like sewing a button or hook/eye onto 1/4″ of fabric and hoping that’s enough to keep said button on the garment and not flying off into space.  A big underlap means I have lots of space for attaching the button or I could attach a button and a hook/eye or even two hooks.  With an underlap, I can get a real secure waist fastening.

The pattern is 2 pieces.   You cut a back on the fold and then 2 fronts.  I really like how this saves on fabric.  Had I been using Jalie 2908 or TJ906 I would have needed another 1/2 yard of fabric. Because the waistband is drafted as 2 pieces, I was able to cut it from scraps that otherwise would have been discarded.  I did carefully match grain lines.  The fabric savings extends into the facing and the interfacings.  I like to cut my facings (pocket and waistband) from a complementary fabric.  It’s just a neat thing and  I like to do it  I cut interfacings for both my waistband and my facing. I use some expensive interfacing because it produces excellent garments. I dislike all the big left-over pieces which are unusable elsewhere.  With this pattern, that’s not an issue. I like this so well that even if I can’t get the pattern to fit me, I’ll want to copy and use this waistband, at least as an alternative when fabric is lacking.

The finished jean should sit 3 cm ( or 1-ish inch) below the waistline.  This takes it out of the “mom jeans” class while  avoiding “muffin top” syndrome or exposure of flesh and crevices  best kept unrevealed once the model is no longer youthful.

The pattern has all the classic jean styling.  I didn’t trace or create the coin pocket or fly shield both of which are useless to me. (YMMV).  I also didn’t make any effort to add brass studs anywhere and I’m perfectly happy with a matching blue button- which will covered by my belt-instead of  brass tack that I never get firmly tacked together.  I did make a keyhole buttonhole; my first ever.  Now that’s a classic touch I’m perfectly happy to add. I  used tone-on-tone machine embroidery instead of the classic tan/gold.  I like what I did.  It expresses my personality.  It’s OK with me if you do something different or copy RTW exactly.

Finally, I really really really want a classic jean pattern for non-woven fabric.  This is it! I’m so excited. I just got to make Style 16 work for me!

Style16 Drat! I thought I had it

Originally Published 

I ripped out the side seams and made them an even 1/4″ from top to bottom (1/4″ is my preferred seam allowance and what I use on TNT’s).  I cut 1.75″ from the leg length and made a 1.25″ hem (my favorite). Then I nailed everything down, because, I can’t let the seams out any further.  This is it for maximum ease.  I took a pic of the pocket:

You know how I love embroidery and I wanted to show off the top stitching.  I used the triple straight stitch  set at a 4.0 length and  polyester embroidery thread. Yep. That’s some pretty thin thread but creates a beautiful, heavy top stitch; and then I slipped my new jeans on.  Put the belt on and buckled it up because they felt so dang comfortable. Not kidding they feel wonderful.  To bad they look sloppy:

In this view the legs look horribly loose, like I bought jeans 4 sizes too large.  But it’s a lot better than:

No Belt

Now the dark spots are moisture.  I sprayed the pockets with water to melt and remove the last of the water-soluble stabilizer. So ignore them.  It’s puzzling to me that the pants can feel comfortable but be obviously too tight across the high hip, tummy and crotch.  Did anyone think, cod piece?

Of course I hoped I could improve the look by adding a belt. I mean a belt usually works really for me

Belted and zipped

Not this time.