Category Archives: 2013/2-06 Carrot Pants

2013-02-06 The Fit

My first thought on seeing the pictures was Walmartians (Go ahead look.)

I thought these might be a bit big. I added seam allowances of 3/8″ but made 1/4″ serged seams at the sides and back crotch. That means I added 3/4″ of ease.  The waistband particularly concerned me. It is a straight waistband on a pant which sits just below the natural waistline. A waistband which sits below the waist needs a little curve. So I was not surprised then when the back gapped badly and the torso looked big.  Before taking the first pics, I added an extra back dart (1 each side) and a line of straight stitching on the side seams  at the 3/8″ mark.  To my horror, I belonged on Walmartians:

My next change was to shorten the torso length 1/2 by sliding the waistband down an equal amount.  At the same time, I had a wayward thought.  These really should be close-fitting. Possibly closer than I wanted.  I had traced and cut one size larger than recommended. I decided to stitch the side seams at the recommended  size.

Whoa! Other than the front crotch, there is no hint of excess ease. But come to think of it, Otto never showed this pant without a tunic length or mini-dress top. On me this would translate to:

Well that’s not worst dressed person in the bank line and would hardly get a nod by the Walmartian Forensics Team. Still this is a type of garment I would wear ONLY in silky fabrics beneath my usual slacks. I call that type of garment “Long Johns”. Very handy and desirable in the winter. Not so much during the summer.

I won’t be fitting Ottober 2/2013 #6 any further. The waistband and hem will be nailed into place and they will be deposited directly into the Good Will box.  I do take a few notes from the experience.

  • Otto’s recommended pant size works better for me. No need  to trace a larger size.
  • The 3.25″ length adjustment was about right but needs to be offset by 1/2″ (less or 2.75″) because 
  • I need to shorten the crotch 1/2″ in the upper half of the torso.   The length adjustment I made during fitting had an amazing effect on smoothing the torso and leg of wrinkles. 
  • The knock knee adjustment is clearly needed. I’m just not sure how much. With the next Otto pant I fit, I’ll try 1/2″. 

That’s it for this pattern. Oh I’ll keep it for making Long Johns and PJ’s.  The pattern is well drafted and sews together without a hitch. The pockets are neat and I will carry that idea further. Maybe even replace zippers with welts. But for this pattern if I ditch the pockets and zipper, change to an elastic waistband; the pattern is fine as long as it isn’t intended for public wearing.


2013-02-06 Construction

Having just spent 3 weeks making muslin after muslin after muslin, I’m in no mood to do a lot of fitting. I want sewing satisfaction.

I marked the pockets. I used the window system to add the zipper. i.e. I placed a interfaced, rectangle of fabric on the public side. Stitched the pocket opening. Slashed the rectangle sort of like a big bound buttonhole, and turned the rectangle to the inside.  I pressed carefully. I used 9″ black zippers — I’m doing a lot of work and want people notice. I put SAS on each side of the zipper teeth than carefully lined up the pants front with the rectangle over the zipper. Once in place, I steamed those suckers together. I stitched from the front side, around the rectangle opening. Then I stitched the edge of the zipper to the rectangle.  I marked a larger rectangle about 1/2″ around the opening and stitched that. Finally, I trimmed the excess of that first interfaced rectangle. Just used the ol’ pinking blade in rotary cutter to zip the excess away.

I interfaced the fly. This is the first time I’ve done that. I’ve been having issues with dimples below the fly. Not always and not always exactly the same. I’m sure fabric is a factor. Probably the factor since I use the same 3 patterns over and over.  This is my first attempt to address that issue. I don’t think it will work. I followed the Sandra Betzina directions. The interfacing ends just about the place the dimple occurs.  But it maybe that the fabric is collapsing where it is because of the weight above. If the interfacing supports the weight and keeps the fabric from collapsing, then that was the issue (not enough  fly support.) If not, I keep looking for another solution. Other than the interfacing, I did my usual 5-minute zipper insertion.

I interfaced the hem and the waistband. I’m working with 6 belt loops. This was a suggestion from SG which I find works pretty well.  I think I want to change the placement of the front loops just slightly.  At 1.5″ from center front, they were in the way when it came time to unzip and zip. But I need them close together to support the front of my pants.

I serged the  side, inseams and crotch together. My SA is 3/8″. My serger stitch is 1/4″. I’m expecting to straight stitch a couple of seams to size the pant down to fit me.  The hems are pinned and the waistband with belt loops, is basted to the top of the pant.

As I said at the beginning, I”m not in the mood for lots of fitting. Either simple adjustments and hemming or the waistband and hems get nailed into place and the thing donated.


2013-02-06 Fabric

Finally my “muslin” fabrics have arrived from  I specifically ordered 5 cheap pieces of fabric which could serve as pants muslin. When my order arrived I found:

  1.  was discontinued.
  2.  was called pewter which to me is a medium grey. On-line it looked medium grey. What I received is a dark dusky purple. I like this dark dusky purple. It has a nice hand for pants to be worn in the winter. It is terrible for a muslin. The dark color will not photograph well. So it goes not in the muslin box but in the stash.
  3.  was advertised as 100% polyester gabardine for suits. (My search was for bottom weight fabrics). From the photo I thought it was a hold out from the 90’s i.e. a hard polyester pant fabric. Makes great a great muslin but I hate to wear this scratch fabric against bare skin.  Instead of scratch polyester it is a lovely golden tan with a soft silky feel and a slinky drape. Much more suited to blouses or lingerie. The color would be fine for muslin, but I think the drape would not be indicative of normal pants. It went into the lingerie drawer which was stuffed to capacity before this order.
  4. an “acetate” suiting. Again a good color for muslin, but not for the typical pant. This would be fine for testing a very wide legged trouser. The type of pant I rarely wear. But I did put the fabric into the muslin box.
  5. and the last, is a wonderful pant fabric.  It is a cotton/Lycra blend having about 20% stretch (almost stretched from 4 to 5″). Terrific hand for pants.  Will make fabulous summer pants. It went into the stash.

Out of 5 fabrics ordered for muslin, only 1 went into the muslin box. Sheesh!  Do I have a problem?

I’m using #5 for the carrot pants. Its is white with black dots described as a mini check. If the pants fit, great. If they don’t, I haven’t wasted a lot of money.


2013-02-6 Carrot Pants Pattern

I was tickled when the Spring 2013 issue arrived. Delighted when I saw it contained 3 pants patterns. Unfortunately, only 2 are drafted in sizes I can wear.  I’m rather surprised to see a carrot pant drafted in women’s sizes. Additionally it has this really neat pocket detail.

After all the effort made with TJ906 and 902, I’ve returned to my old habits when choosing a size.  I checked my current measurements against the chart and chose 1 size larger. I believe the Europeans like a closer fit than I do or else everything they wear contains some Lycra content.  So one size larger and I drew the back inseam one size larger than that or 2 sizes larger than recommended.

Tracing was a little more difficult to do than with the previous garments I traced from Otto . I do believe there are more lines in this issue. Because of the size of the master pattern sheets, pants legs are each divided into 2 pieces.  There is also a piece for the waistband, the inner pocket and fly shield. I don’t bother with fly shields. So 5 pieces.

I compared the final version of TJ902 with these Carrot Pants. The pattern specifies a stretch fabric. I’m actually expecting the pattern to be a bit small. Instead I find that only the waist is lacking and only by about 1/8″ on the front. I also find that the waistband is longer than expected and perfectly straight. In the description, the pant should sit just below the waist.  I shorten the leg 3.25″. I didn’t measure or  perform exacting calculations. I marked the front seat balance line. The knee was already marked. I measured up from the back knee line the same distance as the front seat balance line and that’s where I marked the back balance line. I compared the tissue with TJ902  by matching knee balance lines. Then I removed the excess, 3.25″, between seat and knee.  I trued the side seams -boy do I have a curvy line. Then  added 3/8″ seam allowances and I add 1/4″ to hems. I prefer the 1.25″ hem. A 1″ is just a bit skimpy while 2″ seems a waste of fabric.

Pattern is ready!