Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Navy Pants

I was digging around in my stuff and pulled out this stack.
The entire pattern was there.
The pieces were cut out and even a zipper was included.
But there was NO EXTRA FABRIC to be found!

This was a pant pattern that was printed and cut out in April, 2006 (I had used PMB version 3 to draft the pattern).

I got distracted, the weather became too warm for long pants, the project was pushed aside.

Then I gained weight. Other pants made around that same time no longer fit me, so this one was put into a box.

Fast forward to 2012.

I have lost the weight and am once again able to wear other pants made at that time.

I decided to sew these up and see how they fit!

The sewing was fairly straight forward (and easy!) because the 'thinking' had been done when the pattern was created and cut out. All I had to do now was DO IT.

Or so I thought.

My pants are made jeans-style, and my front rise is not all that long. A 7" zipper is too long for me, so I always have to shorten them. No big deal...I just align the bottom stop at the appropriate place and then cut off the top of the zipper AFTER sewing on the waistband or facing.

HOWEVER, I like metal zippers in pants because I think they are stronger. It didn't occur to me until I was already sewing on the waistband that I was sewing across METAL ZIPPER TEETH! Fortunately, I didn't hit any when I began the sewing, and after I realized what I was doing I was very careful to hand-turn the fly wheel in the zipper area.

But now I have to eliminate those extra teeth! I have never shortened a metal zipper from the top before (with nylon, you can just cut across the zipper with scissors!). But a quick internet search told me to pry and pull...and it works!

See, above, I have already pulled the teeth off of the side at the top of the image.

Here (above) you can see the teeth are still there on the lower side of the zipper, between those seam allowances. The grey stuff you are seeing is the interfacing on the back side of the waistband.

A quick trip to the garage provided the tools I needed. Needle-nose pliers were great for pulling those peshy teeth of the tape. I felt like a mad dentist!

I also used some wire cutters that have a thinner edge to do a little prying to get the top stop off...then I used the needle-nose pliers to squeeze it closed when I put it back on (under the seam!).

The waist of these pants was cut to the size I was in 2006...and my waist is a little bigger now. Normally, there would be an inch or so to cut off one end of the waistband...the end over the fly...because I cut it the same length as the side with the underlap, but in this case, I needed the whole length of waistband! So, even though this is a contoured waistband, i shifted it off-center to allow me to use the whole thing.

"But what about the top edge of the pants?" you might ask.

Well, this is a stretch woven (twill) so I could stretch the edge to fit. Yes, the end result makes a slight pull under the waistband when the pants are ON my body, but it made the difference between wearable or not.

When the pants were finished,, I put them on and looked for a place to photograph them.

I started in the hallway, where I had shot the knit top I talked about previously.

Oh my! These dark navy pants just disappear!

I picked a bright wall in the den, but no, they are still a black hole.

What if I face the windows? Would I have more light and be able to see the pants?

No, they are still a black hole, plus, now there is tons of 'stuff' cluttering up the shot!

So I went back to the hallway, and OPENED THE FRONT DOOR! Man, it was cold outside!

And the result was not really much better.

So, PHOTOSHOP to the rescue! I adjusted the light levels on these so you can see the details of the pants. The photos are now washed out, but you can see the wrinkles and folds and seams and least, better than you could see them before!

For pants that were designed and cut out 6 years ago, I'd say they fit really well!

There was something about the back thigh that was bothering me, but I couldn't exactly put my finger on it. I kept wanting to pinch out some fabric along the outside thigh area, just behind the side seam and under the bum.
Here is the front view with my shirt pulled up, so you can see the contoured waistband...I am trying to hide skin!
Overall, the pants are great. Not perfect but really good.

But look at the back view. Can you see the semi-diagonal fold on each side of the back crotch area? It is not the imbalanced waist-tilt thing...because it doesn't extend to the side/waist area.

And really, I didn't diagnose this until AFTER I sewed the next pair (coming soon to a blog near you!). But here is the deal...I need MORE BACK CROTCH EXTENSION! DUH! That would move the back leg slightly more toward the center and add a tiny bit more fabric to the bum at center back. And that would TOTALLY jive with my inclination to pinch out the side/back thigh area! Fabric there would be decreased and fabric would be added to the inseam side of the thigh...just where the wrinkle is pointing!

Anyway, that is my current thinking. But before I try it and show you my results, I need to share another experiment I have recently done involving pants. sigh. Stay tuned!


SueC56 said...

Trish, I love seeing how you solve fitting problems. I don't always completely understand, but I usually learn something from you.

Thanks for the info and congrats on the pants that fit. I'm waiting for the next installment...

Trish said...

Thanks, Sue!

Free Hit Counter