Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pants these days

I was asked a question on a chat list regarding the pants pattern I am using these days. As usual, there is no short answer I can give, so I will put a few images here to illustrate the pattern creation.

I made a CROTCH TEMPLATE using Romex cable (insulated wire) and traced it onto paper and measured it, as described in the book FITTING and PATTERN ALTERATION, A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration (Second Edition) by Liechty, Rasband, and Pottberg-Steineckert.

If you don't have that book, here are a few YouTube videos that show you how to make a template and use it with your pattern.



(sorry...I am having trouble with Blogger...these links SHOULD open in a new window but on my computer, that just isn't happening!)

On that last video, Lorraine Henry talks about how, in RTW, they shorten the crotch length by 1" and add that to the back waist height. WEll, I found that is NOT good for me. That gives me the fit of RTW...pants that pull down in back! So I need to make the crotch match my template...period.


Once I knew the exact shape of my body, I could see why my previously-made pants weren’t ‘just right’. Although the FLAT back crotch shape gave me more back pants width, I could never get the actual SHAPE just right using the settings in PMB. So I finally decided to go back to just altering the pattern before printing it, as I had done back in Version 2!

I will post some pictures to demonstrate the alterations I did to the last pair. I still had to adjust the waist tilt and level after the pattern was printed, but this will give you and idea of what I am doing.

I used the ROUND back crotch but used the FLAT FRONT shape! This more nearly matched the template I had created.

Crotch Cut: Slack Cut
Front Crotch Curve: Flat
Back Crotch Curve: Round
Back Crotch: Wild Cut

Front Dart Length: 3.5
Back Dart Length: 4.75
Front Dart Position: 3
Back Dart Position: 3

As usual, I moved the sideseams forward by 0.75”.

Sideseam Movement: -0.75

Even though I needed a bit more back crotch extension, I used 0 for that setting, because the alteration I was about to do would increase that area. I DID adjust the crotch BREAKS to affect the curve shape.

Front Crotch Extension: 0
Back Crotch Extension: 0
Front Crotch Break: 0.5
Back Crotch Break: 1.5

No ease was added.

Waist Ease: 0
Hip Ease: 0
Crotch Ease: 0

Then I opened the saved pattern in the PATTERN EDITOR and made the necessary alterations to the BACK pattern.

The original pattern, created with the settings I listed above, is in BLUE.

I SELECTED everything between HIP LEVEL and KNEE LEVEL (PINK) and shifted it medially (toward the inseam) by 0.75".

Next, I selected the crotch curve and moved it downward by 0.375".

Well, duh...the instructions are written with the pictures...I really don't need to type it again!

Here you can see the BEFORE and AFTER patterns superimposed.

This alteration eliminates the poufiness on the sideseam at hip level that my straight body doesn't fill.

It adds width across the pants back at just the right level for my bum...and creates the back crotch shape that I couldn't seem to create by using the FLAT back crotch shape combined with the various tools provided within the program (PMB).

When I FLIP the original FRONT pattern, which was NOT altered, and superimpose it on this new, altered BACK pattern, you can see that the sideseam shapes are much more similar than the original patterns. Eliminating that poufiness at the side hip makes the seams more similar.

So, in a nutshell, I am back to altering the pattern instead of using the FLAT back crotch shape combined with various settings to try to make it conform to my shape. But the result was better. And the alteration was not difficult or time consuming!

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