So during my hiatus from the blog, I decided to try and alter a new pants pattern. I chose Butterick 6142 as the pants pattern for two reasons. One for the elastic waist and the slimmer legs of the pants and two because it will work in a ponte.
Extensive alterations to the pants pattern to make it fit my new measurements means I did a lot of pattern work. However, the pattern did have an interesting alteration line on the pants pattern front ~ a crotch alteration line. Is this a new thing? I haven't used a new pants pattern in quite some time and was pleasantly thrilled at finding the line on the pattern piece. Even though it was there I didn't use it to make my changes, though I may in the future.
Instead I used the lengthen/shorten line in the abdomen area of the pants front and back to adjust the crotch line to match the one on my TNT pants. I figured that and the actual pants length of each leg are the only things that still work for me.
Here are my alterations ~
My daughter and I took new measurements at the beginnning of the year since along with the weight loss there have been some inches lost too. I used those as the basis for the flat pattern measurements.
Because I didn't know where to actually start, I did make the alterations so that they would fit the waistline and butt measurement of my current pants pattern. Hey I needed to start somewhere and I did end up with a wearable muslin pair of pants. I know don't say it...
So the alterations first ~
1. The first and easiest was to add length to the front and back pattern pieces. I added it at the shorten/lengthen line that appears farther down the pants leg.
2. The second alteration was to use the crotch curve from my TNT pants pattern front & back pieces.
3. Then I had to determine how wide to make the back and front pieces. Honestly I got a little confused here. See I know what my new measurements are - I wrote them down and posted them to my bulletin board. But something in my brain would just not let me make a pattern piece that small. In my twisted mind, I kept thinking at least I could cut/serge away whatever fabric was too big...IF it was too big! You know I had to serge some additional fabric off the front and back, right! *LOL*
4. The front and back pattern pieces were altered to reflect that change. I also took a wedge out of the pants front curve. Ummm, yeah if you don't have extra fat there, the crotch curve droops. See all that extra fabric there...fine for a wearable muslin pair but not for my "real" pants.
5. Final alteration was to add an inch to the center back merging into nothing into the side seam. The pants dipped a little low in the center back when I stood and sat.
I'm glad I made a wearable muslin because after wearing them I've determined that I have a few more changes to make to my pattern.
- When I made the original pants pattern alterations, I didn't take into consideration that the waistband had a large foldover for the elastic insertion or that I used up a good 2" with my pulled elastic application. So the pants fit best when I turned the waistband down once and wore them that way. I've since made that change to my pattern piece.
- I also had an extra amount of fabric in the front equal to the wedge that I removed from the pattern - so my next pair should work & fit better.
- I was going to cut off some of the length that I added to the pattern legs but the length is perfect. They work well with my sneakers which I wear to walk to work and my wedges or a heeled shoe.
Sewing Observations ~
It's been awhile (at least a decade) since I used anything other than my TNT pants pattern to make a pair of pants. So I have my own construction order that I use, as well as, my own elastic application. Hey what ain't broke didn't need fixing especially since my goal was to get clothes to wear - not try out a lot of techniques.
So the way this pattern has you attach the elastic was totally new to me. First there's a pattern piece to tell you how much elastic to cut. As an aside after I made the pants, I've decided that guide is gold! It's so awesome!
I cut my 1" elastic using the guide and followed the pattern instructions to sew it into a circle.
Then I pinned it to the edge of the pants waistline at the four points. You had to stretch the elastic to sew it to the edge.
Finally, you fold it over and use the same stretch technique to encase the elastic. Here's a pic of the finished waistline.
I'm sure that this is not a new technique. However, I was thrilled with the outcome because you know that I was bugging since Dritz discontinued the elastic I'd used for the last decade in my pants. This technique is just so friggin' cool!
The seams were primarily sewn using my serger ONLY after I stitched the pants together using my sewing machine and checked the fit on my body.
Some more pictures ~
This is how I wore the pants last January...
Pants with turtleneck and the artsy vest.
...as always more later!