Semi-Boring Basics

4.20.2014

Poor fashion basics, they're like the steamed vegetable of the sewing world. But you can't eat dessert for every meal or run around in chiffon dresses when it's 50 degrees. Some times you just have to knuckle down and sew a boring pair of navy pants.
Sewing pants really isn't the problem, it's fitting pants.  Most of you know this cause I like to rant about pants fitting on a regular basis. I'm like an old man yelling at the TV, just replace the TV with pants muslins.  The language is equally salty.
My lower body fitting issues include, tilted waist, post baby fat shelf, giant butt, narrow upper back, full thighs and large calves. That's just the stuff I know about at the moment, because the list never seems to stop growing.

For my foray back into the "cycle of pants fitting hate," I decided to use a pattern that already had some of the kinks worked out of it, Colette Clovers.  Past me had done a pretty good job with the waist area and I thought those changes could be copied over to another size. For the legs I wanted to try some of the fitting adjustments that Cation Designs detailed in this very informative post.  Some of those alterations I'd never seen before and I'm always looking for the magic key to great fitting pants.

Much like every pair of pants I sew, these feel like they fit a little better but aren't perfect. But first lets do a quick rundown of my alterations broken down for each fitting problem.

Large Butt - Raised the rise at CB 2.5". Extended the back crotch hook an 1" and also scooped out the crotch curve about 3/8".  The front crotch curve was extended 1/2". On the side seams  1/2" extra ease was added just in the butt area.
Narrow Upper Back - Increased the back dart to have an intake of 1". Shaved off about 1/2" off the CB by making the seam line more diagonal.  The back waistband was reduced in width to match.

Titled Waist - this means your waist is lower in the front than in the back.
Cut down the CF seam line 1/2 and blended this out to nothing at the side seams. Raising the CB for my butt also takes care of the higher waist in the back.

Post Baby Fat Shelf - Straightened the CF seam line and added 1/2" to the front side seam area only.  Front waist band was increased to match the new width.
Full Thighs - Did the Full inner thigh adjustment shown on Cation Design's blog to the front pant piece only. A 1/2" was added through out the leg, up to the crotch curve. I skipped this alteration on the back because I always seem to have excess fabric in that location. Adding more fabric to that area seemed dumb.
Large Calves - Did the hyperextended calf alteration also on Cation Design's blog.  I split open the lower leg a 1/2".

*Other alterations were, 2 1/2" of additional length to the legs and "Excess Fabric at the Crotch" alteration to try and remove some of those back thigh wrinkles.*

Conclusions - Transferring my fitting changes for the tilted waist, narrow upper back and baby gut to the new size worked. I'm pretty happy with how the whole waist area fits and feel those like fitting problems are solved.  The full inner thigh adjustment and hyperextended calf adjustment seem to be an improvement over what I was doing to the legs before. (A knock knee adjustment and adding extra width to side seam.)  I may need to increase the calf adjustment a tad since wrinkles still stack on top of them.  The back rise, oh the back rise, will forever be the bane of my existence. It's a little too short and gives me the slightest of wedgies.  I do prefer that look over the "looks like I took a dump in my pants" thing that happens when I start extending the back rise.  I've also come to terms with the fact that there will always be wrinkles under the butt.  I need a lot of "sitting down ease" for that butt, so it's gonna have to hang out on the back of my thighs when I'm standing up.  For now I deem this pattern "done with fitting alterations."  I'd rather spend my time on more fruitful occupations, like plotting new shoe purchases.

Hey guess what? I sewed up another basic, but one that's a classic instead of being boring. It's a semi-sheer striped Trifecta Top.
One of the good things about having a large stash is that fabric can disappear until the perfect pattern arrives.  I recently unearthed this roll end from the deep stash level and immediately knew it would be perfect for the high scoop neck version of the Trifecta Top. The fabric is an extremely stretchy jersey with a sweatery hand.  It seems to be some sort of rayon blend, making it perfect for transitional weather. I traced a straight size 4 and made no alterations.  The extra stretchiness of this fabric worked in my favor and disguised any fitting problems that might have happened with a more stable fabric.  The stuff was a bit of a pain in the ass to sew, but I'm really happy with the finished top.

To be honest, this is the sort of thing that gets a lot more wear than pretty pretty dresses.  But don't worry, I have more pretty pretty dresses to show you. So many dresses.....so little time.

41 comments:

  1. Love the top, that fabric was made for it! The pants look great from my perspective. I have many (if not all) of the same fitting issues as you do so I appreciate the details you gave. You are getting to the perfect fit. You are!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shell from SewEnSowApril 20, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    Love love love the top - the pants look great too, but all those fitting tweaks make me want a good lie down - or go sew a stretchy top! Well done for keeping on with it, I'll get back to pants one day, but not yet!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've got fabric for navy pants sitting on my cutting table and a striped raglan top already made to wear with them! Jinx!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The top is adorable and the pants look good. I nearly snorted out my coffee at "post-baby fat shelf" - I didn't realize there was a name for what I have but that describes it to a T.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Heather - great job on fitting! You are close! My 2 cents (haha - worth about that) - you have too much length in the butt area. Try REDUCING some of CRAZY-ASS 2.5 inches you added to the CB(!!!!), and scooping straighter/deeper at crotch curve. Not that I am any kind of pants fitting expert - but if you lift your pants at the center back and some of those upper thigh wrinkles disappear it indicates too much length.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your trousers look great! I need full front thigh, full back calf, small back waist adjustments to make them fit. Fitting trousers is torturous!!! A fe wrinkles at the back seems perfectly acceptable to me! X

    ReplyDelete
  7. There's nothing boring about basics, after all, they are the items that get the most wear. Yours look fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Those navy pants are great. I'd love to have them in my closet! I think you did a great job of fitting them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I feel stressed just reading about pants fitting :) They look good though!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are making me want to go ans sew pants. I've worked on fitting a block with a crafty course and maybe I should go and muslin a pair since I've got sewing time back today :) fantastic outfit.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That looks like a really comfy outfit! Glad the pants didn't torture you too badly this time. I'm currently wishing I had some of those adjustments in the pants I am currently wearing...my thighs are trying to bust through the seams when I sit down.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think the perfect basics are the holy grail of sewing. Spot on!

    ReplyDelete
  13. nice job on fitting! i have a similar pair of much needed black pants awaiting their turn on my sewing table... i even have a pattern that fits well, so i really have no excuse. cute top, i'd wear that all the time!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are such a fitting badass! Your pants look totally classy. I too have decided to have a few wrinkles under the ol' bum, for ease of movement. Love your top, too!

    ReplyDelete
  15. they look like a great fit. nice work!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Both of your basics look great! I especially love your top - I recently made the Plaintain tee, which is great, but I think I need to try this one too. And pants! they are totally on my list for this spring and fall. I need to conquer pants!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Awww, I'm so proud you tackled pants again! They look pretty good from here. I've had to accept those wrinkles mean ease to move as well. Fun top too!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks Kristin, I was hoping that my fitting details might help similarly shaped people. It's seems like a bigger paint to figure out those lower body fitting issues. Or maybe I'm a dum dumb. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Haa haa, I know what you mean about pants fitting changes being exhausting. I did sew that stretch top afterwards. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. LOL! Great minds must be at work. Guess I'll have to mail your jinx coke tomorrow. Or do Canadians jinx for other beverages?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks Masha. Snicker, snicker. Post baby fat shelf is entirely my own term, but it does kind of work. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I need to buy some more cheep stretch denim and try shorting the rise some as you suggested. I'll try anything once! Thanks Maris. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Good point Marilla! Even with the wrinkles it's still a pretty good set of pants. It's better than fitting 5 muslins and then not sewing the pants at all. (I have done that in the past.)

    ReplyDelete
  24. So true Jean! It's the kind of thing that I'm always glad to have in the closet even if it wasn't the most exciting project to sew.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks Sabine. :) Will you please tell me to go sew the red pair of pants. I'm procrastinating.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Don't feel stressed, drape yourself in a nice knit. Ahhhhh that feels better. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh no, don't hate me Maeve if they give you any trouble. I promise to make you want to sew something else soon. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Stupid Easter Candy! Why don't your pants expand to fit instead of squeezing you. The solution must be more skirts. Does that mean I need to sew you skirts?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I know Ginger, it can be pretty rough. I have in the past just thrown the 5th muslin in a corner and sewed a lot of dresses. Like last year.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks Karen. It really is great to have navy pants in the draw to wear. Boring as heck to sew but they go with tons of stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sweet, you have a TNT pants pattern. I'm very jealous. Sew some more fabulous pants for me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. LOL Morgan. Hmmm we should have Fitting Badass T-shirts. That would be cool. Also better to have some wrinkles than split your pants open when you sit down. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks Jo. Now I just have to get off my ass and sew another pair.

    ReplyDelete
  34. You can test if this is a good fix for the "back thigh wrinkles" by lifting the pants at the CB waistband. If the wrinkles go away - too much length. Good luck! And a fitting buddy would be helpful. I volunteer! As long as you fly to Seattle. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you edupraz. The Plaintain tee is a great pattern and I think you'll also like the Trifecta top. Kitschy Coo patterns have excellent drafting. Best of luck on your pants journey too.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks Emily! I was so unsuccessful in finding store bought pants that I kind of had to go sew some. That's good though cause there are several stretch cottons sitting around waiting to be pants.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'll tell my husband that I "HAVE" to fly to Seattle for important sewing work. He'll buy that right? LOL

    ReplyDelete
  38. I sew a lot of basics. I always think it's too boring to write up as well. But I think all of us are always looking for great basics. I like to see what works for everyone. I really appreciate the posts!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yes, yes you should make me skirts :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. A breezy butt is not what you want in a pair of pants. :) It's easy to forget you need those wrinkles when you're standing and staring at yourself in the mirror. Have to leave those almost wrinkless pant to the girls with flat butts. :)

    ReplyDelete

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi pixel perfect web designs