Monday, 7 January 2013

Proportionately problematic pants and Cate makes another creative appearance

I need pants / trousers / slacks - whatever you want to call them.

So I thought that I would try Patternmaker where you put your measurements into the computer and it spits out a pattern tailored to your own measurements. Easy peasy lemon squeezy - only minimal adjustments needed - if at all......????!!!!

Here is my problem... *sigh*

This is me...

So Patternmaker - along with 95% of pant manufacturers - thinks that I have large legs to fit my large stomach.

Here is what it came up with. I have sacrificed my favourite RTW black slacks to use to compare. They were starting to get threadbare so I desperately need new ones.

Notice that the waist measurements are good - there is only seam allowance and elastic casing allowance showing.

Pretty good for a computer program ... Now it all goes pear shaped --- hmmmm literally pear shaped.

Now this is just the back - the front is the same which means that the legs would be way to big - not to mention the crotch - what is with that?? Hate to think the impact of that!! I think I would end up looking like a homie (male gang member).

Anyway - I have spent my short sewing history making patterns bigger - now I thought about making this smaller but then read Sham's account of her Linda Pants.

Now Shams doesn't have near as much difference between her waist and thighs as I do - but the thought is the same. Why try to grade down the whole pattern based on my waist measurement - why not just add room for the tum?

Hence it began.

First I ordered a StyleArc Linda in size 24 (which believe me - is way smaller than the size recommended for my waist - I won't tell you what size that is because it isn't even on their list!!!!!  (note to self - stop snacking on the cheese and biscuits).

Then I did a full tummy adjustment (sounds like you have pulled down your fly zip after a yummy meal - and who hasn't done that - common fess up!!) - not actually according to my body measurements but according to the measurements of aforementioned favourite pull on black pants as the first pair I wanted to make was in similar fabric.

I used the techniques shown in the book - Dressmaking to flatter your shape - Lorna Knight

I was going to type out the instructions for the adjustment but you really need the corresponding pictures.

This is how mine ended up.

This is the amount that I ended up adding to the waist area - this is times 2  - but keeping in mind that this is a light jersey knit fabric that will be used

I added the amount that I added to the front to the waistband

Supervisory special cat Elle - ensuring all is above board

This resulted in the caramel coloured jersey pants shown here. I am very happy with these pants and have worn them many times.

Now I wanted a pair in a lovely bottom weight RPL acquired through the amazing EmmaOneSock - got to love her fabrics - though the shipping to AUS is a killer.

Now - this RPL has a slight stretch (the good friend of the big tummy) but no where near the stretch of the jersey (BFF) .... and remembering my horror of not taking into consideration the different stretches in fabric - I thought body measurements were called for.

This resulted in me adding 6 cms to each pattern piece (a total of 24 cm - and this is in addition to my first adjustments - yikes!!) I just added it using my curve ruler. This way - if I make any more jersey versions (and I will) I will just fold it out.

The below technique was something I just tacked on and is not as good as the snip and spread method in the  book as that method actually puts room at the stomach where I needed it. Adding to the side also doesn't add to the crotch line and you may end up in a bit of pain!!

The downward slant of the added piece caused a bit of a problem - to be rectified for next pair
I also then needed to add this amount to the waistband - although I ended up reducing it a bit as the waistband ended up a little large.

The results (as shown with another version of StyleArc's Creative Cate top. I LOVE this pattern - although the seemingly diagonal animal print of my last version is a bit more flattering than the below "stripes").

Note - both legs looked the correct length in the mirror - I think that a shoe may have sunk a little in the ground making one leg seem too long - but I will check it out on solid ground later.

The top is made with fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics (yikes - also painful in the shipping costs) - I am quite happy about how I lined up the "stripes" from front to back (although in the interests of public health I refuse to show a side shot). I also debated on where to put the colours. I strategically put the darkest stripe across my biggest part - hoping that it would camouflage somewhat - and lo and behold - it seemed to work.

In the spirit of helping my larger sewing sisters decide whether to choose this pattern - here is the front of the pants (quelle horreur - save yourself - look away now)

Now there is no way a body like mine will produce a smooth line in pants - get over it Beverley - it ain't gonna happen - so I am actually very pleased with the result. The pants are very comfy.

The back...

Now plead for mercy all you want - I'm going to show it anyway - here is the pants bot bot.. I do however refuse to put it in "extra large" format - it is large enough as it is.

The little downward slant on the waistband is caused by the aforementioned downward slant on my pattern alteration.

All in all I am extremely happy with this whole outfit and it will definitely go into rotation (another 2 for the sewloutions jar). And it will be a part of my Artisans Square SWAP. I will end up with lots of mix and match separates.

Next on the radar is another animal print top for Jungle January - this time a peplum - Vogue 8815 already cut and basted for trial - yes I am going to give Cate a short rest but I am sure she will make another appearance before the end of Jan for one pattern many looks competition (and because I lurve her - she is such a nice pattern).

Then the draw for Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid.- don't forget to tell your friends and put it on your blog - spread the word,


  1. They look fabulous! And of course, being another owner of a fat arse aka bot bot, no one ever sees it when we wear a longish top. I'll say it again...those pants look great. And the front legs are wonderful!

    I have fat legs but patterns are STILL too big in the legs even for me. So those of you with a skinny leg (& apple figures often have skinny legs, didja know?) are in big trouble. I need something like a size 24 to get around my high hip so you can imagine what happens to the rest of the pants. Sigh.

  2. You have done a brilliant job at recreating these pants for yourself - a 'pat-on-the-back' to you! Love the colour, love the outfit - you will be able to build your SWAP around these easily!

  3. You are doing a great job tackling pants. Yes, you are on the right track to work out what works for you! I have an 'easier' figure to sew for, but pants still overwhelm me. I have the opposite problem.... the polite term is muscular thighs and calves (and I will stick with that)... anyhoo chunky legs and I have no end of problems...

  4. Last year I gave up on making pants- the indignity was too great for my shallow head! You've made me rethink my approach. I am thinking I need a winter 8815- can'rt wait to see your spin on it!!

  5. The pants and top are a super looking outfit. Hey, I'm a plus size, and know the difficulties in fitting pants. It's a struggle. However, regardless of one's figure, we need decent pants and for sure, RTW doesn't offer anything.

  6. Great fit. I've done the same thing with a Jalie pattern. I've made two pants out of the pattern and will make many more.

  7. Gosh you are doing some advanced alterations, hats off to you. A great job achieved, once you have mastered the fit the styles are pretty straightforward to alter with trousers

  8. those pants look great, very flattering. I know how much work it is to get them right but now you have a pattern you can use over and over. The proportions are just right.

  9. Great outfit! I love the colours in your fabrics and am impressed with your Linda pants. I'd given up on mine, but I might just have to go back and have another look later this year.

  10. Good job. I love the colors too. I have been sewing for over 30 years and I'm still timid about alterations. I have a similar sizing problem. My legs are not skinny, especially my thighs, but my tummy and hip area is a whole size larger than the rest of me.

  11. Wow Beajay, I mean just WOW! Great job, your pants look fantastic and team really well with your new top.

  12. What a great outcome on these pants. I think one leg only looks a little longer because of how you were standing. I too have big bot and on top of that a big belly and never were shirts tucked into my pants as it's not the best look on me either. I think you did a fabulous job of making these pants fit you perfectly! I'm so loving these tops of yours :)

  13. Good job on the pants! I know from personal experience how hard pants fitting is. From another Beverly!

  14. Wow Beajay you are really moving along and doing extensive adjustments already, good on you. Your pants and tops are very impressive and your SWAP is progressing so well.

  15. I share your commentary about how pattern makers draft some of their patterns. At 5 feet tall, I have a very full bust with the difference between my high and full bust ranging between 5 and 6 inches (depending on my weight). Why do pattern makers think if you're busted you must have big shoulders and long arms? The same goes for me with pants as well. Since I'm short, I must have no butt and a tiny crotch curve. Grrr..

    I think you did a great job fitting your pants. There is a lot of good information here that I am sure to refer to in the future. Thank you for sharing!

  16. They look really good on you, great job on the fitting. I like the look of these pants, I think I need to revisit the elastic waistband, so comfy and at least it doesn't stretch out over the day! Love the new top too, its a great combination!

  17. Great pants and you got the legs absolutely perfect. Pants used to give me the heebeejeebees until I discovered that Kwik Sew makes pants with a similar crotch curve to mine and let me tell you now that Vogue thinks No One has an arse!

  18. I want to echo what everyone else said because yes the whole outfit looks lovely on you, both the colors and the fit. The pants are slimming...very very nice!!!

  19. I love how you solved the fitting issues for yourself - it's the best way to learn HEAPS about fitting, and being a very smart lady, you'll grow your skills like billy-o. And they are gorgeous. Love the colour!! xo

  20. You did a great job fitting these!

  21. I'm really impressed with your fitting and pattern alterations here! the result is excellent! It is so wonderful to have a really well fitting trousers pattern like this :)
    BeayJay, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your kind and supportive comment, as you could have guessed I didn't see that comment until much later, since I had scheduled the next post... and normally I would delete horrible troll comments like that, since they ARE hurtful, but since I had received such nice supportive comments I'm just going to leave it there. Stuff them. Thank you for helping me to be brave!

    1. Good - I am glad you are going to leave it there - and as you say - stuff them!!!! Don't let it hurt you (I know - easy to say - but hard to do). My mother (O Wise One) told us tin lids that you should never let anyone that you don't love hurt you. Why invest emotion in someone that doesn't matter? And if they wanted to do anything but stir up trouble - they would have put their profile to it and be accountable. Anybody who is worth anything is accountable for their words and actions. Your skill and style speaks for itself. Put your hands on your hips and laugh in their general direction - for they are a worthless piece of shit.

  22. Your pants look great. I am so happy I stumbled onto your blog and review. I am shaped just like you and I think you will be very helpful with my sewing journey. Thanks for you post, I will be trying this method soon.

  23. Beajay, you've nailed this pattern and they look good and fit nicely. That's really the aim right? You already know how to get the bot bot fit adjusted - brilliant!

    And from the amount of people that have been inspired by you is evidence that you've nailed it.

  24. Great job on fitting those pants. They turned out nicely. I have some of the same fitting issue as you, so thanks for posting such clear instructions. I've been wanting to try a peplum top,so I'll be happily awaiting your review.

  25. Great outfit. You did so well to get those pants to fit you so perfectly ..... I'm still having problems with bodices, pants will just have to get in line.

  26. I love the outfit, the fabrics, colours & styles look so great together. That you have had to make so many alterations puts you in a good place, believe it or not, for not only having yourself a personalised trousers pattern to use again & again but for understanding about fit, patterns & all that. What you've achieved is testament to why so many of us sew!

  27. Isn't that what is so wonderful about sewing our own clothes. We can fit our own bodies. What freedom. Your pants look great!

  28. Very nice work, BeaJay! Pants are notoriously difficult to fit. But you worked through it and came up with great pants that work for your body - which is why it's so great to sew!

  29. Great pants! I have the same problem. I look like an apple with short legs :D but I have found an Ottobre pattern that I can use.

  30. Beverly I have nominated you for a Leibster award over at my blog.

  31. As another plus-size sewer, I thought that you did a wonderful job on the pants. I've been eyeballing that pattern for some time, so seeing it on someone closer to my own size range is awesome. I want my next pair to look as good as yours!

  32. Great job on the pants. I want to order some new patterns. I think you have convinced me.


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