Monday, February 24, 2014

StyleArc Claudia Pants: The Reveal

I don't know if one ought to put the words "pants" and "reveal" in the same title, but there you go.

Let's start with a zillion photos of what I'm calling a wearable muslin. In truth, it's rather wearable:

These are the pattern pieces I used to make the finished pants. Note: They're not the final pattern pieces. There are more changes I have made on the basis of the "wearable muslin".

Pants really don't look great lying on the floor. But this does give you a sense of the fabric and overall shape.

The darts were a bitch to sew in this rayon "denim" Oh yeah, I shortened the stitch length at the point, I curved the dart slightly at the point, I hammered these things with a clapper after serious pressing. The fabric is SO drapey that it just doesn't take darts well. Fortunately you can't seen those little bumps when the pants are on. They nicely flatten out over one's derriere.

Front facing from the wrong side

Back facing from the wrong side
The rather crappily inserted (but totally strong and functional) zipper. Whatevs. No one cares what the zipper looks like on the inside. See how, since I opted to use a slot zipper (regular) vs an invisible zipper, the facing attaches differently than it would have otherwise. I had a clean finish with the invisible zip. On the fly, I just serged the ends off the facing where it abuts the zipper. I didn't want to fold under and incur unnecessary bulk.
And then there are the money shots:

I freakin' love the drape of these pants.


OK, here's what I learned / what I did / what I'll do next etc...
  • I'm going to sew these up in every fabric imaginable, using my new (unphotoed) version of the pattern wherein I learned a few things on this go round:
    • I could use another 0.5" of length along the back crotch (fabric depending).
    • I could use a slightly shorter length of front crotch (fabric depending).
    • The inner thighs are slightly roomy. Next time I'll remove about 1/4" from that wedge I added on after muslin 1 (see top photo, back piece)
    • I have to remove about 0.5 inches from the hips with fabric having @20% stretch.
    • I want them a bit longer so I'll add another 0.5" to the hem and hem at about 0.5" vs. the 1" hem of these pants.
    • The waist is a bit big. But that will serve me well if I use a very firm stretch woven.
    • I'm really not a fan of facing. It always flips up a bit, even when well-understitched and pressed to hell. I've learned that, in future, I do not want to clip the seam allowance that attaches the top of the pants to the facing. 0.25" is a good seam allowance and is adequately non-bulky but also long enough so that you can understitch  at a point that will optimally maintain the turn of cloth from the inside. Enough with the clipping!
  • Alterations I'll happily stick with:
    • The lengthening of the back rise meant that I could remove an inch from the top of the back waist. My need was not for more length at the waist, but at the fullest part of the derriere.
    • The slot zipper is a much better bet than an invisible one. Sure, it's not invisible but who cares? It's not bulky or unattractive and it will last for much longer, I suspect. (Don't forget to interface the seam allowances under the zipper. It will keep everything secure and you won't get dreaded bubble zip at the base. This is particularly important if you are using a stretchy fabric with an invisible zip.)
    • The waist-height is pretty perfect.
    • A propos of waist facings that like to shift, these pants - with all of their darts and seams - give plenty of places wherein one can invisibly tack, by hand, the facing to the pants. It now maintains its fall perfectly.
So that's what I can tell you about this process. I thought of titling this post "Work Very Hard. Then Pat Yourself On the Back" because that's kind of what I've done here. Don't misunderstand, perfection is not achieved. I don't think one can ensure ease and perfection making a pattern until one has remade it in many fabrics, many times, refining things as she goes. This however, is a promising start.

40 comments:

  1. Well done on working through the fit. It will be interesting to see how the pattern makes up in other fabrics.

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    1. Thank you! I am quite intrigued to see how it would work in a less drapey fabric.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you!!! I have to buy more of this fabric. I love it.

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  3. I wish for one tenth of your discipline! Nice to see it get rewarded here, even though you claim to need more improvements. These pants look eminently wearable as they are!

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    1. Well, if I had discipline, maybe I'd be at the gym rather than making pants :-) Thanks F!

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  4. They look perfect on you and with your little waist I can see how the darts work well! Fantastic and fabulous!

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    1. Oh, it's all angle magic with those photos :-) But thank you!

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    1. I'm getting there slowly :-)

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    2. I was thinking - I know - dangerous - but what if you cut a 1" seam allowance at the waistband. Then, with whatever fabric factor you have in terms of vertical movement - you'd have the option of adding the waist treatment at or above or below the designated line? Gives you options.

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    3. That's a smart suggestion! Going to give this a go...

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  6. Very nice -- your hard work paid off.

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  7. Fabulous Kristin, I love them! Great drapey fabric too! I used an invisible zip for my snakeskin pants, and did interface the seams before sewing it in. What, exactly is a 'slot zipper'?

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    1. It's just another term for the kind of insertion you might call "regular". I just discovered that's the "real" term.

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  8. A definite pat on the back! And well deserved too - they look great and I agree that they look perfectly wearable as opposed to wearable muslin :)

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  9. brilliant work! so glad you got the right fit in the end after all that!

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  10. They look so good Kristin, and you are right: that fabric is the bomb!

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    1. The fabric is simply superb. Buy many yards, while you can.

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  11. They look great! Nice job and good for you for sticking with it. It will be interesting to see how this pattern works for you in other fabrics.

    On the facing: it won't flip out if you tack it down at the side/CF/CB seams (invisible). You could also just stitch in the ditch of those seams, through the facing (visible from the facing side).

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    1. I'm very intrigued to see how it works in other fabrics. And, I did tack it down and did the understitching. The tacking really did the trick but I sens that understitching with more seam allowance will achieve a better outcome (in the future).

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  12. Really nice! I can see why you want these in all the fabrics!

    Also: I have a nagging suspicion I already left a comment, but don't find it here! If this is a duplicate, feel free to delete it!

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    1. Thank you! I don't believe I saw another comment G. But I'll stay on the lookout :-)

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  13. These look even better with the facing inserted! Such a great fit! Though you missed a rear shot which is where the real magic was with these pants. Those back darts are fabulous! And I agree that more of this fabric should be purchased!

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    1. Thanks Sara! I have a rear shot but I don't know if I can bring myself to post my derriere for all the world at this moment.

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  14. *and the crowd goes wild*
    These are fabulous. So worth all the faffing and effort. Bravo...I think I'd have thrown the pattern in the corner by now.

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    1. Oh, you do flatter Evie! And I have thrown many patterns in the corner (and gone for a bottle of wine). So you're in good company.

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  15. um, yeah these are wearable! seriously awesome pants, and after all that work they should be! i'm really loving your fabric.

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    1. You must purchase some. I'm going to post on the source...

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    1. Thanks E! I think these would suit you well!

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  17. I'm late to the party but I just wanted to add to the chorus of how beautiful these pants are and that you should definitely make more!

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    1. Thanks C! I'm trying to remember if you've sewn with StyleArc - I actually woke up this morning thinking "I bet Carolyn would really like these patterns because they're very au courant and like RTW." I will be making more!

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  18. Wow fab pants and I love the fabric. What a result for all that work. Wonderful to have the details too.

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  19. Thanks Emily! I'll continue to refine the pattern to suit various fabrics, but I'm off to a promising start!

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