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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fearless February - Trials and Tribulations



My fearless February challenge is proving to be just that - a challenge.  I decided I needed a new pair of casual cotton jean like trousers and chose McCall's 6610.


The back of the pattern claims that the waistband sits on the natural waist.  From looking at the picture on the front,  the centre front seems to sit at around the belly button level.  As I find my figure a little difficult to fit - waist about 27 inches (68-69 cm's)  hips 34 inches (87 cm's)  and high hips about 31 inches (79 cm's) I do not really fit into the standard size category.  I am fairly short (5' 4"/163 cm) with a short waist, rounded tummy, no hip bones to speak off, and I think fairly long from waist to crotch.  I thought it prudent to do a toile first.  I used size 10 as a starting point and made these up. The trousers were a little tight around the tum/waist area (as expected) and the legs were reduced to size 8 (as expected). The waistband was not contoured but a straight rectangle.  I attached this and the trousers dipped very low at the front and were high at the back.  I lifted the band at the front but it did not really help the appearance at all.  Additionally there was excess fabric at the back - a rectangle set at an angle on a convex tummy curve and a concave back curve is not going to fit well.  It didn't.  Here are some pictures (taken by my husband who has done a very good job of taking them).


This first image shows the natural sit of the trouser.  With my small hips and round tummy things tend to fall down.  I realise I could make the band smaller - but this is easier said than done and opens another set of problems


When I tighten the band at the back (so that the jeans fit better)  my cute curved tummy is even more pronounced in this cut.  I do not like this sort of look at all. 

Even pinched in at the back, there is still slack at the front.  I don't like this low front look, it really doesn't sit well on my angular frame.  It is claimed that these jeans sit at the natural waist which is not below the belly button, but at the natural indentation somewhere between your hips and ribs.  My waist is much higher than this.

And the rear curves up very high well above the natural waist. Even the jean yoke is quite high - in fact the yoke ends at about the place a waistband should sit.  And I am short and did not shorten this pattern for Miss Petite.  Even placing a seam at the back will not eliminate all the problems I am having with this pattern.

I have therefor come to the Conclusion:

This pattern does not work for me!

Sandra Betzina writes that you should "Unless the shape and style thrill you, don't waste time on this pattern...never feel guilty about tossing a pattern.  Only 50 percent or so are worth making.  A pattern that doesn't progress past a pretest doesn't count as a failure" (p.19., Power Sewing:Step-by-Step, Taunton Press, 2002, ISBN978-1-56158-572-4).

My recently completed studies in Psychology would also suggest not beating up on yourself - how often do we blame ourselves or our shape, as if we had a problem, instead of just admitting that this style, this shape, does not suit me and I shall move on to find something that does.  Before I do, though, I went through the pattern and did find good instructions for a fly front facing - I have never made one before, so I thought to salvage those.
I keep handy little bits and pieces like this in a little box of useful things that might come in handy.

I have chosen another pattern to trial.  I shall not give up on the quest for a nicely fitting pair of jean pants that suit my shape ( I didn't realise I was so athletic and boyish  looking - I need a few more kilo's I think).
Butterick 5682
These jeans sit just under the natural waistline which I think will be a little low for me.  The style is quite simple and I think it will be an easy matter to lengthen the body of the jean if need be.  It does have a contoured band - I am not sure how these sit on me - I tend to like something firm to hold garments up on - garments have a tendency to slide down my small hips.  If the jean is less up at the back and down at the front, a straight waistband might work.  Must go and find out now - have traced off size 8 legs, 10 hips and 12 waist - and cut out a toile.  I'll post progress when I have some to report.

This quest for the perfectly fitting pant may take some weeks I suspect.  It is one of my procrastination areas though - a  fear of a pants fizzle - so this is my Fearless February challenge (organised by tenthousandsewinghours.blogspot.com.?

Sarah Liz

P.S.  I also found a review of this pattern on sewing pattern review and the reviewer also had trouble with the sit of the band especially.  This reassured me in my decision not to attempt this garment after the pretest did not work for me. Of course, this pattern may work for other people - I hope it does, because it does look nice.


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