Pattern String Codes pt.3

Continuing this short series from parts one and two, today I tested the pants pattern. As I briefly mentioned last time, I’d said the pants draft looked fine other than that they looked as though they had a camel toe in the making. A sewn test sample renders the latter assertion false.
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[post amended 10/20/06] Once I finished the waistband, I found there was a camel toe. Later today I’ll be posting a correction for this particular pattern. This situation reminds me of advice given to students taking tests; your first impression of the correct answer is usually right. And this should teach me to say anything before completing my test fit sample!
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I cut a quick sample in polar fleece, not intending to take up the waist darting (two darts front, two in the back) because I’m putting in elastic. I love polar fleece elastic waistband pants for winter. I remember when I started making these years ago and everybody laughed at me thinking it was weird. Whatever, I stay warm. Anyway, I’m pleased with the result.

The slacks seem evenly balanced, the side seams run true (!), there is no camel toe and other than problems I have with any pants (sway back), these were fine. The inseam length was good which means something because that measure isn’t requested. Rather, the inseam is derived from the entire pant length measure (waist to ankle, mine is 40″). My sewn sample wasn’t a precise proof of the pattern but all the biggies seem intact. The back fork seemed a little deep (and proved slightly extreme when joining front to back inseam) but I’d consider that fairly minor. One reason pants have a camel toe is because the back fork is too shallow.


If you have unusual fitting problems with slacks, this may not be a solution as too few measures are requested. My lower body shape is not remarkable so I wouldn’t know how these would work for someone with a fuller, rounder hip and buttocks. I don’t have much of a butt. Summary: these worked fine for me but your mileage may vary.

Briefly backtracking to the second entry of this series; I’d still hesitate to categorically say the bodice patterns are unworkable. I think it depends. I think these could be a solution if you were working with someone who didn’t have a full bosom, say children or men but I really don’t know. Someone else mentioned that I failed to mention other problems with the pattern (such as the armhole etc) but if something is largely unworkable for me, I won’t go through and dissect every little thing wrong with it. I’ll hit the highest points and if those aren’t working, I’ll mostly pass on the rest because the whole thing needs to be reworked anyway. But yes, I agree with Jane, I really disliked the armholes. One caveat, that back armhole would be good for a sleeveless top.

Off topic but follows is a very brief sewing lesson. Actually, not a sewing lesson but instruction on sewing order. I just include this because I’ve found that many people don’t know the best sewing order for pants. There are three basic seams to sew. One is the outseam (side seam), another is the inseam and the last is the crotch seam. In home sewing, they sew the crotch seam last and really, that is just goofy, making it too much work. I don’t know why they tell people to do it that way.

The first seams sewn are the CF and CB crotch curves. If you’ve cut your pieces lying up 2 per, you don’t even need to pair them up because they’re already lain together. Unless of course you cut them with the fabric face right side up. Regardless, sew the crotch seams first.

The next seam is the inseam. Sew that up.

Last you’d sew the side seams which are not shown.

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