Pattern Fail VS Eureka Moment

I started my project with renewed energy and excitement.  Following along with this new course I am taking has me inspired and looking forward to solving "the perfect pants pattern".

Basically in this course you take a generic plain pants pattern and according to your measurements do a bit of fine tuning in order to "customize" to your body type. This would be your pattern block in which to make virtually any other pants you want!! Exciting huh? No more multiple pants patterns and spending money on pattern after pattern....

Here I am ready to start the day!!


Here I am trying on the resulting so-called sloper!

WTH!!!  Did I eat a ton of burritos and chow down on Doritos before I took my measurements or does this pattern allow a 1/4 mile of ease in the pattern???? Wow how can I be so wrong and what do I even do with this????

So looking back on this pattern it is an elastic waist pull on pant so the waist will have to be as big as the hip measurement in order to get the pants on and the excess at the elastic waist is just gathers. But still...really that is way, way too much ease, the gathers on my waist with those pants would look like the grand canyon! So even still I choose the wrong type of pattern to make a sloper for myself that doesn't explain why I had all that extra ease in the thigh and legs as well.

Does anyone else out there have problems with commercial patterns being too big? I always buy according to my measurements 30 waist 40 hip and that would make me a size 16 usually much across the board( Vogue, Butterick, McCalls) They are always too big with way too much ease and I am confident I am measuring correctly.

Kathy Ruddy discussed a little bit about commercial patterns being constructed after a models  measurements and graded from basically a proportion of that figure! So unless all home sewers out there have model type bodies we will be wracking our brains and sweating tears of frustration trying to alter these patterns till "the cows come home" ugh not an appealing thought!!

Because of this fact about the proportioning in commercial patterns I think that is why they fit children so well. Because most active children have a lean frame. I love sewing kids clothes!! My daughters clothes always turns out so pretty and fit very nicely.

I was so disappointed and felt beat before I even started!   My coffee smile soon turned to a coffee scowl :(  I am so fed up with commercial patterns and buying tons of different patterns and spending hours and even days altering them before I even get to sew them up......

So back to this mess....

I would have to decrease it tremendously it would be like building my own pattern almost.......

Wait a minute my own pattern.......

Build my own pattern you say......

I dug out this book. Which I did blog about before. I made my children t-shirt patterns using the techniques in this book. So I thought what the hell,  what do I have to lose at this point? I was so disgusted with the other pattern, starting fresh was something I needed to do!

This was not hard to do but your math and of course measurements have to be exact! You construct a sloper out of your exact measurements.

I then took apart my oversized previous sloper and put that down to recut it from my own pattern. As you can see from this picture there was a lot taken out at center back, and down the hip.

With some skepticism and apprehension of what I will have to do to tweak this pattern I basted it up and tried it on.

Ok all I have to say is.......THIS BOOK IS MY NEW SEWING BIBLE!

Keep in mind the seams are to the outside and that makes it look big still, but they were very comfortable and I thought the fit was pretty close after some fine tuning ;)

Pretty close right!! I took note of my problem areas (which are the usual ones I have to adjust for). I took in 1/2 inch at the side seams and 1/4 inch at CF and CB, I had to lengthen the crotch curve on the front to get rid of those wrinkles. I did a crescent adjustment on the back sloper  to get rid of some wrinkles under the bum(sorry there was no way I was going to put that butt shot on here it was pretty darn scary) I also need to curve my inseam to get rid of the excess fabric between my legs. It is also a little deceiving since I am wearing it with seams out for alteration purposes.  I fine tuned it only 2 times and this is what I got.

Don't you love my 60's fab fabric lol I use this as a muslin.

I have never had such an easier time getting the fit I am happy with. What do you think? What other alterations can I do?   I think the fabric hangs nicely off the bum except my right hip is higher than my left and I have a bit of a pull and drag line across there. The front crotch hangs a lot nicer  and I only had my hems sort of cuffed up a bit so I do have some breaking over the foot that are causing a bit of distortion on the legs but they will hang freely once properly hemmed. The inseam, side seam and center and back seam are all in the right places...right?

I can't tell you how stoked I am about this fit, I threw out the other pattern and I will use the linen material and make my own pattern from these slopers.

Now I have to design the rest...pockets or no pockets, fly zip, back zip or side zip? I already decided against putting in darts. I need to think of where I want the waist band as well but all that will be the fun stuff now that the fit I think is near perfect.

Anyone interested in sending me a set of measurements and I will make a sloper for you? I'm wondering if this was a fluke or is this book really that awesome? Is this the way to go for us as home sewers?  I would like to practice this pattern making and also get some feedback on this process.  Let me know if you are interested in a customized sloper and I will put a draw for it on my blog :)