Red Leaf Clover (Round two)

Clover---round two


So. Still not the best photography, but at least it’s not the iPhone. I lightened the crap out of things to make the wrinkles etc. show better.

So, at this point I have lowered the rise in the front 5cm, tapering to 2.5 at the hip and zilch at the centre back. And this time (yay!) the zipper held out long enough to take some actual photos.

So at this point I’m seeing two major problems, aside from generalized looseness:

1) wrinkles at side-seam along hip. Several of you in the last post (thanks so much, everyone!) attributed this to excess hip curve, and you’re probably right. On the left side the zipper has forced this extra length into a single large fold at the bottom of the zipper, on the right side it’s more distributed.

2) bagginess at front crotch. I obviously need to research this. These aren’t strain wrinkles—it’s more like there’s just too much fabric here.

Minor problems include

3) dip at CB still there. If I lower the sides more, this may help, but really a bit of extra height in the back will be a must for next time.

4) wrinkles and looseness along legs. There’s some width that can be taken out here, I think.

Next up, I did what I should’ve done before I ever cut, and dug out my pattern for the Burdastyle Ellen Pants. This is the one that created the Businesswoman Pants, and while the fit isn’t totally perfect, it’s hella better than this pair, at least so far. The only reason I didn’t before, aside from laziness, was that the Ellen isn’t drafted for stretch fabric, so I wasn’t sure how precisely comparable they would be.

Crotch Curve Comparison:

Ellen vs. Clover

So this was the REALLY interesting part. I overlaid the two patterns. The solid paper is the Ellen pants (cut to a size 34 rather than my usual 36 as they run large). The tissue is my tracing of the Clover (size 2 grading to size 4 at the waist).

The biggest single difference is the rise in the front. It’s more than an inch higher at the centre front, and substantial. The rear rise is almost identical—a smidge lower at CB, a cm higher at the sideseam. There’s a slightly greater curve to the hip in the clover. The back piece is slightly wider in the Clover, but then the front piece is slightly narrower, so I think the overall width is very similar (and Ellen is non-stretch!). The spookiest thing is that the diference in rise doesn’t even out at the side seam—the rear side-seam is higher, when the crotch curves are lined up, than the side on the front, which means that there’s some odd shifting of how the halves are going to fit together. That’s boggling my brain, I tell you.

The crotch curves are almost identical, up to and including the much longer rear than front curve. This is the bit that really threw me for a loop, because I was expecting there to be a significant difference, not just a few mm at the back of the rear crotch curve. Now maybe having the front fly on the Ellen masks certain things, or maybe it’s just that they’re in non-stretch fabrics, but I never saw anything in any of my Ellens like the folds I have in the Clover.

There are a few other differences—the Clover legs are much narrwer, especially as you go down, than the straight-legged Ellens. But on the whole—scary close.

So I think I’m going to cry Uncle, seam rip the entire kaboodle, and recut following the Ellen pattern at the top. And then maybe consider taking in the side-seams until the stretch factor is properly accounted for.

And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why I’ve stuck with the same two pants patterns this whole time…



Filed under Sewing

31 responses to “Red Leaf Clover (Round two)

  1. Yep, that’s why they are TNTs.

  2. I love comparing every pants pattern to my TNT – it’s so intriguing to see how small differences on paper make huge differences in fabric. Right now, I’m doing this with my Kwik Sew yoga pants. I’ve made them a few times, but they’ve always been to baggy in the ass. I determined that the front crotch is good but the back crotch needs to be shortened by about an inch. How the lengths are going to line up now is beyond me. And I’ve made some pretty big changes to the back and front crotch depth. I’m endlessly fascinated by pants, particularly. BTW, I do think there’s too much fabric at the hips in those pics. Given that you’re working with stretch fabric and your hips are narrow, you might want to cut even more off the hips than the Ellen pattern would suggest.

    • Obviously we need to trade… gimme your rear crotch length! hmm, that just sounded odd…

      You’re right that I may need to trim even more width (this fabric seems like it wants to bag out a lot with wearing, too). If I can get the crotch working, it’s fairly easy to take that off the sides, though, since there’s no pockets to mess up. πŸ™‚

  3. Nothing like endlessly fitting and re-fitting a new pattern to make you love your TNT’s!

  4. Ick, why are pants so hard? They shouldn’t be, but man is fitting them stupidly difficult. I hope you can salvage these, because the fabric colour is gorgeous.

    • There’s this weird intersection of cylinders that puts everything together in a really weird, unintuitive way. And you can’t just put a dart in most of the places it gets baggy. πŸ˜› I know, I love the colour…

  5. For the crotch wrinkles, it kind of looks like you may need to almost rotate the center front — this is based on guesswork — but if you were to rip out the seam at the center front and allow all the fabric to lay flat over your pelvis, I’m guessing the two sides would open up to form a V in front and have a bunch of ease at your hips/waist. If you added in fabric in the center front (in the V-shape that I think will appear — so none at the crotch and an inch or two at the waist), and took out more at the hips, I’m betting it would fix the weird wrinkles. Theoretically, it also ought to help with the hip wrinkles, since the fabric wouldn’t be pulling in the same way.

  6. Good call to rip and redo. What a shame these didn’t work, but hopefully they’ll be fantastic as Red Ellens.

  7. I am no help at all with fitting pants, but I wanted you to feel supported. I am certain that you will work out the fitting issues and end with the most amazing pants that everyone will stop you on the street demanding to know where you got them and will offer you thousands of dollars to make them some. Then you could buy your coverstitch machine.

  8. Pants keep me awake at night sometimes. One thing I thought I had figured out is how different fitted pants (e.g. stretch jeans, Clovers) are from looser pants (business et al). So I am surprised at how similar your patterns are too. On me (straight hips, full tush) if the pants are snug at the back of my thigh, I need extra height at the CB for coverage when sitting. When I stand up, that extra bum-height either bunches below the pockets of RTW jeans, which I’m sort of used to, or forms what I call the butt-beak in garments like Clovers that lack a rear-pocket or other stiffening detail. In looser pants the weight of the legs lets that excess drop. I may just develop a coping-fondness for looser pants (A.Hepburn here I come). But I’ll never really be a dresses and shirts gal…
    Good luck, we’re all cheering for you!

    • Well, the Ellen pants are really pretty fitted, rather than being trouser-style. And the Clovers aren’t really drafted like leggings or anything like that—they rely on the stretch for comfort, not fit, at least in theory.

      I mostly rely on heavy-duty belts and long shirts to avoid the worst of the plumber’s crack… I’m occasionally drawn by the look of loose, drapey pants, but I probably wouldn’t end up wearing them. I enjoy getting compliments from my husband way too much…

  9. Well mmm , the silver lining is you can re-cut them into another pattern :O)

  10. I think using a TNT to reshape the Clovers is a good call. I often figure out whether or not a pattern will work by comparing it against my TNTs.

    Looking at this picture, I do think if you smoothed out the sides and allowed a little more fabric in the back crotch seam, that might fix the wrinkles. I’ve had them before and it’s all due to those weird bubbles that designers put in the pattern because they assume that women are all widest at their hip area (eye roll). Hopefully following the Ellen pattern will smooth them out.

    • My hip-shape is such a pain (another reason to favour low-rise styles.)—muffin top starting sharply below my waist, then groove, then the widest point right at my actual hip joint. Which still isn’t that wide, mind you.

      Can’t wait to re-adjust, but it’s going to take a bit before I have time…

  11. Hehehe. I love how you made two muslins before deciding to dig out the pattern that fits to compare it. I do that sort of thing all the time. πŸ™‚

    Cute! I’m thinking of making some clovers from that weird selvedge stretch denim I found…

    • I’m so efficient, aren’t I? Glad I’m not the only one. πŸ˜› I wasn’t sure how comparable they’d be because Ellen isn’t drafted for stretch, but apparently the answer is “very”.

      I think denim clovers would be adorable on you. Especially since Colette seems to be drafting for you much more than for me πŸ˜‰

  12. ….crimson and clover….?

  13. knitsnwovens

    I think we’re fairly similar lower-body types – after much pant-fitting, I’ve determined I need to rotate the main body of the pants compared to the legs (I can’t tell on your pics, but my pants always used to have the side seam end up in front of my shin bone, which I can’t quite figure out with a forward tilt…). This will be more obvious the tighter the legs are – I don’t do anything major to wide leg pant patterns, besides increasing the rise at the back, and altering the waist-to-hip ratio. I now lay down my fitted Burda pattern on any new ones, but I’m beginning to think that you are right to put the other pattern design elements onto the fitted pattern. I have a new pair back on my sewing table because they had me put a straight waistband on, and I listened, even though I know better for me!

    • I’ve been wondering if something like this was part of the issue. The problem is I got lucky with my first two pants patterns, and thought perhaps that I was actually “average shaped” on the bottom half.

      Silly Tanit. Should know better than that just from RTW. πŸ˜›

  14. Pants are completely baffling to me. Good luck!

  15. Amy

    I love these kind of comparisons! I always feel like I pick up a little bit of pattern engineering. It definitely seems like there is a lot of extra hip length, both in terms of the rise and the curvier side seam, that would cause those wrinkles. I’ve tried some trouser patterns where the back side seam was a bit higher and curvier than the front. To get those lengths to match, I had to ease the back seam into the front around the hip (which isn’t great for a side zip). Anyway, looking forward to seeing how your frankenpattern emerges!

  16. Wrinkles come in two varieties: pull wrinkles and fold wrinkles (to use the terminology I found on a chart I copied yonks ago, the source of whichh I’ve since forgotten – oops!).

    Horizontal pull wrinkles mean not enough width. Horizontal fold wrinkles mean too much vertical length.

    I still think the front crotch is too long πŸ™‚

  17. Joy

    Speaking anatomically…if you have a sway back, that means the pelvis is tilted and that will affect the fit in front as well as in back. I just glanced at the diagrams in my fitting book … it essentially shows folding out (shortening) the front crotch length because you need less fabric there. You may need to flatten the curve as well.

    • Yeah, if you look at the side view you can definitely see that pelvic tilt (not helped by the belly pudge). I don’t think I could flatten the front curve any more, though—there’s not much there to begin with.

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