Whew! Yes, the waist is way too big, but — whoot, whoot, y’all! I made me some pjs (and only had to call my momma for help once)! Wore ’em to bed last night and everything. (Notice they look nothing like the front of the package — ha!)
Here are some conclusions, in no particular order (as they like to say on DWTS):
1) Sewers and sewists like to complain about pattern sizes and man, it’s no joke! I can’t even imagine the body shape of the person who would fit perfectly into this garment as sized in the package. For the sake of journalistic integrity — and with little regard for my own privacy — let’s talk numbers. (Only for you, dear reader.)
1A) Ok, first off, I have to confess that I botched my initial waist measurement (mm…or maybe I did it right after I ate all those tater tots?) but since I didn’t alter the waist, this error didn’t affect the final product. Anyway, my correct waist and hip measurements are 33 1/2″ and 40 1/2″. Let’s take a look at the package.
According to the little chart, my hips will fit nicely into a size L but the waist may be a bit too small. In my finished product, the hips are fine and the waist is enormous, even with the elastic waistband.
1B) The other sizing problem was the unfortunately-termed “crotch* depth.” (*Is there an uglier word in the English language we could use for this? Let’s abbreviate: CD.) If you check out page 105 of The Perfect Fit, you will see a handy explanation of how to measure your CD. Yes, this would be the explanation I ignored until I tried on my near-completed pants and pulled them up to my armpits. My CD is about 10 1/4″ to 10 1/2″; add 3/4″ ease and the total is between 11″ and 11 1/4″. Let’s look at the pattern.
Size L is the dotted line; that’s a CD of 12 and 7/8″! That is some long-torsoed figure! My solution was to chop about 1 3/4″ inches off of the waistband, which isn’t really how you are supposed to do it but it was too late to fix correctly since I had already cut out all of my pieces. I figured it would be ok for pj pants and it was a good lesson learned.
Crotch depth: much as we may hate the term, it’s a good one to know ’cause it will make all the difference in fitting your pants.
1C) Not surprisingly, the length was about 2 inches too long but that was easily fixed. Still, it will be good to note for future iterations of this pattern as I’d rather not waste the fabric.
2) All these details for one simple pair of pants makes me wonder that we can make or buy clothing that fits at all without having some kind of advanced degree in spatial engineering. But if I can actually figure this out, it will be amazing to be able to make things that fit perfectly, especially shirts, which are a difficult thing for me to find for purchase. I’m not ready to go there yet, but I can see it coming down the road. What I’d really love to do is take some classes on tailoring and fashion sewing but that will have to wait.
3) On the matter of wasted fabric, as someone who primarily makes bags, quilts, and home decor, I am used to buying fat quarters or precise amounts of fabric for whatever project I am making and having less than a quarter yard of scraps at the end. I am amazed at how much fabric is left over after cutting out my pants pattern. I bought exactly the amount specified and laid it out according to the picture, but I will be using this orange fabric for years to come. That’s cool, because I adore it, but I think if I had bought something expensive that couldn’t be used for quilts and bags, I’d be seriously bummed. What do folks do with their leftover knits and what have you?
4) The pattern really called for flannel, fleece, terry cloth, or cotton interlock (sort of a heavy t-shirt or lightweight sweatshirt material). I used plain old cotton because I wanted these for summer. I figured that since flannel doesn’t stretch either, it would be ok. It is, but I think it adds to the puffy pants effect because it doesn’t drape as well as the other kinds of fabric would. (Or maybe it’s the tater tots, I’m not sure…)
5) There was something about laying out the fabric and pinning down the tissue paper patterns that filled me with nostalgia and made me feel so connected to my mother. How many patterns did I see my mother pin as a child? I can’t imagine. Here is a picture of me and my sister wearing fringed vests and miniskirts made out of alligator-embossed pleather. I’m pretty sure we are wearing black go-go boots.
So. Flippin’. Cool.