|Yesterday I went to my first Fit Review at PP. I took Fit For Real People nearly 3 years ago and I decided to attend the FR. Thank you Diane S. for this suggestion. I will be forever grateful.
Marta Alto teaches this 'hands on' class. There was 1 other woman in the class with me. The woman has altered several things and always goes to the monthly class. This was my first. I will attending these as often as I can from now on.
I was at a loss to know what to do about a simple pair of elastic waist pants. I made muslin after muslin, adjusting here and there and probably over adjusting. What fitting problems did I have? What size should I be using to start with? I was ready to stop sewing and try making simple projects---again. No, I want to learn to fit me, so get with it, girl, and learn properly.
Marta measured my hips first. I will tell you my size pattern was a 22. I have lost some weight and I am reshaping myself each month, but it seems like such a large size to start with to me. However, it is correct for what we will do to the pattern. I will need this size for that.
The pattern I chose to work on is McCall's 6248, a new Palmer/Pletsch pattern. If you do not have a PP in your collection, buy one. McCall's go on sale at JoAnns (in my area) late this week. I plan to buy another 1-2 of this one, in different sizes and maybe another one of theirs as well. They have so many adjustment lines to make things much easier.
This pattern has 1 inch seam allowances for the just in case I need it, factor. I marked the sa's at 1 inch from my size. She then had me start 2 inches above the B crotch lengthen/shorten line, and gently go in 1/8th inch tapering to 1/4th inch half way up, then before I get to the waist, I was back to the original stitching line. The pattern was supposed to be this way, but somehow this line was not correct, so we need to fix it as we adjust. The F piece was fine.
Then she had me tape the crotch area and cut to the tape so I could try it on. The rear crotch shape and length of this pattern is made for �a mature woman�, Marta kept telling me. Great, it is not made for a 20 year old rear end. It fit me very well back there. I am going to love this pattern and the pants I make from it.
After the first try on, she said I have a flat butt. I suspected this was the case. She told me I needed to use the vertical fold lines and remove 1 inch. Wow, a whole inch? The CF and CB were just about right. She had me tie elastic around my waist and she pinned the CF/CB to the elastic, so she did not have to hold it while she checked how it fit me.
The first thing I would adjust was the 1 inch flat seat fold on the B piece. I folded the outer most line, waist to hem and then laid it on top of the inner most line. I pinned vertically onto the paper table to hold the pins. I have a paper cutting mat at home and now will use mine a lot more often for this purpose. Then I taped the new seam closed and removed the pins.
Try on again. Better. Now Marta moved the pins at the sides and marked new stitching lines from waist to hip and back to original stitching lines. This pattern is pretty straight from the hips down. While I had the tissue on, she again pinned it to the elastic so her hands were free to mark the sides and the waist. I wanted CF near my navel, so she drew new cutting lines on the tissue F/B. She told me to shorten the legs 5 inches.
I worked on the side seams first. I used my perfect pattern paper to add 1/2 inch from waist to hip. I then redrew the 1 inch seam allowances and trimmed off the excess. Then I worked on the waist. Good thing I took notes or I would not know what I did when and how much. On the F piece, I started at CF lowering it 1/2 inch. I would be down 1 inch at the midpoint and then raise the cutting line back to 1/2 inch at the side. A nice gentle tapered line where it is deeper in the middle of the pattern than at the CF or the side seam.
The B piece is completely different. I again will shorten the waist at the side 1/2 inch. Then I will gently go up to the original cutting line 4 inches from the edge of the CB. I have this part semi done. I have the lines drawn, but I want to talk to Marta again before I cut it of. I had not done anything like this before, so I want to be sure I understand it before I mess it up!
I taped the crotch areas back up and cut along the new drawn lines. Lastly I shortened the legs 5 inches, doing a 2.5 inch fold. By this time, nearly 3 hours had gone by. I still need to true up the side seams at the lengthen/shorten line and add tissue to true up the inseams.
When this was all done, I asked what was next. To my surprise, she said Fabric is next. Really, this is all I have to do? While it seemed like a lot to me, I think it will be normal for me as time goes on. Sure, I will have to adjust more as I loose more weight and inches. For now, I need to find some decent fabric to make it in. The pattern says Gabardine, wool/blends, and so forth. I can make it in denim if I want, she said. I am not sure what I want to start with.
This is a great experience and I have high hopes of making pants that fit me well and look good in the future. When I start fitting the fabric, she told me to sew the crotch first and pin the sides and inseams. Try on and see how it is. Move any pins I do not like and remark fabric and pattern.
Class ended and I went to look over Fabric Depot at fabrics and their books and DVD's. I bought the spiral bound book Pants For Real People. Next month I want Marta's sewing DVD called PFRP Sewing Techniques. I would like to buy Pati's DVD as well on Fitting.