I’ve been wearing my less-than-perfectly fitted Clovers all weekend, thinking that if I forced myself to wear them, I’d have a Eureka moment about why I hate them so badly. I don’t wear skinnies, it never occurred to me before. I started working with Clovers in response to questions from Pants Block clients. Of course I’d self-experiment to find the answers.
When we were out and about at a big huge shopping mall yesterday, the scales fell from my eyes. All but 3 (I counted) women I saw between the ages of 15 and 45 wearing pants were wearing Clover-like garments on their lower halves. Older women wore regular trousers. Is that normal? (I’m counting leggings-as-pants in the same category as “skinnies.”)
When did this happen? I certainly have a tendency to dwell in la-la land, but how did I miss this? A google search turned up plenty of articles with words like “wardrobe staple,” discussions about comfort and versatility, etc. Sure. Reading that, I felt just like I did in highschool when everyone I knew swore up and down that thongs were the most comfortable underwear ever invented and I kept thinking “You’re all a pack of dirty liars.”
At any rate, it doesn’t matter whether I like them or not. It matters if I can fit them- it’s a puzzle to unlock. Skinny-leg pants fit closely to the body down the entire length of the leg. They pose a greater fitting challenge than anything else worn below the waist.
I spent some time today researching other Clovers and checking out how they fit everyone else in the blogosphere. On the way, I found a super-incredible-awesome-beautiful series of tutorials from Sallieoh called “Fun with Clovers.” Wow. I mean, wow– she does gorgeous work. You could use the tips on pretty much any pants.
While I was reading, I ran my hands along the side seam down my thigh. I could see and feel that my Clovers had too much fabric in the back thigh still, and I noticed the seam allowance was twisting forward. Eureka achieved! I grabbed a piece of chalk and stood in front of a mirror to mark where the side seam should be- perpendicular to the floor, and through my thigh area nearly an inch towards the back. (The top of the side seam was perfectly fine. Go figure.)
I mentioned before that it’s important to balance the seams on pants- if you take out from the inseam, you must take out roughly the same amount from the side seam. I hoped to get away with not doing it because I’d rather not unpick a zipper if I can avoid it. Nope, it was unavoidable. I ripped the un-zippered side seam from mid-hip through the lower knee.
I still had some funny business going on, so remembering MrsC’s recommendation that I “hoik up the side seam,” I did just that. I ripped out the waistband and “hoiked” it about 1/2″ at the side seams, tapering to nothing at the CB.
The left side is the one I fixed up, the right side has the zipper and I will get to it shortly. I still have a little wrinkle under my backside, but I won’t worry about it. I think everyone gets that– at least it seems like it from the other Clovers I’ve seen… I have to wonder if it will go away once I sort out the other side, I can feel the difference in the two legs when I move. The drag lines are gone from the back knee area, you can see the ghosts of them but irl and not on crappy nighttime photos, they’re gone. You’ll see when I do the FO post..
Not fixed side seam.
Fixed side seam.
I tried to keep track of my alterations and “nudges” on the pattern piece as I sewed, but in the interests of science I’ll also take a tracing of my finished pants so I can reverse engineer the process of whittling a regular Pants Block down for stretch. Which I’ll document, of course. I also want to show my pattern work and compare it to the “fish eye dart” method. Turns out they yield the same results.
Also, I have a new numbers project. Can you help? I have some crazy ratio ideas about waist and hip measurements, and I’m also working out a sizing chart for below-the-belt patterns. If you don’t mind anonymously contributing your measurements to my project, click here. Thank you! I’ll write a post about my findings once I hit 300, I’d love to have as large a sample as possible.
What do you think? You know what else, none of the slim cut pants I saw while I was out the other day had pocket flaps. Did I do something super-weird by putting them on mine? They’ll have buttons and be cute, I promise!