Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Favorite Jean

No, I'm not talking about pants either. I'm talking about Jean. As in Jean Haas. Several days ago I got an email from one of my favorite bloggers who was thinking about taking Jean's Darting Below the Beltline class over at Patternreview. I took that class (gosh, was it really 3 years ago???) and absolutely loved it! Jean uses technology for her on-line class instruction that I had never seen before taking her class. It is really awesome. Truly, you get out of her class what you put into it. Several class members who took her class with me and were really involved will concur as per the comments in my class review at Patternreview.

So, that leads to me to one of my projects I worked on today. I decided to make the cream-colored linen capri pants to go with my tie-dye Threads top. Hmm...which pattern to use??? I decided on a pants pattern that I downloaded from maybe PMB? All I remember is that it was some website that was trying to sell their pattern software which had two free downloads, and one was pants to the custom measurements that were input into the program. I made a pair of jeans, which later turned into capris (forgot about progressive shrinkage with my denim) from them and really liked the fit. Yeah, the back had the butt bags and the darts were a little off, but overall the crotch length was really nice.

So I pull out that pattern, dusted off my Sandra Betzina fitting book, and worked on the baggy butt alteration of creating a horizontal wedge just below the crotch line and removing a 1/2" of excess. We'll see how that helps out the fit. It *will* help, I just don't know to what degree.

Then I checked out my darts. This is where Jean comes in. When I first made these pants, I didn't know where, nor how long, my darts should be on the front and back pattern pieces. But since that time, I have much more fitting knowledge. I pulled out my duct tape pattern from the Darting Below the Beltline class and remarked my darts as per duct tape pattern.

Below are pics of the front and back. The "old" darts that were generated from the pattern are green. The "new" darts are marked in purple. Quite a difference in length, width, and placement, huh? That makes a huge difference in fit. After taking Jean's class, I also realized that a dart of improper width, length, and placement can also make one look heavier, rather than more shapely. A "misguided" dart has the unfortunate ability to add bulk, maybe poof is a more appropriate word, to places where we don't want to look bigger.

For example, on my front pants pattern piece, the original dart was too close the the CF. It was also WAY too long and far too wide. I'm fairly flat in the front, necessitating only a dart that is a total of a 1/4" width. The dart has to be placed where the bulge is, which is right at my hip bone. So I redrew the dart where it was supposed to be along with the length and width.

How did I know to do this? Here is my Darting Below the Beltline waist-to-hipline pattern pieces. I line up my CF and mark the dart adjustments.

Here is my back pattern piece. Notice the difference between the pattern's original dart (green), and my new darts (purple). That is quite a difference. I actually need two darts for a better fit of varying widths and lengths. And whew! Again, the length of the dart is way too long.

Here is duct tape pattern superimposed over the original pattern. Align the CB and the proper dart placement, length, and width is evident. The change has been made.

This is actually very simplistic, but it's an brief, yet accurate, overview of how I use my knowledge from the DBB class and apply it to commercial patterns. I deal with asymetry and for the most accurate fit have to use separate left and right fronts and backs for a the best fit possible.

From my four waist-to-hip quadrants, I have developed a self-drafted pattern of a straight skirt. I have also created a second duct tape waist-to-hip mold specifically for contoured waistband skirt and pant styles. You could even create one for pants with a back yoke like a pair of jeans. So many possibilities really, all with a personal, customized fit.

This class is coming up at Patternreview, and I highly recommend it. (NAYY) Jean is one of my favorite instructors and you get out of the class what you put into it.

Right now I'm going to get going on my capris. The pattern is a pretty good fit, just need to work on little things here and there. I was really surprised at how good the initial fit was from the downloaded from the sample website program. I'm hoping these will enventually be TNT with a little bit of tweaking.


Rhoto said...

"I'm fairly flat in the front,"... ... I still like ya!!
Rhonda, who's fairly round front & back!! Tee! Hee!

Robin said...

Thanks so much for the additional detail!!! I'm fairly flat in the front too, and not as wide either as in the back. I really think I need to take this class.

Robin said...

Thanks so much for the additional detail!!! I'm fairly flat in the front too, and not as wide either as in the back. I really think I need to take this class.