Pattern String Codes pt.3

Continuing this short series from parts one and two, today I tested the pants pattern. As I briefly mentioned last time, I’d said the pants draft looked fine other than that they looked as though they had a camel toe in the making. A sewn test sample renders the latter assertion false.
[post amended 10/20/06] Once I finished the waistband, I found there was a camel toe. Later today I’ll be posting a correction for this particular pattern. This situation reminds me of advice given to students taking tests; your first impression of the correct answer is usually right. And this should teach me to say anything before completing my test fit sample!
I cut a quick sample in polar fleece, not intending to take up the waist darting (two darts front, two in the back) because I’m putting in elastic. I love polar fleece elastic waistband pants for winter. I remember when I started making these years ago and everybody laughed at me thinking it was weird. Whatever, I stay warm. Anyway, I’m pleased with the result.

The slacks seem evenly balanced, the side seams run true (!), there is no camel toe and other than problems I have with any pants (sway back), these were fine. The inseam length was good which means something because that measure isn’t requested. Rather, the inseam is derived from the entire pant length measure (waist to ankle, mine is 40″). My sewn sample wasn’t a precise proof of the pattern but all the biggies seem intact. The back fork seemed a little deep (and proved slightly extreme when joining front to back inseam) but I’d consider that fairly minor. One reason pants have a camel toe is because the back fork is too shallow.

If you have unusual fitting problems with slacks, this may not be a solution as too few measures are requested. My lower body shape is not remarkable so I wouldn’t know how these would work for someone with a fuller, rounder hip and buttocks. I don’t have much of a butt. Summary: these worked fine for me but your mileage may vary.

Briefly backtracking to the second entry of this series; I’d still hesitate to categorically say the bodice patterns are unworkable. I think it depends. I think these could be a solution if you were working with someone who didn’t have a full bosom, say children or men but I really don’t know. Someone else mentioned that I failed to mention other problems with the pattern (such as the armhole etc) but if something is largely unworkable for me, I won’t go through and dissect every little thing wrong with it. I’ll hit the highest points and if those aren’t working, I’ll mostly pass on the rest because the whole thing needs to be reworked anyway. But yes, I agree with Jane, I really disliked the armholes. One caveat, that back armhole would be good for a sleeveless top.

Off topic but follows is a very brief sewing lesson. Actually, not a sewing lesson but instruction on sewing order. I just include this because I’ve found that many people don’t know the best sewing order for pants. There are three basic seams to sew. One is the outseam (side seam), another is the inseam and the last is the crotch seam. In home sewing, they sew the crotch seam last and really, that is just goofy, making it too much work. I don’t know why they tell people to do it that way.

The first seams sewn are the CF and CB crotch curves. If you’ve cut your pieces lying up 2 per, you don’t even need to pair them up because they’re already lain together. Unless of course you cut them with the fabric face right side up. Regardless, sew the crotch seams first.

The next seam is the inseam. Sew that up.

Last you’d sew the side seams which are not shown.

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  1. jocole says:

    ahh the wonders of fleece, i have a fleece skirt that is the best to wear to church on cold sunday mornings … its like wearing your blanket. love love love it, now i want some fleece pants.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Just curious, considering that you thought the pants wouldn’t fit based on them looking funny, but having a surprising outcome, did you make the bodice to see if it fits?

  3. carissa says:

    I know you’ve been very clear about what causes a “camel toe”, but I’ve never heard that term and I’m having a hard time picturing it. What does c.t. mean? How do pants with a c.t. look?

    Here goes Kindergarten again!


  4. Pat Lundin Friday Harbor, WA says:

    Hi Kathleen,
    Thank you for your review about String-Codes pants and bodice. I am a complete novice at pattern making. I purchased a couple of their slopers last summer and plan on doing what I can with them to develop my designs then send my patterns on to a professional for final fixing. Is this a practical way to do this or would I be more efficient and cost effective if I just send my drawings to a professional pattern maker? I have wondered about this given the time it takes for me to work on the pattern and the fact that I am just learning these skills and cannot readily see a problem, if there is one.

  5. Kathleen says:

    How do pants with a c.t. look?
    Lol! Just google the term or follow the link from camel toe part one. There’s a lot of young men who have nothing better to do with their time than to post photos of them.

    I purchased a couple of their slopers last summer and plan on doing what I can with them to develop my designs then send my patterns on to a professional for final fixing. Is this a practical way to do this or would I be more efficient and cost effective if I just send my drawings to a professional pattern maker?

    Personally, I prefer to work off of something so whatever you can do to jumpstart the process will save you some money and time. The thing is, every designer thinks their size 10 (or whatever) is THE size 10 (and everybody else’s size 10 is off) so if you have a pattern you’ve played with, that’ll give a pattern maker a better idea of what you’re looking for. Everyone, including pattern makers, have their own biases based on either their own figure types or their personal experience. If a designer/pattern maker is busty, their patterns will reflect that. If their arms are longer than typical, that will show in sleeve length etc. I don’t think you can lose by getting a fitting shell and working it until it meets the standards of the consumer you want to target and then pass that off to someone for clean up if it needs it.

  6. Pat Lundin Friday Harbor, WA says:

    Thanks Kathleen, your response to my question about the cost effectiveness of using a purchased sloper (above) helped me to realize that I don’t have to fret about whether the clothing I make, that happens to fit me, can be transformed into the appropriate sizes for pattern production. I have spent way too much of my time concerned about how on earth I could go from what I am coming up with to a professional pattern sized appropriately for the market I want to reach. Specifically, I want to go from my size 14 to a lines for sm, med, lg and in petite, regular, tall and obese sizes. I can use my creativity and make the designs and give them to a pro to redraw into the sizes I need for production. I do need to figure out the measurements so patterns can be graded. That alone is a big challenge. I would like to “do it all” myself but I now realize that learning the skills will hopefully occur over time but in order to get any thing off the ground right now I need to get my ego out of my way and use the professionals and get moving.
    Thank you.

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