Thursday, January 31, 2019

Silhouette Patterns Fitting Trifecta Tour, Part 2

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Seattle event of the Fitting Trifecta Tour with Peggy Sagers of Silhouette Patterns on January 25 and 26th, 2019 in Seatac, Washington. Peggy travels the country, teaching women how to make the clothes they sew fit properly on their bodies, with as little fuss as possible.

My notes from the workshop follow. I didn't take notes at the workshop; these are written from memory so there may be a few gaps.

Saturday Morning
During the Saturday morning workshop, we fitted Silhouette #3400, Three-Piece Yoga Pant. For this session, I was lucky enough to be Peggy's fitting model. What a bonus to be fitted by the expert!

Peggy started off by talking about LCD and how it relates to pants. She discussed what she thinks is a point of confusion: What is normally called "crotch depth" is actually a length measurement, and what is commonly called "crotch length" is a depth measurement.

Fitting the Pants


Do you like where the crotch is hitting you? If not, pull the pants up or down until you do. NO SCOOPING or otherwise changing the crotch curve. What a revelation! We've been conditioned to think that waist seam of the pattern is sacrosanct and must be left unaltered at all costs. Instead, we go through muslin after muslin, fiddling with the crotch curve to the point where it probably would have been easier to draft the pattern ourselves. There was literally no one in the room for whom the crotch couldn't be made right simply by moving the pants up or down, and there were 30 to 40 women of all different shapes and sizes.


Do you feel comfortable in the pants? Are they too tight or too loose? Small adjustments to the circumference of the waist and hips are taken at the side seams. If there is a lot to take in or let out, consider starting with a different size.

The circumference of the legs is taken only from the side seams above the knee, then equally from the side seam and inseam below the knee.


I needed all three corrections.
Also, this back view is horrifying.
Start on the back of the pants. Is there droopiness under the tush? We nicknamed this problem "cowl back." This is addressed with a horizontal dart taken at the fullest part of the seat, starting in the middle and tapering to nothing at the side seams. This must be addressed before anything else.

Someone asked if this would have the effect of making the crotch too tight. Peggy responded with a visual that included a ruler and a tape measure. I didn't take photos (of course) so I'll try to explain it.

Imagine, if you will, a ruler. The top of the rule is the waist. An arbitrary point halfway down the ruler is the crotch line. The tape measure is held in place at the waist and crotch line, with enough slack between the two points to curve out and approximate the shape of someone's bottom. Peggy then demonstrated how she could fold a tuck into the slack of the tape measure without moving the crotch line. Question answered.

After taking the dart at the hipline, there may still be horizontal drag lines below the seat. These are addressed at the crotch line by taking a dart that starts at the inseam and tapers to nothing at the side seam. A corresponding dart needs to be taken on the front of the leg.

Corresponding darts on front leg at
crotch and knee. Cat whiskers
 pinned out at center front.
There may be still more drag lines lower down on the leg. These are generally caused because the pants are hanging up on the calves. To eliminate these, a dart is taken just above the knee, starting at the side seam and tapering to nothing at the inseam. Again, a corresponding dart must be taken on the front of the leg.

Then we looked at the front of the pants. Horizontal wrinkles or cat whiskers are pinned out in a dart that starts at the center front seam and tapers to nothing at the side seam.

The alterations made on the muslin can be transferred to your flat pattern, or you can use the muslin as your pattern.

After everyone was fitted, she spent some time talking about how hard it can be to let go of old ideas about fitting (she specifically mentioned scooping the crotch curve) and reiterated that it really is as simple as her method makes it seem.

I'll be making a pair of altered yoga pants soon and will have a post here. I'm still unconvinced that knit pants are going to be a good look for me; I felt naked and exposed with them on, but I will, at least, be able to wear them around the house. I may be able to wear them in public if made in a very heavy ponte knit.

1 comment:

Barbara T said...

Great notes. I learned so much from both of her sessions even though we were a noisy bunch. Still haven’t made my pants up. I prefer to use a stretchy denim.