The Twill Saga: Breaking 7:38

This weekend hated me, y’all.

Around 7:30 last evening, I began to realize that everything I’ve been working on for the past week (and longer, really) intended to fail me and fail me hard. It took about eight minutes for the realization to sink in and the despair to grip my soul. And then I ate pizza for dinner and got over it.

Let’s start with Simplicity 2475. I felt pretty certain that this pattern would work for me just fine. It’s an “Amazing Fit” pattern–that means it’s supposed to be able to fit amazingly, right?

No. I experienced issues with this pattern that even having a whole inch of side seam allowance couldn’t begin to solve.

I cut the pattern out using the “slim” option, which really only affects the two pieces for the back of the skirt. The skirt is constructed out of a front panel, a back panel, two front side panels and two back side panels. In the body of the skirt, I found that I didn’t need to dip into the 1″ seam allowance at the sides at all. But, then the waistband turned out too tight. Also, there was a lot of extra volume right below the waistband–I mean a lot of volume. My skirt looked pregnant. Not me. Just the skirt.

I tried getting rid of the excess by pulling in at the two front seams, where the front panel met the two side front panels. But all it did was cause the waistband to stick out oddly. After fiddling with it a bit, I realized that the only way to sorta solve the problem was to pull the front panel up underneath the yoke. Yeah–I don’t even know. This is an issue that could be worked out in the drafting stage, I suppose. But, I was NOT in the mood to deal with it.

A huge part of the issue with the yoke can be traced back to terrible interfacing. About a month ago, Jo-Ann’s was having a 50% off interfacing sale. They were completely out of the normal lightweight interfacing that I usually work with. They did, however, had some feather weight interfacing which actually looked like a better quality. So, I bought a bunch of it. As it turns out, feather weight interfacing is way, way too stiff. Particularly when you fuse it onto twill. And since I did all my cutting and interfacing for both skirts and pairs of shorts at once, I didn’t realize the problem until it was too late.

Good interfacing is hard to find! And apparently is also quite expensive!

I worked on both skirts (blue twill and green twill) simultaneously, so the fitting issues didn’t manifest themselves until I’d already gone too far on both. I got all the way to the hemming stage on both and then gave up when I realized how terribly they fit.

Ugh. Should have made a muslin.

Now for the shorts.

If you recall, I did make a muslin for these using McCall’s 5391. I made swayback adjustments and was pretty happy with the fit. Even after taking a couple of inches out of the waistband, the shorts were still a little loose. But, I figured that was a good thing since the twill was a bit thicker than the stiff polyester I used for the muslin.

So then, explain to me how these shorts turned out way too small! So extremely irritating!

I even had issues with excessive wrinkling at the center back seam–wrinkling issues that were NOT present in the muslin! The shorts are fairly snug across the rear, so I can’t figure out what’s happening–unless the shorts are simply the wrong shape entirely.

I do have one happy accident to report shorts-wise. McCall’s 5391 is an excessively short shorts pattern–well, view A at least. To be safe, I lengthened the shorts to the largest size line when I traced my pattern. Still, when I finished hemming the muslin, they were a bit too short for comfort–as in, I didn’t need to be retrieving any fallen items, if you know what I mean. I meant to lengthen them again before cutting out the twill, but I forgot. So, after a bit of brainstorming and tweaking, this is the solution I came up with:

I know it looks like I added only about a 1/8″ but I also only had to turn the hem under about 1/4″ instead of 1/2-5/8″. It’s a win, y’all.

I only did one side because the process was sorely irritating (because I didn’t cut or crease the fabric properly) and I already knew that the shorts were mostly made of fail.

All of this really makes me think that I need to start from scratch and experiment with my own patterns–especially for skirts and shorts, apparently. Is there such a thing as a pants block?

Silver lining: I did learn to insert a fly front zipper properly–for reals this time.

A disheartening weekend, for sure, but I’m trying to stay positive. I have big sewing plans ahead. I choose to shake the dust of this weekend off my feet and not look back.

P.S. I know you really, really wanted to see pictures of my sewing travesties, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go put them on and take pictures. Sorry. Not sorry.

Speaking of which, I have got to get some decent pictures up in here! Totally working on that!


2 thoughts on “The Twill Saga: Breaking 7:38

  1. Ugh, so sorry about your frustrating weekend! I’m sure your next project will turn out better. It’s definitely possible to draft a pants block, although I’ve never tried it myself. If you have a pair of pants that already fits you well, you might try the rub-off technique to make a pattern from them (Kenneth D. King’s Jean-ius class on Craftsy teaches you how to do that, or you could read “Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit”).

    • Thanks for the suggestions! Since I’ve never actually found a pair of pants that fits properly, I wasn’t sure if the Jean-ius class would work for me. But I’d totally take it anyway–I’m kind of addicted to Craftsy classes 🙂

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