Although I prefer skirts and dresses, there are times in the winter where I wish I had a pair of nice-looking, professional, trouser-y pants. I am SO glad to have discovered Levi's 512s, which fit my body perfectly, so I don't need to worry about jeans. But dress pants? They do not exist.
Everyone loves the Burda crotch, and Burda fits me well in general, so I figured how hard could it be? I traced off 02-2010-102 and blithely set to it.
V.1 Out of the envelope (with larger SAs, to increase size to about 40 at the hip). There was no way I was going to document the original front fit before I let out the CF seam and cut open the front waistband at CF to release it. Horrible. I do not have a pants body. Smile does not even begin to describe it. More like grimace.
The back is a wrinkled mess.
V.2 Saddlebag width increase; lengthen back crotch by 3/8"; add more room at CF seam for belly; knock knee adjustment to square off inseam from crotch as shown on Debbie Cook's blog. Front smile lines continue and little appreciable change to back--the wrinkles may be slightly less deep but they are the same shape. It is odd how doing a HUGE adjustment with the knock knee (in the case of the back crotch, moving the inseam 2 inches toward the inside) can have no effect whatsoever.
|V.2 Front on V.3 Back|
|V.3 Back on V.2 Front|
V.3.0 Added huge wedge to back by cutting from knee up through dart and spreading; same front as V.2. The additional booty room does allow the wrinkles to relax a bit, but the much larger back is folding over the front at the inseam.
V.3.1, in addition to back wedge, increased front crotch length slightly; shortened waistline by 1/2" at CF, tapering to nothing at side seam. This helps eliminate the front smile lines. No appreciable effect on back.
V.3.2: took up the back crotch by taking a horizontal dart, which lifted out the diagonal wrinkling on the legs
V.4 Further increase to front crotch length; removed back width wedge; shortened back crotch seam at about mid-butt; kept original length of CF crotch (too high to be attractive, I think). Some wrinkling is reappearing at center front. (I had eaten some cookies by this point, I'm not gonna lie.)
V.4.1: even more length pinned out of back crotch. It seems to help but the center back waist is now pulled down and there is still some wad of kleenex at the back crotch. In addition, the more the back is shortened, the more the smile reappears at the front crotch.
At this point I was SO FRUSTRATED. I decided to approach it from another angle and tried on all the pants in my closet. All but one had the smile line at the bottom of the front crotch.
|RTW Pants 1 Front|
|RTW Pants 1 Back|
The best fitting crotch is on a hideous, unflattering pair of pants. I think it has to do with the high waist and narrowish legs, but they are awful pants. However, no smile. Interestingly, the crotch intersection is way, way up front, slightly more than two inches below the zipper--totally the opposite of what I've been doing to the pants pattern (shortening the back crotch and extending the front). There are some strange folds on the front inseam right at the crotch, though, that appear to be a bit...how to put delicately?... a la Georgia O'Keeffe. This may be a result of the forward crotch. Because of the shape, I think they are worse than a smile. (Sorry the photo is so terrible, they are a rich, matte black and I do not have enough photo wizardry to make them very visible.)
The back fit exhibits the diagonal folds present on all my pants coming from upper outseam and heading toward lower inseam.
|RTW Pants 2 Front|
|RTW Pants 2 Front with "lengthened" front crotch|
The other pants have the smile line at the bottom of front crotch. Tugging the center front upward eliminates the smile (indicating more length needed on front crotch???).
|RTW Pants 2 Back|
|RTW Pants 2 Back with fisheye dart under booty|
Back view shows the same diagonal folding from upper outer thigh toward lower inner thigh. Pinching out a fish-eye dart under the booty straightens out the leg wrinkles.
The whole mess can be seen here.
I think I may have to give pants a rest. I have 3 decent-looking pairs in the closet (got rid of the rest, except the hideous ones with the fitting crotch as a curiousity), though they are not the classy trousers I envision but fitted at the booty, as you can see in these examples. They are not wool and are not lined, but they are better than my muslin, which does not necessarily seem to be getting better, only different.