Friday, November 9, 2007


Before I go on, be assured that I *have* learned my lesson about trying new pants patterns and being optimistic. I have my TNTs and I'll stick with them. But that doesn't stop my curiosity and experimentation.

Last night, I went to Joann's to pick up a few supplies. While there, of course I made a stop at the pattern books. I was by myself with no time limit so this was a rare luxury, even if I was only mainly "window shopping."

On an email list I belong to, Connie Crawford has been the guest host this week and, naturally, talking about her patterns and her drafting methods which she claims are more aligned with modern, mature bodies and RTW sizing. I take all of that with a grain of salt. Plus, I have "issues" with CC after meeting her at a sewing Expo a few years ago. But I'm still open to looking and maybe even learning. So, I decided to pick up one of her Butterick patterns, 5053, just to have a look. It's fairly cheap entertainment for me.

I compared the pants pattern pieces with my TNT. There are some things that I like about what I saw and others that I think may not work. A muslin will tell the truth.

Here's a general overview of her pattern and mine. The back hip is curvier on hers and while the back crotch curve is close, mine is a little snugger … but part of that is because mine is for jeans. What you can't see because of my poor photography skills this morning is the angle of the legs. I think this may be the sticking point since it's where I usually have a problem with other pants patterns. But it's close, so maybe it will be OK or only need a little modification. Yeah, right. ;-)

This is a close-up of the back crotch. You can see my stitching line on my white pattern piece, but the rest is very close.

This is the top of the back piece. CC's pattern is dramatically higher at the center back than most other patterns you'll see. Keep in mind that mine is already angled up at CB. (CC's pattern has a cut-on waist, which is why it is so much longer than mine.) This tells me it's cut for those who have a generous tushie.

This is the front crotch. I see the most difference here. CC must draft for extremely full thighs. And I *have* full thighs and there is a lot more room here than even my pattern. Again, part of this will be due to the difference between a jeans pattern (mine) and a pants/slacks pattern (hers). CC does draft for a tilted waist, good for us plus-sized girls. I think I wouldn't have to take out much, if any, at the front rise.

I also compared the undarted blouse (really a tee) pattern in the envelope with one of my TNTs, but I ran out of memory on my camera card so I don't have any photos of that yet. Overall impressions: The armhole will be too low for me, but not nearly as low as other Big 3/4 patterns. The shoulders looked to be narrower than your "standard" Big 3/4 larger sized patterns. And they look to be much squarer, which is good for me but may not be good for others w/o my square shoulders. I think this may be because CC claims to draft for fluffier shoulders which would have more flesh at the end whereas mine are really just bone.

I do need to make some new PJs so I'm thinking this may be a good way to test CC's patterns. Two birds, one stone, and all that.

So, this will take a spot in the sewing queue while I wait for my re-order of brown fabric to finish up my jeans that I'm obviously NOT wearing tonight. Sigh.


  1. This is very good information. I think I'll pick up this pants pattern as it sounds as if it will be a very good starting point for me. Thanks for evaluating it for us!

  2. Cool. Thanks for the info. I won't be buying any of these patterns. I have my TNT pants for trousers and I'm sticking to it. It took me long enough to get there! I do like to look for details I can copy onto my pants pattern.

  3. Interesting Debbie, we are on the same list and I have the very same pattern which my dd is tracing out for me at this very moment while I sit and can watch tv while she does that.
    At first I just wanted to do a test run of the t-shirt but now that you have pre-viewed the pants, I think I'll go and trace it out right this minute.
    I also had the same thought....pjs....I am going to use some Siltex from Ressy's coop, the colour of which does not suit me one bit and I have no idea why I purchased it, I guess just got caught up in the heat-of-the moment.
    The bottom will be a heavier knit fabric which I purchased and boiled to preshrink and now it is no longer a both pieces were designated to become pjs.
    I will try my pieces without any pre-adjustments whatsoever...I want to see what CC's drafting method produces without my interfering with her lines (afterall pjs remember?)
    I will just match my measurements to hers.....what an adventure.
    Thought this week was interesting though and I am sorry that it didn't occur to me earlier to give at least the t-shirt a try whilst the discussion was on.
    Have a good weekend!

  4. Oooh, you've provoked my curiosity as to what your "issues" are with CC. Are you going to leave us wondering? ;-)

  5. Thanks for the interesting post and the pictures. I think I have this pattern and I wondered how it would compare to others.

    I've used one of CC's books to solve a fitting problem (it worked great) and I've read her patternmaking book which looked more user-friendly to me than some of the other popular textbooks I've used or looked at. I tend to be drawn to her approach to problem-solving, so I was curious about her ready-made patterns.

  6. I am very curious to see how these fit--if you like the pattern out of the envelope. I bought a few of these but haven't used them.

  7. I was sorry to see that your T&T Simplicity pattern is out of print as I was going to give it a try. Good luck with the new pants.

  8. I bought a Connie Crawford pattern and haven't used it yet. Thanks for your detailed analysis. I'm going to collect a little more evidence from other sewers before I commit to the pattern.


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