January 2005 Beta Pants Experiences

I have been trying the beta version of pull-on pants the past week. I have been very happy with the last few pairs of slacks that I have made (both knit and woven) so I wanted the draft to be as close as possible. With the help of Karen, I have a pattern I'm ready to cut and it's only the fifth or sixth version trial pattern!

It was definitely necessary to consult with Karen. The other thing I did that I also highly recommend is create a frame of reference: BEFORE I installed the update, I created a pants draft and saved it as a style AND a pattern. Then I was able to merge my "Control Pattern" into the trials and check on the screen if they matched.

Here is the process:
1. Open the saved style of your Control Pattern that you liked before at the pants tab. It may look different than previously--mine had fish hook shaped crotches!
2. Make desired adjustments.
3. Once you think you like the look, save the new style, take it to print and save the pattern.
4. Go to Pattern Editor. Open the trial pattern. Ungroup the front, select it all and change the color (Button to the left of the group-group explode buttons) and then select all of the front and group it again. Do the same to the back. Trust me, you will be glad you changed the color, and so will anyone looking at your comparison!
5. Now do a file-merge, and open your pre-beta Control Pattern. If you left ungroup clicked, do an edit-undo to group each pattern piece with one step.
6. Slide the new pattern over the control pattern. Line them up using the grain line and knee-level cross line. Zoom in close to make sure they are lined up.
7. Zoom back out and compare the seams and crotch shapes of the beta against the previous Control Pattern.
8. Print it out to examine. Select "fit on one page" to print a mini version for your files and to save paper.
9. When you are ready, do a File-Save as and select "vector" to email to Support or a "Raster" file to post on the Photo Album.

My personal experience: "Calculate Measurements" on the opening screen suggested that I drop the CF, CB and Side Seams between .5 and 1", but after comparing old and new, I put them back to zero. I might try these later to fine tune my fit. I tried the crotch shape tools and the crotch break buttons. I did not need to adjust the crotch extensions or side seams.

I sent my third try to Lisa, and she referred me to Karen. Karen suggested ignoring the crotch shape and concentrate on the crotch break settings, setting both at 2.5. The shape improved at a 2.5 front break and a 1" back break, with but I still had 1.5-2" extra fabric at Center Back.

After another couple of trials and a few emails later, Karen wrote: "Figured it out--the flat crotch has changed in the new update. I copied your old pants using the round crotch and the changes I sent you. Before, you needed it to soften the crotch shape. It's not needed now. Use the round crotch with the changes I sent yesterday and I think you will have it." Karen"

Lo and behold, when I changed the back to round crotch and used 2.5 for both front and back crotch breaks, I got a pattern that matches well enough I'm cutting it out this evening. I also checked my favorite elastic back pant pattern, and they matched each other even closer.