I decided that I needed a pair of split drawers to add to my little collection of undergarments. I used Elizabeth Stewart Clark’s pattern here. Since I am on the more ample side regarding my hips, I am using 44” batiste rather than 36”. I took my measurements and was horrified at some of them. It would seem that I have put on 3” in my waist since I measured to make my first corset attempt in November. I knew I haven’t been eating well lately, but that is ridiculous. So I made up my pattern according to the instructions and cut out my fabric. The pattern is huge, but such is the case when the garment is meant to be roomy. I decided to add three tucks to the calf for some decoration. The instructions said to keep one inch per tuck straight in the calf for easiest stitching. I see now that I misunderstood how to measure tucks. I wanted three half-inch tucks, so I measured an inch for each tuck, but then realized that that wouldn’t leave any space between the tucks. From what I have seen in photos online, it looks like tucks should be spaced about one tuck-width apart. So I added ½” to each tuck allotment. Then I added another ½” just to be on the safe side.
I stitched up the inseam, cut out the facings and stitched those on following the instructions, then I hand-stitched down the free edge of the facings. I took shorter stitches in the outer fabric and longer stitches in the facing. It was then time to do up my tucks. I understand now that a ½” tuck seems to mean that is the amount taken up in the tuck, not the width of the finished tuck, which would then be ¼”. Thus, 1” per tuck would have provided ½” to take up into the tuck, the ¼” that would sit behind/under it, and ¼” for spacing before the next tuck. So my tucks have no spacing between them. I also wonder if I added too much ease to the cuffs.
The waistband was the next part. The instructions said to take your waist measurement plus 12” for a back opening. Due to my recently expanded girth, I needed to piece together my waistband. I staggered the seams for added strength, so the seam on the waistband was on the opposite end from the seam on the facing. I gathered the top edge of each leg excepting the portion that overlaps on each end. I overlapped the front edges by 1½” and stitched the waistband on. I stitched the facing down inside with a hand stitch. I found a couple of ½” buttons that I thought would look good, and handstitched some buttonholes for them in the rear overlap section. I also made sure to overlap the back in the same direction as I overlapped the front.
I tried them on, and was horrified to discover that they didn’t fit. The waist was too big and too low. If I got the back to the right altitude, the front was waaaayyy too low, and vice versa. It then dawned on me that when I took my rise measurement, I sat on the chair, and measured from waist to floor, as I use for other pattern drafting techniques. What I should have done is measure from waist to center crotch instead. Then the two rise measurements, front and back, will total the distance from waist, between legs, and back up to waist. For the waistband, I realize that 12” additional is more than is needed. The two sides overlap by 5.5” so you only need to add one amount of overlap, not both. I need to reduce the waist by 6”.
I am going to redraft my pattern with these new insights. I am hoping to be able to just recut the fabric I already have made up instead of having to cut new fabric and have this pair go to waste. Here are pictures of the places I went wrong with them.
Photography courtesy of DBGraphics, except for the one on the ironing board.