sdBev's Pants!

Finished and attached:

Style Arc’s Talia pant pattern has interesting details beyond the fit. One being the 3 piece waistband.  I’m calling it “3 Piece” but it has only 2 pattern pieces.  A shapely front piece and a long wide rectangle for the back.  Here’s the pieces from my first Talia shorts, cut and with the fronts interfaced.

Also needed is 1.25-1.5″ wide elastic in a suitable length.  So far that length for me has been between 16-18″.  Depends upon the stretch.

Note:  I like the idea of this waistband but I’m not entirely satisfied with the finished product. In an attempt to improve the finished waistband, I’ve already begun slightly altering Style Arc’s instructions.  I expect to further alter the instructions and even the pattern pieces as needed until I can produce a waistband of which I am proud. I know you may say “Why so an@l?” After all, my waistbands are seldom seen because they are covered by my blouses. Well, even if you can’t see it, I would know.

The front and back waistband pieces are cut  the same length as the top of the front and back of the pants respectively. Being the same length makes it really easy to sew the waistband to the pant. Fit is assured due to the elastic.

I interface both front pieces because my tummy would cause the front to compress and fold.   I also use a weft interfacing trying to stiffen and further support the front waistband.  Most waistbands I would also interface the back.  This waistband will always have elastic inserted.  Elastic is a far better at support than interfacing .

Next I prep the back. On the inside, I draw horizontal line dividing the width evenly.

I use a ‘purple pen’ the disappearing ink kind. It not only divides the width in half, but I can see it when placing my elastic. With the recommended elastic width,  I want multiple rows of stitching to attach the elastic to the waistband. That gets a little dicey for me since the stitched areas want to roll and fold differently from the unstitched.  I start by aligning my elastic along that purple line and then making a vertical line of stitching at the center and both ends.

This first stitching attaches the elastic to one half of the waistband. You can see the elastic pulls and folds the waistband.  Next step for me, is to fold the waistband wrong-sides and lengthwise edges together.  Then I baste the long raw edges together before stitching however many rows of stitching I desire.

At this point, it can look a bit wonky.  I steam it, allowing it to draw up which often also causes it straighten and lie flat.  I may still need to trim the short ends (potential side seams), which I will do, to ensure they are neat, even and flat. The back waistband will never look better than it does now. If it’s a loser now, proceeding will ruin the garment. Trimming a bit from the ends is a small price to pay to assure a nice finished waist.

I trim any excess interfacing from the front pieces

and, RST, stitch  the long, top edges.

I confess, I don’t remember exactly Style Arc’s instructions. Up till this pair of shorts, I trimmed top seam allowance to 1/4″ and ran it through the serger. I pressed flat and then to one side before understitching. But I kept getting jogs where the front and back waistband is joined and decided I needed to do something different.  One time, I top stitched a scant 1/8″ from the edge which I think makes a nice, sharp professional finish all the way up to the nasty jog at the side seam. So, no more top stitching the waistband.

Instead of serging, I stitched RST and 1/4″ from the edge before carefully pressing that seam flat; open;

and finally WST. At that point, I carefully placed together the back and front side seams

before folding and pinning the front waistband over the back waistband. I made sure the top edges of the front and back were snugged as close together as possible.

I stitched a 3/8″ side seam; opened up carefully and discovered yet another nasty jog.

WB is upside down

OK that didn’t work, how about leaving the last 1/4″ of the top waistband open and inserting the back waistband into the seam

Eh, No

usually I grade the corners and seams after the seam is stitched. How about trimming the corner before stitching?

… Jogged again!

WB is upside down.

 

Yeeeeesh. Apparently, there’s something I basically don’t understand about constructing this waistband; or maybe this construction will always have a jog at the side seam? The only thing I know for sure is that I have yet to achieve a nice smooth top edge at the side seam with this 3-Piece Waistband.

 

Temporarily defeated, I serge finish the entire raw edge. Stitched the pant legs together and attached the waistband by aligning RST of waist band and legs before straight stitching at the sewing machine.

If I could just conquer the jog at the side seams, this would be an incredibly nice waistband. It’s also fabric conserving as it can be cut from a largish scrap. The back could be pieced (attaching the elastic would completely hide the piecing!) The front’s curve is a nice fitting touch also contributes to avoiding that folding and scrunching previously alluded to and for which interfacing was added.

 

I’m sure I will be updating these instructions. I’m not sure if I will replace this post with a new post or if I will keep this for historical pieces. Sometimes it’s good to know what you did even if it didn’t work. That at least tells you not to do that again.

 

I don’t do very much with pants. Style wise, I mean. That’s because I am and have always been very conscious of my pear shape.  Yes, even as a pre-teen I thought I had big hips.  So I’ve always looked for ways to minimize the hips.  A very good method is keeping the clothes on my bottom half very plain; even stream lined. So I don’t do much, style wise, with pants, yet making the same exact pattern over and over would be boring sewing.  For that reason, I’m always looking for slightly different pockets and waistband and the occasional … um… refreshing hem treatment that doesn’t shout “look at my big rear end” but is interesting. Or at least different.

I want/need  an easy reference and instructions I can understand. Sort of a place where I can ask “What can I do different this time?”; browse quickly and pick something.  I do have one book Waists and Waistbands  however it’s far from a complete  wiki. I thought I was lucky to have purchased  on sale (thereby not wasting much money) because I didn’t see anything new or interesting (to me YMMV). I’ve decided to start a Category here, my pants blog, to collect Waistband treatments.  I’ll also add pocket and hem collections but not necessarily on this blog. Nor will you see them in the immediate future. Making blog posts takes time.  Including instructional texts and pictures, even longer.

Like my Cover Stitch Blog, I think there will be many waist band posts initially. Then number of posts will taper off and probably be rare within a year. But by then, I’ll have a nice collection to refer to when I need another pair of pants but can’t bear to make the same ol’ same ol’.

  • In: Talia
  • Comments Off on Talia Shorts

I have a few groupings of odd colored fabrics. Odd in that I don’t normally purchase these particular colors. Since buying on-line has become my major source of fabrics, more of these odd colors make it into the stash. If I acquire enough of any particular color, I can make Collections. Otherwise these will become my muslin stash.  I’m working with a fabric today that I purchased in a store (so I have no excuse for color mis-choice)  fully intended that it be summer pants. I had two other fabrics that worked with it well. I made a sleeveless, button front blouse 2 years ago.  Last year I made a pullover trapeze blouse (also sleeveless) but the pants fabric went back on the shelf with a note ‘not enough for slacks’.  At the time only PP113 fit nicely but wouldn’t work with this fabric because the fabric shrank in the wash. I had 1-3/4 yard instead of the 2-1/4 purchased and a width limitation (44″).  It is a 100% cotton, so I expected some shrinkage… just not this much. I love this particular type fabric for summer pants. It’s like a light weight duck fabric. It’s a plain weave, with visible threads. The threads are soft. Between the feel and the absorbancy of cotton, it’s just wonderful for summer wear.

I decided to use the Talia because, well I know it fits, but also it has a slimmer leg which translates to a smaller foot print when I lay out the pattern pieces. The two pattern-piece waistband can fit on any large scrap. Have you noticed garment sewing tends to create large scraps that aren’t large enough to make another garment but not good for quilting either?   I opted to cut ankle length pants and folded up the pattern-legs 3″.  After that, I had a little excess — 2-3″– instead of definite shortage.

Taking my own advice, I put the waistband together first. Unfortunately, I stitched with all-purpose thread instead of water-soluble. Unfortunate because the waistband was too loose.  Well the real culprit here is the new elastic.  I purchased 1.25 and 1.5″  sports elastic from Wawak.  It, like CLD’s elastic, is too soft. It doesn’t hold it’s length but easily relaxes. That’s fine when you don’t mind your WB sliding down an inch or so.  In my case it is important that the waistband stay in place. Otherwise the combination of high-low crotch anomaly and high protruding seat will pull the back of the pant downward until it puddles between buttock and knee. I was loath, I say l-o-a-t-h to rip the waistband apart. We’re talking the two side seams and 4 lines of stitching through elastic. I opted to stitch the side seams at 7/8″ instead of 3/8″. Which was a gross mistake.  I thought I would be easing a mere 1/2″ each quadrant of pant to each quadrant of waistband. Nope, I had inches to ease in each quadrant that didn’t want to ease. I ran a gathering line and gathered the waistband to the pant which is pathetic. You make an elastic waistband so that the waistband does all the gathering and easing for you. But it’s what I had to do.  The first try on completely stunned me. As in “I thought I had this fit???”

I had big, back X wrinkles:

Front hip poofs

and I’m at a total loss of words for the side view:

I don’t remember these issues in previous versions of the Talia. So, do I admit defeat and toss these?  It would be easy to say the wrong elastic ruined the fit and be done with it.  But I do have 2 maybe 3 blouses that coordinate nicely. 3 blouses plus this pair of pants and I have a small summer collection.

I opted for shorts.  I’ve noticed in the past that most of the back wrinkles simply disappear when I make a pant  pattern is made into shorts; and it worked this time.

OK there is still one V back there.  I’ve scooped the crotch 1/4″ and need to scoop it again because the perfectly even hem is lopsided. It is being pulled upwards by the crotch which is also trying to snuggle between my buns.

I  trimmed 3/4″ from the top of the front leg while keeping the same length at CF and CB. Think of my waistline as a roller coaster track instead of hula hoop circle.  I’m surprised the pattern doesn’t already reflect my roller-coaster shape. So I could could have a pattern issue that the previous fabric and elastic were able to overcome.  Currently, the side does look slightly better

but I’m not sure about the front

My right side drops nicely into place with only a little upward twitch of the inseam hem. No idea what the left side is doing. I removed the waistband; aligned the top edges of the pants (front with front, back with back) and pinned into place before drawing and trimming a measured line along the top.  The curve I created is the same on both fronts and both backs.  I have not attempted to compensate for a higher hip because I’m not sure that’s one of my issues.  I often see a hint in the back of blouses which disappears when I compensate for my right, lower shoulder. I know have a lower shoulder issue, I’m not sure I have a hip issue as well.  This is  one of those times when I’m grateful for the blouse lengths I prefer because the planned blouses make this short look good

Ignore face. This was at the end of a frustrating sewing session.

I realize I won’t be wearing these shorts for long anyway. The second blouse I planned to wear was made 2 years ago and has shrunk

Ok so it’s my donuts-to-dancing ratio that’s off and the blouse didn’t shrink I grew. Either case, I won’t be wearing the blouse especially after seeing the back view

 

 

Kinda of sad about that because this blouse contained beautiful cutwork I did with the embroidery machine. Even with the machine to help, cut work is a delicate, lengthy process. Trimming those little openings will make you cross eyed if not blind. This blouse is ‘me’; the romantic, feminine me.  I hate to see it go. But I have a policy of wearing what I love and what looks best on me. When something becomes too large or too small, I donate.  I tell myself, “I’ll have the pleasure of making something new if I get to that size again.”

I have a 3rd possible blouse

… which is too tight just above my elbow. Apparently Zumba and Cize do nothing for that area of the arm.  It’s 100% rayon crepe and I’m pretty sure it is shrinking rather than me growing.  I rarely wear my rayons more than 2 years. Between pilling an shrinking they just don’t last.  I was surprised that this blouse looks as nicely as it does. I expect a stripe and a print to clash badly. It looks better IRL — do keep in mind this is at the end of the day and a frustrating sewing session.

So my Talia shorts aren’t completely done but you won’t see any updates.  I need to scoop the crotch another 1/4″ and I need to make the pants shorter. This isn’t the best length for me especially with my preferred blouse length. I determined short length on-the-fly. I’m not sure what to do with the Talia pattern itself. I do think I’ve gotten the crotch too short. The snuggle-between-the-buns look has been going on (but much lesser) for several Talia’s. BUT I have the wrong elastic. Walmart’s elastic is better for me because it is stiff and stays where I want — except I never find 1.25 or 1.5″ widths. So far all the elastics I’ve tried have been soft and intended for pants that would slide downward on the body–something I don’t want.  I want to know that when I put my pants on the waist will be in the same place every day, all day. Not getting there with these ‘better’ elastics.

I’ve had these pants finished about a week ago.

You’re right. You really can’t see anything from the photos.  I used Pamela’s Patterns 113 and a Fine Twill purchased from fabricmartfabrics.com

It’s a 100% polyester that I adore for use in dress pants. It launders well. If needed, presses easily. Comfortable to wear, but yes that’s partly because the pattern fits.  I made this pair after taking all the summer pants out of storage and discovering I’m missing  navy,  dress pants.  This is like checking a box. Done. Nice. Not too special. Straight waistband with center front zipper; 8 darts because I need 8 darts. 4 in front and 4 in back.  Good to go.

Fitting Talia was a much longer journey than I think it needed to be.

I started right.  Jen provides a worksheet, which I used, in her Craftsy Class. It’s basically a list of critical places to measure in the first column. Second is the same critical measures but from the pattern. Third column is the calculated differences. According to that chart my circumferences were within tolerances plus/minus 1/4″.  The leg length changes( -2 above knee and -2 above hem) were spot on. But the crotch was different. Her chart would have me adding 3.25″ to the back and subtracting 1/4″ from the front. I measured a finished pant and started from there.  I did indeed add 4″ height but only to offset  the 4″ hip dart that I removed. a push? So far I have removed the 1/4″ from the front crotch rise but may need to remove more. Jen does state that these are beginning points and will change according to what the muslin reveals. Right now, I’d said thumbs-up because I started with enough circumference in the right places i.e. at about the right lengths.

I may haven added time to the process when I worked with Peggy Sager’s Hip Line Dart. The hip line dart is an easier alteration than Jens diagonal dart but required a 2nd alteration to increase the back rise. The 3rd alteration of scooping is something I usually do to finesse the pattern into my shape.  I may not keep using the hip line dart because my center back still dips/sags. When I used Jen’s Diagonal Dart on other patterns I did not have a CB problem. Jen’s dart is more difficult to transfer  to tissue and would require a 2nd alteration to level the hems. Plus, Jen’s dart doesn’t completely remove all the back wrinkles. The crotch can only be distorted so much and then other issues develop. As Jen says, sometimes it is better to accept a few wrinkles.  Maybe it’s better to accept a little sagging?

I also added time when I corrupted, Tissue 3. Tissue 3 should have been near perfect instead of a totally wasted piece of good fabric. Then it took time to discover what went wrong. Sure I could have skipped that process but I think it’s important to understand errors — mostly so I can avoid them in the future. I know that the mere tracing of an original and then making minor length changes can result in errors in the tissue.  Usually I’m not off more then 1/8″ . I discover and correct that during truing the seams. This time, I not only introduced some error, I got the whole crotch angled incorrectly. I’m not sure  how that happened.  When I trace, I tape my original to my cutting table and tape my tracing paper on top.  I draw my grainline and at least one lengthen/shorten line immediately.  It’s a quick on-the-go check.  If I see these 2 lines have shifted, which can happen through the action of the pen pressing against the paper-I know to stop and realign.  The knock knee alteration canted the grainline above the knee. I intended and thought I was using the knee HBL and grainline below the knee.  When I removed the KK on Tissue 02, I thought I retrued the grain. At the time, it seemed that starting with the original and making fewer alterations would have resulted in a more accurate pattern. I’m thinking the error occurred when I smoothed the crotch alterations.

I’m sure, dead-positive, that fabric is a big part of the equation. I expected the 100% Rayon used in Muslin 02 to soften and meld slightly with the body. It ‘melded’ enough to cover any pattern defects.I’m certain of that because Peri required changes to the waist, crotch and ease distribution that weren’t even hinted at by the Rayon muslin. While Peri is finished and thankfully, wearable, I still have an issue with the back crotch and maybe side-to-front lengths.

Summary of  ALL Tissue changes:

(that includes Tissue 01, 02 and Peri version)

  1. Traced Size 18
  2. Leg Length
    1. -2″ above the knee
    2. -2″ below the hem.
  3. Crotch
    1. +1″ to back extension
    2. -4″ Back Hip Line Dart
    3. +4″ Back Rise
    4.  -3/4″ Scoop — not transfered to tissue because the scoop depth can be different with different fabrics
    5. Align front and back at stitching point; trim excess extension length (makes easier to align when sewing)
  4. Seam Allowances
    1. +1/2 side seams
  5. Ease
    1. -1″ Front
    2. +1″ Back
  6. Front 3/4″ horizontal tuck below waistband
  7. Hem turn 1.25″ instead of 1″
  8. Asymmetrical offset
    1. trimmed 1/4″ at waist from right front and back – not transferred to tissue. My left side does not need the offset.  To me, it’s easier to make the adjustment at finishing instead of trying to make full left and right sides.

I hope I’ve written down all the changes and copied them all back to Tissue 02.  Despite the drama, I give Talia Two Thumbs Up.  It finished with a 16″ hem and without masses of wrinkles or excess ease over my back thigh.  Talia is, to me, a slack fit.  Not really body conscious but close enough to indicate a woman is inside while loose enough to indicate I’m a lady. This is the fit I’ve searched for and wanted for a very long time. It seems during the last decade we’ve either had form fitting, body conscious or total body concealment fitting styles. I’m really happy to have purchased and made the effort to get the fit I desire. Without a doubt there will be more copies of Talia in my wardrobe.

 

Fit 05

Despite my earlier and extreme annoyance, I’m beginning to lose steam with this project. I decreased the back side seam allowance as much as possible.  The basting is now not even a thread over from the 1/4″ serge finish.  I marked the front side seam 1″ and basted at 1.25″.  No changes to the tissue, yet.  I still had a little poofing CB just under the WB.  I marked 1/4″ into the back  at the crotch under the waistband;  fetched my curve and redrew my back crotch. Basted along that new line  and pressed open.

Time to turn my attention to scooping the crotch. I’ve done everything I can do with the rise/top of the crotch.  Adding rise, increased leg wrinkles. Lowering rise, creates discomfort across my rear.  J. Sterns advises scooping the crotch at this point.  It’s one of the things I love about her.  She doesn’t say ‘never scoop the crotch’ or ‘never alter my pattern’ (no I’m not working with her pattern but most designers will scream that phrase even if you are the Hunchback of Notre Dame’).  In fact during one our email exchanges on Craftsy, she asked if I had scooped yet. Jen says a 3/8″ scoop is about average.  Most ‘experts’ recommend starting with 1/4″ and continuing to scoop 1/4″ until the crotch is comfortable.  Knowing my butt, I marked 1/2″ then hand sketched the  new curve.  I know from experience that  a J scoop or fish-hook crotch works better for me. My back crotch seems to be lower than the front. Only Palmer and Pletsch address this calling it (if I remember correctly) a high-low anomaly.

I sketch my new crotch starting at the straight of the back crotch and go straight down until  I’m 1/2″ below; then curve upward to levelly join the front crotch.  Here’s the catch: the newly stitched crotch  has no effect until the seam allowance has been trimmed.  Since this fabric does ravel a little, I use my pinking blade and trim about 1/4″ away from the new stitching.  I didn’t get it quite right and so trimmed a little more on a second pass.

So did my changes improve the fit?

I think so. The poof is gone at CB and my left leg looks really good but not perfect. That could be a fabric thing.  The right leg still needs work. I think that is an asymmetrical hip thingy.  Not sure I’m going to address it.  I’m relieved that scooping the back crotch also improves the front. IOW I’m not seeing a camel toe below the waistband (and I’m not seeing camel toe at my lady parts either).  The legs look like they might be a little long. I kind of prefer new pants to be just a tisch long.  Average life span of pants, for me, is about 3 years. I’ve found that many fabrics shrink during that time and what was once a tisch long becomes shorter than I want to wear. The wrinkles on the front right leg are more pronounced and appear to be twisting a little.  I wonder if that too is part of the asymmetrical thingy.

 

I’ve manipulated the front/back ease enough that the waistband side seams don’t exactly meet the leg side seams.  I’m opting to ignore this design feature because I’ll probably cover the waistband with a T-shirt or blouse and it won’t be visible to anyone other than me.   I’m more concerned about the waistband being higher in front than back. I’m wondering if I should I shorten the front crotch now. The CB still dips a little in back. I’m reluctant to scoop any more.  There is a point of diminishing returns. In the case of pants I find myself in a loop of scooping at the bottom of the crotch  for comfort and then pulling the pant up at the waist to make it look good.  Whatever I tweaks I make at this point, won’t be transferred to the tissue. I’m tweaking for fabric characteristic more than actual fit. I’m still painfully aware that the Rayon muslin needed no tweaking or changes even at the first fitting let alone the 5 fittings I’ve gone through with this Periwinkle Cotton/Poly. As usual, fabric makes the difference.

I think I’ve pretty much done all I can.  I finish by serging all the seams along the basting line, except for the crotch.  Before serging the crotch, I draw a new line scooping another 1/4″ for a total of 3/4″.  Normally, when using a really nice fabric like this I’d prefer to leave the seam allowances wider than the 1/4″ my serger trims. But I’m dealing with multiple off-set seams and I’m tired of this game. It’s faster and maybe more accurate to serge away instead of trying to rip and trim.  After pressing the hems up 1.25″ instead of the 1″ indicated by the pattern, I used the blind hem stitch of my Dream.  I’m not finding that sweet spot like I did with my Ruby.  Either I miss 3 out 4 times, or I take a little bigger bite than needed. With matching thread and careful pressing, it really isn’t  obvious. I guess Ruby spoiled me. She blind-hemmed as well I hand-hem. Ruby’s embroidery only status is permanent. That dang hopping foot is not all that easy to switch out and back.  Of course the waistband was basted as well and had to be taken apart and restitched with permanent stitching. When I reattached, I offset the right front and back 1/4″.  Effectively lifting the right side 1/4″.  Did it work?

The side is near perfect.  My pics are lightened 70%.  IRL I can’t even seen those shadows.  I’m pleased with what I think of as ‘summer length’.  I prefer my jeans and dress pants to be a little longer — about 1/2″ off the floor.  I don’t like cropped pants at all but I do find the ankle length to be cooler in the summer.  Admittedly the shorter length is also needed because of the 16″ finished hem circumference — the biggest reason I bought this pant pattern. Oh I like the waistband and look forward to using the welt pocket but it is the over all slim-not-tight fit terminating in a slim hem circumference that I love. I’ve been looking for this fit for a long time.  It seems to me this last decade we’ve had the choice of either wide, flared legs or dancer’s tights. Neither are particularly flattering for the ,um, mature matronly figure.

Despite multiple session offsetting the side seams, my ease addition was limited to 1.5″.  When I make ease alterations, I transfer a full inch which because there are two backs means 2 full inches across the hip.  I think I still need that extra half inch. The final 3/4″ scoop did make a huge difference. The crotch is comfortable and even though the CB still appears to dip, it doesn’t feel bad. It doesn’t feel like I’m about to have a plumber’s moment. I think that the 1/4″ length  I removed at the last second (by offsetting the waistband 1/4″ lower on the right side ) make a huge difference in the pants.  I may increase that change to 3/8″ on future pants. For now, I’m delighted to see real improvement.

I’m still getting some verticals and diagonals on the front which indicate a combination of too much ease over all and too much length at the side seams. I think they are what’s causing a hint of camel toe. That 1/4″ offsetting of the waistband has improved the front legs. They look alike even if not totally unwrinkled.

Not showing, I still didn’t get rid of that side-seam bump between front and back waistband. It’s small but enough that I can see it.  It’s enough, that if you brought it to me, I would think it needed to be fixed.  Having basted, ripped and restitched several times, I’m not sure what I need to do next. I’ve seen this type waistband in RTW. It can be done perfectly and it must be easy — once you know the trick.

Overall, I’m really happy with this pair of pants. Sure I see room for improvement. When do I not? But let’s face it, I’m fine standing in the bank line:

Initially I planned to present this as a single post. But it got much too long as I detailed my changes and process.  Apologies to you, the reader, because I really need the documentation for future reference.  

In case you couldn’t tell, I was really frustrated with my 3rd Talia–the one that should have been wearable.  I should have been tweaking fit differences caused by fabric weight and stretch. Instead I was desperately trying to salvage a pair of pants I need for my wardrobe.  I need a dressy pair of slacks/trousers in a navy blue. Exasperated I hung the disaster on a hanger and stopped for dinner and a movie.

During that interlude, I decided I really did want to recheck the tissues of Muslin 02 and 03 for differences. I emptied the garbage can and separated the tissue for test 01 and  02. Smoothing with my hands and dabbing at the soft drink which splattered in the trash, eventually I had all the pieces from all 3 muslins.  BTW, why is it you can drain a soft drink can dry but once upended another quarter of a cup leaks out?  I compared my second and third tissues and shared that in yesterday’s post.  I decided to utilize Tissue 02 and fix the front grain line, front-inseam leg-length and notches; and add 1″ to the top of the rise of the back. It’s easier to match the stitching line at the crotch if the back crotch doesn’t extend to a point.  I’d already marked the stitching lines and located the back and front crotch stitch points.  I pinned them together and marked where the back crotch extended beyond the front.  I folded the back crotch at that line putting the point out of sight but not removed from the tissue  Until I’m sure of the final fit, I don’t want to make unrecoverable changes.

Then I hunt for a fabric.  I do not have another rayon similar to Muslin 02. But I did find a cotton poly that was manufactured to look like linen.  It mimics the appearance of linen but has the comfort of cotton and the polyester resistance to wrinkling. It too has a nice drape. I’ve used similar fabrics before (same fibers, different colors) and know it becomes a wonderful to wear trouser/slack. Additionally, while it is loosely woven, it did not unravel before I could serge all cut sides as did the Rayon of Muslin 02.

I cut the waistband first and another 18″ off the very same roll of CLD elastic as used in the Muslin 03.  I emphasize that because I basted the elastic to the back waistband; interfaced the front waistband and stitched the top of the front waistband and its facing together before tucking the back into the front and stitching the sides.  I did not understitch the front waistband. I decided I needed to do something different if I wanted a different result.  I definitely wanted to get rid of that bump where front and back waistband meet at the side seams.    I then stepped into and pulled up the waistband.  Remember that emphasized VERY?  Well the waistband fit just as nicely as Muslin 02 and completely unlike #03. Grrrrrrr!  It was the same roll of elastic. The same cut length! I will not believe that the mere lack of understitching on the front waistband made the difference. Don’t even try to tell me.

I serge finished all the outside edges of both back and front pieces.  Bast the inseams and crotches at 3/8″.  Marking the wedge I added to increase the back rise length, I baste a line along the top of back leg 1″ down from the edge at CB sloping to zero at the side seam on both right and left backs. I wanted to try on the pant without utilizing the added 1″ back rise.

To my delight, the first try-on was significantly better than Muslin #03 although not as good as Muslin 02. There was a poof at center back; which is also definitely dipped down and the tush felt tight.  I see that I walked the leg side seams from knee to hem but didn’t walk from knee to waist. The front side seam is definitely longer than the back side seam.  Need to fix that.

Fit 01

Ignoring the other issues, I ripped the back waistband  and stitched again to incorporate the available  1″ rise.  Ahhh. Knew that was the right decision as soon as I pulled the pants up and settled them around my waist. However the pictures tell a different story. Both front and back leg look worse than Fit 01 and there are still some other very obvious issues.

Fit 02

So first corrections

  • Walk the !@!! entire side seam.
  • Baste the CB crotch in a more natural curve.
  • Turn and press hems.

Fit 03

Despite vowing not to buy another Peggy Sagers pattern unless I get way smarter, I will forever be grateful for her demonstrations with the french curve.  I’ve had a french curve for close to 40 years. Bought it when I was in high school. Which came in handy when my college classes required I have but never use. Had no clue of its usefulness.  It was Peggy’s repeated demonstrations of laying the ruler down, matching the curve and noting the numbers which taught me how very valuable this tool can be.  After watching her, I bought a second curve.  I used it now to determine how to reshape the back crotch curve.  Using 02 Tissue, I figured out how much depth  I would want to remove. Made a tick mark. Then aligned the curve and rotated it to the mark. I pulled one leg inside the other and then chalked the same curve onto my fabric.

I ripped the CB seam and stitched along the new back crotch line with water-soluble thread. Ah WST one of the great sewing inventions.  Do you know you can put a pin at the point you want to stop ripping, then sharply pull apart the two seam allowances and it will quit ripping at the pin?  Easiest way to undo stitching. Ever.

Pin stopping point. Rip. Stops automatically where the pin is!

The side seams were handled a little differently. First I carefully walked the front and back tissue to discover that the front was indeed longer (3/4″).   On the tissue I marked and made a tuck just below the waistline.  I didn’t tape-it like I-meant-it.  I pinned, for now.  I’m not sure that I need only to lower the side seam or if the entire front rise is too long.

On my muslin, I trimmed a 3/4″ wedge from side seam zeroing at about 6″ away from center front.  I have my fingers crossed that’s going to be correct. Every time I trim,  I  see that can of spinach saying “You’ll be Sorrrrrrrrrrrrry”.

After offsetting the back and waistband 1/2″, I basted the waistband and pants, again.  I think I need more back rise. It certainly feels comfortable with an extra full inch. But the legs look worse for it. So I thought I’d try something in-between i.e. one-half inch. Before trying the pants on and photoing, I turned the hems up 1″ and lightly pressed.  To me, the legs never look right until the hem is in place and not puddling on the ground. So how is Fit 03:

Fit 03

 

Um, improving.  I draw your attention to the pic furthest right, the side view.  The side seam looks great.  May have a little dimple where I stopped ripping. I think the front looks like I need to remove vertical ease. Like there’s too much circumference, but when I look at the back I think “Oh No. That’s not VPL?”   Not quite VPL but pretty close.  Peggy says it doesn’t matter where the side seam is. Circumference is circumference. Either we’re not asking the right question or she’s never experience a body like mine.  Don’t you agree, I need a size smaller in front and a size bigger in back? You know, just a little shifting of the circumference?  Except for TJ906, with every pant pattern I’ve fit and most of my blouses as well, one of the final things I do is remove 1″ circumference from the front and add 1″ circumference to the back. I could see following Sandra Betzina’s advice to start by tracing different sizes for both halves of my body.  But, I’m always optimistic that the next pattern will be perfect for me ……  and that’s probably pretty dumb.

I decide that these pants are beginning to settle into place and that I will make the next changes one at a time.  Although I see more back leg wrinkles than I did with Fit01, the crotch feels comfortable in back and maybe a bit long in front. I’d rather not fix the crotch  if it isn’t a problem. What if I really just need more ease across my rear? I have a little play room with the side seam allowances.  They are stitched at 2cm or 5/8″.  I offset front and back side seams so that I’m adding to the back but removing ease from the front

…And take more pictures.

Fit 04

I think I managed to add 3/4″ to the back and remove 1/2″ from the front. The front could still stand to lose some ease.   I like the side view, although the front crotch both looks and feels like it is too long.  Terribly afraid that I need to remove the remaining 1″ of rise I added to the back.  I think the back right leg is worse than the left because I have  a little body asymmetry. But I should be able to fix the left leg. Too bad this cotton fabric doesn’t soften and stretch like the rayon did.  In every picture I notice this shadowing on the front. It’s as I have camel toe some 6″ above my lady parts. Since the shadowing is in every picture, I doubt it’s just steam left from quick pressing, or transient shadow. I’ve seen a number of front problems disappear when the back crotch is corrected. I’m reluctant to make any corrections before then.

… continued tomorrow

 

I really did want to know why Fabric 03 was a wadder instead of at least wearable.  I started by reviewing my fabrics and pattern changes.

TISSUE 01

  1. Fabric 1 was a cotton/poly shirting. Woven. No Lycra i.e. no stretch.
  2. I traced size 18 (2 sizes larger than Style Arc recommends)  and applied the following changes:
  3. Leg Length
    1. -2″ above the knee
    2. -2″ below the hem.
  4. Crotch
    1. +1″ to back extension
    2. +1″ top of back crotch
  5. Seam Allowances
    1. +7/8 side seams
  6. Knee Knock
    1. 1/4″ add to inseam remove from side seam.
  7. Trued all seams

TISSUE 02

  1. Fabric 02 Muslin 02 using a loosely woven 100% rayon.
  2. Traced Tissue 01
  3. Removed the KK
  4. Crotch
    1. -4″ Hip line
    2. +4″ Rise

Summary of changes To Tissue 02

  • Fabric loosely woven 100% rayon
  • I traced size 18 (2 sizes larger than Style Arc recommends)  and applied the following changes:
  • Leg Length
    • -2″ above the knee
    • -2″ below the hem.
  • Crotch
    • +1″ to back extension
    • +1″ top of back crotch
    • -4″ Back Hip Line Dart
    • +4″ Back Rise
  • Seam Allowances
    • +7/8 side seams
  • All seams trued (I thought)

 

TISSUE 03

  1. Fabric cotton/lycra twill
  2. Retraced Size 18
  3. Leg Length
    1. -2″ above the knee
    2. -2″ below the hem.
  4. Crotch
    1. +1″ to back extension
    2. +1″ top of back crotch
    3. -4″ Back Hip Line Dart
    4. +4″ Back Rise
  5. Seam Allowances
    1. +1/2 side seams
  6. All seams trued (I thought)

Fabric 03, should be hanging in my closet now, which I is why I decided to compare Tissues 02 and 03. I wanted to regain the fit produced with Tissue 02 and did not consider Tissue 01.

I started with the fronts because I thought it would be quickest since the fewest changes were made to the fronts.  I discovered 2 differences between Tissue 02 and 03

  1. Grainline
    1. Tissue 02 was definitely skewed which made me wonder how on earth Muslin 02 could have possibly looked as good in front.
  2. Inseam length
    1.  short 3/8 between knee notch and hem.

My conclusion is that the front of Tissue 03 should have looked better than the front of Tissue02.  But it didn’t. In fact, one person commented that it appeared I had not cut the front at all but instead cut the back twice.

So I turned my attention to the backs. They weren’t that different. In fact they were more identical than the fronts. Until I looked at the

  1. angle of the crotch (as it sits in the back)
    1. aligned on top of each other, they were identical but the waists joined the back at a different angle.
    2. aligned the waists, and the back crotches are situated and angled differently.

When crotches are aligned, waists are not. Red LIne denotes Tissue 03 waist. Tissue 02 lies below and its waist extends above the Red Line.

When waists are aligned (which automatically happens when the pant is sewn) Tissue 03 Crotch drops and changes angle.

I’ve made a lot of pants. I’m absolutely convinced it’s not just a matter of enough length in the rise. The angle of the rise makes a huge difference. Many years and pounds ago, I had a pant pattern that was corrected entirely by changing its ski-slope back crotch  to an upright position.  Currently, I need more alterations than that. To put it politely, I have generous seating room. Which means that a tiny slit in the fabric (yes, I did have someone tell me all you needed was a slit) or the more commonly test-tube/vial crotch seen in the Big 4, will never give me a comfortable, nice looking pant.  I know my back rise is longer than front (also called tilted waist) and that I need the back crotch extension to be 1″ longer.  Even in Burda, the Euro Cut, patterns, I need to add to the back crotch extension. The last year I’ve been considering I might need a knock knee alterations as well. I think Tissue 02 Muslin 02 proved that’s not an issue for me.

So what’s next?  I need another muslin, hopefully wearable.

 

 

 

 

I had a minor issue with the muslin yesterday. The bottom of the front legs twisted:

I suspected this might happen because my fabric marked notches didn’t line up.  Instead of rechecking the pattern, I let the fabric tell me how it wanted to lay.  The back was beautiful. The front looked to have a bit of excess ease and a twist above the front hem.  So before using ‘real fabric’ and making a ‘real’ pair of pants, I rechecked the pattern. In copying the notches were off. Also the leg lengths didn’t match and the hems weren’t level.  The grain was definitely off. I decided to start with a fresh copy rather than try to correct that many places. Besides, a fresh copy wouldn’t need all the alterations I’d made so far.

I traced the same size.  Reduced leg length above the knee 2″. Did the same with leg length above the hem. Total 4″ removed from the leg length.  I true my leg seams not by dividing the difference as Jen does, but by finding the curve of the original and rotating my ruler it so that it meets the drafted knee.  Had Style Arc (who drafted the Talia pattern) drafted for a shorter upper leg, that’s exactly what they would have done. I don’t need any more circumference around the thigh or knee.  There’s always daylight (today called thigh gap) between my thighs — even at my heaviest. I’ve long suspected the average woman carries more weight in her thighs than I do.  I’ve successfully  true  multiple   patterns between thigh and knee using this same procedure.

Next up was the back crotch curve.  I measured down from the top of the crotch 6-7/8″.  Same as Muslin 2. I got that measure by pinning the most prominent point of my seat while wearing Muslin 1.  Measured from waistband to pin and added 3/8″ for the included seam allowances.  Anybody see anything wrong with that?  (Seriously and not facetiously.  If I calculated wrong, I need to know.)  I drew a horizontal line at 6-7/8″ (“My Butt”) which bisected the new and true grain-line. I measured down 4″ along the crotch and folded that up to the “My Butt Line”. Huge dart. Huge. But it was huge on Muslin 2 as well.  Last thing I did to the crotch was add the 1″ extension at the tip and then true it back to the inseam at the inseam-notch.

I need that 4″ rise. On Muslin 2, I slashed the remaining rise above the “My Butt” line in 4 places and added 4″. It wasn’t enough. Muslin 02 while looking quite nice, was pulling down at CB even before I sat down. I needed another 1″.  For the Real Fabric, I slashed and added 5″ to the rise.

Taped everything in place like I meant it and then said “Wow that looks ugly”.  What fits me, doesn’t look a whole lot like a standard draft. I took a break to think about it. Later I pulled Muslin 02 tissue out of the trash. Smoothed it flat with an iron and compared with this new tracing.  They were remarkably similar. Grain line a little different. Notches a little different. But nothing majorly different from the Muslin 02 Tissue. I made 2 more changes.  I trimmed 1/8″ from the inseam and crotch seam allowances.  I prefer to use 1/4″ seam allowances and use the serger whenever possible. On a pant that’s always the inseam.  I like the way the serger eases the back and front inseam. Because this is a pull up pant, I prefer to serge the crotch as well.   To the side seams I added 1/4″.  I had added 7/8″ to the muslins and then of course was sewing with big seam allowances. Fabric makes a difference. I’ve experienced two fabric the same except for color. One fit. The other a bit too tight. Being able to let out the seam allowance 1/4″ would have made a wearable garment. That’s why I prefer 5/8 or 1/2″ side seam allowances — just a little fit assurance.  I kept the waistband seam allowances at 3/8″ and the hem at 1″.  So changes are:

-4″ leg length (split between above knee and above hem)

-4″ crotch depth

+5″ crotch rise.

I was anxious to make this pattern as perfect as possible. I walked all the seams. Notched both front and back at the same time.

Then selected a fabric. Had a hard time choosing.  I’ve got several fabrics I’ve been holding onto because I want some dressier pants. They’re either non- or limited stretch (10%) which is just enough to get some bending room. I opted for a light navy, twill with 10% stretch. It weighs about the same as a light denim and will be wonderful as the weather warms. Great during summer when it’s too hot to cover my legs outside but goose bump city inside with air conditioning. I cut the next 18″ off the same roll of elastic as used with Muslin 02. One other change, I trimmed the extra 1/4″ from the sides of the back and front waistband. Instead of sewing 5/8″ waist-band seam allowances I would be sewing 3/8″ — same as drafted.

I made the waistband first. I’ve got to ask, does anyone know how to sew this type waistband so that the top finishes level at the side seam?  I wasn’t that careful with the muslins because they were muslins. But on this ‘real fabric’ I ripped the sides seams out 5 times trying to get it right before deciding I need help.  I like this waistband. Like how it is finished first. But that jog is an embarrassment.

Jog where front waistband meets back waistband at side seam

I serged the inseams first; then the crotch. Basted the side seams and then the waistband to the top of the pant both at 3/8″.  I got cold feet and just couldn’t make the side seams the full 5/8″. I eagerly tried on the pants. Holy smokes the waistband was humongous. How’d that happen?  I had to rip open the waistband and take it in 3/8″. That means it was now 3/4″ deep instead of the 3/8″ drafted. Don’t forget the waistband started 1/2″ shorter each end because I trimmed off the fit assurance before starting this pair of pants.  But at least, waistband was now tight enough to hug my waist.  Note to self:  when possible, always try on waistband before attaching to pant.

Waistband-in-place reveals horrid back of thigh wrinkles. It was like I hadn’t even made the hip-line adjustment.  So I think: “It must be the last 1″ I added to the rise that wasn’t there in Muslin 02″.  Reasonable?  I offset the waistband and pant -thank God for Water Soluble Thread- and put the pant back on. Lots of wrinkles gone but CB dips down ward, have prominent knee drag lines and beginning to see a bit of camel toe.  Obviously, crotch doesn’t have enough length. Not too many ways to correct this so I scoop 1/2”.

My fabric is a light navy. Not midnight navy or pitch black but still hard to see the details unlike Muslin 02’s grey.  So these pics are lighted 97%:

These aren’t wearable!  Worse, they aren’t fixable. Once the crotch is cut, there is only so much you can do.  You can shorten the rise by lifting at the waist –Done. You can scoop the bottom — Done. You can go around in circles lifting at the waist and scooping at the bottom until you’re crazy. If it isn’t near perfect with one change or the other, it ain’t gonna work. At least, that’s my experience.

So I have to ask, What went wrong?

This was not a cheap piece of fabric. It was cotton + Lycra.  The light Lycra content should have added comfort without affecting fit. It is not a limp fabric nor is it stiff. I would say it is firmer than the rayon of Muslin 02.  About the same as Muslin 01.  Is it the change to the waistband length?  The waistband has to snug the waist or the pant droops and creates even more wrinkles. Also note that despite my careful matching of grain and notches, the front leg is still twisting. Possibly the belly flap could be fixed by lifting at the side-waist but then the front crotch will be too short and require scooping.  Not easily seen is that at this point the hem is getting too high, i.e. the leg is too short.  If this fit, I would have used bias tape to finish this pair and lengthened the leg on the tissue for the next pair.

At the moment, I’m stumped. Do I want to pull Muslin 02 Tissue out of the trash and try it with a different fabric?  Do I really need that knock knee alteration which appeared to have no effect until not included?

Oh, my why am I always in Pant H3ll?  Why does one pattern work and another does not? Why does one version of a pattern work and the next is a total fail?

 

 

PS Anyone have any favorite 1.25-1.5″ wide elastic?  I’m using Louise Cutting’s elastic which generally I love but it is soft and does tend to slid down.  At one time Louise said that was intentional. I don’t want these sliding down and I don’t want fighting with elastic length. After a muslin, I want to know, this length works. Every time.

 

I was torn between using the Diagonal Dart which I knew would work or using the Hip Line Dart which was easier to create during fitting but untested. Either choice would mean at least a 2nd muslin and possibly third. I decided to run up a quick muslin with the easier path, the Hip Line Dart.

My muslin fabric is a lovely rayon. The yarns are dyed black and grey which creates a mottled granite look up close and overall grey from a distance.  It is soft and, well, not thick but substantial.  Good pant weight. Drapes well. Would be excellent in a one seam type pant. Somehow I bought 4 yards about that many years ago and made a pair of pants soon after. Wonderful to wear. While there is no lycra or detectable stretch, once the fabric warms it adapts to the body similarly to denim but in more of a dressy way. However during the 2nd trip through the laundry, it  shrunk  to unwearable dimensions. I kept the other 2 yards  in the stash thinking maybe a vest, wrap, or something that would not need laundering often.  This year I moved it to the muslin stack.  I need fabrics that make good muslins.

I forgot to mention the horror of actually sewing with this rayon. It is loosely woven and unraveled when lifted from the cutting table. To sew, I had to cut a piece; roll it up; and move immediately to the serger where I finished all the edges. Even as a muslin, I was gritting my teeth as I realized before I could serge around all edges, whichever edge was last — was raveled. I tried to make the hems last.  I mean, I didn’t want to lose any ease at this point.

Let’s get right to the good news:  Muslin Two using the Hip Line Dart has a fantastic fit!

I want to continue sharing my thoughts on the sewing and fit process before detailing tissue changes.  Center Back at the waist is pulling down slightly and feels tight. I will need to scoop the back crotch the same 3/8″ as  done to the first muslin.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that will be enough.  All 3 sides look good to me.  I don’t see any underwear. Don’t see lady parts or recognizable back side anatomy. I increased the waistband elastic from 16.5 to 18″ (1.5″). That was enough to make the waistband sit nicely at my waistline without pulling to the back or drooping.  I removed the knock knee alteration — the last alteration I made to the tissue before Muslin 01.  Two things have happened before Muslin 02 that changed my mind about altering for knock knees. (1) I couldn’t see that the KK alteration was having any effect upon the drag lines emanating from my knees; and (2) nearly all the very same drag lines disappeared when I made the 1.5″ Hip Line Dart to Muslin 1.  Really, there just isn’t anything bad to say about this muslin.  I know others prefer a closer fit. I do not.  I like this fit. It skims all the curves without adding any bulk.

OK tissue changes: Before starting Muslin 02, I traced the tissue of Muslin 01.  I removed the knock knee alteration from the tissue because as I said above I didn’t think it was effective. I did not trim any of the 1″ side seam allowances. Style Arc drafted a 3/8″ seam allowance and I added 7/8 more to the side seams so I would have a full inch to work with during fitting. By now I was pretty sure 1″ was excessive. Still I wanted a little fit assurance. So much so that when I basted seams together, I basted the side seams at 3/4″. This made it a bit difficult to attach the waistband which has been trimmed to final length.  I had to ease the back to the back waistband. I mean I had to gather the back more than the waistband was gathered by elastic. Also, I had edge stitched the back waistband so that I would tuck the elastic in at the right depth. Not sure if this was a good idea, because I wasn’t able to wrap the front waistband around the back when joining the two pieces.  In the end, I decided this was a test of the Hip Line alteration. I wouldn’t be wearing this muslin any length of time and wasn’t going to worry about these uneven edges:

I promise to do better when I sew the a ‘real’ garment.

 

I  removed the wedge added to the top of the pant both CB and CF.  Those wedges were a quick and easy length addition I thought needed.  I did not need any length added to the front crotch.

The back was a different story.  My 1.5″ Hip Line Dart at the center back and wasn’t deep enough.  I started with 5 drag lines above the knee and 3 below. With the 1.5″ dart, I reduced that to 1 drag line above knee — on the left leg.  The right leg still had 1 drag line above the knee, a horizontal drag line at the knee and 1 drag line below the knee.  I think this is part of an asymmetrical body issue that I’ve become aware of but not ready to really dig into and solve. Bottom line, is I wanted to remove all the drag lines on the left leg and as many as possible on the right.  I calculated I needed to  increase the Hip line dart to 2″ at the center back, tapering to Zero at the side seam. I put Muslin 01 back on and marked where I stick out the most. Called that “My Butt”. I transferred that mark to the tissue and was delighted to find it was only 1/2″ above where I thought the full hip was marked. I drew a horizontal line across where “My Butt” was marked. If I understand correctly, that becomes the top leg of the dart. The amount to be removed is folded up to this line from below. Four inches is quite a fold:

which distorts the crotch curve, side seam and waist/top of leg. Oh and decreased the rise by 4″.  I need that 4″.  No choice but to slash and spread above the “My Butt” line  to add the 4″.  I tried a single slash. Didn’t work at all.  I made 4 slashes and spread them 1″ apart from each other

I gagged when I stepped back and looked at the new hip and crotch curve. Just didn’t think that would work too well. At the same time, I really didn’t want to make a ski jump of my crotch. All the bad fitting pants I’ve had display the ski jump slope.  The more upright the back crotch rise is, the fewer drag lines I experience below my rear.  I free handed drawing in a line.  Not as professional as I want, but at least something I think I can manipulate into fitting me.

The side seam looks OK to me, but the crotch curve isn’t quite as upright as I’d like. Judging from the back of the pants above, I should be able to straighten the upper part of the curve. Hopefully that will lose some of the waist ease I had to gather to fit the waistband.

Over all, I’m ‘chuffed’ about this Muslin. Excited to get to ‘real fabric.