3218-StretchWoven, Silhouette Patterns

3218: Fitting the Seat

After fitting the waist, crotch and tummy, I was thinking the next alteration would be adding extra seating ease. Like I always need.  Even on Silhouette Patterns, I add ease to the back at the hip. The suddenly uncomfortable crotch had me questioning myself. Did the seat really need more circumference or did the crotch need more length? I mean is the darkness between the cheeks from the extra strip and thread or am I really seeing the crotch snuggling between the cheeks? Was there an easy way to determine which is my problem?  You know what really bothered me?  Why did this pattern with 11/15 crotch lengths feel fine;  until this fitting? Seriously in 8 other fittings the crotch felt fine. I had congratulated myself repeatedly on adding the 1.5″ to the back crotch at the tissue stage. But now, after giving my  tummy all the circumference it needed,  why was did the back crotch appear to be crawling up my wahzoo?

I thought an easy cross check might be measuring a pair of pants that I like. I found a pair of non-stretch pants I’ve been wearing for at least 2 years. They are stretched way-out of their original shape but my purpose was to measure a pant that rested on the waist and felt good all day long. I thought any changes the pant had made to fit my body, could only be helpful. I measured back crotch first. 16″. Same as OctBowl and same as this muslin measures. Then I measured the  front crotch of the comfortable pant. 12 inches. 1 inch more than this muslin. Since I know the comfortable pant feels and looks good, I added a stripto the muslin at the top of the front;  trimmed it down so that the muslin front crotch would also measure 12″ but the side seam lengths were unchanged.  I replaced the back darts with tucks; adjusted the side seam relative to the waistband another 1/4″ and slipped the muslin on for pics. Before snapping pics, I had a second thought. I wanted to be sure that the clip holding the CF’s together  was not pulling the waist down . Instead of the strong metal clip I used previously, I used a plastic clip. Much lighter-weighing than the metal.

Pics TAKE TWO, Fit 03

I am really pleased with the sides (Even though I only posted the left side, I am pleased with both side seams).  The side seam is almost perfectly straight. It breaks slightly at the crotch and again at the knee. I’m not even sure I should worry about the side seam beyond making sure I correctly mark the waistband for future use.

I’m not sure that the front looks or feels better.  I can usually tell I’ve make the right fitting  alteration, even a small improvement, because I feel the difference.  Like when I slashed and added circumference over my tummy, I actually sighed with relief.  If the correct change was making the front crotch longer, why don’t I have the “Ah…….” experience?

Moving along:

Trying to restore the crotch may have been a big, fat error.  I find that I am visually confused. Is something going on in the crotch or is it just fabric and dark thread used in the patch?  I think I may have made my darts too deep (3/8″ and 5/8″). Correctible but not right in this fitting. Let’s take a close look at the crotch/back torso

The crotch feels fine during wear; well the whole pant feels fine during wear. Feels much better than it looks.



Fit03    ……………………………….      Fit 01

I’m not seeing any improvement in back wrinkles. I thought I saw improvement after adding the tummy ease but I don’t see even that improvement in Fit 03. IOW  I don’t think lengthening the front crotch helped back there.  I’m going to leave the crotch length alone for now.

In Fit 04 I’m changing the thing I thought  I would be changing after Fit02 (you know, before I got side tracked into checking crotch length):

Seat Ease

I wanted to see if I needed more circumference over my seat/rear/butt. I wasn’t sure how much more ease, if any, to add to the seat.  I figured the 2″ I normally add (1″ at each side seam) would be too much. But at least, it was a starting point. I am surprised at how  ‘too much” my standard 2″ addition is. In the above pic, the leg on the right looks better than on the left. My stance perhaps?

I am reluctant, Ok I’m darn right avoiding the Hip Line dart. I just cannot wrap my head around adding 1″ at the hip balance line to make the back crotch long enough and then taking it away to remove the wrinkles under the seat. Either I need the length of not. I can’t have it both ways.  But taking the inseam dart to re-angle the leg, well yes that makes sense especially IF later on I somehow restore the inseam length to my preference.

So: Fit05 and pics of a 3/8″ Inseam made on my left leg:

WOW does that look bad. Without the 3/8″ dart, the right leg is much more attractive, even on the Front view.

I am truly disappointed. I’ve seen that dart work multiples times for other people. Why not me?

I note , the muslin now definitely has too much torso ease. I’ve pinned out at least 1/2″ on the left side seam (would be 2″ total)

It  helped the appearance of the entire leg.



This is where I stopped, cleared today’s mess and turned off the lights before heading upstairs.  I’ve done what I can do while still taking care of my other obligations (laundry, cleaning, meals etc).  I think  tomorrow, the next step will be taking a little ease out of the back by narrowing the wedges I added. Not sure about also narrowing the wedges in front. It could be that the seat was borrowing ease from front. So while the tummy looked like it had the right amount of ease, it really had too much. I’m not sure about that yet, so next step is removing from the back. Ah, why is pant fitting so nebulous?







3218-StretchWoven, Silhouette Patterns

3218 Fitting the front

Today I kept trying to remember how many people warned me I needed a full-tummy adjustment?  I should have heeded their advice. I think my stumbling block  was that a FTA adds length as well as circumference while I only needed circumference and that seemed to be needed only in the rear.

I did my alteration a little differently than envisioned yesterday. On both sides of center front, I draw a vertical line where I wanted to slash, cut that apart and basted a 3″ wide strip of fabric to the inside. I ripped the waistband basting apart from the side seam to almost 2″ away from the zipper. Then I slipped the muslin on; zipped it up and smoothed the strip inside. I pinned the strip in place. On second thought I grabbed a watercolor pen and traced the wedge which had opened. Good thing because when I tried to take the muslin off, it was pinned to my underwear. Pins had to be removed. But I had my lines and could now baste the strip on the other side of the drawn wedge. I opened the waist within 2″ of center back then pinned it back in place which the side seams shifted 3/4″ inch towards center back. I was able to ease the front but the back still needed tucks/darts.  Hoping to eliminate the way the tuck unfolded yesterday, I placed the new tucks only 2.5″ away from CB. BTW this does correspond to what I know about my body. I always move the darts closer to the side in front and in the back closer to the center back. My curve is in the tummy and tush. Very little curve along the sides which is why I get Mickey Mouse ears. (Those flaps of fabric on the sides which are needed for ease more towards the center of the body.)

Actually I was afraid to look at the pics (I’ll explain later)

The wedges look weird, but the high-hip shadow has disappeared and this unpressed muslin looks better than ever.

I moved the sides 3/4″ towards center back but that was too far. Side seams are now leaning slightly towards back instead of obliquely towards front. It’s an improvement; but not exactly what I want. Which is what I’d say about the sides overall. They look better, probably better than any previously fitting, but for a slack, I want them to hang a little straighter without any of the buckles I’m seeing.

Fit 02………………………………..Fit01

I wanted the back fittings side by side for comparison

It is interesting to me at how adding ease to the front has improved the back. Moving the tucks/darts over eliminated most of the  pull under the waistband seen earlier. Happily I’m no longer seeing the high-hip shadow anywhere.

Remember I wrote I was afraid to look at these pics? When I tried the muslin on, it felt like it was pulling itself up into the bifurcation. I’m not making jeans where the bifurcated butt is the focus. I am aiming for a slack. I am aiming for semi-fitting, not closely fitting (jean) or loose-fitting (trouser). In the 5 minutes I had the muslin on, I knew, if finished I wouldn’t wear this all day long.  I look at crotch length

Back ……………………. Front

and I can see that neither is  bad.  I look at the level of the waistband

both sides look horizontal to me. Not creeping up in front. Not pulling down in back.  I don’t feel either condition, I feel pulling into the bifurcation both front and back So I sit and wonder, is it time to add ease to the back (using the same slash and add wedge)? Increase the front and back crotch length? But if I do that,  will I be seeing the CF and CB rising? From the side it will make a curve instead of a horizontal line. So is it time to slice it all horizontally  and add length evenly across the torso? And if the crotch length is wrong, why did I bother with the bowl and tieing the quarter-inch elastic around my waist? All that refining I did to pin-point to lean of the crotch on the axis–the whole water-spout and garbage disposal stuff?

Pants fitting is my sorriest skill.


Camuto’s Stretch Woven Pant, Take Two

So as I was saying, having given this pattern the light touch, I realized  it was time to do something.  I ripped out all the seams (easy to do with the use of water-soluble thread in the bobbin) pressed everything nice and flat and set them aside.

Started with the waistband since it needed the least attention. It’s the one place I always want negative ease.  Can’t explain my feelings other than when the waistband is equal to or smaller than my waist, I never feel like my pants are sliding down. Once removed from the muslin, I serged the long, raw-edged side. Then marked the center back and 18.5″ from each side of CB.  That makes it 37″ long. Depending on the day and my then current waist size, that gives me anywhere from -.5 to +.5 inches of waist ease.

I decided I wanted to restart fitting 3218 close to its base; close to how it was drafted.  I reasoned that both my RTW jeans and my favorite jeans pattern started with standard drafting (which is where Peggy starts too). My RTW and fav pattern have  adaptations for the mature, feminine figure. Silhouette Patterns makes drafting adjustments but not to the degree of either of the previous 2 nor is she targeting the aging female. Peggy is trying to sell a pattern that can be used by many if not all women; DG2 (my RTW jeans) and Trudy Jansen 906 (my fav pattern) have a targeted audience and are not worried about selling to such a broad audience.  My point is, they all start with basic drafting and make some changes. DG2 and TJ make more than Peggy. So,  I want to start my fitting back at the basic drafting  Peggy provides. To do so, I need to restore the crotch I mutilated in Fit 05.  I could have started with new fabric. I’m thinking I don’t want to use all my fabric fitting 3218.  I may want to make a second test when I think 3218 is pretty good (I’m optimistic) to verify my changes. In that case, I’d really like to use the same fabric.  I’m leery of changing fabrics.  I have had too many -um- interesting experiences that had to be solely the result of a different fabric. I don’t want to deal with that hence I’d like to keep the remaining fabric for possibly a 2nd muslin. Anyway, I thought of how I could restore the crotch, the obvious choice of attaching a strip popped into my head.

I cut a strip about 5″ wide and longer than the front crotch.  Placed the strip flat on the inside and joined to the muslin using the honeycomb stitch.  Shown above is what it looks like on the inside and outside after joining. After the pics, I trimmed the strip close  to the honeycomb stitching. Otherwise it wanted to fold and get in the way.

Then I turned my attention to the tissue, starting with the front:

I thought the front of Muslin 1 was pretty good at the first fitting other than not having enough ease for my tummy.  In the pic above, I have trimmed the  front, side-seam allowance to 1/2″, my preference for side seam allowances. I trimmed away the front fly then added a strip of aisle runner before drawing a 1/2″ wedge at the center front starting at the waist, zeroing about 8″ down.  Followed that by adding the zipper fly which when sewn would be 1-1/4″ wide (it includes the 3/8″ SA of the center front).  I marked the HBL’s at High Hip, Low Hip, and Crotch.

Turned my attention to the back and thought, all I need here will be my HBL’s and I want to mark the knee.  Marked all of those with a Sharpie; repeated the HBL’s on the front

Then its time to recut fabric to reflect my tissue changes.

I  fold the front and back legs up 5″. I don’t need the length during fitting. In fact, I don’t want the full length because, being too long, the pant leg will buckle. I’ve seen some of those ‘buckles’ stack up the pant leg imitating other fitting errors.  Pant fitting is my sorriest skill. I am desperate to eliminate anything and everything that could lead me astray. Hence, folding up the pattern piece 5″. That also allowed me to position the front pattern piece on the fabric in such a way to completely recut the front

Repeat with the back except I had to make use of most of the previous cut edge. I transferred the dart lines, HBLs and added 2 new horizontal lines spaced evenly above the knee below the crotch  on both front and back pattern pieces.

Above, I’m sharing only the back with all the lines drawn and the front looks much the same.

I have several concerns about this whole process.  I’m not sure how far off-grain I may have gotten when I recut. Also unsure of how accurately the HBL’s are placed. But they are in the neighborhood and knowing they could be inaccurate I will consider that in later alterations.

I basted the zipper  at its ‘new’ location. Basted all the seams together carefully aligning the side seams so that both the front and the back are basted on the original stitching line.  This was awkward but I really wanted to start at square one i.e. as close as possible to what Peggy draftedt. Alright, I’m not quite at square one since I retained the additional 1″ crotch height and added the 1/2″ wedge at CF.  But I”m close so I tried on the revised muslin and took pics!

I was expecting the waist not to fit. I mean I added more waistband length compared to the first fitting and I added the extra ease with that 1/2″ wedge but I still I didn’t think it would be correct. Man I was ever surprised when I clipped together the waistband center-fronts and had a Goldilocks experience — not too big, not too small, just right.

The pic tells me I’m not there yet.  From the “curves” and the HBL”s, I can tell I still need some ease a little further down maybe starting 2″ below the waist to about 1″ below High Hip.


Isn’t it interesting at how I can say the same thing about the sides as I did about the fronts by  looking at the angle of the side seams?  They want to pull forward from waist band almost to the high hip  They say, I need more tummy room.

I look at these 3 pictures (front and both sides) and realize I will need to add another  wedge to the front starting at the waist, but terminating at the low hip  to be sure I am adding enough ease through the upper pant.  If I make the wedge 1/2″ wide at the waist, zeroing at the high hip or just below, I won’t add much through that area. I don’t like adding this much ease, but I can see I need about 1″ at the waist then zeroing at the low hip.  This is will be a slash/spread and insert fabric strip on both sides of center front.

May as well take a look at the back. I mean I took the pic, we may as well at least see what is back there, eh?

I did not stitch the darts. After making changes to the front I was unsure of what the dart width would need to be, so, I made a tuck at the waistband. I made the tuck where the center dart would be stitched.  Interesting how said tuck wants to unfold towards center back? I think I should move the dart/tuck towards CB.  Now here’s something really interesting:

On the left, is the back crotch of Take Two (I’m calling this exercise 3218 Take Two) and the back crotch of Muslin 1, Fit 1.

I still need to add a bit of ease. Not sure about crotch length but I think it is fine? Thinking back to the other fittings of the back crotch, I’m just amazed. Amazed at how adding ease to the front  waist/torso made the back hip fit better. Remember, I have stitched both of these views (Muslin 1 and Take Two) on Peggy’s default stitching line. Then the front has a 1/2″ wedge adding circumference to the waist and the back has  1-1/2″ added to the crotch length.  The difference between the two backs in this pic is limited to the added front-wedge i.e. the crotch length was included in Muslin 1 Fit 1.

I also thought it would be interesting to take a close look at back leg between thigh crease and hem:

Are you asking yourself if I’ve done some kind of sleight of hand? Was the pic Photoshopped? The only difference, beyond the front wedge, could be my stance. I am sure I am like you when I say, “Really? Adding 1″ ease at the front waistline made that difference to the back leg?”


Well, I’ll be back tomorrow. It took time to get this far.  So much time that I’m actually surprised that I had pant photos to show.



3218-StretchWoven, Silhouette Patterns

SP3218: Still working….

Updated 10/14/2018 to fix broken link

FIT 04

I’m calling it Fit04 but admit I’m a rolling up a couple of things under single fitting session because it’s mostly for the SP devotee’s that have been screaming “Make the hip line dart! Make the inseam dart!” So I did. I made a 1/2″ deep hip line dart across the entire back; then on the left leg only, I made  a 3/8″ inseam dart.  With both alterations made, I took pics .

So that we focus on the effects of one alteration at a time, I’m showing the right  leg first which will be showing what happens when only the hip line dart is in place. Just so we can see how much difference the hip line dart makes,Lets place pictures of  Fit03 to the right of  Fit04

Fit 04       Fit 03

I’ll admit there is some improvement before continuing to the left leg and again which contains both the hip line  and the inseam darts and  also comparing it with Fit03

Again, yes the left leg looks better too but don’t gloat too long and withhold a few “told you so” because the back crotch is once again uncomfortably short

The side view looks slovenly and the front (trying to adapt to the back) is positively a horror

Am I to sacrifice tush, side and front appearance and comfort of fit for the sake of removing the back of a few leg wrinkles? I hope I have answered the question of why I don’t immediately jump into using these two fitting tools. I do believe that they can work. When a person asks me how to fit, I always say “here watch these SP videos. They are wonderful for getting you on the right track. They may be all you need.”  SP gives out some excellent information. But, so far those two darts are not fixing my problems with slim trousers. That’s important. I was able to fit SP 3200, Sally’s pant, almost to perfection using Peggy’s method. But the same techniques utterly failed me with  3400 the Yoga Pant, 3414 Jags Woven Yoga and 3418 the 4-Piece Yoga Pant.

Maybe I need these alterations,  plus something else? Usually at this point, I put my muslin in the back of the closet and do something else while I try to come up with an answer. This time,  I’m working with My Oct Bowl which is pretty good. First I ripped out all the  basted, muslin darts– other than the back waistline. (I’m not entirely throwing in the towel on SP darts, but I want to see what happen to the muslin with just a little crotch reshaping.) Crotch scooping has been successful for me in the past. But this technique was The Answer when I wasn’t dealing with all the weight and flab I have acquired. Also, my posture has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. All three issues will be confronted by most women sooner or later. I also have to work with a tilted waist (which seems to be more tilted as I become more old). I think I just proved that I have the rare high-low anomaly (pic, post);  and I’m never sure how the broken tail bone figures in (is it showing in the high-low anomaly or another issue that needs addressing separately.)

Back to what I’m doing for Fit05

  • Rip out PS darts
  • Using the Oct Bowl, reshape the back crotch of the muslin (not altering the tissue yet).

Now this is not the typical and previously successful scooping.  That involved just the bottom of the crotch.  This time I marked a  scoop 1/2″  back into body space which continues about 1/4″ below the crotch and then angles back up to join the front crotch.

Followed that by stitching trimming before taking pics. Also note, I did not touch the front. The front was fitting beautifully until opened up the side seam and added ease which I still have not removed. But I did remove the 1″ wedge added to the back a few fittings ago and I moved the fabric at the waist around to reflect the darts I let out a few fittings ago.  So what did I get.

Well I’ve got a side view that looks better than it did with Hip Line and Inseam darts.  I think I may have over corrected when I adjust the fabric because the side seam is now leaning forward rather than the backward as seen in previous fittings.  I’ve also got a front without the benefits of a longer back crotch

I  want to point out there is plenty of ease across the front because I can easily  pin out 1/2″ of excess ease even though the tummy strains at the center front:

But what everyone wants to know about, the back:


Fit05 …………………………………….Fit03

Hardly any improvement. Back crotch length is now 15.5″ or 1/2″ longer than drafted; 1/2″ shorter than with the added via the 1″ wedge.

Fit 05…………………………………………………………………………………Fit 04

The  beautiful  and comfortable Back Crotch of Fit 05

The back crotch feels much more comfortable but it’s obvious I need more ease back there.  Because I scooped out body space, I lost fabric-width across the tush. Unfortunately I can’t let out the side seams any more to add back the ease; and cr@pola, it won’t “borrow” from the excess at the front side seam.

I am at a stall point. For any crotch reshaping to work, the excess fabric must be trimmed away.  Once done, there is no going back.  Maybe I could add a strip to the side or insert a wedge close to the CF. Maybe I could scoop more. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

When I started this journey I promised myself not to let fitting SP3218 take over my life.  I promised myself 1 muslin, 6 fittings. That was fitting #5.  It’s crunch time. Whatever I do now, has to be positively effective because I’m not doing anything else. I am close to the end of the road.



3218-StretchWoven, Silhouette Patterns

3218: Construction and Fitting

A few weeks ago, I was frantically digging through the stash for an appropriate muslin fabric. Some of my fabrics are  just too expensive to cut into a muslin and throw away. With pants, it is unlikely my test garment, my ‘muslin’ can be made wearable. In fact, I sometimes require multiple pant muslins. So if I choose a fabric for a test pant, I must be prepared to toss the  result into the trash.  Anyway, I was digging through the stash for something cheap I could throw in the trash without a lot of guilt but it must have the right stretch factor and weight;  and I prefer light-colored fabrics.

Light-colored fabrics show up the wrinkles and pulls much better than dark fabrics. I have used dark fabrics and changed picture exposure but that just isn’t as good as starting with a light-colored fabric.  Boy it was tough finding qualifying fabrics.

In sheer desperation, I sat down and hunted through Fabricmartfabrics.com $1.99 and other sale fabrics. I looked for under $3/yard and light-colored.  From the limited selection I found, I started eliminating sheer fabrics, heavy and stiff fabrics (Canvas? Not good for pants muslin.)  I know from experience that the fabric in the muslin needs to be a whole lot like the fabric I want to wear or the muslin will be a waste of time. It’s back to that thing of every fabric having producing a different effect on the draft. In my selection, I was looking for jean denim, non-stretch pant weight wovens, woven stretch and pant Ponte’s.  Not many in the final run.  My order went in for 5 yards each for a non-stretch pant weight (no Ponte this time) and the excellent stretch woven I am using today. No kidding it’s a great fabric. Downside for me is that it is a wool blend. I tend to ruin my wool pants in the laundry. But for a muslin, it is terrific.

I’ll say it again, even thank my SG friend for saying it first, pants are easy to sew. It’s the fitting that takes an outrageous amount of time.  I lightly pressed my fabric (getting a good whiff of the wool content in the process) and then smoothed it out and placed 3 pattern pieces on top: Front, Back Waistband.  I folded up the front and back leg 2.5″.  I wanted the leg to hang ‘free’; not to break across the foot or anywhere else.  Could have folded the leg up a little more but, eh <shoulder shrug> it’s done.

I put the waistband together first. I’m using my TNT straight WB pattern piece.  Didn’t even need to add width — it was the same as this 3218 waistband. I cut the waistband and interfaced it;. Folded, matching the long ends together, pressed and stitched 3/8″ away from the long raw edges.  I cut elastic a little shorter than the waistband and threaded it through the channel just created when I stitched the long edges together. .  I marked the center back;  center front on both ends and made a tick for the side seam placement. I use that to line the WB up with the pant side seams. The placement can move depending upon the depth of the seam allowances (which can change depending upon fabric), whether I’m using darts and how many. I mean there are a few variables that can make small differences and I allow for them.

I used water-soluble thread (WST) in the bobbin to attach the zipper. With the WST still in place, I cut the back, basted the darts and continued to baste side seams, inseams and crotches. Lastly, I aligned  the waistband and basted it into place.  Look, it took longer to write this post up then it did to baste everything together. ‘Course pics for the first fitting took a few minutes more.


I knew as soon as I tried to clip the waist together that I was going to need more room. Maybe more than the preliminary +1/2″ Tummy Estimate.  But, the front doesn’t look bad at all.  The little blip on the front crotch is a stitching error. Somehow the SM caught a bubble right there. It flattens out when I look at it. Puff’s right back up when I look away. That’s not VPL you are seeing. That horizontal shadow about mid way between waist and crotch is my tummy. Instead of the fabric being able to skim the tummy curve, it is tightly following the curves of my body i.e. not enough tummy ease.  Let’s get to the side and those wrinkles next

I was hoping for fabric with 10-15% stretch. My fabric actually has 20%. If I pull vigorously, 25%.  It wasn’t terrible but the fabric did want to advance in front the rotary cutter. Working at the SM was bad.  I ripped out half of one of the legs; let it relax; and then restitched.  If I were to use this fabric in a real garment, I would pin every  2″. Maybe closer. Might even hand baste.  So I see these wrinkles, but I’m not really upset with them; might be if I was making a garment instead of a muslin.  What really concerns me- and I’m glad to see – is the tummy shadow has continued around and it is echoed by hip crest circle. I am glad to see the shadows continuing because it means I am need to add ease evenly to the garment. Which is easier to do than offsetting side seam.   The back:

I knew the back couldn’t be good. I could feel my pants trying to crawl up the bifurcation and my flesh forming into a muffin top. All the lines below will have to be ignored until I solve the ease problem at the tummy and hip.

I’m surprised with this much lack of ease.  True, my measurements were taken 2 months ago.  I’ve lost weight since then.  Wasn’t expecting things to get bigger; was actually expecting too much ease. Why would the opposite occur?  Well,  there is a wool content which can shrink under the steam iron, but I didn’t press for that long nor use much steam.  I’m a little puzzled but I think the best thing to do, is simply concentrate on adding the ease I absolutely, no questions about it, know I need:  in the tummy.  Thank goodness I used WST in the bobbin. It will be nothing to rip out the seams.

For Fit02, I ripped open the side seams between waist and about 9″ down. Pinned them back together at a comfortable circumference and then looked in the mirror.  I have a full length mirror in the bathroom but the view is not 100% reliable. While the front view is revealing, the sides and back cannot be trusted because I’m bending and twisting. So the muslin looked good in front; felt good all around but I hesitated. I remembered that I fit my SP blouses by selecting the largest standard woman draft (size 18, same as this pant pattern) and then adding 1″ to the side seam below the  waist over the hip. The fronts are trimmed at final fitting to remove some ease, but, point is, adding 1″ at the hip was the first break through I had  with fitting an SP pattern. With that in mind, instead of the 3/8″ pinned, I stitched the side seams 1/2″ closer to the raw edge; effectively adding 2″ of ease to the circumference of the hip.

An improvement but not the overwhelming success I was hoping for.

I must note that the waist is a little large. I took the front pic first. When I turned for the back pic, I hitched up my pant just a little. While it may be a little, I’m quite sure it has an effect on the looks of the pant because it definitely made the front feel better.

I am surprised that I”m still seeing that high hip shadow.  I repeat: I am wearing boy shorts. That’s not VPL. My panties hug my natural waist which is beneath the waistband and then again about 2″ below the hip/torso crease. There are no lines/shadows where my panties are.  I am more concerned with the look of the back crotch:

Let me refresh memories, including my own, the back crotch of the pattern measured 13.5″.  That’s net, taken along the stitching line without inseam/waist seam allowances. I slashed and spread at the crotch 1.5″ making the back crotch length  a total of 15″. The Oct Bowl measured 15″ along the back crotch. They are equal. The front crotch measures the same as the Oct Bowl and which looks and feels fine. (That little bubble in front is a stitching error.). The back crotch feels like it is still cutting into my bifurcation and it kind of of looks that way too.

Would you add more length?  Look again, the bubble of fabric directly below the waistband still remains.  That usually indicates that the back is constrained by the waist. It can go no further up the body. It shouldn’t need to, if 15″ is the correct crotch length. So the crotch can’t go further up; can’t go down and it bubbles.

This is such a puzzle to me. The 16″ crotch of the  V1411 fit nicely but the 13″ front crotch  did not. The 11″ front crotch of 3218 has  a much nicer fit while it’s 15″ back crotch did not.

Sigh, it’s the kind of stuff that has me banging my head against the wall.  Well onto…


I had to eliminate the length of the back crotch as an issue.  Just had to do it. I separated the waistband from the back; basted in a strip of fabric in between  and the took another pic. Hmm, should add that I also shortened the front waistband just 1/4″.  Yes this is the TNT waistband but even it has to be adapted for different fabrics.

The sides are visibly trying to lean towards the back. Along with the high-hip shadow, I think they are saying, we need more room back here.  I could let out the darts.  I have four (4) 1/2″ darts. They do not extend far enough into the high hip zone to make a difference with ease but at the waist? Maybe.

I adjusted the waistline by changing the alignment of the CF mark/zipper stitching. What’s really good here is that the nagging thought that the waist was too large, causing the pant to droop which negatively affect fit, shshhzh that feeling is gone. The waistband sits where it should and feels comfortable. I think it was a mistake to change the seam allowances on the front.  I had hoped I was adding ease where the high-hip shadowed. No. No help.  While this is widely criticized, I think my best solution is my oldest solution and was given to the world by Nancy Zieman when she was still a young woman.  For those of us with a tummy, she recommended added a small wedge, a sort-of-a-reverse dart at the center front. You add half of what is needed (because it will be on both sides of the front).  Too late for this muslin.  If I don’t trash the whole lot (as threatened in my introductory)  I will add the little wedge but keep the ease of the rest of pant as is.   Fit01 was a d@mn fine front.

I am happy to say that the back immediately felt better for adding the 1″ length. As soon as I zipped up the muslin; even before I clipped the waistband closed in front, a sigh of release escaped my lips.  Somehow neither my  Aug nor  Oct bowls are in sync with what I am seeing on my muslin. The back crotch itself looks great!

However there is still a bubble beneath the waistband even if it is not directly  on the crotch itself; and of course the back of leg mess is still…

…a mess.

Well that’s enough head scratching or banging  for today.   Probably enough pics and verbiage for you.  Come back tomorrow. We’ll join in the fight yet again.




Silhouette Patterns #3218: Tissue Issues

Despite the fact I’ve only come near to fitting one of Silhouette Patterns pant patterns, I want to give 3218 a fair chance. I want it to work. I drool just thinking how wonderful it would be to have the pant pattern I’ve been jonesing for;  fitted and adding multiples to my closet. I want this pattern to work. So I’ve spent 2 days just futzing with the pattern. I was doing my best to give it and me a chance for success.

First challenge was choosing a pattern size. It’s the first challenge for everyone when sewing with Silhouette Patterns and I’ll bet that’s the #1 reason people fail at this challenge (I failed twice).  SP does not use standard sizing which is  one of the things I love about them.  But it was hard to adapt my thinking.   SP  uses finished measurements .  To effectively choose a size you have to know not the number the tape measure reveals when it is wrapped around your hinny, but the number it reveals when measure the pant you love to wear. To that end, SP has an entire Web Page  (look under Tips) with helpful links including a worksheet for you to fill out with “your numbers”.

My hip number is 45.5.  That’s not my hip circumference that’s how much fabric I want around my butt for skirts, slacks and trousers (prefer a little less with jeans).    So I look across the “sizes” on the back of the Camuto pattern envelope for 45.5″.  My eyes settle upon Size 18 with a 46″ finished hip. But I have this problem.  I often take ease from the front and add it to the back.  I’d really like to start with just a little more fabric so I can make that change (I did with Sally’s pant).  I kept looking until my eyes stopped  again at Size 22W with a 47″ hip. OK, now I have a second problem.  My last few weeks spent looking closely at crotch lengths on patterns hasn’t been done just out of idle curiosity.  I know that I must have enough length and enough depth for there for my pants to be comfortable. Heck forget comfortable–for my pants to even be wearable. I’ve been looking closely at the crotch measurements hoping  the golden key for choosing a pant pattern would be choosing crotch length and hip circumference.

Back to 3218 and it’s time to delve a little deeper.  18 and 22W are both close, which will be the better starting point?    I measure crotch lengths. Both 18 and 22W measure 11.25″ on the  front crotch — but 14/16″ respectively for their back crotches. Neither size has the crotch length for which  I am looking; 22W is closer. Next problem concerns the refining of my Aug Bowl this Oct (being called the Oct Bowl.)  When I did my Aug Bowl  I was also working through Suzzy Furrer’s Pants Drafting Class. At the time 13/16″ kept coming up (crotch was determined in a couple of steps and then I had My Bowl)  But when I refined my bowl in Oct Bowl the numbers changed. According to that bowl, I need  an 11″ front crotch and 15″ back crotch. I measure both 18 and 22W finding that the 22 crotch  is closer  to my own therefore will require smaller adjustments.

I traced the size 22W and spent the first day working on it. I dash lines indicating the seam allowances. Measure the crotch length without SAs ((11/15.5) and then decide to verify waist, tummy and hip measurements of the pattern. I paused to consider exactly where the waist was supposed to be and where the waistband should sit. None of the writing defined the pant as sitting at, above or below the waist. The schematic didn’t provide more information.  Sure it was a straight waistband pattern piece but there is a well know current personality who starts fitting jeans by ripping a straight piece of fabric. (It is subsequently shaped though the use of darts and finally a curved, personally-contoured waistband created.)  Thing is, where the waist is and where the waistband sit are related but not necessarily the same and it’s important to know. If the waistband sits below the waist, it’s width will be included in the crotch measurement. Which brings in the question, are the crotch lengths on the pattern (which I measured) supposed to include another 1.25″ (width of waistband)?  i.e. are the total crotch lengths of the 22W 11.25/16″ or are they 12.50/17.25″? Which is right? Fortunately,  Peggy uses a lot of standard drafting techniques. So while she doesn’t indicate some things on the pattern, they are easy to locate.  I penciled in the waist line directly below the waist seam allowance, then the high hip (tummy) 4″ below that; with the  low hip 4.5″ lower (or 8.5″ below waist). (The crotch level will always start  at the point where the inseam and crotch seam allowances meet, extending horizontally to the side seam.)  Since each of the lines fell on the pattern at standard distances, it is safe for me to assume  the top of the pant circles the natural waist and the straight waistband extends 1.25″ above. IOW the waistband should not be included in the crotch measures.  I recorded all the  measurements and then also the front and back  inseam.

I remained puzzled about which bowl (Aug or Oct) was accurate. Still without a definite answer, I tackle something else. I start looking at how much ease is this going to give me? Actually, I was more interested in knowing if I would have enough fabric to carve into the crotch the way I was doing to 5682.  Overlapping the seam allowances, I pinned the crotch points together and then put Oct Bowl on top

The pattern lines didn’t show up well in the pic, so I used my editing app to add crude lines along the perimeter of the pattern. The front crotch looks too short! While I think if I could stretch the back out a little straighter i.e. reduce the curve, the back might be just fine. That’s of course, if the Oct Bowl is the correct one to use. August Bowl could be right. I mean I had one pattern almost fit (V1411) using the 13/16 measures of the Aug Bowl. V1411 felt comfortable too. But then 5682B with the same crotch objective was a failure.  So, intending to go ahead and make one muslin with the 22W….

(BTW 22W is the same size I used for Sally’s Pant, the only SP pant pattern I have come close to fitting),

….I decided upon a last  check of total circumferences. I was trying to decide if I wanted to add 1″ or 2″ to the side seams for fit insurance.  Without adding another quarter-inch; not even a millimeter more of fabric, the 22W would give me 5″ excess ease at the waist; 4.5″ excess at the tummy and 4″ around the tush. I would be fitting a pillowcase. Even Peggy says it is better to start over; trace a size or two smaller and work with something closer to your body measurements.  I mean, it can be done. Pillowcases can be fit; fit nicely. But, it is a lot of freaking work.


Day 2. Yeah, I took a break. 4 hours of work and I felt like banging my head against the wall. I took a break. Overnight. The next day I traced the size 18 and started the whole process again

  • Dotted in Seam Allowances
  • Marked the Levels
    • Waist,
    • High Hip
    • Low Hip
    • Crotch
  • Gathered Net Measurements
    • i.e. without seam or hem allowances
    • including  inseam and hem circumferences
  • Extrapolated to full measurements
  • Calculated Ease

Oh this was a different story entirely

Now it looks like I have

  • Excess 2″ at waist
  • Short 1/2″ at tummy
  • Excess 5″ at hip
  • Using the Oct Bowl
    • Front Crotch is perfect
      • no need to increase or decrease
    • Back Crotch is short
      • needs 1.5″ more length
  • Inseam is 29″
    • Spot on!!
  • Hem Circumference 13.25″
    • only 1.25″ more than advertised
    • Still wish it had come in at 12″ as advertised but I am likely to increase it to 14 or 15″ anyway so it’s OK.

I take a look at a crotch/bowl comparison a little differently this time. Someone told me instead of overlapping and pinning the points, overlap the first 4-6″ of the inseam along the seam allowances.

Well this is amazing.  The crotch shape (without my bowl on top) looks reasonably like my own instead of the narrower “U” I was previously seeing everywhere.  I accept that the CB must lean away at the top like that because I know from my 5682B experiences following the curve on towards the body actually adds too much fabric at the waist.

Shown in this pic are the few tissue alterations made to size 18.   I have

  1. added 1″ more  ease along the side seams;
  2. a 1.5″ wedge to the back crotch
  3. a cut on front fly
    1. the pattern comes with jean-type fly pieces for your traditionalists.
    2. I learned how to make a faux jean-fly long ago and never looked back.

Finally, finally I am ready to consider fabric.




Just for fun, for idle curiosity’s sake, I measured the hem circumferences.  The pattern advertised a 12″ hem circumference. That number sets my heart beating. Ok, I don’t really want the leg opening that small but just the idea that a pant for my size body would have a 12″ circumference was exciting. Then I measured the 22W. It has a 16.5″ finished hem circumference. That’s without seam allowances and at the hem fold line. A diameter of 16.5″. Talk about disappointment.  I felt lied to or at least misled. Does the hem really have to be graded up 4.5″ so the hip can  fit around my own?  Why is that so common amongst home sewing patterns? What women were they measuring? Did they really have 100-year old tree-trunks for ankles? Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some healthy ankles, but most of the large women (and I know quite a few) have trim ankles.

DraftingFitting, My Bowl

Refining My Bowl

The basic curve and lengths, the dimensions, of my bowl seem correct. But, I am uncertain about a few things which make me uncertain when trying to use the bowl.  I started this exercise to remove my uncertainty by answering specific questions:

  • Where exactly is my inseam?
  • Where exactly are my beginning/ending crotch-extension points in relation to my inseam?
  • Where exactly are my greatest circumferences (tummy and seat) in relation to my inseam and curve?

While I was at it,  I wanted to examine the slope of both my waist and undercarriage in relation to my curve.

I began by nailing down my INSEAM LOCATION

Months ago, I took apart a 5-6 year old pair of my favorite jeans hoping to discover their elusive perfect-for-me curve. I separated half of that old, faded jean into front, back and crotch sections.

To my surprise, the years of wear had so permanently stretched out the jeans and the curve in particular that I couldn’t trace it. I traced something, but didn’t end up with a usable curve. I didn’t toss the lot because I have yet to reach a satisfying pant fit. Now I hunted in the back of the closet for the still-intact half  because I realized it could be useful in determining the position of my inseam.  I retrieved an alcohol marker; removed my jeans and slipped this half pant up over my lower half.  Holding it at the waist, I marked the inseam of the pant onto my body. Done! Well almost.  I now have a definite reference to transfer to flexible curve and then onto my paper crotch.


I removed the half-jeans; tied 1/4″ elastic around my waist and marched into the bathroom after snagging a yardstick and my camera.  I took a few seconds to place and test the location of the camera.   No you aren’t going to look at my hardly dressed body.  I took pics, but then traced the major outlines onto blank paper for discussion.  Starting with the tilt of my waist:

I drew a black dashed line where the yardstick had been held in place; used blue ink to trace the perimeter of my body. That’s quite a bit of my upper leg traced. The knee is just below.  Interesting to see that my waist tilts most in front. Sort of sharply tilts from the side are staying fairly horizontal across the back and side.  There is a curve following my thigh which reveals how much my tummy hangs.  Usually, that is totally disguised by my clothing.  I also have to admit, my fanny is no longer as high as it used to be but it still isn’t flat.  Most important thought is the angle between the black dashed line (yardstick) and my waist (the top of the blue outline) is about as expected. Since I was 15 and 96 pounds I have been shortening the front crotch, lengthening the back by the same amount.  More than few people have commented “your waist is tilted” when discussing fit of my clothes. What was surprising was the line following my undercarriage:

I had placed the yardstick between my legs resting at the back bone, against my body to the pubis.  All along the way, I can feel the yardstick touching. It isn’t as if the yardstick is balanced off two prominent bones. This is how I am “hanging” underneath and it is how I want my pant crotch to follow my body line.  My waist and my undercarriage tilt in different directions!  I can’t help but wonder if this affects some of the wrinkles that I see. More importantly, the reason why I nearly always need to scoop the back crotch of my pants is illustrated. (No kidding most pants rub uncomfortably against my tailbone if I do not scoop the back crotch.)

I put the yardstick aside. Slid 7 markers onto the flexible ruler planning to find and mark onto the curve

  1. Inseam
  2. Water Spout
  3. Garbage Disposal
  4. Tummy High Point
  5. Fanny High Point
  6. Center Front Waist
  7. Center Back Waist

The hardest part of that process is taking the flexible ruler away from the body without distorting the shape just carefully formed. As for the rest, I looked in the mirror and either moved the markers by  visual alignment (inseam marker, tummy, fanny, waist front/back) or by touching the body (what’s left?).

I used tear-away stabilizer for my paper base. Drew the horizontal and vertical axis. Now was when that initial effort of digging out the old jeans and marking my body up paid off.  I knew exactly where to align the vertical axis: my inseam mark.  It did slid a bit below  the horizontal axis when  my water-spout and garbage disposal points were balanced onto the horizontal axis.

There is room for improvement. For starters, maybe the curve should be balanced further below the horizontal axis since the actual curve beginning and endings are about 1/2″ further along the curve (from the water-spout and garbage disposal points being used). But it is clear enough that my seat angles below echoing the schematic above in Pic 02 and  reaffirming that I need the back  crotch scoop.  Also clearly  seen is that the front waist (on the left) is at a lower elevation than the waist back (on the right). For the most part, My Curve is totally as expected. At least it was until I measured the length.  At that time I discovered  the front was 11″ long and the back 15″. That’s less than the previously recorded 13/16.75″  ???WTF??? I did not expect to lose almost 4″” of total length. It did give me pause.  The curve looks good, so I must not have placed my quarter-inch elastic at the right elevation. (I have a couple of indentations along the sides; none directly in front.)  I tie the elastic around my waist; bend side-to-side and back-and-forth so that the elastic finds the narrowest part of my body. If it slides over any part of the rib carriage, I know the elastic is too high. But otherwise, I’ve always been able to accept and measure as the waist wherever the elastic settled.  It’s possible this “waist” is in the right place and the previous elevation was wrong. But, I did have * one nearly-fit muslin that was looking pretty good with the 13/16″ measures.  On this point,  I’m waffling still.

I took a sec to compare this bowl with my previous just by sliding the tissue of Aug Bowl on top of this the Oct Bowl

I expected some rotation of the curve because I chose a different inseam location. So the pic above (dark black is Oct Bowl; blue is Aug Bowl) is not really surprising. Other than the front crotch seems to have developed a flat spot. See there where it rises from water-spout up to the waist full point?  It’s a pretty straight line between the two.  I have been thinking my crotch resembled those caricature of a  tire you know ‘where the rubber meets the road”.   This is a bit different. Is it trust worthy?

Please I invite all suggestions. Have I missed anything?  Am I off track? I know that I am not going to copy this shape point-by-point to my pattern. But I would like to make use of any of the information it provides; and I’d like to make use of that knowledge at the tissue level of pants fitting.


Now I am going to wander off and sew something. Keep myself busy until I can get input from all of you.


*1 The ‘nearly fit’ muslin was V1411 (blog post here). I quit working with it when I realized I wouldn’t want to ever use a pattern with so many pieces. In retrospect, I wonder if I should’t tape the pieces together and finish the fitting.



5682 - Jeans, CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, DraftingFitting, My Bowl, View B


I added the 1/2″ to the hip at the back of the leg by slicing and spreading a half-inch then sliding a strip of aisle runner beneath and stitching in place. I didn’t move the waistband around again.  I have realized that’s all going to need to be redone because if what I am doing is correct, I will need to change the yoke which will change the width of the back and the point where the side seams attach to the waistband. It’s all relative. Everything affects everything else. Besides I have it close enough to see how the leg is affected.

The additional 1/2″ ease does seem to make a visual difference and my seat feels better. Like less of a sausage ready to escape its casing. Looking in the mirror, I was much encouraged and decided to compare with   Fit #01 with Muslin 1 i.e. the very first try on which contained only a few tissue changes. I was thinking that after 2 muslins 10 fittings and 20-30 alterations, the fit should be a whole lot better. Close to finished even. Was I ever so wrong?

After 5 days and all that work, I don’t think my muslin looks much better than it did with no changes. Am I being too timid?  Some things can’t be undone, so yes I do them in small increments. Doesn’t everyone? Or do you make the big step and then undo it later? Really? How do you un-scoop the back crotch?  I was hoping to be almost finished but even though the seat feels more comfortable the crotch does not. The total crotch length exceeds the crotch length of My Bowl. Also, while front crotch lengths are the same (between My Bowl and the fabric), the back crotch of the fabric is longer than the back crotch of My Bowl. Why does the crotch feel tight? Along that line, why is the waistband sitting above my waist? The top of the waistband should rest at the waist not above. Even with the last addition of seating ease (total extra added now 1″)  and 10% stretch the pant/WB has not dropped into place. It suggests that I still need more ease.

I feel like I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere along the line.  I’m hitting the pause button, at a very minimum.  For years, I wouldn’t even buy a Big 4 pattern  because they were impossible for me to fit.  Hey, that’s:  back before age caught up with my body, I couldn’t fit a Big 4 pattern.  That could still be true today.

5682 - Jeans, CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, DraftingFitting, My Bowl, View B

5682 View B:

  • I wasted some time considering the possibility of making a new muslin and even a different pattern. In the end I decided that it would be faster, easier and possibly better if I made what changes I could to this muslin and then cut new fabric. The changes for the next fitting:
  • Pinned out the side front Mickey Mouse ear, then stitched
  • Slashed the back over my seat. In the slash I inserted aisle runner. Stitched to one side and pinned 1/2″ away on the other.
  • Wanting to eliminate the question of are the lower leg issues due to length or fit, I trimmed another 1-3/4″ from the bottom.  That’s a total of 3″ which I don’t plan on removing from the pattern.
  • To straighten the side seam and hopefully erase some of the drag lines, I moved the side seam towards the CF along the waistband and pleated instead of gathering leg to WB. Sigh, this is not a permanent end point. I’ve realized if the ease I have added is correct, I will also need to change the yoke. When I do, I”ll know how long the WB needs to be but not where the side seams need to join it.

Before I slashed, I marked the back where my butt stuck out the most. I was quite surprised at how high that mark was.  I determined the max protrusion point mostly visually  but also by smoothing my hand from the top towards it and then again from below to the point.  I thought that would be reasonably accurate.  Where I thought it should be and where it was (orange line below) was not even close. Just for comparison sake, the ruler top edge is sitting on the crotch and the Blue line above would be the hip level as specified in my drafting class. Why is my butt flying high above that?

 Ruler at Crotch; Blue line 4″ above; Orange line at my  seat.

I’m getting tired of this.  Sometimes I just don’t have enough staying power.  I know I make the process longer because I insist on making one change at a time. Two at a time at most.  But I come back to the same question: if the hip and waist have sufficient ease and the front and back crotch are the correct length, why is it such an issue to fit pants?  It should be just tweaking. Not all the crap that I am doing.

OK for Fit 04

Did not draw the side lines for you. It was ease for me to see that the side seam is leaning towards the back but the rest is dropping to the floor quite nicely.  I’m ignoring wrinkles and folds I see on either side and just noting that right along the side seam looks pretty good.

You have to look on the right side — ignore the left. I made all changes to the right side. The mouse ears are  not visible nor did I notice them once I put the pants back on.  Pleating the pant to join to the waistband did make the upper pant much smoother. But now instead of an entire smooth leg, I have divots at the crotch.  I’ll confess that the crotch felt tight this time too.  It may be because I have my back support on (the black you see above the WB.) Next pics I will remove my support but if it has that much an effect upon fit, I’ll have to think about fitting for this frequently needed support.

The issue here was VPL except we could see the entire pink pantie.  While we don’t see the VPL, I still don’t have enough ease across the seat. Next fit will only be a 2nd slice adding another 1/2″. (But I ask myself, aren’t jeans supposed to be this close?  Am I trying to turn a jean pattern into trouser fit?  If that is the case, why don’t I just start with a trouser and cut a yoke?


To make sure we focused where the changes were made, I cropped the pics to show just the right side.

I think the side view looks nicer but I can tell you the side seam has not been straightened. It is just reacting to the additional ease across the seat.

Sadly the front, looks even worse, IMO.   I removed my back support for the pics just in case the support was having a real impact on the fit. If the support was having an impact, it was for the better.

The back is better in that the part I wanted to fix — not enough ease across the seat– has been fixed. The seat doesn’t feel or look too tight for jeans. For trousers, I might want a little more ease; for slacks especially with a little Lycra, I’d be happy as is.  But I haven’t solved all the fit issues. There is still more to do.