ClownButt, template

CBA#3 (Clown Butt Alteration)

originally published 8/22/1


Almost at the end of my post yesterday I wrote without thinking “Maybe I should just stick to knit and stretch fabrics after all, my shorts fit. ”


Today I started thinking: Yes that’s true. My summer shorts fit. Why do they fit, even with an additional 6 pounds and my faithful JSM trouser draft does not?  So I pulled out the shorts pattern and compared them to the last altered CBA.  I’m even more puzzled than before.  The difference in the crotch, both front and back, is negligible. An 1/8 inch here or there.  We’re talking 2 threads here or there, KWIM?   2 threads here or there would be critical for a closely fitted garment. Trousers are loose or semi-fitted, never close fitted. The ease or distance across the garment pieces in the torso area was also very very close.  CBA#2 is actually wider than my summer shorts pattern.  The leg of the CBA is wider and already incorporates Trudy Jansen’s fix for the larger sized person (which could be why I never struggled with X wrinkles with the JSM draft.)   When the center lines are superimposed over each other, there is a difference in how the width is distributed and how the pants are angled.


I have not made the summer shorts as long pants, even though they were originally drafted as long pants.  I just folded up the pattern to the length that I wanted.  When I first made that pattern into shorts, they felt OK during the fit session.  This was the year when summer refused to arrive, so it was almost 2 months later before I started wearing the new summer shorts.  They were fine when first donned, but as the day worn on, they became more and more uncomfortable.  I was surprised and yet not surprised.  I pulled out the Perfect Bermuda shorts (Burda 2010-06-115) and compared. I expected to find nothing than more ease between the two patterns. To my surprise, the Perfect Bermudas had a significantly different crotch (both front and back) than the summer shorts.  Once I traced the crotch from the Perfect Bermudas to the Summer Shorts all fit issues were solved.  I used the same pattern for woven fabrics (corduroy, denim, twill) as I did for knits, but with minor alterations. For knits I folded out 1/2″ across the crotch (front and back) and 1″ horizontally to decrease ease (both front and back pattern pieces.)


OK so back to the CBA. I’m using JSM’s crotch curve which is only slightly different (JSM is dipped about 1/8″ deeper in the bottom curve) from the Summer Shorts. Ease aka width is about the same with the CBA actually having more ease than the Summer Shorts.

  • Does the angle of the pant really matter that much?
  • Is the fabric I’m using, which BTW is the fabric I like to sew  and wear, causing all the problems?
  • Is the CBA the right alteration for me?

Now the last takes thought to answer.  You see I do like the elegance of the CBA.  Without altering or affecting the angle or length of any other line, it effectively increases the length of the back crotch and the adds length to the crotch tip.  As I used the CBA in ver 2, I also added width to back pattern piece.  I’ve often have to do this as a separate alteration (other pants patterns other times). However, as elegant as it is, CBA#2 does not fit nicely.  I questioned whether I had moved the CBA down and over far enough. But the measurements are the same (i.e. CBA#2 and great fitting Summer Shorts are equal) just distributed a little different. To improve the fit of CBA#2, I contemplated my next change.

  • Should I move the CBA 1″ down AND 1″ over?
  • Should I attempt duplicating the Trudy Jansen’s fix for Pulling Inseam  Alteration? (Remember I noted above that it seemed to already be incorporated in JSM’s draft. Besides I hate how wide these trouser legs are already.)
  • Should I start slimming the trouser leg?
  • Should I make the Summer Shorts as long leg pants?


I asked myself: What do I really want to do? Surprisingly, self answered promptly. Self said, I want to sew summer clothes but I promised to finish the 6PAC sewing first so that when Autumn weather arrived, I would be prepared.



The CBA project is currently set aside. Literally.  I folded the JSM pants pattern with CBA#2 and sat it on the end of my fabric cutting board.   Which also contains printouts of Burda Summer tops that I wanted to make and fabric swatches with which to explore oil paints and pastels. It is, after all, only a matter of time before I’ll want another pair of pants.  I’m taking the time to think my options over and maybe even come up with a new idea.  This project is

to be continued.