ClownButt, template

Clown Butt Alteration: The First Pics

originally published 8/22/11


I’ve found that fitting a pants pattern takes a couple of alterations to get to the best fit and I’m really starting over with this pattern for this alteration.  I retraced the Joyce Millers Size D Basic Trouser Draft.  I made the Clown Butt alteration close, very close as described by Barbara at Sewing on the Edge  My difference was to lower 1″ and over lap 1″ where Babs lowered and overlapped 3/4″.  I made that choice because I’m always adding about 1″ to the back crotch length (and later removing 1″ from the front crotch length).  Normally I alter the back crotch through a combination of adding a reverse dart in the center back crotch and scooping out the bottom of the crotch.  These are the back of the pants made using that method plus 1/2″ is added at the tip of the back crotch

Compare that to the back of the pants made with only the Clown Butt Alteration:

I’m really puzzled. Both are actually comfortable, although the Clown Butt (CBA) does feel a little closer cut. Both appear to be loose in the leg. A wider leg is however a feature of the trouser draft. The wrinkles in the legs are different but similar and really accentuated on the CBA versuib.  I think the CBA still needs the 1/2″ added to the back crotch tip.  But I’m puzzled because the CBA pants look so tight across the entire torso:


BTW, These are 1/4″ SA. I can’t let the pants out any more.  I measured the pattern. I measured the CBA pants.  There is 46″ of fabric (not counting SA’s or Fly).  I measured myself with my clothes on.  There is 4″ of ease between what I’m wearing now and what the CBA pants measure.  The fabric is a light weight twill which has a softer drape than denim or normal bottom weight twill.  I know that with the larger trouser leg I prefer a fabric which hangs closer to the body.  I don’t know where and when I bought the fabric.  It could be WFO and many of the WFO did have issues of some type.  During testing my seams were perfect.  During serging my upper looper thread kept catching on something behind it causing rippling.  I thought I pressed it out.  But I can tell from these photos I wasn’t successful and I probably wouldn’t have worn the pants much anyway.  The final icing on the cake is when the zipper separated and the slider shot off into space.  (Yes you are permitted to laugh. That’s why I tell you these things.)  The zipper may have been faulty, but the stress seen above certainly didn’t help.  Reading my notes, I also see that I normally fold my fly 1-1/4 inches. For this version I folded it 1-1/2.  An extra 1/2″ ease in the front might have fixed the front, but would not help the back.


I’m not done with this. As I said it takes a couple of tries to get perfect pants.  I do like how the CBA lengthens the back crotch.  The method of adding a dart to the center back (the usual and highly recommended method by all the experts) tends to rotate the the back backwards so that I lose the original angle of the back crotch.  It would seem counter-intuitive.  I mean that increasing the angle of the back crotch would add more ease to fit the body.  I’m not at the moment ready to change the back crotch angle. I want to keep working, just a bit, with this CBA.


At this point I don’t notice the front crotch being too long.   I’m not quite sure what to do.  I really think those back drag lines are all saying “add fabric here”; and that I should add 1/2″ to the back crotch point. I do wonder when I add to the back crotch point will the front crotch now be too long? I rather doubt that because I think I’m seeing a hint of Camel Toe in the front crotch. But what should I do about the bu!! looking too tight?  Will adding the 1/2″ at the crotch take care of that?


I really really didn’t want to add any more fabric in the inner thigh (which will happen if I use the standard method of adding to the crotch point).  That’s always an issue for me and I was hoping that the CBA would help me avoid putting extra fabric in that area.  I could  scoop out the back of the crotch. But when I do that I need to add to the side. I can’t take away any ease. As a matter of fact, I’ve got to figure out how to add ease.


Back to the sewing room….