CJ 1010: after the sample

originally published4/6/12


.. and time for a break.


I basted the sample together using my HV Ruby’s basting stitch. I stay stitched the waist and the front crotch; as well as back stitching at the beginning and end of each line of stitching.  My Ruby’s basting stitch will remove itself if I’m not careful.  Trying on the sample, meant carefully pinning the front crotch (I basted the back closed) and praying the pins wouldn’t slip.  I chose a size 16, but to be honest with these extra pounds I really wondered if that was big enough. So I basted the SA’s at 1/4″.


This was obviously too large, except for the crotch.  The front crotch wanted to dip.  Usually my front crotch wants to ride high.  The back wanted to dip even further. I could see lots of the lower back. Plumber’s Butt springs to mind.  It was not possible to place the waistline as indicated by the instructions but I did pin it snugly where as it was.  I have to admit that the crotch really wasn’t either frowning or smiling.  It looked pretty clear to me that the back crotch was wayyyy to short and the front crotch need just a bit more length.


I followed the Alternate Step Two instructions which are specific to altering the front crotch. Fortunately,  there is a diagram of the back with the same alteration. Which says to me, the back can utilise the same alteration.  What you do is cut across the back starting at the crotch, just above the curve and cutting nearly but not totally to the side.  Then you pin in a scrap  to one side of the cut; put the pants back on, allow the crotch to drop the amount “it” thinks is needed and finally pin the other side of the cut.  I’ve done this before.  EONS ago, but I’ve done this before and it works.  I just didn’t want to use all those pins. So I basted the scrap to the top cut; kind of smoothed out the scrap and  pinned only the bottom cut about 2″ away with the fewest pins possible.


Surprise surprise (and I mean that sincerely) my guesstimate was spot on.  The back crotch now covered my back and rested at my waist.  The front crotch also sprang up the slight bit that it needed. Where the waist had needed to be pinned before, now fit comfortably.


I can’t see the back clearly and I’m not taking pics.  The scrap and pin method guarantees there will be wrinkles from areas not supported (and pinned). Now that I can see the pant, the only thing I really don’t like is where it rides.  I’d prefer pants that hang from my waistline.  These are going to be an inch lower.  Checking the instructions assures me, one inch below the natural waist is the designer’s intention.


I transfer the changes back to the tissue. Yes plural.  I’ve folded up the pant legs 5 inches and they are just barely clearing my foot in front.  I take 3″ out of the length of the leg.  I start to add a 2″ wedge to the center back.  Remember CJ’s original instructions?: “If you decide to redraw my crotch curve you may as well stop now.” Well adding 2″ markedly changes the the crotch curve.  I slash the tissue in 2 places and add 1″ between each slash. The crotch curve is still changed, but not quite as drastically as when the entire 2″ was inserted at one slash.


I then true the pattern.  Truing the legs was a matter of slivers of paper 1/8 and less.  Truing the back crotch removes 3/8″.  I trim the 3/8″ because that seam needs to have a smooth curve. But then I wonder, did I remove too much? Will I have problems with ease across the back hip?  Because it’s not 3/8″ but 3/4″ of ease that has been removed.  Once the crotch curve dropped into place, the size 16 (which looked too big) is about perfect. I was totally enthused.  Could I have found the draft which would requireonly 2 alterations to create a good fitting pant?


Again, I want you to know I’m optimistic.  I became excited when the back crotch popped up in place and the whole waistline and pant settled into a decent position.  My delimna is do I go for the whole enchilada and add enough length to have the pant hang, at my preference, my waist?  Do I use a great fabric? Do I worry about the 3/8″ sliced off the back tissue?  I’m eager to go forward from the sample (now in the trash) to a great pair of pants. But should I instead be reasonable? Stay true to the designer’s vision? Try only for the wearable muslin?