Fitting TJ902

originally published 3/3/12


I confess I’m making lots of muslins and little progress.  I believe I’m on muslin #3. I’m not discouraged so much as banging my head against the wall annoyed at my stupidity.  It must be  phase of the moon which started when I sewing CLD The Blouse Perfected.   I have to admit the biggest problem is, I don’t know how to fit pants that don’t practically fit themselves.  Unlike blouses, shirts and other tops, I can’t look at pants and immediately “see” that something is off or amis  I can’t then take a few measurements or compare to a TNT and say “Ah Hah!”  So I’m bumbling along forgetting some things and making mistakes.


For starters, I can’t find my straight-waistband template.  I’ve got about 3 good copies of my contour waistband but the straight has disappeared leaving me with 4 that almost fit.  Of course, they almost fit about 5 pounds ago. They are no where near reliable.   I do know that I prefer less ease in the waistband than is generally recommended.  What I can find, says use 1″ ease for waistbands and -3 for elastic.    What I prefer is between 0 and .5″ ease for waistbands and -5 if using elastic.  I don’t like to feel my pants falling down. I want them glued to my body.  I miss having the template, even if it would need to be adjusted.


But I thought I at least had figured out the waistband with The First Muslin.  The problem with the first musling is I traced a size 12.  These patterns with all the sizes are a God-send.  I’m really not complaining but it is easy to jump to the wrong size.  I’m just surprised that I traced the wrong size all the way around.   I plinked and played with the waistband until it was almost perfect.  About the only thing I know for sure, is that I have to fit the waistband before I even worry about the other fitting issues.  Once the waistband fit, I could see the pants were too small.  Way too small.  I mean these are trousers not ballerina tights:

I was astounded.  I check the pattern for recommended sizes. Yes 14.  So then I compared my traced copy to the original. Yep, I traced the wrong size.


So onto the real size 14.  I did think I had a better feel for measuring both myself and the patterns.  I spent some time rearranging my worksheet then measured the real size 14.   I compared measurements and make quick estimations.  I’m not really concerned if the measurements of the size 14 are larger than the other fitting pants patterns. There is this thing called designer ease.  I’m assuming, and with a trouser draft it makes sense, that the designer wanted more wiggle room for this pattern. I cut and sew Muslin TWO.  I’ve got the same freaking problem with the waistband.  But I work it out and take pictures.  At the computer I’m confronted with the sight of a major camel toe in the front and I don’t believe Muslin Two could creep up my cr@ck any more than it did. Plus there are oodles of folds, drag lines and wrinkles I don’t understand at all.  I finally realized I am dealing with some static cling. Yep it’s that time of the year.  A few shots of Static Guard and some careful steam pressing takes care of about half the wrinkles.  But the camel toe and cr@ack creep ain’t goin’ away.


Hey, that blurry photo is the best Muslin#2 ever looked!

I go back to my worksheet and carefully compare.  I don’t estimate, I make calculations correct to the 3rd decimal.    I should have done this to start with.  Now my worksheet clearly shows that the crotch length both front and back are too short and the back crotch extension is too short.  I scratch my head and pull out TJ906 and compare the 2 crotch extensions.  I’ve forgotten completely that at some point I added to the back crotch extension.  I correct both the crotch lengths and the crotch extension.  Oh and this time I use the math of the waistline to add a second dart to the back and draft a waistband. Now it’s time to cut and sew: MUSLIN THREE.


MUSLIN THREE.  Would you believe that the waistband is a smidge too tight?  Well it is.  It looks OK. In fact the whole front and the side look good.  I think I may have them done.



But crapola, the back is the same awful mess I usually have.



Part of the problem is the static cling.  I might should put this off until the weather changes slightly and I don’t have to fight the static cling. But I also think part of my problem is the fabric I’m using.  It’s a light weight cotton twill which I thought would be good for initial muslins.  It’s a little too heavy for a blouse, but honestly not heavy enough for pants.  I thought it might be OK in a trouser.  I thought it might drape a little closer to the body and be more attractive.


I quit, but only for tonight.  Hopefully tomorrow the storms will have moved through and the fabric will respond to more Static Guard and maybe a shot of starch.