JSM_0401: Crotch

originally published4/3/12


I’m reporting on #2 in the sdBbev Pants Fitting Order:

  1. Waistband
  2. Crotch
  3. Waist
  4. Hip
  5. Thigh
  6. Knee


After deciding that it was time to make the back crotch a little longer, I had to face the How To question.  My TJ906 and JSM patterns share a very similar crotch. I call it the fish hook.  Because it’s neither the usual “J”

seen in the Big 4 or the beloved L

introduced by Indy companies. The Fish Hook



curve drops deeply into the rear of the pattern and then rises to meet the front crotch.  The problem for me was how to make the total back extension longer.  I’d already scooped it deeper. Which helped, but I can’t do that again.  I didn’t add enough ease to the back. Whatever you measure at your widest, you must have that, plus 1-3″ of ease (ease is subjective) plus seam allowances in fabric width.  I’m down to a scant quarter inch in the seam allowances.  If I scoop out more, I’m going not going to have the total width in fabric that I need to cover my rear.  So instead of scooping I need to add to the crotch point.  That’s really pretty easy to do.  I will add a gusset in the crotch area.  I’ve done this many times. I’m nearly an expert at adding crotch gussets. In fact, I will deliberately use a gusset when I’m short on fabric.  My problem is, I don’t remember how I extended the crotch 3? 4? years ago.  I need to maintain the Fish Hook shape. I really believe this shape is the key to Pants Which Fit Me.  If I continue the back crotch arc in an upward direction, it’s not going to correctly meet the front crotch.  I can’t just extend it horizontally either.  A wide plateau, makes for a wonky crotch. Believe me, ’cause I’ve tried that one.  In retrospect, what I needed to do was slash at the bottom of the arc and spread.

Retrospect, because I couldn’t remember so I did Nancy Zieman’s pivot and slide technique. I must have done something wrong, because not only was the crotch now 1/2″ longer, the back inseam was at least 1″ longer.  I wasn’t sure what to do. But being me, I stumbled forward  and eased that extra inch onto the front inseam. Did it work?  Well, I sewed the inseams together and then the crotch and tried it on.  I didn’t take pictures, because the crotch felt like it was now about 3″ lower.  Even odder, the waistband felt longer????

I figured I had nothing to lose, I could always chop of this gusset and make another, so I ripped out both crotch and inseams again.  This time I stitched the inseams even. In aligning the crotches, the back at the center was 1/2″ higher than the front. I stitched the 1/4″ front crotch seam allowance and then tried the pants on again.

This is all basting stitches. Sometimes basting with water soluble thread in the bobbin. I’ve haven’t trimmed or clipped.  The most I’ve done is rid the sewing of excess thread.  I mention this because I was totally stunned at the difference.  DH happened downstairs and agreed to take pictures.  He asked me “How do these feel?”. I said “perfect” and they did.  I like my trousers to hang from the waist but otherwise be unnoticeable. (I like my jeans to hug my body and make me feel s*xy.)  His 2nd response was, “Then don’t do anything else to these pants. They can’t get better.” It is always wonderful when your family supports you.


The CROTCH is FITTED/FINI/DONE.  Now keep in mind, these pants have been tried on multiple times over a period of a couple of hours.  So there are wear wrinkles.  At this fitting, I’m most concerned about all those diagonal lines that were on both front and back inseams.  They have disappeared completely.

I didn’t get my pants smoothed into place for the pic. DH was hurrying me along

The side is looking better too. I’m not even seeing the diagonal lines above the high hip on the side.  (Last fitting they started within the back darts, crossed the side and terminated in the front darts.) I suspect those high hip diagonal lines could be a result of hurrying through the photo-op. But I am seeing a draping of pant fabric on the side, like a mini drapery swag.

The front crotch and inseam looks as good as it feels

Yes they badly need pressing But the CROTCH is DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Logically I know I shouldn’t do this.  I know that I should tweak for those diagonal wrinkles crossing the back darts and the swags on the pants side by working on Fit Order #3 Waist.   And I will.  It’s just that the front vertical lines are really bugging me.  They are on either side of zipper.  I can’t think of a time when vertical lines don’t mean excessive ease.  So I shouldn’t do this, but -working on #3-I’m going to drop the waistband another 1/8″   from back darts to front darts and at the same time (working on #4), I’m going to offset the side seams so I can stitch the front seam allowance at a deeper depth to remove that front ease. Truthfully, I thought the vertical lines would disappear when I traced the regular instead of plus option from the master pattern.  I don’t recall having this issue before and I’ve used this draft for 3-4 years.  But since the vertical lines are consistent on both versions,,,, well I’m going to fix it.,