JSM_0401 Waistband

originally published 4/2/12


This is a continuation of the previous JSM posts which was started when I determined that I need to go up a size due to excessive Thanksgiving and Christmas treats. I anticipate several posts as I fit this muslin in my final preferred order:

  1. waistband
  2. crotch
  3. waist
  4. hip
  5. thigh
  6. knee.

I’m terribly pleased with my first muslin  but recognize that I made a lot of changes to get to that point.  I much prefer and know that I can achieve a pattern which requires tweaking at the waist and side seams only to accommodate the new fabrics peculiarities.  To do that, I need to copy my changes to my tissue and retest/muslin using the altered tissue. So

I pulled out the master pattern again. I decided to keep the plus size option for the back traced.  I trimmed the 3/8 I’d added to the side seam. Then from the thigh to the waist, I did a slash and spread adding 3/8 only into this area.   I also trimmed the 1″ added at the top of the crotch and made it an even 1/4″ all the way across.  I kept the deeper crotch shape copied from TJ906. Interesting the regular back, had two darts at the waist, whereas the plus has only one.  Since two darts had been essential to fit the first muslin, I traced the two darts from the regular onto the plus-sized back.

Then I turned my attention to the front tissue.  I traced the regular waist/hip option instead of the plus.  In my alterations to the first muslin, I had removed almost 1.5 inches from the side. Clearly, at least to me, my plus is all in the back.  I removed the 3/8″ added to the side seam of the front just as I’d done to the back excepting I didn’t add any additional width across the front anywhere. I did add 1/4″ across the top waistline, just as was done for the back.  I pondered the front dart situation.  The regular front has only 1 dart.  I had needed those two darts otherwise the front would have been gathered.  I’m wanting a smooth line at the waist.  The angle of the center front and fly flap were wrong. Enough wrong to have produced the vertical fold I’d been unable to remove previously. So I pondered, having already removed the 3/8 from the side seam and an estimated 1/4″ from the center front, would I need that 2nd dart?  I elected to trace only the single dart, knowing I could add the second dart if it was needed.

Despite having already chosen and prepared the fabric for the next pair of pants, I stopped and contemplated the tissues before me. I continued my contemplations over night.  I was bothered by something and initially couldn’t ferret out the source of my unease.  Eventually I realized: the fabric of the previous pair had considerable stretch. Not as much as a knit jersey, but still considerable flexibility.  This next fabric has none.  It is a firmly woven 100% cotton, with a slightly rough texture akin to homespun.  I like this fabric for summer wear and often buy a 2 yard cut when I can find it.  I’m the one who needs to be fully clothed year ’round.  I sunburn easily and painfully. So when the rest of the world dons short shorts and tank tops, I’m looking for thin, light weight fabrics which are opaque not transparent to cover arms and legs fully.  This fabric fits the bill, but will it fit me anywhere near as well as the fabric with all the stretch? The one factor in it’s favor is that I did not fit the previous pant tightly. I made the waistband close enough to keep the garment hanging from my waist instead of sliding down to my hips. Otherwise, I sought only to remove enough fabric to eliminate folds and wrinkles.

Despite my reservations, the next morning I proceeded to cut the fabric without further alterations.  I stitched the darts and the zipper in permanently. All the other seams including the hems is basted with that long lovely basting stitch my HV Ruby produces.

I took my own fitting advice.  I basted in the waistband and wore the pants for a good while. I used this time to observe how the garment felt on me as a whole. Did it feel too tight or too loose? Was I hitching it up or pulling it down?  Did I feel a breeze on my backside?  As time passed I find that the waistband, trimmed to fit the stretchy woven, is just a bit too tight for this firmly woven fabric.  This puzzles me.  Unless my waistbands will enclose elastic, they ares always interfaced end to end and both sides. My waistbands should be stable and the same size from fabric to fabric.  Why did this waistband feels a little too tight? Then I begin to feel the crotch – which is actually longer than the finished crotch of the previous muslin- was too short overall.  Some quick pics (not to be shared) indicated that the front crotch was, if anything, too long. But the back was clearly cutting up into me.

Hmm, next I didn’t follow my own advice. By the time I got back to fixing the waistband, I’d  had enough rubbing in the crotch area to want to do something nowdammit. I increased the length of the waistband 1/8 on each end, total 1/4″.  I also measured and marked carefully, because I would be transferring this to the tissue, 1/4″ down the back crotch. Finally basting along the line I’d just drawn effectively scooping the crotch another 1/4″.  I’m uneasy about making two alterations and inexplicably  decide to go for broke.  I also drop the waistband 1/4′ lower onto the pant waist starting from center front across front darts, side seam and up to the first back dart. I know from wearing muslin #1 as I’m sewing this muslin #2 the front crotch really needs to be shortened. I drop the waistband on the sides because I see the same type diagonal lines on muslin 2 that are forming on muslin 1 as muslin 1 is being worn. Whoose, I hope you were able to follow the reasoning, because while I used basting stitches on everything, I think I did good.

There’s not too many places where I feel changing 1/8″ is going to make a real difference.  The waistband and crotch are two of those places.  Adding a total of 1/4″ to the waistband, now makes it totally comfortable while still making my pants hang from my waist instead of my hips. Th WAISTBAND is DONE. I’m not sure about the position of the waistband on the pant-body or the length of the crotch.

Starting with the pic of the back… I immediately gave a big sigh of relief when trying these on.  The crotch felt so much more comfortable. The back crotch no longer followed the lines of my private anatomy.  On my computer I’m able to zoom in and really study my backside.  I’m undecided.  While the it looks fine right in the crotch, I think it could be too tight across my rear. Yet I know that when wearing, it feels like there is sufficient ease.

The diagonal wrinkles puzzle me. They are forming well above the widest point of my rear and to the side. They are not pointing to the crotch, nor specifically to the waist. They are more directly underneath the back darts and echoed about an inch below the waistband.   On the one hand, I associate these as the result of my tush pulling against the bottom of the crotch (which I don’t feel). On the other I see these as a result of  the sides being too long allowing the fabric to drape and fold. They continue, brokenly, across the high hip on the back, to the side and then stop on the front just before and just below the front dart. I’m really asking, do I need to drop the waistband another 1/8″?  Or do I just need to smooth these downward?

To my surprise the front, which looked perfect but  slightly too large when the waistband was unfitted, has now developed vertical folds. The same vertical folds I was unable to remove from the first muslin. And clearly they are dimpling at my upper pantie line.

I don’t really want to analyze the rest of the pant until I’m sure about this hip area. But I un-zoom and look to see if there are any over all indications.  To my surprise the back, which often tortures me with X wrinkles, has diagonal lines all pointing to the center of the crotch. Look at the front and similar diagonal lines are visible from knee to crotch. OK not really surprised.  I’ve had to add 1/4″ to the previous more slender JSM’s and my TJ906’s at the very same point.  I think it’s time now to admit something is too short in that area.  Crotch is not fit.