Willow, Muslin 3

I’d like for you to understand me.  I entered the workforce when women were heavily discriminated against.  The terms “glass ceiling”  “women’s ghetto” were buzz words that we used to tell other women what they would encounter if they elected to work for a particular company.  Yes, I’m showing my generation gap.   Boldly, because it remains with me still, after 40+ years.  I still want to dress attractively enough to “show I’m a woman but conservatively enough to show I’m a lady.”.  You may laugh.  But I know of several women who were humiliated and careers side tracked never-to-recover because they succumbed to an office romance.  You, meaning every woman who went to work, had to decide the first day, the first interview: am I here for a career and to advanced up the corporate ladder or am I here looking for a good time and husband.”  Whatever you decided, it was hard to change directions later on.  Men could somehow communicate to new bosses, new workplaces the spot (tramp, worker, geek, etc)  you occupied in their hierachy for years to come.  I tell you this, not in bitterness or any other negative, but simply because I want you to understand my personal dress standard.  To this day and having been married for 36 years, retired 5+ years after working for 40 years, I still want to project the womanly but LADY image.

It is important when you read my evaluation of patterns, especially pants patterns that you understand what I want you to see me and what I expect out of a pattern.  All of which was  formed of the experience I recounted above and is clothing that skims my figure tightly enough to show I am a woman but loosely enough to show I’m a lady.  Pants especially bring this out.  I prefer the uni-butt look while I’ve heard others rail against it. I do not want to show two high round cheeks. I do not want lines pointing to my crotch. I want a fairly smooth line appearance.  My best pant so far is the JSM which I shared In April 2012 and is similar to what I’m working towards with the Willow except I want a narrower leg.

For the 3rd muslin, I selected a different fabric so that I could easily distinguish between versions of this pattern.  My new fabric is again a blouse weight fabric which has  disadvantages when used for pants.  It is too soft and too drapey.  But this fabric, fiber unknown, has been sitting in my stash for eons.  It is an odd color which works with nothing else. Seriously, I repeatedly have looked at and rejected this fabric because the blue color did not work with whatever other color it was I was trying to create an outfit.   Before cutting today, I took the time to compare with all my fabrics and all my clothes.  I decided this was “muslin” fabric, I just hadn’t recognized that before now.  So I pressed the fabric carefully.

I traced the original Willow pattern.  I separated the tracing, both front and back, horizontally just below the dart and added 1″.  I was wishy-washy for a bit and then decided to add 1/2″only to the side seams.  I mean I had excellent instructions for grading the pattern up a size or even more should I desire.  But I’m a quick and easy kind of dressmaker, and upon reflection decided if many of us garment sewists routinely increased the side seam allowances to 1″ just for insurance, that 1/2″ was right in line with standard practices.  1/2 inch added 2″ of ease.  I added only 3″ to the leg length. Keep that in mind as you look at my pics because the legs which were mid-calf are, in some pics, beneath my heels.  It has to be the fabric.

I’m not completely unhappy, but I was hoping for better.  I really did think that adding 2″ over all would do the trick as far as necessary ease.  That’s what I added to Ver1.  Yet I can clearly see my body in these pics which does make me disappointed. Let’s start with the front view:

Ummm confession.  I saw no point in cutting a 3rd waistband when the first 2 were perfect. The waistband now fits comfortably, at the level I would like it to be.

But I can see my bodily rolls just below the waistband. I think a firmer fabric would help. I’m sure one of my slimmers would take care of all that.

I don’t have a camel toe but the front crotch looks, odd??  It’s kind of puffy right at the crotch and lower down looks like the back is collapsing into the front. This has me asking, is there something wrong in the crotch or is this fabric really wrong.

I am happy to note that the buckling and folds in Ver 1 and 2 are gone.

So are the vast majority of the drag lines.

Nothing is really clinging and outlining my knees.

The twisting that had me considering shifting the leg is practically gone.  I do see a few diagonal drag lines but ways down where the hem is; and the hem is so low i.e. the pants are so long that the length is making problems instead of showing problems.

This pant front, while not something I want to wear, is lots and lots better than the previous versions.  Based on the front alone, I’d be willing to break out a good pants fabric.



Actually I’m pleased with this side view.

I realize that the front seems to be higher than the back.

But I’m really looking at how vertically orientated the side seam is.  There is no pulling to either front or back.

Yes I do see my belly being outlined, but I think that is a result of a poor fabric choice. Adding a slimmer or selecting a nice pant fabric and  my little issue would disappear.

I am surprised at what seems to be some gathering or ruching along the front side seam.  I walked the side seams. They match. I pressed the seams. They lay flat.   Again, I think the fabric is the problem.







I took several pics of my backside, with my legs separated various amounts. I wanted to know what was causing the twisting on the legs in the previous versions.

Even granting that this is not an ideal pant fabric, I think I should add more ease.

I also think I need to scoop the crotch but I’m debating on whether I need to add more to the rise. Oddly, the pants feel fine, just more closely fitting than the JSM trousers.

When  standing normally (legs together) there are more drag lines than when standing with legs apart But there are drag lines in all views.  I’m still seriously considering Sew4Fun’s leg shift.

I was delighted that both previous versions lacked all the excess ease on the back thigh. Dang! It’s back.   Only 2 things have changed from version 2: 2″ was added to the rise both front and back  and 1/2″ was added to the side seams both front and back.

Let me say again that the pants feel comfortable.  I wanted to say that again because I’m truly surprised.  I thought this close-fitting pant could not be comfortable if made in a woven fabric.  I’m almost tempted to pull out one of my stretch fabrics and give it a go.


But what I’m going to do first, is scoop out the crotch. I’m thinking that may take care of several issues. When I scoop, the pant is going to rise in the back. My seat is going to settle into the pant seat and the excess down there behind the thigh is going to be pulled into the seat and back area. It’s entirely possible that the back will rise enough that from the side view the waist will be level instead of tilted upward in front.   It’s also possible that when all that takes place, the back leg that I’m seeing from the front will disappear and the pouf at the front crotch will settle.   So scoop first and then more pics.