I began today by making alterations on the 3rd tracing. The crotch length on the chart for a size large plus was the same as my own. Yippee Skippee I didn’t have to adapt the crotch depth. But I still needed to tilt the waist. The designer recommends making a muslin and guessing how much to tilt. You read that correctly. She has you try on the muslin, pinch and guess how much is in that pinch. Since I’ve been working with altering the other pattern, I elect not to make a WAG (wild-a$$-guess) but continue with a studied, logical method. I overlap the front crotch by 5/8″. I cringe again but leave the back crotch untouched.
Then I cut my fabric. You say I missed something? Yes I did, but I didn’t realize that I had not taped the casing to the legs until all the pieces were cut out. I briefly considered sewing the fabric pieces together and making some sort of calculation for the width of the waistband. Briefly because once I started thinking it through I realized I would be making changes based on this muslin. If the muslin is a series of guesses and off-the-wall calculations, how can the subsequent garment be right? So I trashed the fabric. Fortunately it was a bright strawberry-pink cotton. I’m sure it was a Dollar Fabric because there were 4 yards. I have a pretty good idea of how long I’ve had it and why I’ve never used it. Age? Between 10 and 15 years. Lack of use? I’m a size 14P. I’m just barely not a plus size. I see that pink; think of my body and I am reminded of this nasty comment I used to hear in the 60’s “it’s always the fat woman in the neon pink pants.” I don’t wear that pink next to my face either. When I do my friends ask if I have a fever. Apparently it brings a bright pink flush to my skin. This fabric was on the way to the Goodwill. I pulled it out of the box for this muslin because I wanted to make a real muslin not a wearable muslin. I wanted to use something that I would not be tempted to finish and wear even once. And I just ruined the muslin. Tossed it and every scrap into the garbage can.
I taped the casing to the legs and began looking for another muslin fabric. The next fabric was a cotton/rayon pique. It is not a good candidate for pants. Well maybe if you were making palazzos but not the slimmer pants of today or something requiring a little body. It is soft and lighter than desired. It also woven with a strawberry pink weft and blue warp. It’s not old, but the color is just wrong for me. It would make a great blouse. Today I’m making a muslin, Fitting Muslin #1.
Although I hate fitting this style of pants, once that is done they are very easy to sew. I still have some of good elastic and measure off 31″ (my waist -9 plus 1 for a 1/2″ seam allowance.) First I want to say that I like how these feel. They are comfortable and not binding. Neither do they feel too loose. The instructions recommend folding out 1/4″ vertically on both the front and back. This would tweak the circumference. Personally I find folding an exact 1/8″ to be difficult. I’m glad I don’t need to make that adjustment. Anticipating that I might want to take these on and off a time or two, I serged all the edges. I carefully marked, folded and stitch the casing down, leaving only 2″ open for threading the elastic through the casing. I pressed all seams open. Even those difficult to reach crotch seams. Even though I don’t plan on adding this version to the closet, I want them to look as good as possible (considering the fabric) so that I make the correct adjustments.
First I want to say I like the hem circumference:
I’m excited to think, this could be the pants pattern I’ve been look for, for months!
Ignore all the wrinkling. The fabric wrinkles like an elephant. It’s not meant for pants. There aren’t many significant drag lines on the front between waist and hip:
In a different fabric, even just something with a bit more body that would shed the wrinkles, I could wear these. But then it starts going down hill.
Lines are radiating along the inseam between crotch and knee. The knee is not highlighted but there are deep folds along the side seams and above the ankle. I’m considering that the hem should be shorter, except I really don’t like pants any shorter.
I checked the horizontal balance lines.
I note that both the waist and the hip horizontal balance lines seem to dip downward at the center front. The leg balance line seems worthless, but there it is.
Switching to the side view:
Despite the horrible wrinkling of the fabric, I note several things of interest. The horizontal balance line at the waist seems level and then drops to the center back. The hip line is a straight backward slanting line. The side seam however, waivers back and forth pulling forward just below the waist. The worst aspect of the side seam is that only between hem and knee does it bisect my body. The distance between knee and waist is markedly located towards the back. Do note the red arrows. These are reminiscent of the diagonal front-to-side wrinkles I was trying to remove from the Burda pattern.
So lets look at the horror on my back:
The waist balance line clearly dips in the center and rises to both sides. The hip balance line only slightly dips. The hip line dip is much less apparent. I have no idea what to say about the lower leg balance line. It’s being so affected by whats going on above that I’m confused. In this pic I also drew the grain line. I drew the grain line on the fabric before removing it from the cutting table. But my marker was a light, so I redrew it on the photo. It’s hard for me to tell how the grain is hanging. It seems to be meandering its way along the hills and valleys formed by the fabric folds with no clear destination or even a gravitational effect. The red arrows point to my knees. I was concerned about this even before the first fitting. There are no instructions for knock knees in the pattern. I did ask but since an answer has not been given, I assume that there should be enough ease to eliminate knock knees as a problem. These folds may indeed be an effect of the mess beneath my bum.
So what to do. Well the designer is very busy. I’m not going to bother her. I’m going to proceed with tweaking the fit. I’m going to work with this fabric a fitting or two and then change to another. I hate to sacrifice one of my good fabrics. But I’m down to the point of not having fabric suitable for pants muslins.
So, the adventure will continue.