MSS Fit 03-06

“Sleeping on it” has been one of my favorite ways to solve problems. Especially complex problems.  My left brain has a way of meandering through all possibilities while mixing in other issues of the day and a few scenes from whatever TV programming I’ve absorbed. The result in the morning is a clear course of actions and why.  So this morning I realized I had 3 major problems.

First the knock knee issue:

is improved but not entirely resolved. The red lines clearly point to the knees.

2ndly, but in the same picture, the back waistline is still noticeably dipping. While the hip balance line has straightened, it too needs more correction.

3rdly, There are subtle diagonal lines almost swag lines forming on the lower legs.  These are present on the back view but most clearly seen on the front/side leg:

To correct the swag lines, I slashed and overlapped the side seams of both front and back pattern pieces just above the hip balance-line by a mere 1/8″. That reduced the side seam length 1/4″.

Correcting for knock knees and waistline droop is a little more complex. Not shown in the photos is that the front crotch has developed a slight pouch. I feel it more than see it but know from long experience that the front crotch extension is too long.  This occurred when I let out the inseam.  I need the extra length in the back, but not the front. To fix these issues, I added a strip of paper along the inseam of the back pattern piece. Then I added 3/4″ to the width of the back-inseam. It is similar to my alterations for Burda pants patterns.

Actually, I would wear the pants shown above. By the time I put my top on and added a vest, the waist and hip line dips would be invisible; non-issues. The wrinkles in the back of the leg, could be attributed to posture. So I chose to use a fashion fabric to make my first wearable pairs of 11202, My Swing Set Pants.

I chose fabric. My first choice was a cotton/rayon blend that had been woven to imitate linen.  I felt it would be perfect. Nice drape, but lots of body; the look of linen without the wrinkles.  My kind of fabric.  Unfortunately when I started pressing out the wrinkles, my Rowenta had spitting fits. The first time was an area about the size of my hand.  I was puzzled because in the last 2 months spitting has never been an issue. I thought to look at the bottom of the iron and discovered a build up of toasted starch and a piece or two of cellophane tape. Ah yes!  The muslin that I starched and pressed multiple times had apparently transferred excess well cooked starch to the sole of the iron. The tape?  I slash and tape my patterns together with cellophane tape.  When not in use I carefully fold the tissues and place them inside an envelope.  They need to be pressed with a warm iron (and no steam) before using.  My guess is some of the tape I thought was on the pattern, transferred to the sole of the iron. OK so 15 minutes of carefully cleaning the sole of starch residue and tape and I’m ready to iron the rest of the fabric.  I marked the first spit up with a big pin.  Perhaps the starch would remove easily in the first wash, but I’ve had occasions when whatever the iron coughed up was evil and remained no matter waht removal efforts were made. So I planned to cut around the stain (after all I had 4 yards of this fabric.) Not more than 5 minutes later, the Rowenta hissed, spit and coughed up again producing and even larger stain. OK time to clean internally. I allow the iron the cool; then cleaned the internal system and started again—

on another fabric.  My second choice is a 100% cotton cord. This is not corduroy more like Bedford Cord or Dimity. There are two thin green warps and then a thick white warp. The fabric launders well, and is nice to wear but has no stretch. I know I bought this particular cut thinking of summer pants.  I’m starting with 3.5 yards of 70″ wide fabric. For those of you hoping that the new pattern would be more thrifty in it’s fabric use, well you’ll be disappointed. I ended up with 1 yard 17″ and two big ol’ pieces left over.  We talking here 70″ wide fabric and it still took over 2 yards. On  a 70 inch wide fabic, my TJ906 jeans or JSM trousers would have required a single body length, about 40 inches.

Once the fabric was cut, I transferred all the balance lines using a disappearing marker. I also serge finished all the edges.  I know CLD likes to serge the edges at the end as a finishing.  I like to control raveling especially when I anticipate having to try the garment on several times.

Long story short, I think I didn’t make enough of a wedgie when measuring my crotch.  It took 3 fittings which for me means: make a change; make a photo; check the photo and repeat. I have to run upstairs to check the photo and am always distracted by the ‘net. So it takes a while. Finally in desperation, I picked out the waistband. I shortened the elastic 3″ and turned the casing down an additional 1″.  There’s a bit of bulk around the waistline that will be reduced when I complete the pants. Also the casing is not finished. It is basted 1/4″ and again 2-1/4″ from the top fold/edge.  The hems have been turned up into place and fused with Steam-A-Seam but not stitched.

This is wearable. I wanted to show it without any analysis first and now for the lines:

The vertical grain lines are now flowing from top to hem. The horizontal balance lines are fairly straight including those previously confused lower leg lines.  There is a little wrinkling right at the knee and high up on the hip are a few diagonal lines.  I do see that the waist dips a little. In another fabric, something with a little stretch, I might not have any wrinkles.

First the side without any distractions:

I moved the camera position and marked the floor with a longer strip of masking tape to get a better side view. Now with all my redrawn lines:

When I look at the grain lines and the horizontal balance lines, I can’t be sure that they are correctable. This may be an issue with fabric rather than with draft and fitting.  Even the diagonal lines marked in red are slight. I could be over-fitting should I choose to attempt removing them all.

It is the back, of course, that I’m most concerned about.

I saw the pic above and said “she’s a almost there!”.

Once again, the horizontal balance lines are really good. The vertical grain lines are almost there.  The red lines I added really point out the drag lines.  My knock knees are still having an effect on the back.  There are new diagonal lines across the high hip. In previous photos the lines were perfectly perpendicular making me think it’s the effect of how the ease is distributed along the elastic instead of a fitting issue. Because it is a pull-on pant, I am expecting some gathering along the waistband and my back is the place where I can actually see that I have a waist.

It is really important to point out that the casing is unfinished. It is simply two lines of basting.  The CLD One-Seams would not sit perfectly until the casing was complete and the elastic channels stitched. Even the elastic was critical. I’m assuming the same will be true with the MSS pant. Oh and I am using Louise’s elastic. I’ve never found another source.

I’m at the end of the day now and really contemplating my next course of action. I’m not sure that lifting the back more is going to solve the under-butt wrinkles.  Pretty sure those diagonal folds are due to the knees. Again, I know that waistband needs to be nailed down for the pant to look it’s best.  But I’m calling it a day; a Good Day. Because should I decide to walk out the door in these, I’ll look fine. Even in the bank line.

2 thoughts on “MSS Fit 03-06”

  1. Bev if you distribute the elastic properly and stitch the parallel lines in the waistband between your casing lines onto the fabric through the elastic (per the pattern instructions) you will 1) have a defined waist and 2) distribute the ease properly, eliminating the lines coming from the waist. Without doing that, the wide elastic inside the casing twists and looks sloppy. Other than that, even for your test fabric, the pants look good. Sewng fabrics recommended on the pattern will always result in a better look as well.

    1. Thanks Terri. I’m glad to know that will take care of the wrinkles beneath the waist. I didn’t want to finish the waistband as long as there were under-butt wrinkles.

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