Pebbles Linen

Oh My Gosh. You may not believe it but I’m thrilled:

You’ve got to follow my journey.  I finished the blue gab, finished the yellow twill and then started this linen version of Trudy Jansen 906. This is the first fitting of the linen version. Since the twill version,  I added 3/8″ to the top of both the front and back leg pieces. I also added a second 3/8″ tummy wedge.  I trimmed out the crotch curve, both front and back, a mere 1/4″.

Then I cut my fabric, a linen called pebbles.  It’s seems a shame to use a linen as muslin fabric. Truth is I bought several pieces of linen from the same vendor.  I love sewing with the linen.  I love wearing linen. But it continues to shrink with every laundry.  I attempted to control the shrinkage by treating linen same as denim i.e. 3 hot washes and bake-on-high-heat-until-dry drying 3 times. Definitely shrank the fabric, but the linen continues to shrink appreciably with each new laundry cycle. So as much as I love 100% linen. I quit sewing it and allowed it to languish in my stash.  This piece has been in my stash about 3 years.  Not sure if I should count it as an “old” fabric.  I do feel it serves me best as a wearable muslin during my journey to perfect the fit of Trudy Jansen 906 to my new 60-ish figure.

Back to my story, once the fabric was cut I serged all the edges.  I knew that I wanted to work on smoothing both the front and back upper torso, creating the correct crotch depth and trimming the finished leg width.  I serged all the edges before sewing a single seam so that unlike the yellow twill version,  the fabric wouldn’t ravel away before I’d reached my desired fitting goal.  I installed my zipper using a 2.5 mm stitch length. The zipper is permanent unless I get really desperate. The rest of the seams are stitched with my Designer Ruby’s basting stitch.  I used a 1/4″ SA for the legs and yoke pieces; 3/8″ for the crotch, waistband and facing. Yeah I know, since this is a muslin I really should have used 5/8″. But I was tight on fabric and besides I really dislike those wider SA’s.

I was forced to make some, ummm, interesting deviations. When the back leg pieces are sewn together, the yoke should fit evenly across them.  I pinned tissue pieces together and walked seams.  When it came time to sew, the fabric yoke was too short. I was reluctant to stretch it 1/2″.  I adapted by sewing the top 4″ of the leg’s center back seam  1/8″ deeper.  In effect I made a very narrow dart in the seam. Once that was complete the yoke and top of leg fit together easily.

I also noticed that the fabric leg lengths did not match.  I’d also walked those before cutting fabric. Why didn’t they match now?  Was it the serge finish? Was it just the fabric.  I decided to pin the notches, and stretch the fabric to fit.  Interesting with a little stretching, no ironing, no steam,  the seams easily matched up and stitched together with nary a wrinkle or crinkle.

The waistband was not so easy.  1) I knew I had added ease.  2)I also knew that I needed to straighten the side seam’s orientation i.e. the side seam really shouldn’t lean forward so drastically. I pinned the center front of the waistband to the zipper flap edges. Smoothly pinned the waist of the pant to the waistband over to the side seam.  Then I placed center back of waistband to center back of yokes and pinned from the center backs towards the side seams. I ended up with 1.75″ too much on the back yoke. In a way I’m not surprised. Not only do I know facts 1 and 2, I also knew that physically, I’m more shapely from the back view.  I can’t even see a waist when looking or photoing the front of me. But clearly I have a waist when I photo the back. My solution was to rip the side seam basting from waist to bottom of front pocket. Then offset the back side seam 1.75″ from the front side seam at the waist.  I let the fabric just line itself up and then stitched along the front side seam allowance. To me the result was stunning:

I have with a single effort achieved the smooth, upper-hip fit that I desired.  The side seam is nearly veritical

To me these particular issues are very nearly  solved. The waistband fits, the high-hip (both front and back) is smooth.

I would appreciate just a little feed back. These are patch pockets both fore and aft.  Don’t patch pockets generally gap a little?  Should I be more concerned about the pocket gap or am I getting too picky?

First fitting OK? All those seams, excepting the zipper insertion, are basted into place and ready to remove. I added 3/8 to the length of both front and back crotches. I added that at the top, by the waistband. I’ve added 3/4″  to the overall crotch length which is about what I had scooped from the yellow twill version. I must say that I thought the yellow twill could use another 1/4″ scoop. But now I’m looking a the linen version and saying ???

The crotch front actually feels like it is dragging between my legs. The crotch back feels wonderful.  Neither look the way they feel.  I’m particularly distressed because I’ve been using versions of this pattern for the last 5 years.  I’ve been as large as a size 18 as small as a size 12.  In all this time, all these versions, I’ve never done more than  choose the size corresponding to my hip measurement and then scoop out the back crotch about 3/8″.  It’s not just this linen version. The crotch issues have been present with both the Blue Gab and Yellow Twill versions. I’m upset because where I scooped the previous two versions, to this version I added length. Neither effort has  totally fixed the crotch smiles.

A new development is the appearance of a full front-thigh which is clearest seen from a side view:

Actually this is more easily defined when I draw in lines:

The blue line is following the side seam.  The balance line (red) is perpendicular between yoke and ankle. The blue line leans forward at the thigh and backwrd  when it resumes the journey through my knee and on towards the ankle. This is probably one of those things not noticed before.  I assumed the “swag” lines I saw below the torso’s  diagonal line  were all akin to the ripples seen when a single pebble is dropped into a body of water. You assume all the ripples are from the first pebble because they seem to have the same radiating circles.  In my case, one set of diagonals was the result of not enough tummy room. Now a second set of ripples is definable as being the result of a full front thigh.

Of great interest to me, is how the leg width appears to change between the 3 versions:

Left Center Right
Linen Twill Gab

I believe that I’m standing with my legs just about the same amount apart each time. To the far left the hem circumference is 22″. The Yellow Twill is 21″ and the Blue Gab is 23.5″.  Definitely fabric affects fit and hang.

So where to from here?

I’m going to transfer the waist and yoke fitting changes to the pattern; and mark the waistband so that I know where to line-up the center front and side seams.  I’m seeing a hint of my tummy roll. I know the side seam is nearly vertical. I don’t want to move the side seam more towards the back. Somehow I need to add just another smidge to the tummy wedges without changing the position of the side seam.

I”m going to scoop a bit and see if I can get rid of those smile lines and hopefully the feathers on the center back:

Honestly can’t say I’ve ever seen them listed as a fitting issue. Haven’t experienced them before . (The MSS doesn’t count. I didn’t get it to fit.) I would think they resulted from either the crotch being short or insufficient ease across the butt.

I’m not sure adding more length to the crotch is the solution. Certainly,no more in front.  That leaves scooping the pants pattern or adding to the crotch extensions. Adding the crotch extension could add needed room for the full front-thigh. But it might also add more ease to back thigh which is definitely not needed. Oh the conundrum. There must be a way to fix one without un-fixing the other.

I may even slim the legs a bit but I”m not really concerned. The leg width looks and feels fine at 22″ although I prefer slightly narrower (20″).  It maybe with my larger measurements that I need a corresponding larger hem circumference to visually balance my appearance.