Tucks and TweaKs

The 5.5 hours spent the day before were rather discouraging. I felt like I was starting at the very beginning of fitting the Orange Muslin of TJ906.  Looking closely at the photos from yesterday, I thought that I had 2 important issues. 1) Obvious tightness across the tummy and high hip 2) the crotch felt and looked a bit short, but there were V-lines above the back crotch.  I knew that letting out the side seams could provide enough ease to make that upper third of the pant feel and look better AND the pant might slide down in place adding enough crotch length to be comfortable.  So far, the only solution for the V-lines has been shortening the back crotch length. I ripped and stitched the side seams between crotch balance line and waistband  at 1/4″ (adding 3/8*2) ease to each side; total 1.5″ across the upper torso.  I made a 1/4″ wedge across the back where the worst of the V-lines appeared. I made the tuck on the outside instead of inside. My mistake, but it’s a muslin. Why worry? Eh?

Then I decided to start trying to trim the flare. The hem circumference was 23″.  I prefer a maximum of 20″. Well that’s what I preferred with my 2012 shape. Now in 2013 and bit spread out, I might consider a wider flare. On the previous muslin, I’d been able to take in the side and center-back leg seams 3/4″.  This time, I took them in 1/2″ but only on one leg.  I reasoned I could began to see how this volume was affected and have a control to make sure my flare-trimming wasn’t pulling the grain lines too badly.  If you could see the leg, it would look like an upside down dart along each seam. The wide end is at the hem and it terminates at the beginning of the flare. The flare starts 1.5″ below my mid-knee. I really don’t want to mess with the ease around my knee. Then it was time for pics:

I wish I’d reached this level of fitting yesterday. I could easily live with the side and back views. Despite the wrinkles around the crotch, no private body parts are visible:

I could be tempted to wear a long top and wear these, as long as both hem circumferences were the same (I’m liking the 21″ hem circumference in this fabric). The back has two prominent diagonal lines and some little wrinkles around the crotch.   The side and front views say the top of that pant needs to be lifted more.  The front inner-thigh wrinkles have not changed. Which means shortening the back crotch length has had no effect on them.

To be honest, I just wasn’t completely sure what direction to take next. I was tempted to scoop the back crotch or at least trim is to 1/4″. Instead I created a fish-eyed tuck about 4″ down from the waistband,  5/8″ deep  in the back tapering to nothing just before the center front. The results were less than spectacular. The crotch feels really tight and the center back dips down sharply.

The fit is certainly, not improved. I increased that tuck to 1″ still no improvement. I ripped the tuck and moved it to about 2″ above the crotch balance lines.  At that point, the tuck runs across the torso, not on the legs. Well, it’s more of a fish eye dart then tuck because it narrows to nothing at the center front of the leg.

The back is hardly any different and the front is clearly a disaster.

Although the thigh tuck has never worked for me, I decided to at least give it a try. The problem is that the tuck on the thigh looks great on the muslin. But when I transfer the change to the pattern and create a new garment/muslin the wrinkles return. Nonetheless, I was getting desperate.

Above is the 2nd attempt at tucking across the thigh. I saw some improvement with a 1/2″ tuck and so made a 3/4″ tuck. There is improvement in some places but worsening of others.

I was at the point of declaring my favorite jean pattern a total loss when I decided to scoop the crotch just once.  That looked pretty good. So I let the thigh tuck out and scooped another 1/4″.

Much better. Much, much better. The front still has some issues. That’s not camel toe BTW. In all the starching and pressing, I’ve managed to press in a front curve which I couldn’t see but the camera did.  There is excess room below my tummy but above the thigh crease. However, it may need to be there. I’d rather have the extra fabric skimming that area than wearing any of the previous front views. The crotch is only scooped 3/4″. I can probably scoop it another 1/4″. I say that because the back view is kind of close. But then again this is a jeans pattern and probably should be even closer.  As long as hairs are uncountable, jeans are not too tight IMO. The balance lines have remained fairly stable. Not perfectly horizontal or vertical, but reasonably so. And it only took me another 5 hours to get to this point.

The trouble with all this fitting, is my existing jeans and trousers, the ones I said felt fine even though my shape changed, are no longer feeling fine.  When I slip into the muslin and then put my old jeans back on,,,, well lets just say I can tell the difference.

Where to from here?

I need to replace some pants. I’ve already taken 2 pair out of my closet while trying to fit the orange muslin.  Since this jeans pattern is really close, I’m going to make a few “jean styled” trousers.  I won’t try to remember all the changes I’ve made. I will measure the muslin and copy the changes to the tissue pattern.

While I’m making new pants, I’m going to give careful consideration to the order in which I fit pants. I do like working with the balance lines. I really think truing the balance lines during fitting makes a measurable difference in how the pants look.  I don’t want to get quite so involved in the balance lines,or  at least not so early in the process.  It’s something to think about. Right now, I’m just glad to have a pattern with which I can create comfortable pants that look decent.