Fitting the Basic Trouser, Trudy Jansen 902

Although the last pair of jeans, fits better than anything I can buy, I’m not totally finished with TJ906.  I know that TJ906 will give me a perfect fitting pair. I mean that: PERFECT. But the last 4 hours of fitting seemed to be a see-saw dance around the issue. Fix the back and the front wrinkled. Fix the front and the back develops bad wrinkles. Repeat. For 4 hours, REPEAT.  I decided to finish the last pair, and wear them, but to work on my fitting issues with a simpler pattern. I’m turning my attention to TJ902:

This is a classic slacks pattern. It has a one piece front and back with straight waistband and optional inseam pocket or front zip.  Trousers and slacks do not fit as closely to the body as jeans.  They are somewhat easier to fit because of that fact. Easier to sew, because of the fewer pieces.  For my fitting journey, I’ll be using the front fly, but not the pocket. The hem circumference should finish about 18″, a width I think is very flatterimg for me.

I didn’t start the fitting process by checking sizes or even tracing the pattern. (All sizes are given on a large heavy, white sheet of paper.) I started with The Threads Croquis and my tape measure. An idea keeps bubbling into my mind. The idea that my bu!t is not shaped as expected of a 6+ decade-old woman. Instead of the flat backside, mine is well-rounded due to the walking I’ve done for years and the 2 flights of steps I take daily (multiple times) because some of the essential living quarters in my house are located down stairs.  People read my description of fitting issues and immediately suggest the flat-seat adjustments.  Let’s just take that off the table now. Here is the silhouette of my back seen from the side:

Knowing the black pants would be difficult to see, I added a tracing. That’s not flat.  Whatever my fitting issues may be, flat rear is not one of them.  I began to wonder if perhaps my rear were higher than the standard.

The standard is that the widest part of the body, will be the hip/derriere and will be between 7 and 9 inches lower than the natural waist. 

That’s when I decided the Threads Croquis and some additional measurements might help me. I tied elastic around my waist and again around my thigh crease. (The thigh crease establishes the seat balance line).  I marked both sides of my body with  straight lines and then made tick marks every 2″.  On the croquis I drew additional lines to indicate where I intended to take these additional measurements.

I took not only total circumference at these points, but also measured side to side across the front. Then I made 1 more measurement. I turned sideways and looking in the mirror wrapped the measuring tape around  at the visibly widest point. I slid the tape up and down to be sure that visible was the same as actual. On this last measurement, I was interested in how far down my widest point occurred down from the natural waistline.  That measurement is 6.5″.

Remember I said 7-9″ was the standard?  My hip measurement occurs 1/2″ above the average. Should that matter?  I have a feeling that when they draft patterns, they place the largest point at 8″ from the natural waist. If that’s true, then the widest point of the pattern is occurring 1.5″ below my widest area. Is that significant?  Well, consider my blouses.  I know they design patterns for the 5’6″ gal and I’m only 5’3″.  Somewhere somehow, I need to adjust for the difference in height of 3″. I can shorten at the hem. When I do that, I must add width from the waist down. But when I consider that my backwaist length (the length from nape of neck to waist)  is 1″ shorter than the patterns and I shorten above the waist, I no longer need to add width to the tissue (or blouse).. Why? Because the widest part of the blouse pattern has been aligned with the widest point of my hip (and the narrowest is aligned with my hoped-for waist.)I’m considering that something similar may be happening when I fit pants.

Armed with a new measurements, including the additional ones just made, I clear the cutting table and spread the pattern.