Having made all the alterations I was sure needed I wanted to make, I set about selecting a sacrificial fabric. Today I have two main criteria for muslin fabric. It must be woven non-stretch and it must be light-colored. Oh, make that 3, it has to be something I can stand to sew and throw away. To select a fabric I unfolded and tried out 3 fabrics recently pulled from the HomeDec fabrics and placed in the muslin box. The determining factor was enough width and length on which to place my pattern . The winner was a quilting cotton in golden brown tones with blue-reds and greens. It’s not a flattering combination for my skin nor colors I use in decorating. I’m actually glad to be able to use it now, as a muslin, instead of giving it away.
But a quilting cotton doesn’t have a lot of body. It is not the best fabric to use when planning pants. It is good enough to see how off the fit might be. After all those alterations the new muslin:
No these aren’t wonderful. I’m glad I made a second muslin. But my first thought was ” this is a great improvement”. I managed to get all the balance lines to line up. Also the hip balance line is over my widest hip. I’m thinking I misread the instructions for the seat balance line. I have it perpendicular to the vertical/grain line. The hip balance line is at the same angle as the waist and matches perfectly across the side. The seat balance line angles down from the side seam. It does match (at side and center back) but I expect it to be more evenly horizontal across the side and back. Other than where they cross folds of fabrics, the other balance lines look about the way I expect. I’m not demanding perfectly straight lines. I know when I put pencil to paper, curve lines will not be straight across. That’s what I’m expecting, curves.
Then, I noted the under bu!t wrinkles:
Muslin 2 shows the fewest wrinkles I’ve ever had on a first try-on (excepting baggy Charlie Chaplin-type pants. There are some other issues that may be affecting this. Both the front and back of the Muslin2 look tight in the crotch area. (I’m not zeroing in on that area. I get enough spam .)I did wonder if my math was right when I made the alterations. There were so many. Some of the calculations were cumulative i.e. calculated off the calculations when I traced the tissue. Confused? I was. Off hand I’d say I shouldn’t have removed that 1/2″ from the back crotch extension. Fortunately, I still have 5/8″ seam allowances and it will be possible to add a little ease in the area. Then again it’s a muslin. I’m never going to wear these pants again. That was the point of choosing this fabric. I could just slash and add where fabric is needed.
It does trouble me that I could be seeing knock knee issues (still) on both front and back. On the back, the lines point upward past the knees to the crotch. The two diagonal lines coming down never reach the knees. But the legs are hugging the outside of my legs and the inseams touching as if I’m standing with legs together. I’m not. My pose is the same 6″ apart that I always use. That’s part of the reason for the yellow tape on the floor. Where to stand and, black marks for how far apart to place my feet. Similarly on the front, I’m not standing with my feet together either but the pants inner legs are touching each other. This perplexes me. Offhand, I’d say I over did the knock knee adjustment. I’ve made a 1/2″ and 3/4″ knock knee adjustment on previous patterns and did not solve the knock knee problem nor create this picture of the inner legs touching. Is it just this pattern? Is it that this time I removed 2-3/4″ from the seat-to-knee measurement? The fabric? Some combination of all or a completely different issue? But lets’s return to the good news, I’m not seeing the exact symptom for knock knees. This is an improvement, even if I’ve created the opposite problem.
The front crotch (again no zeroing in on the issue) has a dimple beneath the zipper. I was careful to stitch that seam exactly where it needed to be and smoothly following the crotch-curve from front to back. I’d be really annoyed except I wonder if the dimple is related to the fact that the front crotch is still too long. I removed 1/8″ from the front crotch. On the first muslin, I removed 1/4″ and it was too much. The default was too long. 1/8 is not enough and 1/4 is too much??? Now I”m just plain puzzled. This should have worked. Is it related to the too short back crotch extension? Is it the change in fabric. The Homespun was softer and had a stretch factor similar to denim. This quilting cotton not only doesn’t drape, it has less give over all. It’s not as firm as the hard-twill used in the last version of TJ906, but it is firmer than denim.
I elected to put darts in the back and pleats in the front. This is the way I like to wear trousers. The waistband fits perfectly. Its alterations were exactly right. Both front and back required double the waist control i.e. the back has 2 dart on each back piece. I needed 2 darts to fit the back at the waist. Same with the front, the pattern shows 1 dart/tuck for each front piece. I needed 2. I may revisit the dart situation after I figure out the crotch. In my mind waistband must fit, then crotch must fit before other areas can accurately be changed. I have been paying attention to balance lines but they are not the sole determinator of my alterations.
I’ll close with my beginning perception. No this muslin is not perfect. But it is better than the previous.