Version 4 of the Ascona

I made changes. What’s the point of doing the same thing if it was wrong the last time? Right? But I felt the changes were a bit minor.  I traced the XL because L just didn’t have enough ease.  Then I added the PBA. Which for some reason was difficult this time.  I made the PBA and thought the back looked about the same. So I measured the pattern and measured my tissue. Yep somehow I had split the tissue, inserted tissue, folded  and taped it back together  just about the same size as it was when first traced. So I untaped my back pattern piece and started over. This time I drew a horizontal and vertical axis. Marked a 1″ square around the axis and then carefully spread the sections taping them into place 1″ apart. When done, I measured to ensure I had added an inch in height and width. Next, I took my TJ906 back crotch template and ignoring grain lines, angled it around until it fit nicely on the back pattern piece. I traced the TJ906 back crotch onto the back tissue and trimmed the excess tissue. Finally I added 1.25″ length to the top of both front and back pieces so that my tissue would have the fold-over waistband and sit at my natural waist.

I chose another sacrificial fabric: a rayon “light twill suiting”.

I cut my fabric and marked the center back before serge finishing all the edges. I basted side and inseams before putting one leg into the other and basting the crotch.  I like this sewing procedure because of how it feels when worn. I basted the folded over waist band and tried my pants on. Much to my surprise, they were pretty large:

It’s hard to describe their fit. Burlap bag comes to mind.  Certainly not the elegant view on Loes pattern envelope.My first thought was to shorten the front crotch because which was draping down about knee level. OK not that bad. I pinched out two inches and subsequently modified at the waist to take out the same.  This however, made more issues than it fixed. Taking up the front made the back look pretty bad,  I decided to try the suggestion of adding the same amount at the back as I took out at the front. I ripped out the waist stitching and discovered that I had mismarked my fabric. I had marked the front instead of the back. I was trying to make the back fit my front. Oy Vey. So I put everything back to “tissue” phase i.e. no fabric alterations and tried again.

Once again the front, the real front, was too long, but only by half as much i.e. 1 inch instead of 2.  I folded the waistband to remove 1″ in front; added a piece to the back so that I could add 1″ to the back.

This was NOT an improvement over the original bag look.

I worked through the fitting process scooping front and back; adjusting seam allowances and depth of waistband but in the end the best I could achieve:

Was disappointing and never better than the initial “burlap sack “.

I can blame fabric. This is a rayon fabric with lots of nice drape. Exactly what the pattern designer suggests. I remember some really good advice from some time ago “never attempt to make pants out of a fabric that you wouldn’t find in RTW pants”. (I think that’s from Pamela’s Patterns).  I have to admit that fabric to pattern could indeed be mismatched and my fault. Even though the vendor had marketed it as “suiting” I had earmarked it for a winter blouse. Perhaps I should have followed through on  my initial reaction to this fabric.

I certainly can blame the crotch.  The drafted crotch absolutely did not fit me. I don’t really blame the designer because most pant crotch shapes don’t work for me. I tried copying a favorite crotch right onto the pattern. But when it came time to stitch the crotch, I faced this:

I don’t think anybody has a crotch like that. Nor did I want that peak in the middle of my crotch.  I tried to draw ( and then stitch) a new crotch that would smooth out that peak while maintaining a shape I know I need.   It didn’t work; and once cut the fabric cannot be reattached. You can only cut more.  Should I have also copied the front crotch?  There sure didn’t seem to be much difference between the front of TJ906 and the front of 1008 (Ascona).  Could it have been a minor but an important difference?

In addition to the peak, I also found that the front as a whole was too large. I eventually offset the side seams making the front 5/8″ and the back 1/4″. But that created a front camel toe which needed to be removed by scooping.

I measured this crotch and also the crotches of 3 different pairs of my favorite (in rotation on a regular basis)  pants.  To my surprise, this crotch is much longer than anything else. Did it stretch out of shape? Due to so much handling?

I also have to wonder about the PBA.  I was concerned at how the back crotch bent where the PBA was inserted. I smoothed it out a little. Did I do too much? Too little?  Is the PBA just a bad idea?

I don’t want say this pattern is drafted badly. The only other reviewer that I could find, had issues but was able recover and create 2 nice pairs of nice pants. I’ve done everything I can think of and I’m not even close to having a pair I would wear let alone be proud of.

I have ideas:

  • Copy both front and back crotch from TJ906
  • Trace the L front and the XL back
  • Shorten front crotch while adding same amount to back.
  • Buy pants fabric from the designer.


I’ve discovered that my favorite RTW jeans have 25% stretch and I have 4 denim fabrics with 25-30%. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing one of my denim fabrics because it came out of the dryer with white crease marks.  I could make a pattern from my RTW jeans……


Am I done with the Ascona?




Ascona V3

Let’s talk fabric first.  I’m having real problems find a muslin fabric in my stash.  I want something that is light in color because darks can hide a lot figure and fit issues.  I’ve made peace with my figure issues. I want to see the fit issues so I can persuade my fabrics to flatter my figure as is. (My Spanx?  Worn only when my back hurts during cold weather.) I’m really “digging into the bottom of the barrel” and using some fabrics I don’t think are ideal for pants.  Loes recommends:

Drapey fabric, microfiber, rayon, silk, light weight wool, and light weight linen blend.

In my stash I found a rayon “suiting” that definitely is drapey but I questioned it’s use for pants.  Heck I question that it is suiting. I’ve heard people say they were done with Fabricmart and this fabric is one of the reasons that occurs. IMO it might make a nice blouse or big ol’ Lagenlook pants like I wore 20 years ago. But a jacket or vest?  Not without layers and layers of stabilizers , underlinings and linings. To me this is not suiting, therefore, it was perfect for the next muslin. I won’t feel any regret if Ascona V3 is a flop and this fabric promptly deposited in the trash.

I traced a new copy of 1008-Ascona in the recommended size. I considered carefully. The only thing I know for certain, is that I need to add 1.25″ to the top at the waist if I want the cut-on facing/waistband.  The pattern is drafted  to sit about an inch below the natural waistline.  Unfortunately, I have this overwhelming compulsion to jerk my pants upward until they sit at the natural waistline. I’m not sure why it’s such a compulsion.  I don’t pull up my RTW DG2 jeans or self-sewn TJ906 jeans. Maybe it’s the jeans fit that makes me comfortable with the below waistline WB.  Anyway, I’ve decided not to fight this battle right now. I’d much rather work towards making the backside look and feel great.  So I added the 1.25″ immediately.

I also scooped 1/2″ from the front crotch. Not in the curve but above the curve. Essentially I moved the upright towards the side seam 1/2″.   In my previous Ascona Versions, every pic had an oddly placed camel toe until I scooped out the front curve. I’m not fighting that battle again either.

Then I looked at the back. I worked with backs from the Straight Inseam PP113 and TJ906 the source of the straight inseam and crotch.  Couldn’t make it work.  I used all 6 of my colored felt tip pens trying different ideas.  When I ran out of colors, I switched to dashed lines. I even tried the knee slide again but placed about 2″ below the crotch.  I reached the point of not being able to make out the individual lines.  So of course, I traced another copy of the back leg.  I also took a bathroom break and tried some liquid refreshment.  Afterwards, I thought I’m working too hard. I’m trying to change the crotch and the inseam at the same time. I’m doing too much at the same time. So I opted to copy only the crotch from TJ906.  Even working with only the crotch, I really couldn’t line it up. I spied my flexible ruler and wondered if it would help.  Using the flexible ruler I measured the TJ906 curve plus yoke plus waistband.  Added in 1.25″ for the Ascona faced WB arriving at 18.5″.  I persuaded the flexible ruler to line up along the CB seam, curve and then stop at the crotch point.  The flexible ruler dipped over an inch below the curve of the Ascona. Which gave me a “Huh?” moment.  I had scooped the Ascona rear crotch. I nearly always need a little scooping and the 1/4″ used with the earlier Ascona Versions was enough to make the crotch feel and look good. But had no effect upon the back X wrinkles. Would it make a difference now?

I wanted to add 1″ ease to the back pattern piece. Why? I’m routinely adding 1″ to the back. Added the same 1″ to the back of all the blouses I’ve fit recently.  On both PP113 and the MSS  I removed 1″ from the front and added it to the back.  It’s a net 0 change but makes both the front and back of those pants look better. No matter what Peggy says, it is apparent my hip circumference is not evenly divided between back and front. So I wanted to add 1″ ease to the back torso but not to the legs.  I want those 16.5″ legs.  That’s the whole purpose of my purchasing and working with this pattern.  For 18″ legs, I can use Tj906 or MSS.   So I hung the pattern pieces on the wall and took the time to think about it. Eventually, I remembered the PBA (Protruding Butt Alteration).  It was the PBA which helped me create the 20″ hems on PP113.  Let’s shorten this story. I added a 3/4″ PBA and the flexible-ruler curve to the Ascona’s back.

When I cut fabric, I added 1/4″ at the side seams, both front and back.  Loes and I both love the 3/8″ SA however I like to be able to tweak the fit according to the fabric. So while I will make my other SA’s 3/8″, I want 5/8″ on the side seams.

After cutting fabric, I stitched the pants together using the 5/8″ side seams. Ripped that out and used 3/8″.  Good thing I added that 1/4″ because my final is at 1/4″ and I could use just a bit more room. Good news is the back looks pretty good:

It took 3 pics to catch the back looking this good (?).  It’s all about the fabric. I pull the waistband out let it snap into place and take a pic. Nope hung up on the right. Smooth the back and WB; take another pic. Nope hanging up a different way. At least this view shows one good and  one nearly-perfect back leg.  IMO the back would look better if I had added the darts. I didn’t because I’m more concerned about how the leg looks.

 Side view is also not bad. I am concerned at what appears to be rouching along the back side seam.  In all previous fittings, (6 total. I’m not detailing them) it was the front which rouched along the side seam.  I offset the front 1/2″ and the back rouches? Sometimes you can’t win.

The front looks a bit weird. It feels bad.  The front is binding along my things and the crotch is rubbing my inner thigh. Both issues were relived by turning down the front WB but then the pant looks bad front, side and back. Just to verify, I ripped out the front WB (I used WST on side seams, hems and WB) and pulled it down 2.5″ allowing the turned down portion to smoothly return to a 1.25″ depth at the back. This feels fairly good, but looks like crap:

I realize that by folding down in the front, I’m also exerting some stress on the back crotch. The back then starts displaying more pull lines. Even though the fabric turned smoothly, I have drapes beneath the front waistband and VPL everywhere.   Apparently, this is something I’m going to have to work at in the tissue stage. I considered finishing because the Bank Line View isn’t bad at all:

But I’m annoyed at how this supposed “suiting” can move about and look bad between one pic and the next. One thought that occurred to me over and over, is that it might be just fine if I’d used a fabric with 10-15% stretch. For me, that was the clincher with the Madagascar Tank. Using a knit I mean. Using a knit turned a bad-for-me pattern into a TNT. It’s all about the fabric.

Right now, Ascona V3 is on a hanger and I’m off thinking about V4.


PP113 + TJ906 Inseam

So for my guinea pig muslin fabric I choose a brown seersucker that has recently arrived.  Technology has gotten really good. Fabric color on the net seems to nearly always match the color of the fabric which arrives at my home.  The most notable differences are when I see on-line what I want to see rather than what is really there.  This fabric is that type situation.  I wanted a brown seersucker for summer pants and I planned to use PP113.  This fabric has a much darker tone than I remember/envisioned.  I know cause I looked it up on-line just to check.  But it’s tone now is a PLUS because I easily look at the stash and think “this one”.  Seersucker will provide a little stretch.  It’s the nature of the fabric.  I rarely adapt my pattern for that stretch and seldom fit-it-out either.

I serged side and inseams as well as the crotch. Turned up the hems and top stitched them too.  Either this pant is going to be wearable or I’m going to be happy to discard it. I did allow for the possible need to adjust the crotch depth  when I turned the waist band/facing  down and stitched it with water-soluble thread (for easy removal).  I threaded elastic through basted waistband but pinned it together. I have several different elastics in my stash. Each has their own best length.


The front is pretty good.  Not surprising, I need to pull the waistband up at the sides.  But there is no suggestion of camel toe, underwear or any of the other gotcha’s I look for.

The side view reinforced the need to lift the front at the waist.  But this really isn’t a bad side view. A little tweaking. Isn’t that what we expect to do at fitting?

So the back is very interesting to me.  It’s not the ugly X wrinkles of the  Ascona; and those aren’t exactly X wrinkles.  It’s more like the back is buckling between butt and knee. Like it really is too long as previously suggested by my readers.  Interestingly, I see a slight bit of that in my TJ906 jeans.  So far I’ve assumed the culprit to be a need to increase the curve right under the rear.  Now I’m thinking it would be a good idea to just make that area shorter.

An interesting note I want to make, is that I have not needed to make the next alterations on PP113 until I straightened the curve of the back inseam. Did altering the inseam curve cause or reveal these issues?

First thing I did was lift the side to get rid of the front and side wrinkles under the WB.  I wanted to raise it a full inch but the fabric would not turn smoothly. That’s because of the uneven amount that’s being turned i.e. 1.25″ CF and CB 2.25″ side seams. Some changes have to be done at the tissue phase and this appears to be one.   I ended up folding the waist down  2″ at the side seams  (instead of the planned 1.25″ for the facing) and smoothing it out best as possible along the fold.


While there is still more room for improvement and the back isn’t sitting smoothly (fire my stylist), I was satisfied with most of the wrinkles being removed and finished the waistband.

Then I started trying to slim the leg. I was not surprised that the finished circumference is 22″. I used 1/4″ side seams instead of my usual 5/8″ side seams which allow for  tweak according to the fabric. By using the 1/4″ SS, I’ve added 1.5″ to the hem circumference.  Wanting to see if I could trim the leg and some of the visible ease, I basted using water-soluble thread at 5/8″. Took pictures, ripped , basted at 3/8″. Took a second set of pictures. Absolutely not possible to increase the back  side-seam allowance even to 3/8″. Any change and my flanks show (as well as VPL and some girlie parts).

SS 5/8″ —- 3/8″


However the fronts fared much better and I could take a little out.  Seems to me this is what I did with the Ascona as well.  Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t trace one size smaller front and one size larger back. ie. pattern says I’m L trace S front and XL back.  Too late now, but for the next iteration, I will make a 1/8″ vertical fold and remove that much ease from the front and slash and spread the back to add 1/4″ ease. It’s a net zero change but puts ease where I need it and takes it away where I don’t.

With my attempt at slimming from waist to hem at the side seams failed, I started trying to slim the just the lower leg and hem. I stitch  at the side seam starting under the hip (30″) all the way to the hem increasing the SA from 1/4″ to 5/8″ right at the knee.  I ripped that out made my adjustment from 24″ to the hem.  Then finally at 22 to the hem.  Oddly to me, any adjustment to the side seams causes the X wrinkles to reappear.  (No photo posted. Trust me, it was bad.)  I say “oddly to me” because I see and feel ease from waist to hem. Why can’t it be removed?  Even 1/8″?  I can pinch 2″ at the hip but can’t remove a smidge?

To decrease the hem circumference, I could have taken one step further and made darts in the leg beneath the knee. I didn’t because I’d already fused the hem in place and then top stitched it.   Besides I envision my seersucker pants as being loose; allowing for greater air circulation. I know I’ve said this before,  I burn easily.  If I want to be out in the sun, I need to cover up. But I don’t want to suffer heat stroke. Loose, light weight garments are the answer for me.

After three days of working on these pants, I had marked, stitched and ripped with such abandon that the pants were wrinkled and slightly soiled. I washed the pants and hung them in my closet.  I’m not sure I’m going to wear them.  They might become pj’s this winter. Their dark tone has me wondering what coordinates other than white which I can’t keep clean more than 15 minutes.  Funny, I prefer my  black, a solid brown and navy blue pants -all colors on the dark side- to these striped.  I do like stripes. I do try to choose muted stripes for my bottoms.  I don’t understand why I dislike this fabric so much.  But there it is.

I found one possible top to wear:

A RTW which hasn’t benefited from any of my fitting. But, maybe together these pants aren’t so bad?



  • Straighten back inseam
  • Add 1.25″ to top for WB facing
    • 1″ elastic
    • 1/8″ edge stitching at top
  • Add 1/4″ ease to back leg
    • both SS now 5/8″
  • Remove 1/4″ from front leg
  • Fisheye dart across side seam
    • brings side seam up removing U’s
    • also helps with the front WB wanting to sit above natural waist
    • CF 0
    • SS 1″
    • CB 0


1008-Ascona, PP113

Franken Pattern Pants

I’m not done with the Ascona pant, but I am stymied.  I waited for your comments (thank you) and began following through on some of the suggestions. One of the things I’ve done is to review the pants fitting videos which Peggy Sagers posted. Now, I like Peggy.  I make it a point to watch the broadcasts live or as soon as possible.  But I don’t always agree with her. Sometimes, my experience says she is wrong. Sometimes, I don’t always understand what she is saying (my fault probably). Sometimes  I think she is making a broad generic statement when she should be referencing a more narrow criteria i.e. this applies to all my (Peggy Sagers) patterns rather than this works on all necklines (all being all inclusive meaning every pattern line, every shape).  But I like her and listen carefully albeit critically.  During one of her pants broadcasts there is no more than 30 seconds in which she states that once the hip and crotch is fit, you can add any leg. Just take the hip of the fit pattern and place the new leg below. Blend the side and inseam. Done.   That gave me a ??Huh?? moment and started me working again.

First off, here’s what I like and want to copy from the Asocna pant:  the hem finishes with a 16.5″ circumference. That’s all. The waistband treatment is given by several others including Pamela Patterns and Louise Cutting. I’ve used it several times and with a couple of tweaks.  If you haven’t noticed I love Pamela’s Pant PP113 . I use it frequently and plan to keep using it.  PP113 as currently fitted to me is wonderful when I want a 22″ hem circumference or lopped off below the knee for shorts.  My problem with PP113 is that when I try to slim the leg, my pants develop X wrinkles. I don’t like the X wrinkles.  I want my pants to either hug my leg smoothly (more lack slacks than leggings) or drop freely from the hip to a 20″ hem circumference.  I don’t give high marks  (Ok but not high) to everything in between.

I thought about Peggy’s advice to just put the desired leg onto the hip that fits. But I don’t want the Ascona leg as is.  I think those X wrinkles are ugly. I don’t want to attach a badly fitting leg to a nicely fitting hip.  Nor do I currently how to fix the wrinkles which go all up and down the inseam.  However, I do have a pant pattern that fits closely and like the leg very much:  Trudy Jansen’s Designer Jean (TJ906). It however does finish with an 18″ circumference while I’m lusting after that 16.5″ of the Ascona; and it is a 2-piece back-leg pattern while I’m desiring a single-piece leg. Nonetheless, I decided to compare TJ906 with PP113 because I’m using two known patterns which fit rather than one who’s fit I like and one I hate.   I’m comparing PP113 with TJ906 similarly to my previous comparison of 1008 (Ascona) with PP113.

The fronts of TJ906 and PP113 are amazingly similar. I didn’t expect this similarity between a jean and a trouser pattern.

I made a bit of effort before and during taking pics so that when shared the pics would be an easier to understand.  TJ906 is traced with a dark dark blue, large magic-marker. PP113 is also traced with a large magic-marker but in orange ink.

TJ906 is a jean pattern, as such  it is drafted with a separate  contour waist band to sit at or just below the natural waist when sewn. PP113 is a trouser drafted with the pants waist to sit at the natural waist.  I’ve added another 1.25″ to PP113 so it will have a self-faced waistband like the Ascona.  When finished both TJ906 and PP113 will sit about at my waist. I’ve aligned the pattern with crotch tip and straight of grains parallel.  Tj906 looks a little longer in the leg, while the PP113 has a little more ease.  Crotch curves are slightly different but both sit well on my body. Oh and both legs are the right length on my body.

The backs are a little more difficult to compare

Blue=TJ906; Orange=PP113


TJ906 is a 2 piece leg. Three if  the yoke is counted.  I’ve been tweaking the fit for my figure so what started as modest shaping has become very curvy.  As noted on I can’t put both leg pieces on top (or beneath) the PP113 to line them up. There are either huge gaps or large overlaps.   I did line up the back center leg at the crotch point with SOG’s parallel. When I look at the back crotch, I think the PP113 needs to be scooped but it works with the 22″ hem circumference.  From this pic, I can’t tell if the backs have the same amount of ease. TJ906  does looks shorter from crotch to waist (it isn’t; that’s the waistband effect again) while longer in the leg.

I think I can use the front PP113 and work on narrowing the hem to 18″ (although I lust for the 16.5).  But I’m not sure what I can do with the back legs. I shift the pattern pieces back and forth. Add the other other half of TJ906’s back leg and shift all again. Suddenly I realize that a really big difference is how the inseam is shaped.

TJ906 inseam comes almost straight down from the crotch point. Said crotch point is another significant difference. It has curved upward into a shape I generally call the “fish hook crotch”.  I decide to copy the inseam of TJ906 onto PP113. That adds at most another 1″ ease to the leg, less in most places.  I don’t think need more leg ease. In fact I was pleased to add the fish hook crotch because it  shortened the width of the thigh.  Look close. By poking upward the crotch curve is the same length, but that distance underneath the curve from side seam to inseam is at least 1.5″ less.  I don’t need the extra ease further down the leg so I measure in several places and take the same amount away along the side seam as was added to the inseam.  It makes for a straighter inseam and a curvier side seam.

Then I need a guinea pig.  And another post.  Once again I’ve talked way too much for a single blog post.


Ascona2: Fit

For the next fabric I chose another polyester which illustrates the great difference in quality polys can have. While the previous felt nasty and snagged badly, this has the quality of a high-end suiting. It has weight but is not winter heavy. It has drape without cling.  Right and wrong sides are very similar but can be differentiated. Just to extra sure, I again made a mark on the wrong side. I stitched the darts this time, because this fabric deserves the nicer fit the back dart will provide.  I serged, yes I did, I serged side seams, inseams and crotch.  I never serge side seams until the garment’s first fitting. But I serged.  I also didn’t use water-soluble thread. I stitched the elastic and waistband into place. Pressed carefully after a spritz of starch and took photos. The wonderful things about this is the pant was ready to be worn in about an hour (not counting pattern alterations.) The results:

let’s say, less than desired. The first thing that popped into my mind is “I’m deformed”. Who has a camel toe 4″ below their belly button?  Then I realized the back is unable to come up over my behind and settle at the waist where it should be.  That’s further shown by the side view, where the waistline is tilted upward and the pant buckles at the back knee. Again on the front  you see Jodhpur styling which is the back pushing forward because it can’t go lower or higher but it can come to the side.   Supposedly, this pant is drafted with a scooped back crotch.  Obviously not enough for me.  I return to the SM, scoop the crotch 3/8″ and also stitch the side seams 1/8″ deeper before taking the next picture:

So now, the waistline sits level and the Jodhpur no longer appears. But the X wrinkles in back are horrendous and the camel toe only slightly lower on my body (still not placed anatomically correct).  Also a mere 1/8 increase in side seams has revealed my underwear (see VPL in side view).

Back to the SM.   Let out the side seam.  Scoop the front crotch because the Fashion Incubator says that camel toe develops because we try to add width in the crotch space instead of at the side seam where it is needed. More pictures (it takes 3 views and 3- 6 photos to make a composite.)

If all I was able to look at was the front and side, I’d be out the door thinking I was stylin’.  However the back is clearly filled with X wrinkles all emanating from my knees. That 3/8″ knee wedge was supposed to at least alleviate this issue, not make it worse.  Looking closely I also see that the front is still rouching along the side seam.  I shortened the pant at the top 1/2″. Apparently that’s not enough. I can ignore the side seam for now, even the front twisting at the ankle but that back?

A big issue is that there are only so many thing you can do once the fabric is cut.  You can increase or decrease seam allowances. They’ve been adjusted as much as possible without negatively affecting the pant. You can scoop the crotch. Done. Front and back D-O-N-E. This is the voice of experience speaking. If you scoop too much the crotch length becomes too long. Then you have to remove the waistband and set it lower on the pant which usually also involves adjusting the darts and side seams to fit the new position on your body.  This crotch feels wonderfully comfortable as well as looking nice. I’m not scooping any further. My issue at the moment is not the crotch but  the X wrinkles.

The other things I know that might fix the X wrinkles, can be pinned now but not made now.

On the left, I pinned out a 3/4″ deep wedge under the bum as suggested by my commenter. The wedge does have a good effect but didn’t completely remove the wrinkles.  J Sterns recommends pinning that wedge at an angle up and over the bum (instead of under the bum). She (Sterns) says that the horizontal tuck won’t work when it is trasferred to the tissue.  It’s still not enough to completely remove the X wrinkles. Both leave questions in my mind, now that I’ve shortened the back side seam, what do I do?  If I do nothing, my front side seam is going to be 1.5″ longer than the back.  The front is already too long. That’s why I have those diagonal lines between waist and side seam above the hip crease.  Also, I can’t take out any more ease across my bum. Just increase the side seams 1/8″ caused VPL.  If I make J Sterns alteration, how do I offset the loss of ease across my butt.

I’d also like to know what the net result is.  Are we changing the grain in relation to the leg? Are we changing the way the leg joins the torso? What’s happening here?  I want to know why because if I understand why, I can do it again.  I mean I can look at a blouse pattern and say I need an NSA (narrow shoulder adjustment).  Because I know my shoulder is shorter. I can measure my shoulder, measure the pattern and determine how much I’m shorter than the pattern.  Same think with the back waist length adjustment. I can measure my back and compare it to the tissue.  I can determine how much my back is shorter than the pattern.

While the tucks above could help, I’ve had the horrible experience of pinning now, transferring to the tissue; making a new pair and still having the X wrinkles.  I need to give it a rest. Just contemplate the issue for a few days. This pair?  Well I made shorts:

Cut off 21 inches and all the leg issues just disappear.


Thanks for following along. I’m always open to suggestions. Someday, I’ll find the “why” answer. That’s the answer that will make it possible for me to use any pant pattern instead of the few patterns that by an  accident in drafting avoided the issue.                                                                


Ascona: New Fabric


I ripped the elastic out of my muslin, tossed it and began, not quite anew. I walked the side seams and found that the front is 1/2″ longer than the back. Is this something I did? I’ve learned to tape my tissue in place while tracing and immediately mark the straight of grain and knee so that I can keep the tissue and original aligned. Even so, the tissue can bubble slightly. So yes it could be something I did. I’m just surprised that I didn’t notice a 1/2″ gain.  Even more surprised that my care in aligning failed to avoid this error. I trued the length (removing 1/2″ from top of the front) then added the 1″ I need so the waistband will sit at my waist and I won’t be unconsciously yanking the pant up into an ugly view.  Then I carefully considered the  3 possible alterations to address the knee wrinkles.

TUCK ON THE SIDE SEAM.  I’m not sure how much or where to the tuck on the side seam. I understand it does not extend all the way to the inseam, so maybe it’s more of a dart/wedge than a tuck.

FISH EYE DART under the bum as described by Peggy Saggers.  I’ve used the fisheye dart before without success and don’t have high hopes that shifting the position of the eye is the solution. While I like Peggy and watch all here broadcast, my attemps with 2 of her patterns have been, lets say less than stellar. Often she explains something but I don’t understand her explanation and she downright says many things that contradict my personal experience.  I think I’d rather try something that would makes sense to me and is different from what I’ve tried before. Which brings me to:

INSEAM LENGTH AT THE KNEE.  An alteration I haven’t tried but find weird.  Interestingly, all my pants, RTW and self-sewn seem to shrink about 1/2 along the inseam.  I mean when I’m folding or pressing my pants, the inseam takes a position 1/2″ shorter than the side seam at the hem. I know the hems match when purchased or first sewn, but with only a few wearings, they shrink. At one time, I thought it might be the result of drafting patterns with inseams shorter in the back than the front. I’ve intentionally altered the inseams to be the same exact length. Guess what? After a few wearings, the inseam takes a position higher/shorter than the side seam.  At a minimum, trying the knseam length would be worthwhile to see if it would help either issue (shrink and wrinkle). But I tell you this alteration just goes against my grain.  Picture in your mind, the typical knock kneed individual. To me her legs  angle inward from hip to knee. The knee is turns inward, and then her lower leg splays outward slightly. The whole appearance of her leg is governed by that turned in knee.  My knee does not turn sharply inward.

Front Leg

No one looks at me and says “bow legs”.  They look and say “yeah, kind of knock knee by not exactly. ”  Take a close look at the angle of my leg above. Then consider how the inseam alteration would change the angle of a pant’s leg:

I’m not  Photoshop literate and my drawing skills are rudimentary. I’m hoping you can see an outline of a typical pant. The “right” labeled leg represents the unaltered pattern. The “left” labeled leg has had a wedge added at the knee. That’s the recommended alteration to add inseam length along the knee. It might work if I was severally knock kneed. I’m not so sure it will work for me now. The leg’s of my pants already twist forward just a bit, will changing the fabric grain on the lower half of my leg help or hurt? Sigh, it’s still the alteration I’m most hopeful about so:


  • Leg length
    • -2″
    • -1/4″ to create my preferred 1.25″ hem
  • Ease
    • +1/2″ along back side seam
    • -1/2″ through 1/4″ front, vertical tuck
    • net change to tissue = 0
  • Inseam length
    • +1/2″ wedge at knee both front and back
  • Waist
    • +1″ to top for cut on waist band



Ascona: The First Fit

I’ve been setting aside fabrics that I don’t really want to wear (for various reasons) but don’t want to donate either.  These have become my “Muslin Fabric-Stack”. From this stack I fished out a woven in a light taupe color. The fabric has no stretch. It does fit the “drapey” requirement.  It feels like a nasty polyester but when ironed smells like wool. If there is any wool is there only to elicit olfactory responses because wool will shed wrinkles to some degree. I pressed carefully, because I want to know which are fit  and which are fabric wrinkles. While heated, the wrinkles would flatten out on the ironing board.  When cooled, the wrinkles returned.  Not a wool characteristic.

Being a lighter weight fabric , I switched to a size 10 needle in my sewing machine. It’s hard to find ELX needles for the serger in a size 10.  From time to time, I find size 11’s which to me aren’t much different from the 12’s already in the machine. I didn’t switch out serger needles. No 10 or 11’s on hand.

The fabric looks much the same on both sides, so I chose a “right” side and marked the “wrong” side with chalk.   I wanted to be able to immediately identify right from wrong during sewing.  I’ve had the experience of not realizing until finished that a piece has been reversed.  Even if this is a muslin, I want to do well. Not best perhaps, but well.  I immediately serge finished all the edges. It raveled as it was being serged so I think that was a good idea.  Too bad I didn’t have anything smaller than a 12 ELX though because the edges puckered.  I couldn’t even press them out and of course I couldn’t tell they were puckering right away. Didn’t even notice until I clipped serger tails.

At the SM, I used a long stitch to construct side seams, inseams  and crotch then switched to water-soluble thread to hem and add the waist elastic.  I like this type waistband to wear and it is very easy to sew but it’s h*ll to rip out if the fit needs to be adjusted. Hence the WST that can be spritzed away.  Note, I did not stitch the darts.  I did mark and match the leg notches before stitching. When finished, I pressed the fabric again– hopeful that this time this nasty fabric will smooth out and stay smooth– and then I tried on the pants for a first fitting.

To say I was horrified would be an understatement.

I don’t like pube-hugging garments.  No one I know wears such garments. (In public, anyway; and I’m not saying there aren’t people would consider this fine. I’m just not one of them.)

Then I remembered that this pant should sit 1″ below the waist and tried pulling it down into place.

While that does improve the pant’s appearance and feel,  my inclination is to pull up and make them sit at my waist. For fitting purposes, because I’m never going to wear this nasty fabric, I removed the row of stitching that held the waistband concealed into place.  Now I could sit the pants in a “mentally” comfortable  position.

Finally something I might be able to work with.   Loes recommends adding 1″ evenly to the top for the waistband if you don’t like the below waist position.  It’s not that the pant sitting 1″ below looks bad, it’s that I unconsciously pull it back up into the position of the first yucky photo.  But I question the “evenly” applies in my case. The front crotch feels too long. (It also measures 2″ longer than PP113 and I anticipated shortening the front crotch length that much. The back crotch length of the Ascona and PP113 is the same).  I also see rouching occurring on the front of the side seam. That and  the diagonals seen under the front waistband usually indicate my front is too long between waist and leg joint.  Some of my best fitting pants have been eased not at the crotch but along the side seam between crease and waist with the back being the longer piece.

I would say this particular fabric is too light for this style.  It (the fabric) might have worked in my PP113 which has at least 2″ more ease across the hip and 4 more at the hem. It might have been lovely in palazzo pant or full skirt.  In this slim tapered style, I don’t like how it hangs from the waist. It tends to grab and cling.   The butt looks funny in each picture because of the way the fabric has clung. Oh and the fronts aren’t all that terrific either.

Mostly I’m worried about is the knee wrinkles.  On my left leg the wrinkles clearly form around the knee.  That’s a little less obvious on the right leg but what I do to one leg will be done to the other.  The question is:  what will I do?. I’ve made many changes to many patterns trying to fix the knee wrinkles. Not with a lot of success either. Most of my success has come by buying patterns that are drafted for mature women. My knees don’t turn inward as defined by the “knock kneed” term. However, there is a pad of fat situated on the inner back portion of the knee preventing my thighs from touching.  Often, I look like I’m standing with my legs apart but feel like legs are touching. Because they touch at the knee.  The recommended knock knee alteration does not help.  I revisited that alteration recently and made a 2″ alteration.   It was no more helpful that 1/2″ tried a few years ago.  8-10 years ago I made the fish-eye dart alteration under the bum. That was ineffective too.  I had located the eye midway beneath my bum.  From Peggy Saggers, I understand the eye should be situated over the inseam so that the dart affects both front and back pieces whereas the position I located the eye affected only the back piece. I could try Peggy’s recommendation. I’ve also heard of adding length on the inseam at the knee which doesn’t extend to the side seam (a dart rather than tuck or slash and spread). Haven’t tried that, yet. A commentator made a 3rd recommendation: taking a tuck on the side seam beneath the bum.   I’ve never seen this and am unsure exactly where that should occur. But it’s something I haven’t tried before and definitely consider a contender.  For now:

Planned changes

  • -1/2″ ease from front
  • +1″ to top of back waistband
  • Choose another fabric.




Ascona: Pattern Considerations

I traced View A size XXL (for reasons given yesterday) but then decided I wanted to compare it with View B. There has been some discussion about the crotch of View A being different from View B.  I wanted to know.  So my XXL View A is traced in BLUE ink. View B is traced and the difference filled in with GREEN Ink. Let me tell you it’s not easy to take these kinds of pictures.  I don’t do this often and don’t have a good set up. Nonetheless I think we can see how View a and View B differ:


This is the front. I think the substantive changes are the leg length (of course) and the narrowing which occurs along the side seam. That narrowing starts just below the waist and increases up to about 1/2″ before View B’s hem.  There is also minor changes in the bottom of the front crotch curve  and again under the front crotch point along the inseam.  Had someone else not commented about the crotch being different, I would have thought the crotch differences were due to how I traced the pattern.

Changes to the back are similar

The substantive change is leg length and width along the side seam.  There is again some change in the inseam just beneath the crotch point.

There are no changes to the waist or the length of the rise.  Until I lined the pattern pieces up carefully, I didn’t think there were even the minor differences noted (other than the leg length).

I would be surprised if the changes in the crotch area affected fit. Although I do have to admit that I sometimes make 1/4″ changes to achieve my desired fit.   Personally, when I want a shorter leg, I won’t be copying View B.  I’ll just fold the leg up to my desired length.

Having compared the two views of the Ascona, I was curious as to how the Ascona compared with my TNT, Pp113.  I placed the Ascona on top and traced PP113 with ORANGE ink.

I first tried aligning the pattern pieces by placing the Straight on Grain Lines on top of each other. Apparently the two pattern cutters don’t place their SOG’s in the same place. I switched to keeping the SOG’s parallel and aligning the crotch points.


I added orange lines to the pic to denote where PP113 would have appeared if I traced at this time.  I felt like they were too out of alignment to compare.  So I aligned the crotch and inseams as well as possible.

With this alignment, the fronts look very similar and kind of what I’m expecting.    I’m expecting the slimmer legs. I did buy it for that reason. I was surprised by leg length but then remembered I have shorter legs and I always shorten leg length on patterns (and most RTW). What really surprised me was how different the grain lines are.   That is a PLUS in my mind. I’m looking for a different pattern. If there is nothing substantially different between the two, why am I bothering to fit a new pattern?

The backs are more remarkable:

The Ascona front rise was at least 1″ taller than my PP113. I’m surprised that the back is not. The Ascona uses a cut-on waistband.  Both back and front should be taller than my PP113. However, the Ascona’s crotch is obviously deeper by at least 1/2″ which may help.  I was hoping for more of a change to the curvature of the back inseam.  I always have excess fabric in this area.  I was hoping that the slimmer (tapered) leg would also take away some of that excess fabric.  By now the leg length was expected as were the much desired and slimmer legs. I was relieved when this detailed comparison revealed that I only needed 1/2″ extra along the side seam to give me as much rear ease as the PP113 provided.


  • Leg length
    • -2″
    • -1/4″ to create my preferred 1.25″ hem
  • Ease
    • +1/2″ along back side seam


When first published, I was not really interested in Loes Hinse’s latest pant  pattern, The Ascona .

Then I  read the June 2015 issue of  “the Look” .  The  comparison of the Oxford and the Ascona pant patterns was eye-opening. (Comparison starts  on Page 4. Do scroll down inside the PDF. It is well worth your time.)  Seeing how narrow the legs were when compared to the Oxford, well I had a sudden intense desire for this pattern.  While I love my TNT’s,  I cannot slim the legs to my desired hem circumference without the ugly X wrinkles appearing.   I’ve watched several on-line courses, attended  fitting classes, read books  and I keep hearing the same dismissive, off-handed downright condescending instruction: just slim the leg. Most instruction focus on fitting the crotch and totally ignore the fact that there are other parts of the body like knees and thighs which affect a nice looking pant.   I’m interested in the Ascona because it is  drafted and tested for a slimmer leg without being a jegging/legging/tight.

I purchased the pattern at the on-line site, Casual Elegance. Paid with Paypal and had my pattern in less than a week.  The pattern is printed on heavy weight paper and comes with 3 pages of legal sized, type-written instructions.  I checked the envelope for the recommended size. Size large is just 1/2″ smaller than my own hip measurement. But I’ve not had luck with any pattern by choosing the smaller size.  I end up making so many alterations, that the fitted pattern hardly  resembles it’s source. Whereas choosing the next larger size, my additional alteration usually is making the side seams deeper (7/8 instead of 5/8).  So I settled on what should be the too-big XL.

Then I read the instruction indicating that the pattern includes 1″ of hip ease and recommendation to  measure the pattern before determining  size.  Well that was fun.  Many pattern contain hip lines so you know where to measure and change length. The Ascona does not.   There are no  marking suggesting this is the hip. There are notches to suggest knee and dart but where to measure the hip is not indicated.  I know that the horizontal measurement will change depending upon the point at which it is measured.  I do have a rough idea of where the widest point of the hip occurs on a pant pattern, but a quarter-inch up or down could be significantly different.  I know the hip is not the widest part of the pant pattern  i.e. the hip measurement does not include the part of the crotch that goes between your legs. Add to this is that fact that my widest point is at 6.5″ down from the waist. Most people find that the place which sticks out the furtherest is 7-8″ down from the waist.  I finally pulled out my TNT PP113 and measured approximately the same distance down on the Ascona as the hip line drawn on PP113 …

and started hunting up the page with the suggested fabrics. How the heck did I misplace that sheet? Well I did. After 15 minutes of searching for the sheet, I turned to the internet. Just my luck, today is my day to share the bad port.  My community is replacing our infrastructure. We’re all going to be all fiber shortly after the 4th of July.  In the meantime, we have failing cards which the company doesn’t want to replace because they are very expensive ($20K each) and will not be in use when we transfer to fiber. I went back to hunting for the missing slip of paper because my internet connection insisted that the DNS server didn’t recognize any URL’ss including the ones he just recognized eariler this morning.  Knowing the recommended fabric  was critical because if I measured at the right place, even the XXL has negative ease. I thought the pant was drafted for woven fabrics (which would require positive ease).  I would not have purchased the pattern otherwise. Patterns drafted for stretch fabrics are typically too tight. On me, they’re all dancer’s tights no matter what the envelope calls them.  I would have thought that an internet outage would have increased my sewing time but no….  Instead, I opted for running downtown and doing a few errands.

Hate running errands they eat up the whole day. When I returned internet was up and I promptly searched and found:

“Suggested fabric: Drapey fabric, microfiber, rayon, silk, light weight wool, and light weight linen blend.”

Not a word or hint about knits and stretch. Although it does appear a stiff or firm fabric wouldn’t give the best results. I was preplexed. How was I going to use this pattern if it had negative ease?

I pulled out PP113’s front and back, smoothed them out and laid on top of View A’s pattern pieces.  The XXL and 113 fronts were nearly the same. 113’s back was around an inch wider than the Ascona.  My 113 is generously eased. It’s not quite a trouser but it does have more ease than a slack. I’ve removed ease several times but I’m at the point that even removing 1/4″ causes VPL in the back. I’m hoping that the Ascona, drafted to be slim, will not have those wrinkles. There’s still the possibility that I have measured in the wrong spot.  I’m guestimating and assuming.  Everyone knows what assuming really means. I think about this for a few seconds and decide I’d rather start with a pattern I know has enough fabric to cover my rear. Instead of the XL, I’m making the XXL.

Ah just for fun, I thought I’d include the official description of this pattern:

“Description:    Slim cut pant with tapered leg, back darts, lightly elasticized waist. Two pant lengths included.”

Since, I’m not choosing the closest size, or next up, I wonder how much my version will resemble the description.


of course, this story continues

PS found the pattern cover sheet.  It was in the scanner to be added to my personal pattern directory. Oh the trials of continuing to mature (aging)