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.



1 thought on “Ascona: The First Fit”

  1. Not a bad looking muslin. Thought it interesting that the right back leg didn’t have the wrinkles at the knee. I wonder if having the fabric hanging up on the bum may have something to do with the lack of wrinkles. Would be interesting to see if moving the fabric to appropriately the same place on your left bum would get rid of the drag lines at the knee. Good luck.

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