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



2 thoughts on “Ascona: New Fabric”

  1. Hi,
    I’ve been following your attempts to get a perfect fit on pants. Am impressed with and inspired by your perserverence. I’ve been stymied too with attempts to narrow the leg. I’m rooting for you to find a solution!!!

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