Talia: After Thoughts

Fitting Talia was a much longer journey than I think it needed to be.

I started right.  Jen provides a worksheet, which I used, in her Craftsy Class. It’s basically a list of critical places to measure in the first column. Second is the same critical measures but from the pattern. Third column is the calculated differences. According to that chart my circumferences were within tolerances plus/minus 1/4″.  The leg length changes( -2 above knee and -2 above hem) were spot on. But the crotch was different. Her chart would have me adding 3.25″ to the back and subtracting 1/4″ from the front. I measured a finished pant and started from there.  I did indeed add 4″ height but only to offset  the 4″ hip dart that I removed. a push? So far I have removed the 1/4″ from the front crotch rise but may need to remove more. Jen does state that these are beginning points and will change according to what the muslin reveals. Right now, I’d said thumbs-up because I started with enough circumference in the right places i.e. at about the right lengths.

I may haven added time to the process when I worked with Peggy Sager’s Hip Line Dart. The hip line dart is an easier alteration than Jens diagonal dart but required a 2nd alteration to increase the back rise. The 3rd alteration of scooping is something I usually do to finesse the pattern into my shape.  I may not keep using the hip line dart because my center back still dips/sags. When I used Jen’s Diagonal Dart on other patterns I did not have a CB problem. Jen’s dart is more difficult to transfer  to tissue and would require a 2nd alteration to level the hems. Plus, Jen’s dart doesn’t completely remove all the back wrinkles. The crotch can only be distorted so much and then other issues develop. As Jen says, sometimes it is better to accept a few wrinkles.  Maybe it’s better to accept a little sagging?

I also added time when I corrupted, Tissue 3. Tissue 3 should have been near perfect instead of a totally wasted piece of good fabric. Then it took time to discover what went wrong. Sure I could have skipped that process but I think it’s important to understand errors — mostly so I can avoid them in the future. I know that the mere tracing of an original and then making minor length changes can result in errors in the tissue.  Usually I’m not off more then 1/8″ . I discover and correct that during truing the seams. This time, I not only introduced some error, I got the whole crotch angled incorrectly. I’m not sure  how that happened.  When I trace, I tape my original to my cutting table and tape my tracing paper on top.  I draw my grainline and at least one lengthen/shorten line immediately.  It’s a quick on-the-go check.  If I see these 2 lines have shifted, which can happen through the action of the pen pressing against the paper-I know to stop and realign.  The knock knee alteration canted the grainline above the knee. I intended and thought I was using the knee HBL and grainline below the knee.  When I removed the KK on Tissue 02, I thought I retrued the grain. At the time, it seemed that starting with the original and making fewer alterations would have resulted in a more accurate pattern. I’m thinking the error occurred when I smoothed the crotch alterations.

I’m sure, dead-positive, that fabric is a big part of the equation. I expected the 100% Rayon used in Muslin 02 to soften and meld slightly with the body. It ‘melded’ enough to cover any pattern defects.I’m certain of that because Peri required changes to the waist, crotch and ease distribution that weren’t even hinted at by the Rayon muslin. While Peri is finished and thankfully, wearable, I still have an issue with the back crotch and maybe side-to-front lengths.

Summary of  ALL Tissue changes:

(that includes Tissue 01, 02 and Peri version)

  1. Traced Size 18
  2. Leg Length
    1. -2″ above the knee
    2. -2″ below the hem.
  3. Crotch
    1. +1″ to back extension
    2. -4″ Back Hip Line Dart
    3. +4″ Back Rise
    4.  -3/4″ Scoop — not transfered to tissue because the scoop depth can be different with different fabrics
    5. Align front and back at stitching point; trim excess extension length (makes easier to align when sewing)
  4. Seam Allowances
    1. +1/2 side seams
  5. Ease
    1. -1″ Front
    2. +1″ Back
  6. Front 3/4″ horizontal tuck below waistband
  7. Hem turn 1.25″ instead of 1″
  8. Asymmetrical offset
    1. trimmed 1/4″ at waist from right front and back – not transferred to tissue. My left side does not need the offset.  To me, it’s easier to make the adjustment at finishing instead of trying to make full left and right sides.

I hope I’ve written down all the changes and copied them all back to Tissue 02.  Despite the drama, I give Talia Two Thumbs Up.  It finished with a 16″ hem and without masses of wrinkles or excess ease over my back thigh.  Talia is, to me, a slack fit.  Not really body conscious but close enough to indicate a woman is inside while loose enough to indicate I’m a lady. This is the fit I’ve searched for and wanted for a very long time. It seems during the last decade we’ve either had form fitting, body conscious or total body concealment fitting styles. I’m really happy to have purchased and made the effort to get the fit I desire. Without a doubt there will be more copies of Talia in my wardrobe.



Talia: Fit 5 and Final.

Fit 05

Despite my earlier and extreme annoyance, I’m beginning to lose steam with this project. I decreased the back side seam allowance as much as possible.  The basting is now not even a thread over from the 1/4″ serge finish.  I marked the front side seam 1″ and basted at 1.25″.  No changes to the tissue, yet.  I still had a little poofing CB just under the WB.  I marked 1/4″ into the back  at the crotch under the waistband;  fetched my curve and redrew my back crotch. Basted along that new line  and pressed open.

Time to turn my attention to scooping the crotch. I’ve done everything I can do with the rise/top of the crotch.  Adding rise, increased leg wrinkles. Lowering rise, creates discomfort across my rear.  J. Sterns advises scooping the crotch at this point.  It’s one of the things I love about her.  She doesn’t say ‘never scoop the crotch’ or ‘never alter my pattern’ (no I’m not working with her pattern but most designers will scream that phrase even if you are the Hunchback of Notre Dame’).  In fact during one our email exchanges on Craftsy, she asked if I had scooped yet. Jen says a 3/8″ scoop is about average.  Most ‘experts’ recommend starting with 1/4″ and continuing to scoop 1/4″ until the crotch is comfortable.  Knowing my butt, I marked 1/2″ then hand sketched the  new curve.  I know from experience that  a J scoop or fish-hook crotch works better for me. My back crotch seems to be lower than the front. Only Palmer and Pletsch address this calling it (if I remember correctly) a high-low anomaly.

I sketch my new crotch starting at the straight of the back crotch and go straight down until  I’m 1/2″ below; then curve upward to levelly join the front crotch.  Here’s the catch: the newly stitched crotch  has no effect until the seam allowance has been trimmed.  Since this fabric does ravel a little, I use my pinking blade and trim about 1/4″ away from the new stitching.  I didn’t get it quite right and so trimmed a little more on a second pass.

So did my changes improve the fit?

I think so. The poof is gone at CB and my left leg looks really good but not perfect. That could be a fabric thing.  The right leg still needs work. I think that is an asymmetrical hip thingy.  Not sure I’m going to address it.  I’m relieved that scooping the back crotch also improves the front. IOW I’m not seeing a camel toe below the waistband (and I’m not seeing camel toe at my lady parts either).  The legs look like they might be a little long. I kind of prefer new pants to be just a tisch long.  Average life span of pants, for me, is about 3 years. I’ve found that many fabrics shrink during that time and what was once a tisch long becomes shorter than I want to wear. The wrinkles on the front right leg are more pronounced and appear to be twisting a little.  I wonder if that too is part of the asymmetrical thingy.


I’ve manipulated the front/back ease enough that the waistband side seams don’t exactly meet the leg side seams.  I’m opting to ignore this design feature because I’ll probably cover the waistband with a T-shirt or blouse and it won’t be visible to anyone other than me.   I’m more concerned about the waistband being higher in front than back. I’m wondering if I should I shorten the front crotch now. The CB still dips a little in back. I’m reluctant to scoop any more.  There is a point of diminishing returns. In the case of pants I find myself in a loop of scooping at the bottom of the crotch  for comfort and then pulling the pant up at the waist to make it look good.  Whatever I tweaks I make at this point, won’t be transferred to the tissue. I’m tweaking for fabric characteristic more than actual fit. I’m still painfully aware that the Rayon muslin needed no tweaking or changes even at the first fitting let alone the 5 fittings I’ve gone through with this Periwinkle Cotton/Poly. As usual, fabric makes the difference.

I think I’ve pretty much done all I can.  I finish by serging all the seams along the basting line, except for the crotch.  Before serging the crotch, I draw a new line scooping another 1/4″ for a total of 3/4″.  Normally, when using a really nice fabric like this I’d prefer to leave the seam allowances wider than the 1/4″ my serger trims. But I’m dealing with multiple off-set seams and I’m tired of this game. It’s faster and maybe more accurate to serge away instead of trying to rip and trim.  After pressing the hems up 1.25″ instead of the 1″ indicated by the pattern, I used the blind hem stitch of my Dream.  I’m not finding that sweet spot like I did with my Ruby.  Either I miss 3 out 4 times, or I take a little bigger bite than needed. With matching thread and careful pressing, it really isn’t  obvious. I guess Ruby spoiled me. She blind-hemmed as well I hand-hem. Ruby’s embroidery only status is permanent. That dang hopping foot is not all that easy to switch out and back.  Of course the waistband was basted as well and had to be taken apart and restitched with permanent stitching. When I reattached, I offset the right front and back 1/4″.  Effectively lifting the right side 1/4″.  Did it work?

The side is near perfect.  My pics are lightened 70%.  IRL I can’t even seen those shadows.  I’m pleased with what I think of as ‘summer length’.  I prefer my jeans and dress pants to be a little longer — about 1/2″ off the floor.  I don’t like cropped pants at all but I do find the ankle length to be cooler in the summer.  Admittedly the shorter length is also needed because of the 16″ finished hem circumference — the biggest reason I bought this pant pattern. Oh I like the waistband and look forward to using the welt pocket but it is the over all slim-not-tight fit terminating in a slim hem circumference that I love. I’ve been looking for this fit for a long time.  It seems to me this last decade we’ve had the choice of either wide, flared legs or dancer’s tights. Neither are particularly flattering for the ,um, mature matronly figure.

Despite multiple session offsetting the side seams, my ease addition was limited to 1.5″.  When I make ease alterations, I transfer a full inch which because there are two backs means 2 full inches across the hip.  I think I still need that extra half inch. The final 3/4″ scoop did make a huge difference. The crotch is comfortable and even though the CB still appears to dip, it doesn’t feel bad. It doesn’t feel like I’m about to have a plumber’s moment. I think that the 1/4″ length  I removed at the last second (by offsetting the waistband 1/4″ lower on the right side ) make a huge difference in the pants.  I may increase that change to 3/8″ on future pants. For now, I’m delighted to see real improvement.

I’m still getting some verticals and diagonals on the front which indicate a combination of too much ease over all and too much length at the side seams. I think they are what’s causing a hint of camel toe. That 1/4″ offsetting of the waistband has improved the front legs. They look alike even if not totally unwrinkled.

Not showing, I still didn’t get rid of that side-seam bump between front and back waistband. It’s small but enough that I can see it.  It’s enough, that if you brought it to me, I would think it needed to be fixed.  Having basted, ripped and restitched several times, I’m not sure what I need to do next. I’ve seen this type waistband in RTW. It can be done perfectly and it must be easy — once you know the trick.

Overall, I’m really happy with this pair of pants. Sure I see room for improvement. When do I not? But let’s face it, I’m fine standing in the bank line:


Talia: Periwinkle Cotton

Initially I planned to present this as a single post. But it got much too long as I detailed my changes and process.  Apologies to you, the reader, because I really need the documentation for future reference.  

In case you couldn’t tell, I was really frustrated with my 3rd Talia–the one that should have been wearable.  I should have been tweaking fit differences caused by fabric weight and stretch. Instead I was desperately trying to salvage a pair of pants I need for my wardrobe.  I need a dressy pair of slacks/trousers in a navy blue. Exasperated I hung the disaster on a hanger and stopped for dinner and a movie.

During that interlude, I decided I really did want to recheck the tissues of Muslin 02 and 03 for differences. I emptied the garbage can and separated the tissue for test 01 and  02. Smoothing with my hands and dabbing at the soft drink which splattered in the trash, eventually I had all the pieces from all 3 muslins.  BTW, why is it you can drain a soft drink can dry but once upended another quarter of a cup leaks out?  I compared my second and third tissues and shared that in yesterday’s post.  I decided to utilize Tissue 02 and fix the front grain line, front-inseam leg-length and notches; and add 1″ to the top of the rise of the back. It’s easier to match the stitching line at the crotch if the back crotch doesn’t extend to a point.  I’d already marked the stitching lines and located the back and front crotch stitch points.  I pinned them together and marked where the back crotch extended beyond the front.  I folded the back crotch at that line putting the point out of sight but not removed from the tissue  Until I’m sure of the final fit, I don’t want to make unrecoverable changes.

Then I hunt for a fabric.  I do not have another rayon similar to Muslin 02. But I did find a cotton poly that was manufactured to look like linen.  It mimics the appearance of linen but has the comfort of cotton and the polyester resistance to wrinkling. It too has a nice drape. I’ve used similar fabrics before (same fibers, different colors) and know it becomes a wonderful to wear trouser/slack. Additionally, while it is loosely woven, it did not unravel before I could serge all cut sides as did the Rayon of Muslin 02.

I cut the waistband first and another 18″ off the very same roll of CLD elastic as used in the Muslin 03.  I emphasize that because I basted the elastic to the back waistband; interfaced the front waistband and stitched the top of the front waistband and its facing together before tucking the back into the front and stitching the sides.  I did not understitch the front waistband. I decided I needed to do something different if I wanted a different result.  I definitely wanted to get rid of that bump where front and back waistband meet at the side seams.    I then stepped into and pulled up the waistband.  Remember that emphasized VERY?  Well the waistband fit just as nicely as Muslin 02 and completely unlike #03. Grrrrrrr!  It was the same roll of elastic. The same cut length! I will not believe that the mere lack of understitching on the front waistband made the difference. Don’t even try to tell me.

I serge finished all the outside edges of both back and front pieces.  Bast the inseams and crotches at 3/8″.  Marking the wedge I added to increase the back rise length, I baste a line along the top of back leg 1″ down from the edge at CB sloping to zero at the side seam on both right and left backs. I wanted to try on the pant without utilizing the added 1″ back rise.

To my delight, the first try-on was significantly better than Muslin #03 although not as good as Muslin 02. There was a poof at center back; which is also definitely dipped down and the tush felt tight.  I see that I walked the leg side seams from knee to hem but didn’t walk from knee to waist. The front side seam is definitely longer than the back side seam.  Need to fix that.

Fit 01

Ignoring the other issues, I ripped the back waistband  and stitched again to incorporate the available  1″ rise.  Ahhh. Knew that was the right decision as soon as I pulled the pants up and settled them around my waist. However the pictures tell a different story. Both front and back leg look worse than Fit 01 and there are still some other very obvious issues.

Fit 02

So first corrections

  • Walk the !@!! entire side seam.
  • Baste the CB crotch in a more natural curve.
  • Turn and press hems.

Fit 03

Despite vowing not to buy another Peggy Sagers pattern unless I get way smarter, I will forever be grateful for her demonstrations with the french curve.  I’ve had a french curve for close to 40 years. Bought it when I was in high school. Which came in handy when my college classes required I have but never use. Had no clue of its usefulness.  It was Peggy’s repeated demonstrations of laying the ruler down, matching the curve and noting the numbers which taught me how very valuable this tool can be.  After watching her, I bought a second curve.  I used it now to determine how to reshape the back crotch curve.  Using 02 Tissue, I figured out how much depth  I would want to remove. Made a tick mark. Then aligned the curve and rotated it to the mark. I pulled one leg inside the other and then chalked the same curve onto my fabric.

I ripped the CB seam and stitched along the new back crotch line with water-soluble thread. Ah WST one of the great sewing inventions.  Do you know you can put a pin at the point you want to stop ripping, then sharply pull apart the two seam allowances and it will quit ripping at the pin?  Easiest way to undo stitching. Ever.

Pin stopping point. Rip. Stops automatically where the pin is!

The side seams were handled a little differently. First I carefully walked the front and back tissue to discover that the front was indeed longer (3/4″).   On the tissue I marked and made a tuck just below the waistline.  I didn’t tape-it like I-meant-it.  I pinned, for now.  I’m not sure that I need only to lower the side seam or if the entire front rise is too long.

On my muslin, I trimmed a 3/4″ wedge from side seam zeroing at about 6″ away from center front.  I have my fingers crossed that’s going to be correct. Every time I trim,  I  see that can of spinach saying “You’ll be Sorrrrrrrrrrrrry”.

After offsetting the back and waistband 1/2″, I basted the waistband and pants, again.  I think I need more back rise. It certainly feels comfortable with an extra full inch. But the legs look worse for it. So I thought I’d try something in-between i.e. one-half inch. Before trying the pants on and photoing, I turned the hems up 1″ and lightly pressed.  To me, the legs never look right until the hem is in place and not puddling on the ground. So how is Fit 03:

Fit 03


Um, improving.  I draw your attention to the pic furthest right, the side view.  The side seam looks great.  May have a little dimple where I stopped ripping. I think the front looks like I need to remove vertical ease. Like there’s too much circumference, but when I look at the back I think “Oh No. That’s not VPL?”   Not quite VPL but pretty close.  Peggy says it doesn’t matter where the side seam is. Circumference is circumference. Either we’re not asking the right question or she’s never experience a body like mine.  Don’t you agree, I need a size smaller in front and a size bigger in back? You know, just a little shifting of the circumference?  Except for TJ906, with every pant pattern I’ve fit and most of my blouses as well, one of the final things I do is remove 1″ circumference from the front and add 1″ circumference to the back. I could see following Sandra Betzina’s advice to start by tracing different sizes for both halves of my body.  But, I’m always optimistic that the next pattern will be perfect for me ……  and that’s probably pretty dumb.

I decide that these pants are beginning to settle into place and that I will make the next changes one at a time.  Although I see more back leg wrinkles than I did with Fit01, the crotch feels comfortable in back and maybe a bit long in front. I’d rather not fix the crotch  if it isn’t a problem. What if I really just need more ease across my rear? I have a little play room with the side seam allowances.  They are stitched at 2cm or 5/8″.  I offset front and back side seams so that I’m adding to the back but removing ease from the front

…And take more pictures.

Fit 04

I think I managed to add 3/4″ to the back and remove 1/2″ from the front. The front could still stand to lose some ease.   I like the side view, although the front crotch both looks and feels like it is too long.  Terribly afraid that I need to remove the remaining 1″ of rise I added to the back.  I think the back right leg is worse than the left because I have  a little body asymmetry. But I should be able to fix the left leg. Too bad this cotton fabric doesn’t soften and stretch like the rayon did.  In every picture I notice this shadowing on the front. It’s as I have camel toe some 6″ above my lady parts. Since the shadowing is in every picture, I doubt it’s just steam left from quick pressing, or transient shadow. I’ve seen a number of front problems disappear when the back crotch is corrected. I’m reluctant to make any corrections before then.

… continued tomorrow



Talia: Comparing Tissues

I really did want to know why Fabric 03 was a wadder instead of at least wearable.  I started by reviewing my fabrics and pattern changes.


  1. Fabric 1 was a cotton/poly shirting. Woven. No Lycra i.e. no stretch.
  2. I traced size 18 (2 sizes larger than Style Arc recommends)  and applied the following changes:
  3. Leg Length
    1. -2″ above the knee
    2. -2″ below the hem.
  4. Crotch
    1. +1″ to back extension
    2. +1″ top of back crotch
  5. Seam Allowances
    1. +7/8 side seams
  6. Knee Knock
    1. 1/4″ add to inseam remove from side seam.
  7. Trued all seams


  1. Fabric 02 Muslin 02 using a loosely woven 100% rayon.
  2. Traced Tissue 01
  3. Removed the KK
  4. Crotch
    1. -4″ Hip line
    2. +4″ Rise

Summary of changes To Tissue 02

  • Fabric loosely woven 100% rayon
  • I traced size 18 (2 sizes larger than Style Arc recommends)  and applied the following changes:
  • Leg Length
    • -2″ above the knee
    • -2″ below the hem.
  • Crotch
    • +1″ to back extension
    • +1″ top of back crotch
    • -4″ Back Hip Line Dart
    • +4″ Back Rise
  • Seam Allowances
    • +7/8 side seams
  • All seams trued (I thought)



  1. Fabric cotton/lycra twill
  2. Retraced Size 18
  3. Leg Length
    1. -2″ above the knee
    2. -2″ below the hem.
  4. Crotch
    1. +1″ to back extension
    2. +1″ top of back crotch
    3. -4″ Back Hip Line Dart
    4. +4″ Back Rise
  5. Seam Allowances
    1. +1/2 side seams
  6. All seams trued (I thought)

Fabric 03, should be hanging in my closet now, which I is why I decided to compare Tissues 02 and 03. I wanted to regain the fit produced with Tissue 02 and did not consider Tissue 01.

I started with the fronts because I thought it would be quickest since the fewest changes were made to the fronts.  I discovered 2 differences between Tissue 02 and 03

  1. Grainline
    1. Tissue 02 was definitely skewed which made me wonder how on earth Muslin 02 could have possibly looked as good in front.
  2. Inseam length
    1.  short 3/8 between knee notch and hem.

My conclusion is that the front of Tissue 03 should have looked better than the front of Tissue02.  But it didn’t. In fact, one person commented that it appeared I had not cut the front at all but instead cut the back twice.

So I turned my attention to the backs. They weren’t that different. In fact they were more identical than the fronts. Until I looked at the

  1. angle of the crotch (as it sits in the back)
    1. aligned on top of each other, they were identical but the waists joined the back at a different angle.
    2. aligned the waists, and the back crotches are situated and angled differently.
When crotches are aligned, waists are not. Red LIne denotes Tissue 03 waist. Tissue 02 lies below and its waist extends above the Red Line.
When waists are aligned (which automatically happens when the pant is sewn) Tissue 03 Crotch drops and changes angle.

I’ve made a lot of pants. I’m absolutely convinced it’s not just a matter of enough length in the rise. The angle of the rise makes a huge difference. Many years and pounds ago, I had a pant pattern that was corrected entirely by changing its ski-slope back crotch  to an upright position.  Currently, I need more alterations than that. To put it politely, I have generous seating room. Which means that a tiny slit in the fabric (yes, I did have someone tell me all you needed was a slit) or the more commonly test-tube/vial crotch seen in the Big 4, will never give me a comfortable, nice looking pant.  I know my back rise is longer than front (also called tilted waist) and that I need the back crotch extension to be 1″ longer.  Even in Burda, the Euro Cut, patterns, I need to add to the back crotch extension. The last year I’ve been considering I might need a knock knee alterations as well. I think Tissue 02 Muslin 02 proved that’s not an issue for me.

So what’s next?  I need another muslin, hopefully wearable.






Talia: Real Fabric Gone Bad

I had a minor issue with the muslin yesterday. The bottom of the front legs twisted:

I suspected this might happen because my fabric marked notches didn’t line up.  Instead of rechecking the pattern, I let the fabric tell me how it wanted to lay.  The back was beautiful. The front looked to have a bit of excess ease and a twist above the front hem.  So before using ‘real fabric’ and making a ‘real’ pair of pants, I rechecked the pattern. In copying the notches were off. Also the leg lengths didn’t match and the hems weren’t level.  The grain was definitely off. I decided to start with a fresh copy rather than try to correct that many places. Besides, a fresh copy wouldn’t need all the alterations I’d made so far.

I traced the same size.  Reduced leg length above the knee 2″. Did the same with leg length above the hem. Total 4″ removed from the leg length.  I true my leg seams not by dividing the difference as Jen does, but by finding the curve of the original and rotating my ruler it so that it meets the drafted knee.  Had Style Arc (who drafted the Talia pattern) drafted for a shorter upper leg, that’s exactly what they would have done. I don’t need any more circumference around the thigh or knee.  There’s always daylight (today called thigh gap) between my thighs — even at my heaviest. I’ve long suspected the average woman carries more weight in her thighs than I do.  I’ve successfully  true  multiple   patterns between thigh and knee using this same procedure.

Next up was the back crotch curve.  I measured down from the top of the crotch 6-7/8″.  Same as Muslin 2. I got that measure by pinning the most prominent point of my seat while wearing Muslin 1.  Measured from waistband to pin and added 3/8″ for the included seam allowances.  Anybody see anything wrong with that?  (Seriously and not facetiously.  If I calculated wrong, I need to know.)  I drew a horizontal line at 6-7/8″ (“My Butt”) which bisected the new and true grain-line. I measured down 4″ along the crotch and folded that up to the “My Butt Line”. Huge dart. Huge. But it was huge on Muslin 2 as well.  Last thing I did to the crotch was add the 1″ extension at the tip and then true it back to the inseam at the inseam-notch.

I need that 4″ rise. On Muslin 2, I slashed the remaining rise above the “My Butt” line in 4 places and added 4″. It wasn’t enough. Muslin 02 while looking quite nice, was pulling down at CB even before I sat down. I needed another 1″.  For the Real Fabric, I slashed and added 5″ to the rise.

Taped everything in place like I meant it and then said “Wow that looks ugly”.  What fits me, doesn’t look a whole lot like a standard draft. I took a break to think about it. Later I pulled Muslin 02 tissue out of the trash. Smoothed it flat with an iron and compared with this new tracing.  They were remarkably similar. Grain line a little different. Notches a little different. But nothing majorly different from the Muslin 02 Tissue. I made 2 more changes.  I trimmed 1/8″ from the inseam and crotch seam allowances.  I prefer to use 1/4″ seam allowances and use the serger whenever possible. On a pant that’s always the inseam.  I like the way the serger eases the back and front inseam. Because this is a pull up pant, I prefer to serge the crotch as well.   To the side seams I added 1/4″.  I had added 7/8″ to the muslins and then of course was sewing with big seam allowances. Fabric makes a difference. I’ve experienced two fabric the same except for color. One fit. The other a bit too tight. Being able to let out the seam allowance 1/4″ would have made a wearable garment. That’s why I prefer 5/8 or 1/2″ side seam allowances — just a little fit assurance.  I kept the waistband seam allowances at 3/8″ and the hem at 1″.  So changes are:

-4″ leg length (split between above knee and above hem)

-4″ crotch depth

+5″ crotch rise.

I was anxious to make this pattern as perfect as possible. I walked all the seams. Notched both front and back at the same time.

Then selected a fabric. Had a hard time choosing.  I’ve got several fabrics I’ve been holding onto because I want some dressier pants. They’re either non- or limited stretch (10%) which is just enough to get some bending room. I opted for a light navy, twill with 10% stretch. It weighs about the same as a light denim and will be wonderful as the weather warms. Great during summer when it’s too hot to cover my legs outside but goose bump city inside with air conditioning. I cut the next 18″ off the same roll of elastic as used with Muslin 02. One other change, I trimmed the extra 1/4″ from the sides of the back and front waistband. Instead of sewing 5/8″ waist-band seam allowances I would be sewing 3/8″ — same as drafted.

I made the waistband first. I’ve got to ask, does anyone know how to sew this type waistband so that the top finishes level at the side seam?  I wasn’t that careful with the muslins because they were muslins. But on this ‘real fabric’ I ripped the sides seams out 5 times trying to get it right before deciding I need help.  I like this waistband. Like how it is finished first. But that jog is an embarrassment.

Jog where front waistband meets back waistband at side seam

I serged the inseams first; then the crotch. Basted the side seams and then the waistband to the top of the pant both at 3/8″.  I got cold feet and just couldn’t make the side seams the full 5/8″. I eagerly tried on the pants. Holy smokes the waistband was humongous. How’d that happen?  I had to rip open the waistband and take it in 3/8″. That means it was now 3/4″ deep instead of the 3/8″ drafted. Don’t forget the waistband started 1/2″ shorter each end because I trimmed off the fit assurance before starting this pair of pants.  But at least, waistband was now tight enough to hug my waist.  Note to self:  when possible, always try on waistband before attaching to pant.

Waistband-in-place reveals horrid back of thigh wrinkles. It was like I hadn’t even made the hip-line adjustment.  So I think: “It must be the last 1″ I added to the rise that wasn’t there in Muslin 02″.  Reasonable?  I offset the waistband and pant -thank God for Water Soluble Thread- and put the pant back on. Lots of wrinkles gone but CB dips down ward, have prominent knee drag lines and beginning to see a bit of camel toe.  Obviously, crotch doesn’t have enough length. Not too many ways to correct this so I scoop 1/2”.

My fabric is a light navy. Not midnight navy or pitch black but still hard to see the details unlike Muslin 02’s grey.  So these pics are lighted 97%:

These aren’t wearable!  Worse, they aren’t fixable. Once the crotch is cut, there is only so much you can do.  You can shorten the rise by lifting at the waist –Done. You can scoop the bottom — Done. You can go around in circles lifting at the waist and scooping at the bottom until you’re crazy. If it isn’t near perfect with one change or the other, it ain’t gonna work. At least, that’s my experience.

So I have to ask, What went wrong?

This was not a cheap piece of fabric. It was cotton + Lycra.  The light Lycra content should have added comfort without affecting fit. It is not a limp fabric nor is it stiff. I would say it is firmer than the rayon of Muslin 02.  About the same as Muslin 01.  Is it the change to the waistband length?  The waistband has to snug the waist or the pant droops and creates even more wrinkles. Also note that despite my careful matching of grain and notches, the front leg is still twisting. Possibly the belly flap could be fixed by lifting at the side-waist but then the front crotch will be too short and require scooping.  Not easily seen is that at this point the hem is getting too high, i.e. the leg is too short.  If this fit, I would have used bias tape to finish this pair and lengthened the leg on the tissue for the next pair.

At the moment, I’m stumped. Do I want to pull Muslin 02 Tissue out of the trash and try it with a different fabric?  Do I really need that knock knee alteration which appeared to have no effect until not included?

Oh, my why am I always in Pant H3ll?  Why does one pattern work and another does not? Why does one version of a pattern work and the next is a total fail?



PS Anyone have any favorite 1.25-1.5″ wide elastic?  I’m using Louise Cutting’s elastic which generally I love but it is soft and does tend to slid down.  At one time Louise said that was intentional. I don’t want these sliding down and I don’t want fighting with elastic length. After a muslin, I want to know, this length works. Every time.



Talia Muslin 2

I was torn between using the Diagonal Dart which I knew would work or using the Hip Line Dart which was easier to create during fitting but untested. Either choice would mean at least a 2nd muslin and possibly third. I decided to run up a quick muslin with the easier path, the Hip Line Dart.

My muslin fabric is a lovely rayon. The yarns are dyed black and grey which creates a mottled granite look up close and overall grey from a distance.  It is soft and, well, not thick but substantial.  Good pant weight. Drapes well. Would be excellent in a one seam type pant. Somehow I bought 4 yards about that many years ago and made a pair of pants soon after. Wonderful to wear. While there is no lycra or detectable stretch, once the fabric warms it adapts to the body similarly to denim but in more of a dressy way. However during the 2nd trip through the laundry, it  shrunk  to unwearable dimensions. I kept the other 2 yards  in the stash thinking maybe a vest, wrap, or something that would not need laundering often.  This year I moved it to the muslin stack.  I need fabrics that make good muslins.

I forgot to mention the horror of actually sewing with this rayon. It is loosely woven and unraveled when lifted from the cutting table. To sew, I had to cut a piece; roll it up; and move immediately to the serger where I finished all the edges. Even as a muslin, I was gritting my teeth as I realized before I could serge around all edges, whichever edge was last — was raveled. I tried to make the hems last.  I mean, I didn’t want to lose any ease at this point.

Let’s get right to the good news:  Muslin Two using the Hip Line Dart has a fantastic fit!

I want to continue sharing my thoughts on the sewing and fit process before detailing tissue changes.  Center Back at the waist is pulling down slightly and feels tight. I will need to scoop the back crotch the same 3/8″ as  done to the first muslin.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that will be enough.  All 3 sides look good to me.  I don’t see any underwear. Don’t see lady parts or recognizable back side anatomy. I increased the waistband elastic from 16.5 to 18″ (1.5″). That was enough to make the waistband sit nicely at my waistline without pulling to the back or drooping.  I removed the knock knee alteration — the last alteration I made to the tissue before Muslin 01.  Two things have happened before Muslin 02 that changed my mind about altering for knock knees. (1) I couldn’t see that the KK alteration was having any effect upon the drag lines emanating from my knees; and (2) nearly all the very same drag lines disappeared when I made the 1.5″ Hip Line Dart to Muslin 1.  Really, there just isn’t anything bad to say about this muslin.  I know others prefer a closer fit. I do not.  I like this fit. It skims all the curves without adding any bulk.

OK tissue changes: Before starting Muslin 02, I traced the tissue of Muslin 01.  I removed the knock knee alteration from the tissue because as I said above I didn’t think it was effective. I did not trim any of the 1″ side seam allowances. Style Arc drafted a 3/8″ seam allowance and I added 7/8 more to the side seams so I would have a full inch to work with during fitting. By now I was pretty sure 1″ was excessive. Still I wanted a little fit assurance. So much so that when I basted seams together, I basted the side seams at 3/4″. This made it a bit difficult to attach the waistband which has been trimmed to final length.  I had to ease the back to the back waistband. I mean I had to gather the back more than the waistband was gathered by elastic. Also, I had edge stitched the back waistband so that I would tuck the elastic in at the right depth. Not sure if this was a good idea, because I wasn’t able to wrap the front waistband around the back when joining the two pieces.  In the end, I decided this was a test of the Hip Line alteration. I wouldn’t be wearing this muslin any length of time and wasn’t going to worry about these uneven edges:

I promise to do better when I sew the a ‘real’ garment.


I  removed the wedge added to the top of the pant both CB and CF.  Those wedges were a quick and easy length addition I thought needed.  I did not need any length added to the front crotch.

The back was a different story.  My 1.5″ Hip Line Dart at the center back and wasn’t deep enough.  I started with 5 drag lines above the knee and 3 below. With the 1.5″ dart, I reduced that to 1 drag line above knee — on the left leg.  The right leg still had 1 drag line above the knee, a horizontal drag line at the knee and 1 drag line below the knee.  I think this is part of an asymmetrical body issue that I’ve become aware of but not ready to really dig into and solve. Bottom line, is I wanted to remove all the drag lines on the left leg and as many as possible on the right.  I calculated I needed to  increase the Hip line dart to 2″ at the center back, tapering to Zero at the side seam. I put Muslin 01 back on and marked where I stick out the most. Called that “My Butt”. I transferred that mark to the tissue and was delighted to find it was only 1/2″ above where I thought the full hip was marked. I drew a horizontal line across where “My Butt” was marked. If I understand correctly, that becomes the top leg of the dart. The amount to be removed is folded up to this line from below. Four inches is quite a fold:

which distorts the crotch curve, side seam and waist/top of leg. Oh and decreased the rise by 4″.  I need that 4″.  No choice but to slash and spread above the “My Butt” line  to add the 4″.  I tried a single slash. Didn’t work at all.  I made 4 slashes and spread them 1″ apart from each other

I gagged when I stepped back and looked at the new hip and crotch curve. Just didn’t think that would work too well. At the same time, I really didn’t want to make a ski jump of my crotch. All the bad fitting pants I’ve had display the ski jump slope.  The more upright the back crotch rise is, the fewer drag lines I experience below my rear.  I free handed drawing in a line.  Not as professional as I want, but at least something I think I can manipulate into fitting me.

The side seam looks OK to me, but the crotch curve isn’t quite as upright as I’d like. Judging from the back of the pants above, I should be able to straighten the upper part of the curve. Hopefully that will lose some of the waist ease I had to gather to fit the waistband.

Over all, I’m ‘chuffed’ about this Muslin. Excited to get to ‘real fabric.



Talia, Day 2

I went upstairs after creating the Diagonal Dart fully intending to transfer it to the tissue at the next sewing session and make Muslin 2.  But I got to thinking. Thinking about the alterations I’ve made in prior years; successful or not.  I reread my posts on the near perfect jeans, Jalie Eleanor and also my posts on Knock Knee and crotch  alterations. I toyed again with the idea of Peggy Sagers dart at hip level.  Peggy describes fully how she drafts pants including adding the hip dart in the May 1997 Threads magazine (Issue 70).  Later in the same article she describes how to fit pants including reducing the dart depth. Peggy is the only one I’ve ever heard (read or whatever) talking about  this particular dart. She suggests this dart is common place in both RTW and commercial patterns. But, like I said, she’s the only one I’ve seen discuss the hip dart.  This morning, I searched the net without success looking for it. (Wrong search terms?j)  I opened up my email and started corresponding with my sewing angel. 3-4 emails later I decide: I’ve got this muslin. It won’t take 5 minutes to test.

And that’s what I did. I created a 1″ deep dart just under the full hip (middle pic)

Left Unaltered; Center 1″ dart; Right 1.5″ dart


I’ve gotten some feed back that the dart needs to be at the inseam right under the seating tissue rather than at the crotch. If so,  I believe that is a Flat Seat Alteration, which I’ve tried in the past. It makes the muslin fit beautifully. I transfer the dart to the tissue. Make a new muslin. All, absolutely every one of the fabric folds reappear.  I’m not willing to repeat that week-long exercise in futility. I tested various dart depths on several patterns.  For me, the result was always the same: muslin beautiful, real garment fugly. Not doing that again BUT I’m willing to work with the different dart Peggy described in the magazine referenced above.  

Amazingly, when increased to 2″ depth, the Hip Line Dart easily cleared most of the back-thigh mess including what I had thought were knock knee drag lines!  I may have some  asymmetrical hip action to deal with; and clearly the center back has dipped very low.  Not showing, the front has developed some camel toe issues and from the side the waistband is tilted like the ski slope you wanted to find on your winter vacation.

So now I have a dilemma.  Do I use the proven-to-work-for-my-body Diagonal Dart; or do I use the simpler Hip Dart?  The hip dart will require a balancing dart higher up the crotch to restore crotch length.  The Diagonal Dart will require a balancing dart lower on the leg inseam to make the hem level.

I did think to compare the Diagonal Dart with the Hip Line dart. Keep in mind that I made the Diagonal Dart is only on the right leg i.e. only consider the right leg when comparing to the Hip Line dart which was made across both legs:

Either are better than the unaltered muslin :

The Diagonal Dart  is getting close to perfection. While I may want to remove more ease from the leg with the Hip Line dart.

Which leg would you rather wear?

Which alteration would you rather make?



Although my SA Flo was not overwhelmingly successful, I know I can fit StyleArc Pants and the Flow in particular by using a larger than recommended size and investing in a few muslins.  I’m not sure I want to put in the effort to make Flo work when I already Jalie’s Eleanor which is almost identical. However, Flo was successful enough that I decided to purchase another  SA pant pattern the Talia. Talia is advertised as medium-difficulty, pull-on pant drafted for wovens. I like the neat looking welt pockets and I know I’ve sewn similar waistbands in the past. The elastic in back assures a gape-less back while the smooth, front waistband assures a sleek frontal appearance.  I have seen Talia made up, unfortunately by a much trimmer woman than I. Nonetheless while the Flo’s I’ve seen turned me off, that one Talia was greatly encouraging.  If I can fit Talia around my peculiarities, I think it will make a nice slim legged summer pant.

I purchased and am therefore working with a pattern 2 sizes larger than what SA recommends.  I’ve found that I really don’t like body conscious fit.  I am comfortable in something semi-fitted and loose.  But I don’t want to go back to the billowing layers I wore at my heaviest weight. It’s hard for me to find the in-between. I’ve tried several patterns which should have worked but by the time I made alterations for my body, the legs were quite wide.  Eevery time I tried to slim the legs of some of my favorite patterns  dreadful, diagonal back lines develop. I’ve turned to trying to fit pants patterns, like the Talia,  that are already drafted with a slim leg. When Talia arrived, I traced what I had decided was my size (18) and then immediately measured the hems. They should finish at 16.5.  I think I’d like a little slimmer but 16.5 is much narrower than I’ve been able to achieve with other patterns and good enough.

I’m going to be using Jen Sterns Hausmann’s fitting procedure . Not quite in the order she explains on Craftsy, but close.  I successfully  fit the Eleanor using Jen’s procedure and expect the same changes will be needed.  My body hasn’t changed much. Just my pattern selection.  I will be making a muslin. I won’t be repeating or illustrating everything from the course.. Much of the instruction does not apply to me. One of my fitting issues is not covered in the class but is in her Workbook.  I prefer the class format.  Jen treats the class as if she really is fitting you. So it is this is the first step. This is the next step; and the next; etc. until the pant is fit.   The Workbook is more like a Resolutions Reference i.e. if you have this problem do this solution like this. I bought the Workbook from Nancy’s Notions which included Jen’s jeans pattern.

When I was sure I’d like to add the Talia to my selection of pant styles, I printed out the PDF from Jen’s Craftsy Course.  The course starts with taking your circumference measures at the natural waist, fullest hip and thigh. Next are needed vertical measures:  crotch front and back, waist to knee and knee to top of foot.  At this point, Jen advises on selecting the pattern size and tracing it. As I said, my previous experience indicates I need a pattern 2 sizes larger then SA recommends.

One thing I love about Jen, is she doesn’t tell you to forget everything you ever learned because it is wrong. In fact I think at one point she says something to the effect that if you’re in her class, you already know your body and are looking for fit answers.  Then measure the pattern less seam allowances and compare with your bodily measurements.  I’m getting to the point that when a new expert says ‘forget everything else’ I cringe and stop listening. I’ve invested a lot of time and money acquiring this highly personal knowledge.  I’ve had too many failures which directly resulted from ‘expert advice’.  When confronted, the expert usually says something to the effect ‘you just have to keep trying my advice’ or ‘you must have done something wrong’ or total silence .  I love that Jen is not telling me to forget but rather forge ahead with what I know merged into her process and a few new solutions.

Back the Jen’s process.  Wherever there is a  difference between pattern and your body + ease,  adapt the pattern.  The size 18 measured plenty of ease.  I had to remove 2″ length above the knee and again 2″ below the knee.  My crotch measurements weren’t exactly as expected.  From my measures I would need to add 3″ to the back crotch. That’s highly unusual for me. Generally I add 1″ to the extension and scoop the back crotch 1/4-1/2″ (depending on stretch) and I’m good.   I’ve been sewing a long time.  Been fitting really nice pants for at least the last 6 years. Adding 3″ just didn’t sit well with me. It ‘felt’ wrong.   So I did a Peggy Sagers. (I told you I think Peggy’s advice is adaptable).   I measured the front and back crotch of a pair of comfortable,  non-stretch pants I’d  worn recently. Those measures equaled the tissue.  I decided to add just a little fit assurance  by adding  a 1″ wedge to the top of the pants front and back crotch and  1″ back crotch extension.

With that I was ready for my Knock Knee alteration.  My other two KK alterations haven’t been 100% successful; and I’ve noticed that my inseams all shorten during wear.  No fooling it’s like all inseams shrink about 1/2″ on me.Hunting through the Workbook I found Jens knock knee alteration. To my surprise the alteration I’ve been using (cut at the knee and slide towards center of the body) is not recommend by Jen for Knock Knees.  She uses that alteration if the pant feels tight along the inner thigh but there is loose fabric over the back thigh. For knock knees, Jen recommends pivoting right under the crotch to increase the inseam length and decrease the side seam 1/4″ .  Well, this is a muslin, why not try Jen’s method?

My fabric is a yarn dyed, cotton shirting I purchased thinking DH might enjoy a new shirt.  He took one look and refused outright.  The fabric has sat in my stash for a few years before being moved to the muslin stacks. It is a very smooth shirting. Not stiff. Not heavy but typical good, men’s-shirting. At one time I was thinking about making summer pants with 20-22″ hems.  I think the fabric is better for a muslin.  I can see the wrinkles , a good point, but I warn you  nobody is going to call these pants gorgeous.

I am enthused about this waistband treatment!  I’ve sewn similar in the past.  I always attached these pieces to the top of the pant and then struggled handling all that pant fabric and get the waistband pieces wrapped around so they could be correctly sewn and flipped back in place.  It’s doable but typically I decide I don’t want to wrestle with that particular waistband today and it has dropped out of my repertoire.   SA nearly finishes the waistband before applying to the top of the pant.  I was delighted because that meant, I could step into it, same as the Flo and pull it up, thereby checking to see if I had correct ease for a pull-on pant, even before I cut the largest pieces. I was even more delighted when the waistband passed my pull-up test.

From start to first muslin took about 3 hours. Several nice things to note.  The waistband is already fit. The legs are the right length. I have a bit more ease than anticipated. My fault I added 5/8″ fit assurance and then stitched the side seams at 3/8″.  I did not need the 1″ wedge added center front. Meaning the crotch measurement recorded off my recently worn pants is correct.   The back, even with 1″ added to the crotch point and 1″ added to top of crotch back,  dipped slightly.

For Fit02…

  • Remove the 1″ wedge from top center front
  • Scoop back crotch 1/2″
  • Increase side seam allowance from 3/8″ to 3/4″
  • Turn hems up and baste.


… and take more pictures

I increased the seam allowances to a full 1″ and took another set of pictures after Fit 02. I ripped that seam out because this really was the better looking version.  The waistband sits levelly and comfortably at my waist. The front is pretty smooth – this is a light weight fabric with no stretch. I possibly see a little too much ease but the deeper side seams of Fit 03 were far too tight.  The side seam is almost perpendicular.  The waistband seems to be pulling it backwards. I think I need to make the elastic longer.  It is the back which has me grimacing, yet unsurprised. I really didn’t want that much gathering at the back waistline. Not sure if I should start removing the excess which possibly occurred because I used a pattern much larger than what Style Arc recommends.  Ok I decided. I’m going to ignore that for now because I’m mostly likely going to cover it with my T-shirts.  I’m not sure Jen’s Knock Knee alteration had any effect whatsoever.

If it were not for Jen’s fitting procedure those back thigh wrinkles  would have me tossing the pattern and muslin entirely. At this point, when you’ve fixed everything else and still have mucho fabric below the butt, Jen says to use her diagonal dart.  This is not the typical flat butt alteration.  This is a fish eye dart that starts on the inseam, crosses the thigh and terminates on the side seam. It is zero at both beginning and end. The middle is as deep as you need.  This is a procedure where a helper is a wonderful gift. Not having that, for the Jalie Eleanor, I twisted my body in various directions while looking in the mirror, pinching and pinning the back of one leg. I got one leg pinned and decided the other could be ‘the control’. IOW, it was such a challenge I didn’t want to pin the other leg.  For Talia, I pinched the back of one leg along the same line as used for the Eleanor, but I wasn’t in it.  I started with a 3/4″ deep dart; increased to 1.25 and finally at 2″ called it quits.  Look at the progression of improvement:

The back right leg goes from masses of wrinkles to “why don’t you do something about your knock knees?” In 3 easy steps. But the dart does have more effect than that

I’ve lightened this pic 40%

I think the bum is still OK, but the right leg is tight around my hip joint both inseam and side seam. Many of the knock knee wrinkles are greatly reduced, but I see a vertical fold which indicates there is excess leg circumference.  Mostly startling to me, the inseam-hem has clearly risen about 1″.

Here’s the thing, Jen warns in the introduction that every change you make can effect a previous change.  You can find yourself fixing what you already fixed. The really said part?  You may need multiple muslins.  I’m at the point where I’ve done every thing I can to Muslin 1.


Time to find fabric for a second muslin.



Flo: Fabric 3

The third Fabric was purchased from Nancy’s Notions late last year (2015), the Denim Bare Knits Cotton Poly Interlock Knit .  Looked good in the pic but I was disappointed on arrival. This fabric distinctly reminds me of sweatshirt fabric without a fleece side. There are two knit sides. One is smooth the other a bit rougher.  It’s not a fabric that burned in my dreams and has sat forgotten until now when I looked for a very stretchy, pant-weight knit fabric I wouldn’t mind sacrificing in the interest of fitting a pattern.  This fabric easily has 40% stretch.  With a little effort I can make that 50% but again I wouldn’t want to wear something that tightly stretched. It recovers quickly but not 100% completely . More like 98% recovery, just enough I can tell the difference between stretched and unstretched.

Based on my experience with the 2nd fabric, I trimmed the 3/4″ length added at the top of the legs.  I was fairly certain I wouldn’t need to lengthen or shorten the crotch and that 3/4″ wouldn’t be needed.  I kept the 3/4″ side seam insurance. I’m really not sure that my ease requirements are the same as SA’s drafted ease. I want room to make it work.

I followed my own advice. Pressed the fabric. Laid out the pattern and cut the waistband first.  I stitched the side seams of the waistband at 3/8″. I could have used it as a hula hoop. So I kept increasing the side seams 3/8″ at a time until I could easily step into and pull up the waistband without having to tug  it over my hips.  Surprise, surprise, my stitching line was exactly on the line the drafter planned. Whoop. Whoop. Whoop. Fabric is the answer. Or stretch. The stretch of my Cotton Poly Interlock  is very close to what my Bengaline demonstrated. Still using water-soluble thread to baste everything together, I merrily stitched away until all the pieces were connected. One really nice thing about knits:  they don’t ravel. I realize a lot of work had been done for Fabrics 1 and 2, yet I was surprised to be taking the first fitting pics in about 45 minutes.

How does it fit? Well it’s still a little too body conscious for me to wear in public.  Very importantly,  a lot of the back of the thigh issues seemed solved.   Even though I shortened the legs above the knee by 2″, they were still far too long.  I’ve pinned the hems up at 3″ while the pattern calls for 1″. I think that may be a fabric issue rather than a pattern issue. This is a heavy fabric that stretches both ways. I feel  sure that the weight of the fabric is pulling the leg down but  if I were 16, I’d be in love with the body hugging crotch. If there’s too much weight for the legs making them longer, why isn’t the crotch droopy too?

For the 2nd Fitting  I re-basted at the side seams adding a scant 1/4″. Fit 2, was still not what I was looking for. From the envelope I thought this pant was designed to skim the body. I mean you can clearly see the pant fits closely at the waist to the hip and again at the calve. Below the hip and calve there is body space. The pant is not flush with the body in these places.

What I’m getting is very form revealing.  I’m fairly sure it’s not a fabric issue.  I think there isn’t enough ease at the hip  and even though the crotch is smooth, it might benefit from a little more ease.

For Fit 3 I released the side and in-seams another scant 1/4″.  Additionally, I can see those back drag lines over my thigh aren’t getting any better .

Fit 4, I offset the yoke and the back leg 1/2″.  Peggy Sagers says those wrinkles over the thigh initiate from the hip.  The yoke is a little higher than the hip dart would be placed, but if moving the excess length under the bottom of the yoke works, it would be a good fix.  Worth a try.

Two fittings later, after I had decreased the inseam allowance and created a 1/2″ hip curve along the side, I shrugged and said, “don’t think I can correct the rest of the problems in the fabric stage. ‘  Somethings need to be fixed at the tissue stage. Even knit fabrics can’t correct a draft that isn’t tweaked for your body.

I was glad to finish this pair.  Look, this fabric reminds me of sweat pants–just no fleece. While it would be comfortable at home during winter cold weather or even to sleep in, I’m not wearing it anywhere. I think a nice fitting pair of jeans (of which I have several) is a step up on the casual scale over sweatpants. Don’t mean to offend anyone. This is just my personal opinion.  So I serged off excess fabric at the seam allowances; added boning over the hip side seams to smooth out the dip at the leg joint and scooped the crotch 1/4”.  Only then did I hem the pants. BTW Flo has a nice U-shaped crotch.  I find I really do need the fish-hook type crotch so my scoop goes straight down along the back crotch then curves upward and meets the front at the inseam.

At the moment I’m debating on a 4th muslin. Jalie Eleanor is very similar to the Style Arc pattern and I’ve already made all the needed corrections including the knock knee alteration I haven’t even addressed with Flo.  I prefer Eleanor’s back and front waistband pieces to Flo’s single piece cut twice. That’s because I’m shapely in back but have no waist in the front.    I need a front and a back adapted to my body. I also like that the pocket pieces and faux fly is already drafted by Jalie. OK these wouldn’t be hard to do for the Flo.  I see now that to fit this pattern, I’m going to make J. Sterns diagonal tuck on the pattern. Also, I still need to wrestle with the obvious knock-knee wrinkles. It is possible that the next muslin would be perfect or at least really lovely but which fabric should I risk? I don’t want to waste any of my pant fabrics.  I have so few with 40% stretch.

But for anyone wanting to buy this pattern. I’d give the go ahead. I thought it was well drafted. Minimal pieces make it a quick sew after fitting. If your only issue is a flat bottom, even fitting could be a snap. I only took 1/2″ off the leg.  When I do J. Sterns tuck it’s more like 3″.  In the end I don’t think the forward seams enhanced or detracted from my figure –that’s partly because by the time I get myself styled you usually can’t see my butt anyway.  I do like being able to purchase in multi-sizes. Also, I do like buying off Amazon.  It’s really convenient for me.   If I buy another (I’m thinking of the Talia), I would buy the next size range.  I’m sure I added enough ease to the 16 to make it at least an 18– that’s with a 50% stretch fabric!  Even though SA said the 14 would fit my 43″ behind, my personal ease preferences put me in a larger pant.  YMMV.

Back of Bank Line Bev

Bank Line Bev


Flo: Muslin

FABRIC #1:  (yes I’ve used more than 1) I had a cut of Bengaline  in my stash. Actually in the muslin pile because it shrank 1/4 yard in the  pre-wash.   I pressed carefully and spread the Bengaline on my cutting table. Having worked with a couple of pieces of Bengaline now, I’m not sure why the Aussies are so enthused. I don’t particularly care for how it looks on me or how it feels, but it’s OK.  I’d think of it more as a cheap fabric not even that good for muslins because of its stretch. Ah well, lets just say, I have other favorite fabrics. Because you fold it cut edge to cut edge to take advantage of maximum stretch, you get a lot more usable inches.  I was able to lay out my pattern pieces on the 1.75 yards I had. After folding selvedges together, I cut my pattern pieces.  Yes you read that. Knowing that cut edges needed to meet, by habit I put the selvedges together which meant I cut my fabric incorrectly. Once cut, there was not enough to recut.

FABRIC #2: So I had to move onto another fabric. I was able to test the stretch of Bengaline:  40%. Unless I stretched really hard and then I could get 50%.  But I looked at the fabric and said I didn’t want anything stretched that far wrapped around me. The guidance was ‘stretch wovens’.  I have nothing else in the muslin pile that qualifies. Had to look in the stash. The stash has a number of stretch wovens.  But not a lot of stretch wovens I’d use for pants and none had a stretch factor of 40%.  I’ve been testing stretch for a long time. I don’t get stretch wovens with 40% stretch. 20-25% is usual with an occasional 30%.  I thought of switching to a knit. Many of my knits have 30-40% and more. But my pants knits are all dark colors. Can’t see the drag lines on black. So I selected a stretch woven suiting  in gun metalgrey. Great color but the 20% stretch had me really concerned. Nonetheless, I laid out my pattern pieces and cut fabric.

I learned something really great. I basted the yoke to the back; then basted the leg pieces together. Then I basted my waistband pieces together. Suddenly I had a flash. ‘Hey if I can’t get the waistband up over my hips there is no way the pattern is going to fit.  So I tried and it was really tough.  So I let out the seams to the max. Yeah! I could pull the waistband up.  Little tight going over the hips, but at least doable.  I thought what a wonderful way to test the stretch in action.  Wish I’d done this before I cut the other pattern pieces.  Since it was tight, I let the seams out to the max. This time the waistband pulled up pretty easily. Still close around the hips but not struggling to bring the waistband all the way up.

I decided immediately this particular fabric was going to need more ease. I let out the side seams; basted some elastic into the waistband and then basted the waistband onto the pants before trying them on.  I wasn’t impressed.  I could feel the waistband dipping in back.  Fell the crotch pulling and thought from the mirror side view that it looked a little tight.  My biggest disappointment: I was so sure that the Flo would have compensated for all the excess ease over my back thigh. I could see just masses of wrinkles back there.

Since the crotch felt tight, I let out the inseam and then tried on the pants again. I am NOT pleased!

I don’t think I can blame SA..  Well I can criticize them for not saying the pattern required 40% stretch. Jalie did. On the Eleanor, Jalie said “don’t call asking if you can use something else. If your fabric doesn’t have 25% stretch, your Eleanors won’t fit.”  I did realize that there is a lot of difference between 20 and 40% stretch. I was hoping that the added 3″ of ease would compensate for the stretch. I mean SA said the size 14 would fit me  and the 16 be too big.  I measured the pattern in several places. I thought it had zero ease and that with my 3/4″ added to the seam allowance there would be more than enough ease. I was wrong.  It’s not a matter of scooping either. That’s not going to add more ease across the hips.  I really should have told myself, the first fabric had to have closer to 40% stretch. Hopefully, I’ll remember this in the future.

So onto FABRIC 3:  Well lets look at the third fabric tomorrow.