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 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.