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


2 thoughts on “Talia: Periwinkle Cotton”

  1. In looking at the back ……. I want to pull the pants down a bit at the sides and pull it up at CB. From the side they look fine. Maybe if you add 1/2 to 3/4 in to the top of the cb curve it will raise the back. I’d use my french curve to taper to the side seam. JMHO

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