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: