Jalie, Vanessa

Crotch Dart

So I copied my pattern and applied only the changes I knew worked which are

  1. adding  1.25″ for hemming (discarding the cuff piece of the original pattern)
  2. the 2″ Hip Line dart


So then I made a template of just the waist to crotch portion.  I’m going to be experiementing and I think failing. I’d like an easy way to restore the crotch. Kind of a reboot of the tissue. So a template that I can quickly run a pencil around  instead of tracing a new copy off the original pattern.

The back template includes the 2″ hip line dart. I also drew a green line on my pattern which corresponds with the bottom of template so I can put them back in place quickly.

I think the only solution for that front pooch…

is adding more ease over my tummy. That’s not my pubis. My pubis is a few inches lower. That pooch is the fabric trying to stretch over my tummy and then being suddenly released. That pant (from my 2017 Autumn 6PAC) feels comfortable. I’d never know I had the front crotch issue except that I both took pics and lightened them enough to see any issues. Anyway, I think the solution is adding an unsewn dart to the center front. Pretty sure that’s the solution because I learned it from Nancy Zieman many, many years ago. Back when I was about 130 pounds when sopping wet. I’ve always had a tummy. It’s my personal physiology. I’m just built this way. A little extra ease in front which is created by adding a little dart at the waist was always  the answer. Apologies I did not take a pic. I extended the pattern horizontally out from the CF 3/8″ then drew an angled line back to the crotch about 7″ below the waist.  I’m hoping it works or at least helps. If not, well I’ll think of something else. At least, that’s what my mother always said about us kids.

Next up is that back thigh. I don’t want to change the length of the back crotch. Dang that was comfortable. Don’t want to shorten the length of the extension. That too added great comfort. I just want to take some of the ease out below the crotch. So I made a dart in the well of the back crotch.

Yeah, I just slashed from crotch to knee and overlapped 1/2″ on either side taking out a total of 1″ ease .But of course that shortened the 15.5″ back crotch length I so loved. It had to be restored.  I fetched the flexible ruler and placed rubber bands at 0 and 15.5″. Then wrestled into a curved shape as close as possible to what was already there

I marked inside that curve and trimmed it away

Since I had the rotary cutter in my hand anyway, I reached across and nipped off that angle which formed when I made the Hip Line dart

Really, I have zero confidence that I am right. About the crotch. I’m sure that nipping off that point on the side is right and adding the 3/8″ at CF is right (maybe not enough but the right step towaard the needed correction.) I think I have made reasonable, logical decisions. But I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this. Pretty sure it is a total deviation from standard pattern drafting. If Peggy says I’m 100% absolutely wrong, I believe her.  But this crotch looks a lot like my beloved Trudy Jansen Jean.  I think I could be on the right tract. The only way to be sure is testing. But that zero confidence tells me to choose a muslin fabric. Even though I’ve managed to make a couple of Vanessa’s I really like, I’ve made a big enough change I might NOT be able to wear this one. Muslin it is. My muslin of choice is a stretch twill. It has 20% stretch and I’m pretty sure what isn’t Lycra is cotton. I’ve had the fabric roughly 8-12 years. It is an odd green, may look like yellow in the pics but it is green. Not sure why I bought it. I rarely wear light colors for pants. Even more rarely do I wear vast expanses of  green. Consequently this fabric has set in the stash season after season, year after year. I’ve handled it but always put it back in the stash.  Sometime during one of last year’s shelf refoldings, I moved it from the stash to the muslins. If the pant is wearable, I don’t think I have any tops to wear with it. If it isn’t wearable, well no big deal. It’s served an honorable purpose and we can all doff our hats and thank it for its sacrafice.

Postulating aside, I pulled the lycra/cotton, green twill from my muslin stack, pressed pretty well (could be better) and laid out my pattern pieces.

As is my habit, I turned off the lights and went up stairs for the evening. I like giving myself time to reflect. Especially when I’ve made on-the-fly questionable decisions.




Jalie, Vanessa

Thigh Size

I like the Vanessa pant pattern.  but I still have issues i.e. not all the excess is removed from the back leg and there is that odd pooch in front. So I’m wondering if there is anything I can do, especially about the back of the leg mess. It seems pretty obvious to me that there is too much width. Easy answer is pinch it out. I don’t seem to be able to do that nicely. I can pinch and move seams of the finished garment but I end up with as many drag lines and pulls as before and surprisingly about the same amount of excess circumference.

Some that Peggy Sagers has mentioned now and then in her YouTube’s keeps coming back to me.  She doesn’t say this every time she talks about pants or even every time she talks about pants fitting. I’ve been rewatching all the past episodes and I’ve been hearing this idea. About once a week, out of rewatching 4-5 episodes a week, I hear her say ‘if you have thin thighs choose size from your thigh measurement and grade the other (assume waist and hips) out.”  OK. So I never thought I had thin sizes. Well not since I was about 4.  For a long time I thought I was normal. Eventually, I had to admit, I’m not only elderly but nearly plus sized. Doesn’t sound or look like thin thighs to me. Maybe, just maybe my thighs are thin in comparison to my hip and waist. Peggy also says this type person usually is barrel-shaped. Usually big boobs, big stomach in front but sometimes big butt too. I don’t have the chest, but definitely my stomach and hips fall into barrel sizes. Although I tend to think of my side view as tilted watermelon

Imagine this with my head and arms above the tummy and legs/feet below the butt end.

I do always have thigh gap. My knees have gotten fatter and rub together, but my thighs never meet. There is always daylight between them unless I cross my legs. Which is why my “natural” pics always show me standing one leg in front of the other.

So maybe I have relatively thin thighs and should try sizing my pants by the finished thigh.

I measured my thigh. Divided in half. Then added 1.5″ ease (because Suzy Furrer said so.)  Came up with 13″ which happens to be in the children’s sizes of Vanessa. OK I’m not grading the rest of this pattern up from a children’s pant. I mean, the lengths are right, circumference is right at the waist the hip, the knee. Ankle is a little close but I can deal with that i.e. ankle doesn’t have to be changed. My issue is the excess over the back thigh.  I continue looking at the pattern, um back side only, and measuring across the thighs of various sizes.  I settle on an R.  I think maybe I can work with an R.  So I trace the size R, then trace the BB.

Hope this enlarges so you can see the difference between the 2 sizes. BB is traced with GREEN, R traced in RED.

My thought is, since only the back thigh is too big,  I would mostly be drawing new curves between the R and the BB. That didn’t work. Believe me I turned my curve every way imaginable.

I have a few more pics of the curve laying along the tracings connecting crotch, thigh and knee dots. They all look similar i.e. impossible. I think it is the same issue as the full bust and the armscye princess seam blouse. I think the distance is too short to make a nice curve. Truth is, I need every dimension, every measurement of the existing BB Vanessa. I need that crotch length. I need the hip circumference. I need the knee circumference.  I need the lengths/levels.  And I can’t see a way to make a nice curve.

I tried just plotting the dots and connecting them. Same issue (impossible curves)  probably because I used the same lengths and circumferences. They work. The lengths and circumferences except for the thigh work. Changing them is not going to make this pattern fit better. My next thought was to trace the R and try to slash and spread. No pics, just trust me. I couldn’t make that work either.

Sigh. I put my tools away for the night. Snapped off the light and went to watch Netflix. I’m viewing Scandal from beginning to end. Love Netflix. Sorry to see its catalog under attack.



2017 Autumn 6PAC: Pants #2

I’m not expecting these pants to look any better than the final fit of the linen Vanessa. But I am expecting that the wrinkles wont be so highly visible in this deep green and black poly/cotton/lycra. Also, I’m not really expecting the lycra to have much of an effect. There was no appreciable stretch with the 4″ test swatch. I changed to a 10″ and just barely reached 10% — and only by pulling hard. I would think this was a stable stretch fabric. I like these kind of fabrics especially for blouses because they are comfortable to wear and almost act as a slimmer.

So I laid out fabric and pattern pieces. I changed the waistband from the 2 piece with the little inset in front to  2 pieces that  reached from side seam to side seam. I also took a step back in the fitting process and used the pattern pieces with minimum ease, the 2″ hip line dart but no changes to the crotch. When I first looked at the pics, I couldn’t help but be pleased”

Not too bad I think. So then I lightened the pics 80% and I think I blanched:

Simply put, they don’t look as good as any of the Vanessa linen muslin pics! Crap. Another WTF moment. I’m dealing with the back of leg mess,  front side seams that are rouched and I don’t  think that’s a key hole nor camel toe but I seem to have male anatomy hanging from my tummy. Ouch!

Not too much I can do with the front crotch seam. It was already sewn with a  1/4″ seam allowance. Fortunately, I wear my blouses untucked and long. The odd anatomical feature will never be visible especially since my fabric is such a dark color. I took in the side seams 1/4″. It may be the wrong assumption, but I knew that when I adjusted the ease during the muslin  the fit improved enormously. I also secured the elastic in place so that the waistband and elastic are distributed evenly for my figure. ( I need a little more in front.)  Finally I scooped just the back of the crotch 1/2″. For the final muslin I had dropped the entire crotch 2″. I figure right now I should correct obvious errors and that waistband wants to dip in back about 1/2″.

Did those 3 changes help any?

Both the side and the back are improved and that despite the hint of VPL. (I may ignore the VPL. After all it is also covered by my tops.) The front however is if anything worse.

I have to admit that the center back is still dipping. So I scooped another 1/2″  and this time also scooped the front crotch  1/4″ deeper and out in the crotch front. TBH I think the fix for the front is a wedge added at CF that creates more ease for my tummy. But that’s not possible after fabric is cut, so I guess I continue to be glad my tops will cover this, er, anomaly.

So after the 2nd scoop in back, scoop in front and curve over the tummy,  I have an improved front.

A side that looks better than the muslin ( and a whole lot better than it did at the first fitting of this pair of pants)

A back which remains unsat but is also improved over the first fitting

I’m not sure if I want to let out the side seam. Yes it could take care of the VPL, but  the original excess ease contributed to the unattractive first fitting.  The back waist is no longer dipping. It doesn’t make sense, really, to scoop any more. I had scooped the linen muslin past the point of scooping helping. Did that make sense?  I mean I scooped it 3 times and it helped but the 4th scoop made no difference. I’m of the opinion that if I keep making the fitting changes and they don’t provide improvement OR if I make fitting changes to the muslin and the garment retains the ills of the muslin, I am not making the correct changes. So I’m leaving this pant like this:

unless I suddenly get smarter and know exactly what to do to fix it.

On the up side, I’m not terribly in love with this pant anyway.  It is the color. I buy dark greens as a relief to my usual blue, brow black. I tell my myself  greens look good with my peaches and apricot tops. But green isn’t really necessary in my closet. Actually, I chose my colors this quarter hoping to use up some of these less loved colors and eliminate them from the stash.

Plus,  I think I may have another approach to fitting. Not my own, something that Peggy Sagers says occasionally when fitting pants about choosing size. Every once in a while she recommends that the person with thin thighs choose their size according to what they need around their thighs. She says most of these women have large stomachs (oh it that me?) and that choosing by hip or waist results is too much fabric around the leg (again me?). I don’t think my thighs are thin, but in comparison to my tummy ??? I want to try this sizing idea. I start with an advantage this time because I know what lengths I like; know the ease I want around the waist and stomach; know my thigh measurement but not my desired thigh ease. I don’t want to explore this fit idea right now.  I want to finish my Autumn 6PAC and then complete the September Sewing Room Gussy-Up.  My gussy plans are not extensive but I am looking forward to the newly cleaned spaces, some changes and some new equipment.  Next up though, will be the final blouse.


3200 Sally's Pant, Silhouette Patterns

Pants 1

I purchased that beautiful, warm-brown rayon a year or two ago from Casual Elegance. No they don’t have any now. It was recommended for pants. As soon as it arrived I knew why. It is a crepe weave which means it will resist wrinkling and hang nicely. Additionally it is heavy. Not wool coat heavy but heavier than the typical wool crepe you might buy for pants. I’ve wanted to use it but held out until I had a pattern I could trust. That pattern is Sally’s Pant #3200, Silhouette Patterns.    Sally’s pant surprised me.  Back in May I worked with it a second time. I thought I had lots more work to do, but suddenly it was close enough and good enough to be used.  I was however disappointed with the hem circumference. I was expecting 17-18 inches. It finished at 22″. For me. With all my alterations, it finished at 22″. However, that’s a nice circumference for the trouser pants I needed and made for my Autumn 2016 6PAC.

I made 1 fitting change. I made a 1/4″ dart above the hip extending about 4″ towards the center back/front. Just enough to remove the diagonal wrinkles (orange arrows) that had been forming on the previous versions. I also walked the side seams and trimmed them to match which  removed any rouching (red arrows)  occurring on side seam

I wanted these to be great.  Not just good, but GREAT!  I added a front zipper, double stitching the crotch to keep it from stretching; added the slant pockets;  stitched all the darts (all 6 of them) and carefully added the waistband, button and buttonhole.

Good fabric deserves good design. These feel wonderful to wear. They almost have a swish–the result of the 22″ hem circumference.  Any of the folds you see move about depending upon how I stand. The fabric is much darker IRL.  I had to lighten it 85% so we could see details.

They look and feel perfect. Love them.



I really love this pair of pants and will keep the pattern intact. However, I still would prefer that my trouser have a hem circumference of 20″ or less. In fact I like 18 best. Still I don’t want to ruin a good pattern. When I attempt to change the hem in the future, I’ll start by making a copy of this pattern.

Jalie, Vanessa

Jalie Vanessa

I’ve watched with interest as bloggers across the world tried and published their results with Jalie’s new pants pattern: Vanessa.

Yeah, “with interest”. Because Jalie pants have not been difficult for me to fit. I think Jalie Stretch Jeans were the very first jeans pattern I was able to fit.  Their every pant pattern since then,  takes a muslin, but eventually fits.  (I have simply been unable to fit some pants patterns and others never fit nicely but are OK to wear while scrubbing floors).  Jalie may have had a hand-up as they tend to specialize in patterns for stretch fabrics. Stretch fabrics have  a built-in fudge factor when it comes to fitting. Vanessa is the first Jalie pant pattern (note all three words), that is drafted to fit pants in woven, non-stretch fabrics, that I’ve tried (IOW I’ve used patterns from other companies but never Jalie).. The pattern specifies that a drapey fabric must be used. So absolutely no bona-fide cotton denim. It has an interesting waistband which houses elastic and a tie. I don’t like those waist ties; and I think it makes any pant look like a sweat pant. So NO I will never be doing gromments and front waist tie. The leg is designed to be long enough to stack and fold at the hem. The leg is also tight enough to cause that stacking and folding. Most likely I will shorten the leg. To start with, I didn’t even trace the cuff. I traced the pocket pieces and the fly front but plan not to use either for the first fitting. I slipped the tape measure around my rear and sat down. That measurement is at least 2″ larger than my standing measurement causing me to use a CC for circumference.  Oddly, at least to me, with Jalie pants I also need a size shorter. Not sure why just that it seems to give me the right crotch length. So I chose the BB length which is maybe a 1/2″ difference. For the first fitting I added 7/8″ to the side seams and then, following all my summer shorts sewing;  being totally unsure of myself I added another 1/2″ to the back pattern piece. My fabric is a linen with I think some  poly. I presses beautifully. Hangs with a little bit of body. But resists wrinkling. 100% linen does not resist wrinkling. I laid out, cut my pieces. Marked the public side because it was hard to tell private from public’ and serge finished all the edges. Yep, it ravels like a linen.

I was determined to follow the LCD process. Because it usually works. I don’t know what’s wrong we me and shorts this summer but LCD has been good to me all the rest of the year. I was pleased that L seemed immediately good. Mostly I was concerned with the L of the crotch. I did note that the leg notch marks fell 4″ below my knee cap.  I didn’t want to take length away above the knee or even immediately below the knee. The leg is tapered and very close. I struggled to get my foot in and out. So I opened the side seam a bit; folded up the leg and continued with the fitting.

Next I worked on circumference. For the next 5 fittings I worked on circumference. I admit this was due to my timidity. I had stitched the seams as they would have been without my additions but the pant still looked too large in the mirror. So I took in the side seams 1/2cm at a time until it looked the way I wanted. During that time the knee and hem kept getting closer and closer. When I decided the circumference was right for the hip, it is not tight at knee and hem but feels a little restrictive when I move. Standing still, it is fine.  Had this fabric possessed even 10% stretch, I think it would have been OK.  I left it for now, an idea to play with in the future, because I was so delighted to have finally found a pant pattern that could be adjusted to my circumference and finish with a 14″ hem circumference. YEAH! I tell you, I’ve been looking for this pattern for so long. I couldn’t alter my other patterns to achieve a slim leg and narrow hem circumference. In theory, once a pattern fits you should be able to play with leg styling. But every time I did, I introduced errors. Let me do a few hand stands and come back.

Ah, but that left me with the always present depth issue:

the back of leg mess. Not shown here but I also developed a little of the front keyhole issue and because this is an elasticized waist, some draglines and pooching that can be eliminated by darting the waist to be just barely larger than the hip. Maybe I should have tended to the other issues first, but this is the pants killer for me and I went for it. I made 1/2″ hip line dart. Barely helped. Made a full 1″ dart, that is removing 2″ from the back crotch length. A crotch length that I might had has been wonderfully comfortable, but I’m not wearing a pant that looks like the above so 2″ GONE.

That did it:

Well, 99% but I’ll take 99%.  I eagerly returned to my pattern and copied all the changes i.e. trim seam allowances and make the 1″ Hip Line Dart.  I was eyeing the stash for a fabric to make a real pair, when I started wondering if I could recut the current fabric. Mostly the change shortened the back crotch length and set the back waist on an angle

But I also realized that the back crotch length probably needed restoring. While the waist was level while standing still in the pics, when I moved the back waist would slide down. Also I had not yet tackled the front keyhole issue:

Give how long I wear my tops, I could probably ignore the keyhole because it’s always covered up.  So I decided to rip apart and recut after restoring at least part of the crotch length. I placed the front and back pattern pieces together overlapping along the side seam and traced the crotch curve onto a piece of graph paper

Then I slid the graph paper below the crotch for retracing and immediately had a big long discussion with myself.   Part of me says always always always reshape the crotch 1/4″ at a time. Because it takes a commitment. You have to stitch and trim excess tissue. There is no Undo Button. But another part of me says I already know that crotch depth was comfortable and with the total depth there was only the slightest hint of the front keyhole.  Bu the more timid me won out and I slid my crotch template a mere 1/2″ lower. I trimmed the tissue and then cut the fabric using the altered pattern piece. That means I also cut all the excess circumference from the side seams.  However just as a 1/2″ hip line dart had not been enough, neither was the 1/2″ crotch length restore. Oh it felt more comfortable, but most of the back mess had returned:

Oh and the front keyhole was, if anything, worse

I continued ‘restoring the crotch length”, half-inch at a time, three more times until the back crotch length was now the same as the original pattern and the front was a big longer. This was immensely comfortable.  Especially since along the way I hemmed the pants with a short vent on the side seam

I could now slip the pants on and off; and walk around with ease. I did still feel a little restriction at the knee (probably will work on that, but the back pant never looked as good as it did on Fitting 08

Sigh, not having any idea where to go from here, I replaced all basting with permanent stitching and added it to the closet. After all it looks better than RTW

and that was 12 frickin’ fittings. Enough is enough.