Airlie, StyleArc

Airlie: Recut

I did mention I had visions of recutting? Yes? So I ripped out all the stitching and hung the pieces in the closet overnight. This fabric, cannot be pressed!  I thought it was supposed to be polyester.Don’t think so. Spritz with a little water and allow the pants to hang over night praying that’s enough to pull out any wrinkles. Next, where to start this recut/revised muslin? What adjustments to take forward? What to ditch? What to add?

Well I had decided to fold-out 1″ horizontally across the torso of the pant( I showed that in one of the previous fitting pics). Did you realize that while it made the torso fit and look better, the legs were shorter. So even though I won’t be able to add length for the recut, I changed the leg to remove 1″ from leg length. Next yes removing 1″ from the torso length made the pant hang higher on my body and made the leg appear shorter.  I kept the needed CF wedge and  the 1/2″ added to both front extension.  When I checked the back extension, I found I had added 3/4″. I adjusted it back to 1/2″  I’m not sure, I could need more length, then again, I may not. For now, both muslins, especially #1 looked good with 1″ total extra crotch length.  I had thought the 2″ of seat room was too much when I added it to the tissue, but I used it anyway. I reasoned I’d rather have too much than too little. With Muslin 2 fit by increasing both side and CB seams I knew it was too much.  For the Recut, I decreased the additional seat room to a total of 1/2″ ( sliding the block over only 1/4″) taped and redrew crotch and inseam.

Then I cut a 3rd Back tissue. Why? Because I decided to test Jen’s diagonal dart for Jeans on this slim pant pattern.  I feel like, I’m close. I see so many good features with the Airlie.  If the diagonal dart is a mistake, I’d rather be able to start over at the point things were right. So I cut Back Tissue #3,  folded out a diagonal dart starting below the inseam notch, crossing the thigh and upward to the side seam.  My dart rapidly progressed from zip at the inseam to 1″ under the sea and 2.25 by the time it reached the side seam.  Well that’s not going to work when the side seams are sewn together. The amount of the side seam removed by the dart has to be offset. At the top of the side seam (waistband), I drew an upward line 2.5″ ie. the same as removed by the dart; and  joined that line with the  CB.   Maybe one of the reasons I’ve not adhered to using this diagonal dart is all the work it involves. You must make a muslin to determine where and how deep the dart needs to be and then a 2nd muslin to be sure it was correct.   I wish I could somehow combine the adjustments, but previously I found it just doesn’t produce the same result. It’s rather like a mathematical problem which must be solved in a specific order.  Each alteration affects the others and each must be done in turn to produce the desired result.  It’s scary too.I’m always wondering if I’ve made a huge mistake when I reach this point…

Which had to be smooved

but I panicked when I saw this:

Had to stop and think. OK excess fabric above the waist is correct. The horizontal tuck would have pulled the pant shorter and created that.  CB and side excess?? When I reduced the extra seat room that should have decreased the hip width 3/4″ almost back to draft.  I thought more fabric would be removed lower in the leg, not up there by the torso. But maybe it has to be removed up there?  I mean we always remove length across the torso to eliminate the mess under the seat. This could be right.  But I’m still not sure. I pulled out Back 2 and compared it with this new tissue. The difference seen on the fabric was reflected in the difference between the tissues (Doesn’t show in a pic because both pieces are white which photos about as well as 2 pieces of black.)

Then I cut fabric. Still uneasy, I basted the side seams at 3/8″ instead of 3/4″ used on Muslin 2. Not finishing seams, hemming and all that other stuff that takes a garment from wearable to great, well not doing that means the Recut was ready for pics in less than an hour.

I’d say the sides and front are not bad

If it wasn’t for this fabric to show every curve in disgusting deatil, I might wear these.  Sigh, the back…

makes me feel like giving up. OK Good stuff. The waistband is sitting horizontal. I both see and feel that but there is still sort of a poof at the CB.  Does not appear too tight across the seat i.e. it the light isn’t bouncing off of ol’ Betty blinding me in the process.  But the leg wrinkles. Counting left leg only, 3 downward diagonal meet at the inseam; one horizontal and one upward at the knee. Because this is a solid, I can’t really see the fabric being pulled upward towards the crotch like I did with Muslin 1.  There are definately less wrinkles on the back leg and much fewer if any point towards the crotch. The question would be: Is another diagonal dart needed? I remember my communications with Jen the first time I encountered the diagonal dart.  In essence, yes you can increase the depth of the  diagonal dart and change it’s angle but it distorts the pattern more and more to a point where the pattern is unusable.  She actually suggested trying to scoop the crotch once the dart was deeper than 1″ (remember this was several years ago and further experience could have changed her mind.)

I opted to first increase the side seams and take pics.

I always put off scooping until nothing else has an effect because there is no going back from a scoop.  Once the fabric has been cut away, the pants are done whether you are or not.  So thinking  all else had been tried, I scooped the crotch and took pics.:

At this point, I’m concluding  a very slim pant is just not a good choice for me. Even my 5682, supposedly a close jean pant, has an 17″ hem circumference.


I did enjoy sewing with this  pattern.  Absolutely envy all of you who can fit Style Arc pants.  I’m still interested in the pocket and I will copy the pieces and adapt for one of the pant patterns that I did fit to myself.





Just for the record

Beginning Alterations Summary:

  • -1″ leg length
  • 1″ horizontal tuck across front and back
  • +1 CF wedge
  • +1″ length to CF at Waist
  • +1/2? Front Crotch Extension using the 1″ slash and spread method
  • +1/2″ Back Crotch Extension using the 1″ slash and spread
  • +1/4″ Seat Room via Korfiati method
  • May need more
    Diagonal dart 1″ at deepest. Starting (zeroing) at inseam notch, cross under seat terminate at side seam at prominent seat
    Measure amount lost at side seam 2.5″. Draw an upward line at Side seam waist that length (2.5″)
    Connect to CB .


All the above, plu scooped back crotch 1/2″


Airlie, StyleArc

SA Airlie: Muslin 2

When I’m stumped, as I was several weeks ago with Muslin 1 of Airlie, stopping to think is a really good idea. Granted, I stopped to work on adding crotch length and finishing some of my other, half-done projects,  but the point is instead of rushing forward, I gave the Airlie fitting issue a light touch.  I allowed my brain to contemplate the total pant while I busied myself otherwise. That gave my Librarian the time to find answers like the one flashing me in  back-view pictures of Fit1, Fit2 and Fit3.

All 3 pics show the much lighter, more stretched area right across my rear which indicates not enough seat room . It’s hidden, somewhat, by the print, the darkish fabric and the fact I expect a little shadowing beneath my prominent seat.

Usually I skirt-the-issue (prominent seat) by adding 1″ fit-insurance along the side seams. That works, to a point but causes an additional problem:  increase in the total hem circumference. I care  especially with pants and typically, over the next several iterations, slim the leg and hem. But since I’ve stopped the fit process of Airlie,  I’m going to tackle this issue head-on. What alteration does the prominent seat need?  A search in my Pinterest Folder turned up these possibilities.



The first adds circumference and does not re-shape the side seam. Important because if those seams don’t match, sewing is difficult and can affect fit.  But it will add additional crotch length. I’m already removing crotch length. This will be a problem.  In the past, I’ve tried just a vertical slash and spread .  Didn’t work well. The tissue became distorted which led to other problems; more problems than it solved.   The 2nd diagram from Korfiati is much more intriguing.  It, too does not reshape the side seam; adds width at the seat AND  maybe length along the back crotch extension ? Holy cow! Two birds with 1 stone? Two problems solved? This could be a winner.  Of course a new muslin is in order.   Oh and a new tracing.  Then some alterations, some repeats from Muslin1 after all it wasn’t a complete failure:

  • -2″ leg length
  • +1″ CF wedge
  • +1″ length at top of CF. (the other half of tummy fitting)
  • +1/2″ Front Crotch Extension using the 1″ slash and spread method
  • +1/2″ Back Crotch Extension using the 1″ slash and spread
    • I think Korfiati adds some length, but I’m not sure, I’d rather add now and trim away later
  • +1″ Butt Room via Korfiati method.
  • +5/8″ side seams

So  I don’t think I’m going to be ‘there’ i.e. fitted pattern with this muslin but I need to tests these ideas. For Muslin2, I’m working with a ‘scuba knit’ purchased a few years ago.  I bought it after  reading rave reviews about  others fabulous scuba knit dress/pants/whatever. I was puzzled.  I’ve seen the real scuba knit on real scuba divers. That fabric is a waterproof, layered fabric. Comfortable in the water but sweltering and restricting on dryland.   I could not imagine wearing such a fabric, but it seemed everyone was raving about it.  This cheap purchase confirmed my fears.  It was not true scuba fabric for scuba suits. It was a cushy, foam layered fabric victimized by the current-day habit of using words for other than what they mean. (Apologies about the soap box. How can communication take place when we really don’t understand what each other is saying?) . I hated the fabric from the moment it arrived. Icky. Sticky. The foil like finish did not help.

OK, there may be better scuba fabric, but I never bought another piece and this one has languished in the muslin stash since it’s arrival. It was unearthed now only because it possessed the required 40% stretch. As with Muslin 1, I had fabric and pattern laid-out, cut and basted together in under an hour.  Ready for pics?

. So as not to be distracted by the foil print, I’m using the inside as the outside (public side), however, this burnt orange is not more attractive and the foil is sticking to my skin. Yuk.

There is obviously too much circumference nearly everywhere. I did think that adding 2″ total (1″ slash and spread) to the butt could be too much; and in the back of my mind , I had hoped that I didn’t need the additional at the side seams. I let the hem circumference decide where to start.  My muslin hem is currently 16.5″. A size 18 (what I bought) should be 15.25″, 1.25″ less or 5/16 less on each side seam.  A size 20 (what I probably should have purchased) should finish at 15.75, 3/4″ less or 3/16″ less each side seam. Now, I might prefer the size 20 hem circ. I find the 13,14,15″ hem circumferences challenging (at times) and always require removal of shoe–even in freezing winter.  But, I’m working with the size 18 and so instead of the 1/2″ SA I used, I will increase that to 3/4″. (Should be 13/16 but that’s hard to achieve the way my throat plate is marked.

Next, I’m always try to get my waist situated at the waist. The front is rising too high. I’m surprised because I also added 1/2″ crotch extension, 1″ front wedge and 1″ to the crotch upright of to Muslin 2 .I did not  trim Muslin 2;  I offset the waist band with the top of the pant to remove the 1/2″ excess length.  Not trimmed because I made some significant changes for this muslin and I’m not 100% sure I made the right choices on anything. I don’t like making 2 changes at a time let alone the 3rd made. The sides and back all said too, too much ease. I also increased the CB seam from 3/8 to 5/8″ just along the upright.  Nothing to the crotch curve itself and not trimmed.  In the back of my mind I have the idea of transferring successful adjustments to the tissue and recutting the muslin.

Fit02, sewing is fast fitting is slow.  To my surprise, the  CF crotch is still too long. See the side view for the 1/2″ (would be 1″ total) that I pinned to be removed. Having added 1″ length for Muslin1, I’m doubly surprised this is so long.  Other wise I hate the fabric. It shows all the curves where I’d like to camo a few, like the belly flap in front. I”m trying to ignore it because otherwise my only front concern is what seems to be extra fabric between the thighs. Yes, the slash and spread does add a little more thigh circumference; and it’s distributed all the way between crotch and knee.  Perhaps that’s why I started just adding length to the end of the crotch?

contemplating the sides, and ignoring how this scuba knit reveal all I’d wish to hide, I think it says too much ease on the back. I might be able to take the sides in more, which I’m truly considering

as I contemplate the back. I’m wondering if it looks better than Fit1 or not. Fit 1 has 4 hip and 3 inseam wrinkles; Fit 2 has 5 hip, 2 horizontal at the knee and 3 inseam. Hardly an improvement. I can live with the horizontal wrinkles at the knee. That just means it’s a little closer than I’d want, but should I? Despite all the revealed curves, I like the way the back looks between waist and prominent seat. I’m not a tight laced Victorian. I do like my pants to follow my body curves just a little. Still its the wrinkles mess in the legs that concerns me. Do I work on the Inseam wrinkles, first? They are pointing upward, towards the crotch and usually indicate the crotch is not long enough. Same thing I was seeing and unable to correct with Muslin 1.  I am very disappointed in the leg wrinkles that extend from the hip.  I added 2 more inches of ease/circumference.  The front still has a bit more than I’d like. The seat looks good. So why are those wrinkles there?  I believe a 1/2″ tuck all the way around front to back is my next fitting action.  Will test both corrections for the front crotch length and the back mess.

Interesting, but an improvement? Well the front does look better. There is still too much fabric there between the thighs but not so much and not looking so bad.  The back looks nicer from a circumference perspective i.e. actually looks like there is a body in them there pants. But the wrinkles?? OMGosh! I now have 5 of those diagonal wrinkles across the upper thigh plus 6 wrinkles that dig into the inseam. I always suspect adding 2″ of seat ease would be too much. So now I removed half of that, 1″, but I did leave some. Muslin 1 said I need more seating room.

I made a 1/2″ dart covering approximately same area as the Seat+ alteration and 5″ of upper thigh.   It was supposed to be a vertical dart on grain but as you can see, it leans. Interestingly, same way the folds were leaning.  So now, I’m back to asking, was the Seat+ alteration needed? I thought it was. If not extra ease for my seat, then what?   Since I’m spending my day fitting, I dug out Muslin 1 and made the same dart in the leg as is on Muslin 2


I put pins along the dart so the dart would be more easily seen.  When you click on the pic you’ll st is the left leg this time which has the diagonal dart. A diagonal dart which is a lot more vertical than the one I put in M2.  First let me point out the most disgusting thing.  Muslin 1 has hung in the closet for several days.  I have pant hangar that hold the cuff and allow the waist end to dangle. Just out of the dyer, that’s sufficient to remove nearly all wrinkles. I was so surprised to see that the right leg had virtually no drag lines, but the stripes do angle upward. The left leg has maybe 2. Where’d they go?  If I were to wear the pants, would the wrinkles reappear?  So how do I know whether or not the diagonal dart is needed for this pattern?

This took me back several years to Jennifer Sterns-H Jean Class on Craftsy (as it was then known).  Jen has you make a number of measurements and adjustments that most other fitters don’t bother with.  Near the end of fitting, she had me and the few like me, pinch out this diagonal dart. Bang! My home-made jeans were beauteous. I always thought the diagonal dart was specific to the jean fit. Time passed. I fit other pants. Let’s face it the 20″ hem of my straight leg trousers (SP3200) fit themselves.  They have enough fabric my body can take what it needs from wherever it is. Shorts, which I make a lot of, don’t have the same leg problems.  I never totally understand why, but anything ending above the knee has far fewer fitting issues everywhere, not just pant legs. (Maxi dresses may be the exception but then they has oodles of fabric just like my trousers). My body changed and I struggled with fitting everything. I’ve slowly been refitting patterns and slowly returning to the sewing I love.  I’ve managed to fit 2 pant patterns without a lot tears and frustration and I’ve worked them to death. But this takes me back and I wonder, should I be incorporating the diagonal dart in every close-fitting pant?

Airlie, StyleArc

Airlie: My Fitting Issue Summary

Several days ago, I was fitting the Style Arc Airlie Pant pattern.  I was halted when a patch gusset utilized to lengthen the muslin’s crotch extensions  did not work as expected. I’ve picked up this project again, but first let’s refresh memories:

The back after sewing the muslin together:


I counted (left leg only) 4 diagonal lines radiating upward from inseam towards hip and side;  1 radiating from knee downward towards mid-calf. I also saw some bubbling along the crotch upright,  generally  the back crotch upright is too long.  A simple offsetting the waistband 1″ lower should have helped both issues.

During the initial pattern evaluation and measuring, I noted that the very nice SA crotch was not exactly like my own.  I have the rather rare high-low crotch anomaly.  That simply means my undercarriage is not horizontal to the floor.  It is tilted slightly downward in back. It is typical for me to scoop the back crotch of my pants 1/2″ and sometimes more. Depends upon the pattern.

So before Fit02, I offset the waistband 1″ to shorten the back crotch length and then scooped the back crotch 1/2″. Then took pictures for Fit#2

Above the seat, no bubbling along the back upright (Thumbs Up), but the waistband was no longer horizontal. It clearly pulled down in the pic and I felt it.   I was horrified to count the wrinkles this time.  There are 6 (2 more than Fit1) leg diagonals and 5 along the inseam.  The lines along the inseam  usually indicate on my pants a need for additional crotch length. So I carefully cut and applied a gusset to add 1″ to both the front and back crotch extensions (total 2″). Understand with the 1/2″ added earlier I had now added 3″ to  that drafted crotch.  For all my trouble Fit3

was worse not better. The front waistband (not shown) had been  horizontal but now was rising almost touching my bra band..  The back crotch seemed to come further forward and of course the back WB dipped even lower than in Fit2. There were, however fewer wrinkles.  There were  3  leg wrinkles at the hip and 3 along the inseam.

A major issue with adding the gusset was that it did not form a nice curve.  I had to draw a curve which removed about 1.5″ of what was added by the gusset.  The end result was hardly worth the effort of the gusset.

My first thought was I needed to figure out how to lengthen the crotch without trimming away  most of the length to create a nice curve. This is where I took my break and where I am starting now.

I don’t know why exactly, but I had adopted the method of simply extended the crotch the desired amount and then drawing a new inseam curve back to the original.

That works well enough when adding 1/4-1/2″. But  larger amounts always produced the weird pyramid that needed trimming away to form a nice curve

So I hunted through my Pinterest Folder Pants->Fitting and found 2 techniques to try.

The first cuts into the crotch about 1″ away from the tip and down to the notch

Ready to try this out, I pulled out my original Airlie and traced the front and back crotches. Then I decided I needed to know, 100%, no room for doubt that the excellent draft I think I’m getting from SA, is really that good.  So the first sewing I did was a sample of the front and back crotches as SA drafted.

Sample Pattern                                               Sewn sample of Original crotch

I actually cut 2 backs and 2 fronts. Realized when joining the first back and front, I didn’t need to make a whole little pant.  All I needed was visual verification that a nice curve resulted. From here on, I cut only 1 each of a back and front.

Next up was using the 1″ Slash and Spread Adjustment to add 1/2″.

A line is drawn starting about 1″ in from the tip of the crotch (either front or back) over to the inseam notch.  The line is then cut almost all the way to the inseam which forms a hinge. The crotch is spread the desired distance, 1/2″ for me, tissue slipped beneath and everything taped down. Curve needs to be corrected just a little and then all the excess tissue can be cut away. I cut a copy of my original sample pattern and added 1/2″ to front and back before cutting another back and front from fabric and stitching together.

Not quite as smooth as the original but much better than my ol’ extend at the crotch. So I’ve been reading about a different measuring system for the crotch (can’t share because of copy right issues.)  It needs careful measuring of both body and pattern and I’m not sure I’ve got that right.  But just for fun, I wanted to try measurements which resulted and created a sample adding 1.25″ to the front and 2.25″ to the back.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to spread the crotch that far. But it did and it stitched together with only a little correction to the curve. I just don’t think my measurement is right though, so when I started method 2, Slash to knee, I returned to the 1/2″ addition.

With this method, I’m calling KneeSlash, you slash into the crotch much closer to the body and extend the slash almost to the knee. Doubt that it would be wrong to slash all the way to the knee.

Amazingly, this makes a much smooth connection with the inseam and sewn it is much smoother as well.   My one concern is that it is adding more circumference in an area I’m always complaining has too much circumference to start with, the thighs. Yes, my seat not only hangs a bit low, it is large in proportion to my thighs.  With that in mind, I’m going to test the Knee Slash method with actual use at least a time or two.

So, clean up done. Half-baked projects done. Laundry as done as it ever gets (like washing dishes, the laundry is never done). So am I ready for Muslin 2?


3200 Sally's Pant, Shorts

First Summer Shorts

I was pretty happy with my shorts supply when I swapped out my winter for summer clothes.  I reasoned that with 6 pairs and I enough to go all summer. I knew I would want to add a pair or two just to make something new and also to keep refreshing the wardrobe. Shorts are, after all, something I can count on wearing every summer. I had a rude awakening when I started actually wearing my shorts. I had forgotten that all these were made before I finished tweaking my TNT’s, Peggy Sagers 3200 and Butterick 5682.  Pair had something seriously wrong.  One pair was fine while I was standing, but I couldn’t sit. Seriously, they had no stretch and would not give enough for my body to bend into sitting position.  How the heck did I wear those last year? I have not gained weight. The scales at my doctor’s office are steadly going down. Not rocketing to the bottom, but a pound less when I visit (my visits are quarterly). I’m 6 pounds less now then when I made the shorts. A few pulled sharply down at CB whenever I sat. Well, I have no intention of running around with my bum showing, so into the Goodwill box they went too. I’m left with 3 pairs of shorts which is not enough during hot weather. Time to start sewing shorts!

First pair is cut from a black and white stripe of cotton/poly seersucker. I don’t care whether seersucker is in or out, I love it for summer garments.  Most of my life, it’s been the fabric I could count on to look the same on a summer afternoon as it did in the morning.  I’d rather be slightly rumpled all day then to look like something the cat hacked up in the evening. KWIM?

I had already traced 3200 for shorts length. I did myself a favor by tracing it for the longest length shorts I would want and then marking fold lines along the leg for shorter versions. Now I folded it for the 4″ short.  I chalked an extra 1″ onto the sides and added 1-1/4″ length at the waist for a fold over waistband. My 4″ inseam is actually marked at the 5-1/4″ level to include the hem so no need to add for a hem. I wanted pockets so dug through my patterns until I could find what I call the CLD pocket.

The CLD pocket is really a thing of beauty.  Louise Cutting includes this pocket or instructions for it  in a number of her pants patterns.  The front side seam is faced at the pocket opening. A single pocket shape (you can vary it) is attached to the back side seam. The pocket attached to the back is placed under the front and top stitched. Yeah, so not clear. It is an easy pocket application. Has the virtue of never gaping; can be added after the fact (with a little seam ripping) and made from a scrap. But you do need to follow an exact procedure or you’ll muck it up. I did. I forgot to read the directions and missed steps resulting in some ripping and creative sewing..  Have a nice pocket, but this could have been so much easier.

I wanted to work some more with the new CS and used the 2340 to top stitch pockets and hems. Hems were fine — I’ve got a new if still awkward procedure for removing the work — but those pockets had me screaming. I used the pocket shape with sharp corners. 2340 does not make nice right angle turns. I had quite a mess..

.. which I top stitched at the sewing machine

trying to at least secure the pocket if not make it look a little better.  I was frustrated by the time I finished and even suggested, to myself, that I put the Janome back up and set the 2340 aside until I triple needles was the exact look I wanted.  But I remembered that it wasn’t all that easy when I first got the Janome 900CPX.  For months all I would do is a hemming stitch. I can remember letting out a deep relaxed sigh each time I completed a decent hem. It was months before I would try anything else. I haven had the 2340 but 3 weeks. Already I pushing it and probably myself.

Note: I can now see real advantages to my Janome 900CPX over the 2340CV.  The 900 is much easier to thread and to remove the work from machine. Removing the work from the 2340 is a real fight that seams to be accompanied by either rethreading the machine, or unintentionally raveling

the hem and having to over stitch at the sewing machine. Also, having 3 needles means threading THREE needles with THREE cones of thread. That’s just not going to happen with some colors. In which case I will be winding a bobbin to use at the 2340. I don’t like a lot of fuss. Sewing: YES. Fuss and futzing: NO. Threading is futzing.

A second goof, probably the first really because I did not add enough length for a fold over waistband.  I made it work but I must have spent 10 minutes measuring, pinning, folding etc. I think though my measuring was just a little off. These both look and feel just a little close in the crotch

Happily a little scooping took care of it but I don’t seem to have pics after the scoop.

Next time I’m going to read the pocket and waistband instructions. It’s nice to have a multitude of techniques to use, I just need to be reminded of the construction details before I cut.

Airlie, StyleArc

SA Airlie: The Muslin

Finding a suitable muslin was a challenge.  I first measured the fabric sent with the pattern, a Bengaline. I have had a couple cuts of American Bengaline. Still have one in the muslin stack. American Bengaline is nothing like the fabric in hand. For starters American Bengaline is 70%+ polyester where the Australian is Viscose. The American stuff is therefore nasty to wear. In the summer it is hot; winter cold. Slightest touch of water causes bubbling which cannot be pressed-out. The pant must be washed and then, dear heaven, it needs a little steam which once again bubbles the fabric. Nasty stuff. But this Aussie stuff is definitely a different animal. Crosswise stretch is, as advertise, 0%. The length wise stretch measured 60% but the fabric looked like the belly and thighs of the woman who had 6 kids in rapid succession i.e. shredded.  I backed off the stretch to 40% which returned the fabric to a pleasant appearance. While I prefer pants with a little stretch, I have little pant-approrpiate with 40% stretch. Only one in the muslin stack and it would not be suitable for this slim pant.  My personal experience dictates that my slimmer pants need a little body to them and much less drape to support shape. Finding nothing suitable in the muslin stack, I hunted in the rest of the stash for something that I’m pretty sure would work with the slimmer pant but I wouldn’t mind sacrificing. Nearly all the suitable pants were in the $20-40 per yard range and I just could not cut into them. I did at last select a ponte purchased from It is a printed fabric which reminded me of the prints I’ve been seeing on pants since about February.  Not a cheap fabric, but not likely to be used for the intended purpose due to color.  This is another case where I saw what I wanted instead of what was actually published on the page. The fabric was a cream and navy print,  mostly cream.  I took one look and said “Not on my hinny.”.  I try to keep my bottoms muted, dark. It’s an effort to visually balance my hips with my narrow shoulders and upper bodice.  Mostly it works. But like I said, I can lie to myself and end up with a fabric that won’t work well for a pant but can as a top.  I was considering another Idye experiment, but opted to use it as a muslin for Airlie.

One of the beauties of a muslin is you don’t have do everything carefully. I mean, no finishing of seams. No pockets,  cut away and ignore hems. I use water-soluble thread in the bobbin for easy ripping. I had the pieces (just using front, back and waistband), cut, basted together and in pics in less than an hour. Let’s take a look:

I think the front looks nice. There are small, nearly vertical folds under the waistband over my right  tummy (left looking into the pic) and some diagonal folds above the hem on both legs. I wouldn’t worry about these, except I am fitting. The waist is much larger than my own; a combination of the pull-on pant needing to be as big at the waist as the hip and my having added the wedge at center front as well as increasing the side seams by 1″. I’m not sure the wrinkle over the tummy portion is an issue. Is it the result of the excess circumference? The circumference distribution when I pulled the pant up? Again, if I wasn’t just starting fit, I wouldn’t worry. I’d be pleased to wear it.

I can’t say I’m upset about the side view either.  Both have near vertical folds in the same general area. This is not a legging. Airlie is a slim pull-on pant.  I added ‘fit insurance’. So I definitely increased the circumference over the intended draft. Again, not sure this is really  a fitting issue…

The back is; and I expected it.  I was pretty sure that back crotch upright was too long, but I hesitated to cut the excess until I could verify.  Let me take you back a second. The crotch length and it’s division between back and right/ upright and extension involved a string of calculations and lots of room for error.  I’ve learned the hard way, that I can make the work  smaller not larger at a  later time. So even though my calculation said “take away from crotch upright’, I waited until I could physically verify the calculation with my muslin.  I expect a lot of the wrinkles below the hip and over the legs to disappear when I shorten the back upright, 1”. In the muslin, that’s a simple action of removing the waistband and restitching it 1″ lower at CB.

Beyond the back crotch upright correction,  I think I’ve moved into the range of actions required to fit a garment to my bodily anomalies.  When I looked at the crotch (let me refresh your memory)…

… I realized that it was the typical straightening of the curve where the upright and the extension drafting-lines cross. Because I have the high-low anomaly…

(Look it up in Palmer Pletch “Pants for All People”. It’s only one short paragraph in the fitting section. Easy to miss.)

… my crotch needs to dip below the crotch extension line at least 1/2″ and then rise to join the extension line. I knew that wasn’t my crotch.  I hesitated to cut into the tissue before making the muslin. I don’t know why. I will now before Fit #2.

A secondary note, this print does not look bad on me. I had assumed that it would add pounds to my appearance.  Is the look because this is a slim pant? Dark color? Have I become accustomed to seeing other women with horizontal striped pants?  Something else?

Fit#2 surprised me with its comfort. I wasn’t even aware the Fit#1 wasn’t comfortable until I slipped these on.  It was like the recent sandals I bought. The previous sandals felt find, until I slipped my foot into these, with their built-in arch support. I let out an immediate sigh of relief. Same thing with this pants. Suddenly, noticeably comfortable. But I still had some issues on the back side. Now, I clearly saw the upward diagonals pointing to the crotch. Crotch needs more length.


What to do? I’ve been here before, the experts recommend, add a gusset and trim to desired size.

My issue with gussets is that when I stitch the pant crotch it must form a smooth curve going through my legs; and that seems to remove as much as I added:

The Fit#3 pictures tell me this wasn’t a successful alteration.

But I knew that as soon as I tried it on. Comfortable fit: GONE.  Felt better in Fit1 than it does now.   CF nows rides high, while CB is pulled down. Otherwise, the front looks relatively the same. The back,  although there has been some lessening of the wrinkles, as a minimum remains unattractive if you don’t think the CB pulling down increases the ugly factor. The only good point is that starting with Fit2, the pant has not looked too tight across my rear yet I have not let out any seam to gain more circumference.

There must be a better way to add a gusset.  I use the patch method.  Please don’t suggest the diamond.  I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the math and sewing. At least, I can easily add a gusset by using the patch. The trouble here is the length required.  I added 1″ length to both back and front. But, as you saw above, I probably removed 3/4″ when I stitched the crotch with a  smooth curve.

Sadly, I must pause and place this muslin in the back of the sewing closet. Despite my favorable response to the stripes, I doubt that I will ever finish it but I may need to refer to what I’ve done so far.  I used to be able to fit Style Arc pants easily before my last age-related physical change.  You study all about the growth of children into adults but very little information is provided about the period from adulthood to the grave.  It seems to be something we each  have to grapple with on our own.  There are solutions. Most of them seem to be either terrible fit or shapeless. Please understand, I don’t actually feel harsh towards RTW or pattern cutters. At least not anymore. Truth is our body continues to change through our daily living habits as well as accidents and disease and that change continues through adulthood albeit unnoticeable until it is a problem.  Most of the change is  unique to the individual. I am problematic because I refuse to accept either shapelessness or terrible fit as solutions.  I do see  possible actions for me in working with this pant pattern.  I need to pause because  I need more 40% stretch fabric and I need it cheap. I anticipate another muslin or two.   I can’t fit long-legged pants with shorts. My combination of physical features create those back issues only with*1 long legged pants.  So I need to order fabric which can take 2 or more weeks.  Secondly, I need to do some research and testing on some ideas I’m having. That takes time. Finally I was so excited about the pattern that I dropped several project in progress. They await me.

But I do want to say, I’m liking this pattern so far.  That clever pocket, is sweet.  I can’t wait to use it. A 3-piece pant is quick to sew even when you do all the pockets, hemming and finishing I skipped for the muslin. This pattern, as all Style Arc patterns, was beautifully drafted. I had no issues with the pieces going together even with the several changes I did at the tissue stage. I’m convinced that’s because I started with a well drafted pattern. I will get back to it. Promise.



*1 Several years ago, I used a Burda pattern for long-legged pants to make shorts. All summer I made short after short by simply folding up the leg to my desired inseam. Thinking all the issues solved, except maybe length, I purchased nice fabric for an autumn pant. I was shocked. Horrified!  The back suddenly develop more wrinkles than seen above. On me, the leg length/inseam makes a tremendous difference in what I need to do to fit pants.


Airlie, Arlie W/Video, StyleArc

Style Arc Airlie

Not sure how to pronounce Airlie but it’s a new pant pattern from Style Arc. Has a really neat pocket and SA gave is a VIDEO of the pocket construction. Also it came with its own fabric, Bengaline.  I bought the Denim blue.  It takes a while for things to reach me from Australia and I shoved it to the back of my mind.  When it arrived I was excited and had to work on it NOW!

For me, prep work is the key, followed by a test fitting garment and finally ‘real’ fabric.  Yes I have been following Peggy Sagers fitting procedures . I still like them. I still recommend them but I find there comes a point when I have to stop and adapt for my personal anomalies. For pants that’s a large front waist, tilted waist, high-low back crotch, and short legs. This last year I’ve also found that adjusting for the depth of my body is very important. So it’s not enough that the crotch has the total length but that length has to be placed where I need it.

The first thing I did was start checking measurements. Style Arc lists the finished measurements in the brief pattern instructions. Which is how I discovered I bought the wrong size. When I looked at the measurement chart I saw  metric and  imperial charts. “Hallelujah!” I thought, ” I don’t need to convert from metric to inches.”  When the pattern arrived and I started checking measurements I realized I bought from the finished chart not the recommended size chart(which is the metric). I’m starting with a size too small.   Since I waited so long for the package to arrive, I decided to see if I could adapt.  I pulled out my favorite pattern, 5682, to measure. It involved measuring equivalent places and then subtracting seam allowances before comparing to the Style Arc Finished Measurements chart. For the crotch, I needed to add in the waistband (less seam allowances). You need math. Not interstellar distances, but tiny bits that make sure your pants go ’round your butt.

A half hour later I said “Huh.” All the measuring. All the calculating;  and I’m probably not doing anymore than I did to my Silhouette Pants patterns.

The crotch and tilted waist have me concerned.  I like the look of this crotch:


Nice scoop in the back, little hook in front. In total, there should be enough length but when front and back are compared separately, the front needs another 1-25″ while the back should be 3/4″ shorter. Additionally each crotch extension needs to be increased 1/2″.  OK so I add to the front take away from the back. But do I add at the top of the front crotch? Split between top and inseam? Do I reduce the back crotch upright by 3/4″ or by 1.25″ since I need to stick 1/2″ on the back at the inseam? I used to do long math strings all the time. Believe me, it makes lots of room for error. Sometimes to solve the errors, you have to work each change in turn. Not that hard todo in programming/computers but in sewing we’re talking 4-6 test garments? Oh and should I have reconsidered the effect of the waistband? See, many wrinkles.  The logic is not all the easy for me to sort through.

So decision for Test garment 1:

  • -2″ leg (As always. I have short legs. That doesn’t change no matter what pattern I buy.)
  • +1″ to side seam allowances
  • +1/2″ CF wedge (that tummy of mine has to have room yours’ does not.)
  • +1/2″ Front Crotch Extension (the body depth issue)
  • +1/2″ Back Crotch Extension (the other half of the body depth issue)
  • +1″ at top of CF. (the rest of the depth issue. You might think length but it’s really a continuation of the CF wedge to fit over the tummy)

I will not have a well-fitting pair of pants with the first test garment. But I should have enough length, circumference and depth to be ready for some real fabric. Off to check required stretch and choose a muslin fabric!