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?