5682 - Jeans, CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, View B

5682 View B Fitting

I’ll say it again and again and again. Pants are easy to sew!  I used water-soluble thread in the bobbin. I cut the inseams 1/4″ wide so I had to serge them but otherwise, basting all the way including the yoke, zipper and waistband. No other edge finishes–this is a test garment. My personal experience is that without the zipper and waistband in place, I can’t adequately fit the pant. Happily I had 5682 View B  ready to try on in what seemed like no time (about an hour because I did add interfacing to both waistband and facing). Before trying on, I measured the front and back crotches on the sewn garment. I came up with 16.25″ in back 13 in front. I always take that with a grain of salt though because it is hard to manage fabric, zipper, multiple seams and ruler or measuring wheel. IOW the measurements might not be accurate.

Fit 01

This is a terrific first fitting, after all,  I have worn worse looking pants. I don’t see or feel any large issues. It really looks like I will be tweaking rather than making substantial changes.  I’ll remind you again, the fabric has no stretch while the pattern specified denim or stretch woven. Some of the appearance of ill fit might be a result of the no stretch.

I’m just not sure about the front. Does the tummy look tight to you? I am unsure about the front crotch. It feels long enough but I think should be reshaped a little just before the curve. That’s not unusual for me. The paren () crotch shape just isn’t mine.  I recognize the familiar diagonal lines over by the sides.

The back looks both a little tight and the crotch a little wrong. During the pics I could tell it was gaping. I think that had more to do with a front waistband flapping about issue.  The waistband ripped away about 3″ close to the zipper. WST is great for test garments but that is a disadvantage.  With this fabric instead of a folded mess I’m getting poof underneath my rear.  The sideline:

drops straight from waist to knee; ;buckles a little at the knee and then drops straight to the hem. Nice!


  • Stitch the waistband together in front
  • Let out the side seams 1/8″, evenly (no curves on the side seam; the change needs to be evenly divided.)
  • Make the first Diagonal Dart 1/2″ deep

Fit 02:

Well the ease added to the front did nothing to improve it’s looks.  The 1/2″ total ease added made the waist too big. I pulled it tight and clipped in place for the pics.  On the side, the seam still drops nicely from the waist and in this pic all the way to the ankle. I can clearly see the diagonals which have always been the result of the side seam being too long.  I am not sure why those diagonals are extending beneath the back waistband downward towards the left or right.  The leg and yoke joined smoothly without the slightest stretching.  Have to think about that.The extra ease does make the back across the hip looks a little nicer. I think that the back crotch may still be a bit short–even though it measures 16″ the amount specified by my bowl. It just seams to be tucking up into my bifurcation.  I’ve basted a 1/2″ deep fish-eye dart across the right leg.   Which has me undecided.  The right leg looks much nicer from the dart to hem but from dart to butt it has developed some nasty diagonals. Frankly, I’d rather have the poofy look of the left leg;and remember I already made a 3/8″ inseam dart to the pattern. I shouldn’t need to make it now. Usually I put off scooping the crotch. But I strongly felt the front crotch needed to be reshaped (it did) and so did the back crotch at the same time.

both are just slight changes. More like refining the crotch shape changing from () to L’s.

I slimmed the hem to 17″ by increasing the SA at the hem 1/2″ tapering to 3/8″ from the knee to wait.  Was planning to change the inseam hem the same amount on the tissue but I like the way this leg looks.  However, I don’t like this pant for jeans. It would be useful to me as a slacks pattern should I be able to solve all the issues noted above.  I like best the front of Fit01 and the back of Fit 02, again as a slack. not a jean

Planned Fit 03 Changes:

  • Add as much length to back crotch as possible.
  • Offset waist band 1/4″ side seam to CF
  • Ease pant to waist band so no ease is added at the waist.
  • 1/2″ Vertical fish eye dart applied to the left leg.

I offset the waistband 1/2″, I wanted to be very sure I had removed enough to make a difference. Next I added 2″ strip at the top of the pant leg and then stitched the yoke so that 1/2″ was added to the crotch length. Inside the back looks a little odd…

..but this is a test garment. I’m not concerned about looks so much as results.  Finally I made the fish eye dart 1/2″ deep in the left leg.

I tried placing the dart so it would look like a gusset which is a very common and acceptable tailoring aid. Then I took pics:

I would say disappointing pics because I don’t see any improvement. In fact, I think the back leg looked better before the fish eye dart

Before Dart   After Dart

It’s possible the dart is in the wrong place or not deep enough.

I know someone out there is eager to suggest Peggy’s solutions. First I am not removing any length from the crotch. I need every 1/4″ especially with this non-stretch fabric. As for the top of inseam dart, I put that in the tissue. It is already incorporated and is not having the desired effect. It is ludicrous to expect to do the same exact thing but get different results. IOW I’m not adding another top of inseam dart.  It’s done. It failed. I’m not repeating the failure.

I have 3 issues on the front

  1. it now has too much ease due to adding more for the back in Fit 02.
  2. the waist is still too large even though I have reduced it through easing the pant leg to the waistband. For the Fit 03 pics I still needed to overlap and clip at the front
  3. Those diagonal wrinkles were not reduced one iota and I doubled my initial estimate of how much needed to be removed.

So what will I do. I’m going to remove the ease added to the front in Fit 02 by using a narrow seam in the center of the front. I will offset the waistband another 1/2″. I’m tired of moving the waistband back and forth. I am adding elastic and letting the elastic gather the waist to my body.  In Fit 02 and 03, I have adapted the waist by overlapping further in front. While it makes the waist smaller it does pull the sides toward the center as when we tie a blouse at center front:


My rayon blouse cooperates and ties very nicely. The stiff cotton  fabric does not ie. I pull. It resists.

Fit 04 I put a 1/8″ seam in the center of each leg which removed 1/4″ circumference. I offset the waistband 3/4″ lower to help with the diagonal lines and I inserted 1-1/4″ wide elastic into the waistband so I wasn’t pulling to any particular point when snugging the waist to my body.  Truth is, I add elastic to all my waistbands. I enjoy the comfort it gives me to have a waistband  that will stretch a little when my tummy needs it. Oh and I learned this trick from my favorite jean after taking an old pair apart one day.  Let’s look at the side view first

I am happy to see nearly all the leg diagonals are gone.  Those that remain are at the knee or lower and may be the result of knee movement or the below ankle length I’ve chosen. IMO sides are fine. I see no further reason to work with them.

Yes it is blurred. I don’t understand. My camera is placed in a fixed position. It cannot move.  I set the timer then go take my position and stand very still until I hear the click of the shutter. How do I get blurred pics?  Well the most important thing here is that I moved the vertical fisheye dart from the gusset area to the center-back, left-leg. The change did not improve the back of leg. The better leg is still the fish eye, diagonal dart on the right leg.

FIT 04                                    Fit 01

The front is… well not what I was expecting. I thought returning the front circumference to the default, since it looked so good in Fit 01. While the diagonals disappeared on the back and side views, my front has developed prominent Jodhpur thighs.   But as I compare carefully, I see that there were always deep  folds across my thigh crease and the diagonals below.  It is some how like the fabric is falling sideways and then down.

Truthfully, I am not sure what to do.  This is particularly disappointing because I have felt with each fitting that I almost had it. Like the next tweak would be the last. For now, I have pressed carefully and hung in the closet. Tomorrow, I hope to be inspired with new ideas and new solutions. For, as of now, 5682 View B is a  DUD.


5682 - Jeans, View B

5682 View B

I kept thinking about the whole crotch/hip/waist relationship. Wondering if V1411 had fit nicely because it was a Sandra Betzina draft or because I’d stumbled upon the right size (for those 3 critical measures) and alterations. I remembered both 5682 and Silhouette Patterns 3200 as being easy to fit. How could they be easy and V1411 in 2 sizes larger be easy  if they shared the same basic draft? (I”m ignoring all the false starts I had with V1411. The last version was easy.)  I am fairly sure they do share the same basic draft. Especially 5682 which was sold by Vogue and V1411 sold by their sister company Butterick. The Big 4 have their draft down and haven’t changed it, famous designers notwithstanding. It seems to me that for all 3 patterns to be easily fit, they must all 3 have the same critical measures. They don’t.  So I, intending only to measure, pulled out 5682 and measured View B

I measured View B, not A, because View A’s leg was too small. In time I added width to the hem.  I am assuming that all 5 views of 5682 are the same with differences in leg styling. If I traced again, it would not be View A. 

Dotting out all the 5/8″ seam allowances and using a flexible ruler, I measured front and back crotch, hip then compared with 5682 View A, SP3200 and  V1411 figures. I said “Huh.” I did what little housework was required downstairs all the while thinking…

Earlier I had added the yoke and waistband widths. Now I took my personal measurements, subtracted WB and yoke  (as appropriate) and I figured out how much the pattern needed to measure to fit me.  Which is:

  • Front Crotch  11.5
  • Back Crotch 12.5
  • Hip 45 (includes 1.5″ ease)

None of the sizes came close to what I need. Seeing that, it makes me wonder how on earth 5682 View A was so easy to fit the first time? So I stopped to read my posts. They say we forget pain. We remember we had pain, but we forget the intensity. It must be true because for View A, I made 3 aisle runner muslins and 3 different fabric versions before I was satisfied. I did not say “until I perfected” just that I was satisfied enough to wear the resulting pants  everywhere. Even after reaching a satisfied point, I continued to tweak the crotch or somewhere else with nearly every version. I’ve made about a dozen of these. As I read, I realized the first mistake had been saying an 18″ was close enough to start with. During fitting View A I added 1″ to both back and front crotch length. With each new version I added crotch-length either by slash and spread (front) or scooping (back). My last version has 27 5/8″ crotch length. According to my bowl I need 29″. (Anyone remember writing that my crotch looked short?  You were right!).  Eventually, on View A,  I added the 3/8″ inseam darts recommended by Peggy Sagers and reshaped both front and back from  paren “()” or C shapes into more of a J or L. The final measurements, after repeated muslins and trials, were close to the size 20.  I realized View A had not been easy to fit. I had pounded away at it until I was satisfied.

So now I wanted to sew 5682 starting with the correct critical measurements. To fit  View B, I copied size 20, all around, added 1″ height to the back crotch, 2-1/4″ to the front crotch and made the Top of Inseam Dart 3/8″ (removes 3/4″ total) on front and back.  I also measured the top edge of the waistband and reduced it to my waist circumference.  Just so I have a place to make further changes under the butt when/if needed, I chalked and then basted diagonal lines across the front and back legs a l`a V1411.  My plan is to fit as much as possible with Size 20 and then make the fish eye dart. Using a diagonal will make the fish eye dart look decorative rather than  like an afterthought.

In the muslin stash was a cotton stripe. It landed there because it is white. I don’t wear white pants.  Can’t keep them clean long enough to leave the room in which I dress. No stretch and this pattern calls for denim or stretch wovens but doesn’t specify an amount of stretch. I am assuming not much because denim needs Lycra to stretch a lot. I pressed and stretched the fabric onto my cutting table. Topped it with the back, front, yoke and waistband pieces. I’m not messing with pockets this time around.


V1411 Muslin/Test 3

So I trace G waist and side seams.  Even though I’ve repeated done this, I measure the crotch front and back and adjust them to my own (-1.5″ back; +3/4″ front) based on my current measures.  Then  I make a few quick changes having nothing to do with fit and all about my convenience. I add 1/4″ to the leg length because I prefer a 1-1/4″ hem and the legs seem too short at the current length . I trim the crotch seam to 3/8″ because a 5/8″ crotch seam just won’t curve until it is in messy clips. I reduce the waist SA to 3/8″.(I’ve already seen it didn’t hurt.) After a brief hesitation, I reduce the diagonal, back-leg seam to 1/4″. I prefer to reduce such interior  seams and serge rather than stitch, finish edges and press open. Besides,. I’ve already decided that I will be taking that seam in i.e. making it deeper–not letting it out. In my mind, there’s no point in keeping the wider seam.

Finally my attention turns to fabric. The rest of my ponte is either expensive or dark colors. I have a grey ponte I’m afraid is of the same ilk as the first ponte which stretched lengthwise dern near forever. Now is not the time for messing with unpredictable fabric. My eyes fall upon a short stack of Bengaline fabrics. I was curious about Bengaline because I kept reading that the Aussie’s used Bengaline frequently and seemed to depend upon it as a staple if not outright love the fabric. Every piece I’ve bought has been horrible. It feels like a rain coat. Doesn’t breathe. Cold sweat in the winter. Boiling hot in the summer. It water spots and bubbles. My attempts at pressing make that tendency even worse.  Generally I get along fine with polyester. But not this time. Whatever is unique about Bengaline makes me hate it. Everytime I start to use from that stack, I put it back because I want to wear the planned pants. This time I’m making test garments. I can stand this stuff long enough for testing. I choose the camel colored Bengaline because wrinkles and pull lines will be easiest to see in the lighter color.  I smooth it as best possible onto my cutting table cut-ends together. (Note: With Bengaline the 40% stretch is length wise. I place my pattern pieces to take advantage of the stretch.)

FIT01 I can’t say it often enough: It is too bad pants are so hard to fit because they are terribly easy to sew. And quick!

I truly hate Bengaline for how it acts as it is being cut. If I use scissors, I have cut a choppy line making it hard for me to accurately judge the stitching line. When I use the rotary cutter, the fabric advances in front of the blade. I have to cut 3-4″ lift the blade and cut again.  I am almost sure some of the rippling seen along the side seam is due to cutting. I am ignoring them.  What I am shaking my head over is that the pant has way too much ease. I’ve gone from not enough ease and not enough seam allowance –to reach the circumference I need– to drowning in it. Additionally the same elastic I used with the other muslins, isn’t holding the Bengaline pant up at the waist. In the back view, I am actually holding the front waist in place. Before more pics that must be fixed.

The side line is encouraging. It breaks several inches above the ankle. This is a result of pant length. No biggie. The rest of the side seam is fairly perpendicular to the floor. I am already one up on Muslin 1 and 2. OK I have to admit not being crammed into pant with not enough circumference is a second Thumbs UP. Look again, the back is not bubbling beneath the waist nor feathering along the back crotch. A 3rd Thumps Up!  The front crotch feels too long, but the waist is horizontal to the floor in the side view. I don’t believe front or back crotch are too short. I will withhold judgement on the length of the front crotch for

Fit 02 with elastic shortened 1″ and seams stitched at 3/4″ instead of 5/8″.

I shortened the elastic 1″ which helped but did not solve the issue of holding the pant at the waist. It makes me wonder with this dozen wearings (counting both previous muslins) has it stretched and can’t recover? Is it just the fabric? Like, can the elastic not work inside the Bengaline? Did going up a size (from F to G) add more fabric and weight than the elastic can’t support? Or has the elastic always been this way but the previous tests garments were so lacking in circumference that they held the waist in place and this elastic merely snugged the elastic to my body? I don’t know. To tell the truth, I’m getting tired of this pattern. I am persisting only because I really want to know if changing the crotch length to match with the measurements( developed when I drafted a pant pattern) will make fitting pants easier and faster for me.

While the elastic remains in question, I was at least able to situate the waistband back onto my own waist after each pic. Yes, with every movement including a slight turn in place would cause the waist to  slide about.

I am encouraged by the above Fit 01 Pics. The front looks pretty good. I’d say the back is good too (except that the side view shows the back piece looking smaller than the front) and when I look at the side line

it’s not as perpendicular as in Fit01.  When/if I alter the tissue, I will remove 1/2″ from the front and leave the back alone.

I’m still discounting most drag lines.  In the front pic I managed to twist my body which twisted the pants in that view.  I saw the ripples forming on the sides  as I cut the fabric and then again as I was stitching.

I do not plan to wear this test pant. My hatred of Bengaline is unabated. In fact I’ve already put the darkest colored Bengaline in the donate box. Bottom line, I’m not worrying about every little wrinkle or fold. I am in fact satisfied that had I started with the correct version, G, which came closest to fitting my hip, I would now be hours in advance of where I am. I am satisfied that the crotch fits fine although I still reserve a little question as to whether the front should be shortened a bit more.

Fit03 Taking in the Diagonal Back-Leg Seam.

I took a pic of the front. Saw nothing significant and did not include it for critique. I also did not take pics of the sides. What’s there is there and I am OK with it.

I had 2 possible methods in mind.  One is the dart. It’s just like Peggy’s Inseam Dart except made about the level of the  knee.

Made on the left leg it definitely, definitely affect leg length.

and also the circumference as the seams are no longer balanced.

The Inseam Dart  (made just under the bum) works well for 2 reasons 1)Peggy recommends concentrating changes at the Hip Line dart and making a little tweak of no more than 1/4″ at the top of the inseam. I’ve used the Inseam Dart many times. Many. For it to work for my pants it has to be 3/4″ deep (total 1.5″) removed.) 2) the inseam dart is made on both front and back pattern pieces. Leg lengths remain the equal and truing  occurs just below the crotch not effecting the leg shape very much. Although it would require additional effort (both truing and lengthening), it was my first choice which I made on the LEFT LEG:

Dart ——- Back  Fit02

I must say I’m rather pleased. Many of the drag lines on the back of the LEFT leg have disappeared or been reduced compared to the previous (Fit 02) shown in the right pic.

It troubles me that the dart might need to be deeper than 3/4″. I might also make further improvement by making the Inseam Dart right up next to the crotch.  Still that’s a lot of work

  1. Inseam Dart
  2. Dart across back of leg
  3. Lengthen the leg to make both front and back sides the same
  4. True the seam circumference wise

But, I’ll do it if that is the best solution.

My other thought was to turn the diagonal back-leg seam into a fish eye dart i.e. neither side nor inseam would be shorter and no need to correct for length because both ends are the terminus while about half way is deepened.

I made it 3/4″ deep as well. I realized if it had an effect I could always spritz away the water-soluble thread and make the fish eye dart deeper or shallower. I made this dart on the RIGHT leg.

For easy comparison, I repeated the Fit 02 pic before the pic of the Right Leg With Fish Eye Dart and….


…WOW what a difference! It has very few, almost insignificant drag lines a distance away but both above and below the diagonal, back-leg seam.  The fish eye dart is hands down the WINNER.

I tried Ann’s Flat Seat Adjustment  long ago, almost 13 years ago. She, and many who followed her directions,

Note: I could not easily find a link to Ann’s pics or instructions. SG has been ‘rebooted’ and the files while not lots aren’t that easy to locate.

successfully make a fish eye dart directly beneath the seat. But when I make it I find, the muslin would look better but when transferred to the pattern, all -every single last one of- the folds/ripples/draglines would be there in the good garment.  I tried it again several  times since. I always have the same result (test looks good, real garment disappointing.)   But I wonder if it will be difference now that I know and have adjusted my crotch length.  I also wonder if the fish eye dart worked well (there are some issues still) close to the knee but would not have an effect if placed under the butt where all the wrinkles are. You know, sometimes I think I would be better off if not so curious because I had to try.  I had to move the fisheye dart from the diagonal seam to under the butt.

Fit04: Fish Eye Dart Moved to Under the Butt

Wow. Good, very good.

So that answers my original questions

  • Will choosing my the crotch length making fitting faster, easier?
    • YES, but the crotch length must also be correctly divided (between front/back) AND waist/hip circumference cannot be ignored. Choosing size needs to be crotch length, hip circumference, waist circumference dependent and then the tissue adjusted to correct measurements.
  • Does the Diagonal Back-Leg Seam of V1411 facilitate cleaning up the mess under the butt?
    • YES, again, BUT the fish eye dart is the better method requiring fewer dependent corrections and removing the most draglines/folds/ripples. BUT the diagonal seam is not required. The fish eye dart can be orientated horizontally and moved under the butt.

I don’t see myself using this pattern to its utmost.  At this point in my life, I need so many adjustments, it is better for me to start by copying my sloper and dividing the copy in a manner reasonably close to the inspiration (or inspiration pattern) containing multiple seams.  I’ve got the pattern in the donate box now.

I want to take a break, (lord I am tired of this pattern), then return to pant fitting/making. The next step on my journey is, well, nebulous. I am not sure if I’d like to select  a new-to-me pattern or see if one of my TNT’s would fit better/easier using the size selection method of Crotch length/Hip and Waist circumferences. I’ll keep you posted.


V1411, Test 2

My mind cleared or at least stopped going in circles and started looking for solutions. I could not see using the fit of this ponte to alter the tissue. I just didn’t trust that the adjustments needed for it would work on the next fabric.  I decided to alter my pattern tissue to my measurements, trim the ponte and make PJ’s; then  continue fitting with another fabric.

Tissue was adapted so the front and back crotch are the length of my front and back crotch. Total crotch length remains the same. Although I had much improved the back by tweaking that diagonal seam, I didn’t change it.  I considered adding Peggy’s Inseam Dart, but decided I’d made significant changes already. I had two objectives in using this pattern. 1) Did choosing my pattern by crotch length make fitting easier; and 2) did Sandra Betzina’s addition of a seam in the back leg make it possible to remove all the mess on the back leg without lots of tweaking.

I spent a good 4 hours sorting through the stash for test fabric. (Also spent a few hours on-line looking for cheap test fabric.) Filled up 2 boxes with fabric to be donated. Well I realized that a lot of the fabrics I set aside for muslin were either dark-colored or all the type fabric/stretch. Since this is clean up month, I got rid of them. What’s the point of keeping fabric I won’t use? Had to dig into the ‘good’ fabric to find a ponte that would work. Stretch  is 40% crosswise and 0% lengthwise.  I spent hours and hours prep (yes I’m counting all the fabric sorting) but at long last I was where I wanted to be 2 days ago: a muslin of a pattern selected based on crotch length.

Wasn’t quite expecting this. I had adjusted the waistband width because it had been difficult to attach to the pant. I thought it all went into seam allowance by it could bes affecting the total crotch length. So far though, I think this fit is considerably improved. I was contemplating adding ease to CF and maybe let out the crotch when I looked at the side seam thus:

The pant wants to pull towards the back. I could just offset the back to front side seam, but remembering the front, I think I will let both out 1/4″ from knee to waist.

Fit 02:

Ummmm first I have not soiled myself.  I thought this fabric a lighter grey than it is and I am having to  adjust the exposure so we can see the wrinkles.

Letting out 1/4″ add 1″ and the results above, are spectacular IMO however the side seam still does not drop perfectly perpendicular.

It’s just a little divot towards the back, you may have to look closely to see it, and there are still pull lines from the front. Unfortunately, I can’t let the side seams out further, they are now 1/4″ wide. 1/8″ SA’s always shred on me.  I’ve been told the same thing happens to other sewists. Puzzled, I check the pattern and discover my chosen width F is smaller than my body. I should have traced the G which has about 2″ of wearing.  Damn! It’s another stupid error on my part. What the heck? Why am I making so many mistakes?


Sigh. Starting over….

1411, Silhouette Patterns

Inseam Dart

Ever wonder exactly what Peggy’s Inseam Dart, placed at the top of the inseam, actually does to your pants pattern?  She says it just re-angles the leg. One thing it can’t help but do is shorten the inseam. I’ve never heard anyone mention offsetting the shortened length and in every broadcast I’ve watched Peggy insists all it does is re-angle the leg.  While trying to decide whether to apply the inseam dart to V1411, I checked the end result of the inseam dart.

Here’s the front before the dart.

In the pic above, I laid my pattern piece on  another sheet of aisle runner and traced around the perimeter with an orange pen.  Then I made the dart in my pattern.  The resulting inseam at the crotch has always caught my attention  and required my effort to smooth the inseam back in place. I put a purple block around that very prominent jog.

Then I placed the tissue back on top of the tracing; lined up the hem and the grainline before tracing the pattern a second time but only where there were differences and for better visibility  in blue.

I could see some substantial changes just looking at the two above. But for a real clear view, I removed my pattern and examined where the blue line was drawn.

I may be nit-picking or Peggy could have misspoke, but it looks to me like it is the top part of the pant which changes angle and of course there is that really prominent jog.

There’s  the real possibility had I made a tiny 1/8″ dart the differences would be nil. The tiny dart has never worked for me. For the inseam dart to clear away the rest of the back-thigh wrinkles, it has to be a substantial 1/2″ or total 1″ length removed. Because Peggy applies the dart to both front and back, no further change seems to be needed. But I can tell you when I wear pants made with the inseam dart, the inner hem always peaks. The hem line definitely rises from the front to about 1″ on the inseam and then levels back off towards the back.  I haven’t tried to address this because even at 1″ it isn’t terribly noticeable when I’m out and about. In fact it is most noticeable when I press the freshly laundered pair. It becomes a permanent peak even through the wash.

OK, this may not happen to anyone else. It could be a result of the depth of inseam-dart I require. It also could just be something in my physiology. I’m not sure. I’m sharing because I thought you might find this interesting.



V1411: Fitting

I will cut to the chase on this one. I spent 9 fitting sessions trying to resolve fit issues. It was frustrating. Some were due to my sewing mistakes. I shut-off the lights after the second day of tweaking the crotch; tweaking waistband, tweaking, tweaking, tweaking; and thought, maybe this is one pattern that just can’t be fit.  I have encountered several patterns of this genre and was much comforted by my Sewing Angel telling me I wasn’t the only one;  some patterns were just drafted wrong.  But after 2 days, I kept asking myself: “How is it I can use proven circumferences; proven crotch length and still not be able to fit to come close to fitting  the pants. Overnight I had a thought. Traipsed downstairs before breakfast and measured the crotch of the basted together pant. Measuring right on the stitching line, I discovered  that the total length was correct but the front was 1″ too short and the back 1”  too long. I did a quick adjustment offsetting the WB and took new pics. For the first time, I made progress.

Between Butt and Knee Fit 01

Fit 09 (same territory), much much improved!

For Fit 10 With the crotch measuring the correct total amount in both places, I tweaked that back seam Sandra Betzina gave us in V1411.  I stitched the seam, dart fashion 1/2″ deeper (inseam + 1/2″  tapering to zero  at the side seam). Again, good progress

I  am a bit cattywampus to the camera in the Fit10 pic but the area it pictures is the same . There is again a remarkable reduction of wrinkles on the back leg.

I was really pleased at this point.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep tweaking the back seam or correct my pattern and recut my muslin.

Eager to proceed, I decided to remove all the basting and run the fabric through a wash so it would recover before cutting it a 2nd time.  Once the washer was started, I spread out my pattern pieces.  This time, I carefully marked the stitching line along the waist, crotch and inseam. Then I carefully measured. Totally shocked. Totally. Incredibly the pattern back crotch was 1/2″ longer then it should be — not the 1-3/4″ I had to adjust to make the test garment close to fitting.  Repeating for the front, I found  instead of the front crotch being 1″ too short the pattern was 2″ too short.  I had to sit down.  The pattern was developed for stretch fabrics; ponte being #1 on the list. When I tested my ponte it has 45% crosswise stretch and 20% lengthwise. Yet it seemed to stretch more lengthwise and more on the front than on the back. Could I have erred in my testing? I had 1/4 yard left so I tested  my fabric a 2nd time.  The uncut portion again measured 45% crosswise and 20% lengthwise stretch.  I have had slinky change this much and more but everyone does.  Ponte has always been a more stable knit. Ponte has always acted on my body as it did when tested.

My mind was a whirl. None of my other pontes or knits (other than slinky) show this much change.  Even Bengaline, a woven, stretch fabric is more stable. So do I alter my pattern or toss the fabric?



V1411 Tissue Fitting

In the weeks I have avoided pants sewing, I have been thinking.  I return over and over to the thought I am not using the correct critical measurement to select a pants pattern. Like all of you, I was taught to select by my hip size and then tweak other dimensions. I will admit this worked perfectly when I weighed 96 pounds. But the women of my family, and in whose footsteps I follow, have a history of steadily gaining weight as they age. Much as I fought it, I did too. So what worked when I was 96 pounds, did not work once I hit about 120. I was able to adapt and create acceptable wearables for many years and many pounds. Or so I thought.  My greatest disillusionment occurred when I learned to take fitting pics. My back pants pics horrified me, but I continued to choose my pants patterns by hip size and found myself in an epic battle to create nicely fitting pants.  I made multiple alterations in multiple amounts.  I could count on it taking a couple of muslins and several days to fit a new pant pattern when I could fit the new pattern. Some I was never able to fit. It truly felt like a forever war in which I lost more battles then I won. It is obvious to me that I didn’t know something important. I don’t blame myself entirely. I read blogs wherein others recount the same heroic pants fitting efforts. Recently, I completed the drafting classes partly hoping to learn something new that would solve all my pants fitting problems. Well I think I did learn at least one important fact: for the inseam curve to nicely meet the crotch curve it will add some territory in the back thigh area; and the longer the crotch curve is, the longer the inseam curve will be and the more territory (fabric) will be added.  To me, that is obviously my issue. As I gain weight, I need to extend the crotch, which then needs the longer inseam etc, etc.

So in the last few weeks I’ve been shifting my focus more and more to the crotch length. I’ve spent the last few days consolidating the measurements of SP3200 (Sally’s Pant), my DG2 jean, my body measurements and the measurements from the drafting calculations all in one Excel Worksheet. I added new measurements for 5682, the Butterick pattern I like for jeans. It struck me that the pants I like the best DG2 and SP3200, 5682 all  started with a crotch measurement near my own.  I began to wonder if instead of hip circumference  I should select a pattern size by the crotch length.

I pulled out a new-to-me pattern,  this Sandra Betzina.

I bought it as several PR reviewers said it fit  wonderfully especially with their very pear-shaped bodies. ‘Good Fit’ + ‘Pear Shaped’, I’m in.  But I put it away when the pattern arrived because  it contained multiple pieces that weren’t evident in the modeled pics

Yeah that’s 2 pieces for the back leg, 4 for the front plus 2 pieces for the waistband. 8 pieces I need to figure out how to join and fit.

I pulled retrieved after that mammoth session consolidating measurements; measured V1411 and added a new page to the worksheet. I looked carefully at front and back crotch length independent and as a total.  I gathered the waist, hip, and hem measurements but did not consider them at this juncture. At the end of this exercise,  I could say that the V1411 H-crotch was a half-inch short and the I-crotch a half-inch too long. I am usually in between sizes and merely smiled at this revelation. It was half-way expected (pun intended).

So then I looked carefully at waist and hip circumferences of H and I sizes. Looking at the pattern, I realized should I decide to use the H or I sizes, I would spend the first 2 or more fitting sessions removing ease.  Lots and lots of ease. This hardly seemed a better solution than choosing a smaller size and increasing the front and back crotch lengths, chopping away at the waist and scooping the crotch and all that other stuff I do.  I continued to contemplate the waist and hip measurements and realized I was slightly smaller circumference wise than an E and slightly bigger than an F. I could choose the smaller size and steal some ease from the seam allowances. The problem with at is that  the drafted stitching/size lines, the draft, is obscured if not lost. Which means pattern pieces no longer meet up exactly — I have to fudge them. A little massaging can work wonders, a lot can ruin the garment. My final decision was to trace the larger Size I along the crotch and inseam; Size F along the waist and side seam.  No yoke to worry about. Waistband is two long rectangles. I measured and noted their dimensions but did not trace. I see this as more of a fitting exercise rather than embellishment or opportunity to use small pieces of fabrics.

I’m using the 2 pieces of the back but I’ve opted to use the front guide rather than the 4 front pieces . Simply put, fitting will be less complicated with fewer pieces.

Interesting how 2 full days of work can be so quickly summarized.

This pattern requires a stretch fabric. Although it doesn’t say how much stretch it does call for ponte, double-knit and stretch wovens. Sigh, I haven’t anything like that in the muslin stash.  I must expend some of my good fabrics and have elected to work with an olive-green ponte. It has 45% crosswise stretch and 20% lengthwise stretch.  I’m not in love with this olive/drab green. So if this exercise bombs, I’ve got PJ’s. OTOH if I can make it fit ,olive is popular this year and a good coordinate for many of my spring colors. It could be a win. IOW, I can wear the resulting garment no matter how good the fit.

2018Revisit, 3200 Sally's Pant, DraftingFitting

Shades of 906

I could call the pant done. After all the hip line and inseam darts didn’t help the back leg at all and so are not needed. The spectacularly successful alterations were getting the crotch length correct and adding ease to the front knee to offset my knock knees.– Thank you Gayle for suggesting!  Re the knock knee, when the medicine works, the diagnosis is a bit moot. IOW may as well quit denying I have knock knees since a knock knee alteration fixes 2 symptoms. So I could call the pant done. Just make sure I use fabric which drapes close to the body and be happy that I have a slack-type pant that finishes with a 19.5″ hem. WaaaHOOOOO! That’s a winner!!!

But I have a curious mind and am still wondering how I can fix all the loose-fitting back-thigh area when the rest of the pant is semi-fit. I am going back to the drafting I did previously. I remember being so stunned at the back crotch shape when I initially created the inseam.

To me that was just wrong. When I smoothed out that curve like Suzy was said to do I would added lots of back thigh ease. Lots. The way the thigh is calculated and plotted, my thigh point is placed about 1/2″ inside the framework Yes, with 1″ ease as Suzy recommends, my thigh plots inside the pant drafting framework  I stopped and measured my pants draft and discovered I would be adding 4-6″ ease over the back thigh (did not calculate ease in the front thigh).  In the ease charts I have 4-6″ is loose-fitting. I am wanting a semi-fit which would be closer to 2-3″ ease. I did the math. I need to remove close to 4″ ease. Well that’s a lot. So I decided to rip open the crotch, add a 1″ dart, wide end at the crotch and descending about 6″ into the thigh of the pants. I did not sew the crotch back together. There’s no question in my mind that I will have pull lines and wrinkles because the dart takes away too much crotch length.  All I want to know right now, is how much ease do I want over my back thigh and how much I need to remove. So without stitching the crotch together, I took pictures of the back with first a 1″ dart and then a 1-3/4″ dart:

2″ dart          2 3/4″ dart

To avoid the whole right leg, left pic confusion I once again cropped the picture to include only the leg I am working on.  


I didn’t see much change with the 2″ dart (stitched 1″ deep) but the leg felt  better. Have to confess I really didn’t feel that much difference with the next one. the 2 3/4″ dart (stitched 1 3/8) but the pic says worlds. Yes it is already very clear there are pull lines developing from the shortened crotch.  So I added a 2nd dart removing another 2″; then changed the first dart back to 1″ wide. Maybe a bit crazy but 4-3/4 felt too tight; 4″ felt much better and it even looked better.

4-3/4         4″ darts

So great, I’ve proved that adding the crotch length added the excess fabric over my thighs. So what? Everyone else seems to feel that’s OK. Just wear as is. I think that “everyone else” with a hip equal to mine, must have larger thighs than I do and so to them, it is OK.  I may be making a completely wrong assumption but why is that I am the only one who complains that their ‘fitted’ pants have too much ease over the thigh? Why is it that everyone else, can take a hip-line or inseam dart and the mess under their tush disappears. Why is different about my body? I think my thighs must not have the heft theirs do.  However, that doesn’t answer the question of: what next. Sure I can make the dart in my pattern, but then I have to address the increasing number of drag lines radiating from the back crotch. They are always, always solved by adding length. If I add length, I will be adding ease back where I just darted it out.  I seem to be stuck in a conundrum.  Is there an answer?

Well I wonder if Trudy Jensen may have found the solution years ago. The crotch shape of her Designer Jean pattern #906 intrigued me. It’s a jean pattern. I am searching for a slack/trouser, semi-fitted pants pattern.  But look carefully at the unusual shape of the back crotch, because this jean fits me wonderfully no matter what size I need to make.

I always call it the Fish-Hook Crotch. If I had pair the front crotch on the left side, you’d see how it continues on to match the front.


I’m sure someone out there is thinking “If that crotch is so great for you, why don’t you just copy it to your new pattern?” Because that didn’t work.  When I copied it to another pants pattern, the back problems were not solved. At first I thought, well Ms Jansen does something different in her draft I don’t know about. So I bought several other of her pant styles expecting to find more patterns that fit perfectly and easily. Didn’t happen. Nope. She didn’t use this crotch shape in any of the other pants patterns I purchase.  I did try her patterns; ruining more fabric while trying to make the new pants patterns fit as nicely as the 906. All was not wasted, I did learn something helpful from the experience.  I learned that sometimes scooping a little bit; making the crotch at least a little bit like the 906, I could solve my issues with many pants pattern. Not all, but many. Then my body changed again. You know, human growth is well documented for ages new-born to about 18.  After that it’s a little sketchy and I don’t remember anything about the issues I face now. Which by the way are not all that unusual. After I retired and moved, I made connections with many people my age and older. When I talk with them, they acknowledge my issues; sympathize and offer solutions  the medical community demeans. But they work; these solutions work.

Well, as usual, I’ve gotten off the rails here, let’s return to sewing for my current body and why I think the TJ906 crotch could be helpful. Note that the crotch extension seems short. I don’t think it extends 2″ past where the crotch upright would be. Also look at how the crotch upright is leaning drastically. Rarely have I seen a crotch lean like that. While this crotch works on this pattern for me, most of my other patterns have fit far better by changing the crotch to a more upright, an L shape (think Christine Johnson). But here is what I am thinking and the direction I’m going:  What happens if I shorten the extension and  create a new crotch curve by forcing the flexible ruler into the height of the pattern, but curved to end at the length desired, my back-crotch length.

I start by copying my already fitting back pattern.

Umm, that’s already fitting except for the extra ease over my back thigh.  I copied the crotch level line that I drew and also drew a crotch upright line extending it well below the crotch level line.

Look closely at that pic.  I made tick marks 1″ apart between what I hope is the crotch upright and the crotch point along the crotch level line. I had thought to remove the same amount of length as I pinched-out on the musline to form darts. I was immediately struck by how much that would remove. WOW that hardly leaves a back crotch extension of maybe 2″. Not sure it would leave a back crotch to same length as the front!  I couldn’t wrap my mind around a back crotch that short. I stopped to measure the back crotch, including seam allowances (17 5/8″). Then I pulled out the 906 crotch and laid it top. Just to make it a little more visible, I outlined the 906 crotch withblue dashes.

I decided that was such a winner, that even though I hadn’t been able to transfer it to other patterns, I would use that length and remove roughly 1.5″

I put the 906 crotch away and forced the flexible curve onto my pattern so that the top was at 0 and the end point (17 5/8″) at the mark for the 906 crotch.

I copied that curve..

Using my metal curve,  I made a connecting line between the new crotch point and the knee. Then it was time for truing. The inseams did not match. This new inseam was too short and curved in too much. Suzy says, and I believe I’ve had the experience,  if the inseams aren’t close in shape and exact in length they will be difficult to sew and will create issues during fitting. I copied the  front inseam- curve from crotch to hem in pencil and once again using my curve corrected the entire back inseam. Then traced over that final line in green Sharpie.

I am not entirely happy. I was hoping to remove a lot more fabric from across my back thigh. But even if I have to repeat this process, at least I’ve made a good start. The only way to tell my progress is a new muslin. I selected a sister fabric to what was used in Muslin 1. It too is a cotton-Lycra shirting. Purchased on-line, it didn’t thrill me on arrival. I pulled it and put it back on the shelf several times for other projects before moving it to the muslin fabric. I just don’t like it. It too is a large flower print, in the same dark brown but yellow background. Since it is a very similar fabric  the fit should  be similar.

The biggest change in the pattern and therefore the muslin, is the new back crotch. I did add the knee- ease tested on the previous muslin. I thought that proven enough I shouldn’t encounter major issues. Which is why I am surprised at how differently this muslin fits between waist and low hip. It is definitely tighter at the waist. I no longer have those lady times and issues i.e I did not gain 5 pounds overnight.  Old women like me are more likely to struggle with sluggish bowels. Not currently an issue for me either.  The pattern in a new fabric is too tight from waist all the way to the low hip but not below. I feel it. May as well not have any Lycra. I do see the pull lines from the crotch probably due to the new back crotch.  What really concerns me most on the front, is the pant legs falling together between knee and ankle. Didn’t I correct that with the 1/2″ knee adjustment? I made the alteration to the front leg and cut the new front with the alteration in place. Hmmm.

How about some positives.  I see as well as feel that the back thigh ease has been reduced some–just not as much as I want. It is progress. Also, I have definitely had worse looking backs. Anyone who has read this blog of any length of time will agree, this is not the worst pant back-view I have posted.  But it isn’t nearly as nice as I was hoping. To my eyes, the crotch is obviously too short. Instead of wrinkles over the thigh, it is puffy. Pretty sure that’s a fabric issue because one of the things I told myself when the other back was finished: :chose fabric that will drape close to the body. That means no jean fabrics; no stiff twills and now I should add no shirtings. Most of the diagonals are of course due to the back crotch which was not shortened at all. In fact I had a scare during sewing because instead of a smooth join the crotch peaked at the inseam:

I’ve actually ignored such a peak. The resulting pant was d@mn!!@@#$%%!! uncomfortable. Also, the curve is not a “nice curve”. It undulates. It must be a nice smooth curve for fit and comfort. So using my metal curve I drew a smooth crotch curve ; stitched and trimmed.  I trimmed the peak 1/2″.

Not good. In fact scary. Scary enough that I pulled out the flexible ruler and measured again. Relief filled me as the final measure was 18″.  The back crotch length actually grew. I am assuming the front crotch length is the same since I didn’t do anything to the front (other than the knock knee adjustment.)

As in front, the leg starts swinging towards each other at the knee all the way to the ankle; and dang it all, the hem is not level. It was. I can recheck the knock-knee adjustment made but sadly I don’t think  it is the solution I thought it was. This takes me back to 10-12 years ago when I first starting fitting the back of my pants using photos. I would make the recommended correction. It worked in the muslin. Add the correction to the tissue. Make another pant only to find out the alteration didn’t work. Why did it work for the muslin and then not work in the real pant? Because it  isn’t the real problem. The problem is something else. When I find the real cause, I will find a real and permanent solution.

So now what. Well I still have the back pattern which fits but has the excess over the back thigh. I will use it, if I need full-length pants. I don’t anticipating making those until the end of September after I pull out the Autumn clothes and do an inventory.  I gleaned suggestions from the comments you all have made and created a text file to use when I feel like tackling this again, I have some ideas. There is a possibility that I need a fabric with more stretch. Denim typically has stretch even without Lycra. So maybe this fabric didn’t have enough stretch? I think I’m on the right path. That is,  I really believe the reason I have so much excess ease/fabric over  the thigh is the length I need  to add to the back crotch. Whatever suggestions I try, have to retain the crotch as drafted i.e. length and shape, but somehow reduce the ease over the thigh. I also need to look carefully at what is causing the legs to swing together below the knee and what is causing the uneven hem.

While I have some suggestions and ideas, I’m putting this on hold for a few weeks. As I said, I don’t anticipate sewing full-length pants for a few more weeks.  I have noticed that several of my summer tops are not going to make it into next year. Already, I’m planning on replacing them using TNT’s. Even though I made a few dresses this year, some will not be retained for next year both due to wear and that I’m not really in love with them. So I’m planning to make a few summer dresses in the next few weeks, again using TNT’s. BECAUSE using tested patterns allows me to indulge in fun sewing i.e. machine embroidery, painting, decorative stitches etc, etc.  The next few weeks are all going to be devoted to fun, fun, fun in the sewing room. (Can we make a song with that?)





2018Revisit, 3200 Sally's Pant, DraftingFitting

Revisiting Sally’s Pant

I had time to mull over the question of new muslin or new wearable pants while copying changes from fitting back to the tissue. I decided, it wouldn’t hurt to make another quick muslin but no finishing; not even ravel prevention. Just cut, stitch and slip into. My fabric is a cotton/poly twill with a smidgen of Lycra fro stretch. Again, Lycra not the best when trying to fit basics that can become slopers. Truth is, nearly all of the real pants fabrics I buy either have a Lycra content or I intend to use them for the wide, 22-24″ leg, trousers and they are very drapey. I bought this fabric a few years before I retired thinking of a summer jacket.  12 years on, I have little use for such jackets. But I had thought I might make pants. Always hesitated because I really didn’t like the paisley print. This was a brain purchased and not a heart purchase. I was looking for jacket fabrics. I used to like my jackets to have a little more personality. A paisley print would have been perfect, just not in those colors. When I decided against jacket use, I put it in the pants pile of fabric. I picked it up and put it back several times. Same problem: I really don’t like the olive, brown and black print. I was considering dyeing it.  Today, I opted to use it as a pants muslin because dyeing is not an exact science as far as I am concerned and had the print been more to my liking, this fabric would already be in a garment and probably worn-out. So after transferring all the changes to the tissue, it became a pant muslin. So that I could see the fitting issues, I turned the print inside.

So this pant has been fitted to my waist by copying my hip curve from my skirt sloper and adjusting the darts. It does not have front darts nor did I add my 3/8″ wedge to the center front. The only other alteration was shortening the legs– no hip-line dart, no inseam dart. Nothing else. Hip curve, waist darts, shorten leg. The front and sides look better than ever before.

..but I’m not wild about the back. I could ignore the few ripples around my high and low hips; even the divot at thigh level. The fabric has body. Much more body than the normal jean denim.  I am concerned about the back leg between thigh crease and floor.  For that I compared this muslin with the previous 3 fitting sessions.

Yes 3 fitting. First pic is of muslin 1 fit 1 which contains the inseam dart. Middle pic shows the Fit 2 on the left leg (right side of picture) and Fit3 on the right leg (left side of picture).  The first muslin was made of a crisp cotton Lycra shirting. Although it would make a crisp shirt especially after starching, it does not have the body and firmness of the current muslin picture all the way to the right.  I note that between the legs looks much better in Muslin 2. However the body of this fabric reveals the pull of the knee which I couldn’t see before. I think it was there, I just didn’t realize it.

I’ve been wanting to explore a suggestion made for knock knees  by adding 1/2″ ease along the front leg by the side of the knee. I ripped the leg apart and added a 1 1/2″ strip then stitched it back together with a fish-eye dart 1/2″ at its widest point.

As before front and side are not that remarkable. In fact I’m not sure there is any improvement but the back is most definitely interesting

I don’t see the dominate pull at the knee. Maybe a ghost? But look at this hem:

For the first time in years, the right hem is nearly level while the left shows its characteristic upward lift on the inseam.  The uneven hem was so standard for me, I thought it was supposed to be that way. I haven’t even bought a pant, including my DG2’s that didn’t eventually lift at the inseam hem.  You can see the absence of the knee pull lines better in the hem leg pic too.  While it looks level at the moment,  I am not 100% sure I’ve added enough ease with the 1/2″ fish-eye dart. This is an issue I would need to revisit a few launderings down to road.

So in times past I have called my pant fitting DONE. At other times, I have experimented with various solutions including Peggy’s hip-line and inseam darts.  I have another idea.  Which I will share, tomorrow.




2018Revisit, 3200 Sally's Pant, DraftingFitting

Revist 3200: Muslin Sallys Pant Size 22

I started by tracing the framework established for drafting my personal pant pattern (the one I didn’t finish drafting and fitting).  I still think that frame-work could be useful even though I have issues. (Chief of which is the crotch being 2″ too short and the curve from crotch point, though thigh to knee adding too much ease across my thigh. Good new, at least I understand why I get so much ease.)   So I traced the framework and set aside for later.

Then I traced size 22 front and back. I thought already had a waistband which fit nicely. I saw no point and tracing and fitting a second.  Then I slipped the frame-work beneath front and back size 22 tracing to see how they related–err–did they relate.  I lined them up along the crotch level lines and then sort of centered the pattern tracing over the framework.  I was surprised at how much they matched up.  I saw few differences. The back waist was about 1.5″ above the framework waistline; the front about 1″ above the framework. But that makes perfect sense. If Peggy followed standard drafting procedures, she dropped the back crotch line 1/2″ below the front. I did not. So that accounts for the extra 1/2″ of the back. As for the remainder, the draft crotch length was 2″ shorter than the measured crotch length. I’m not really sure where I went off the rails, but that fact accounts for the difference. IOW the draft total crotch length is 27″; the pattern is 29″ and there should have been pattern above the frame-work.

I started making my planned changes to the tracing.  Sadly, the tracing did not show up well in pictures. No point in sharing those pics, so let me just tell you what I did.  According to my calculations I needed to add 3/4″ at the front waist. No surprise really as I often add a wedge at the crotch front.  I made 3/8″ wide wedge. Just a bitty narrow thing. I also made the 1″  inseam dart at the top of the leg which Peggy Sagers so highly recommends. I do believe it helps because I see the leg change from being spread eagle to resembling a more normal human stance. Knowing it was still possible to have crotch height issues, I added 7/8″ at the top of the waist for a little  fit insurance.   Last thing I did was adding 1/2″ fitting insurance to the side seams. Most people add a full 1″ or at least make the seam allowance a full inch. I did not because my 3-page Excel worksheet of calculations indicated the crotch length should be correct but all the pattern ease would be too much.

Some of you Sager’s fans are probably asking about the Hip Line Dart.  Peggy emphasizes making the hip line dart and if that doesn’t clean up all the back mess, make the inseam darts. She doesn’t say to make to make the inseam dart and then the hip line. But after all the fun I had drafting, I am not sure the mess over my leg is due to standard practice of slashing and adding  1″ to the back crotch (which then us old ladies have to remove). I really think my issue is the long back crotch that I need and which when the inseam is drawn ease is added over the back thigh. Besides, I know when I make the hip line dart, I immediately add a 1″ wedge at the waist center-back.  I need the up-right length.  I need a 29″ crotch. What’s the point of removing it 7″ below only to add it at the top”?

My muslin fabric is a cotton/lycra shirting. To tell the truth, I might be tempted to use a similar fabric for summer-weight pants. That little bit of lycra is enough to shed wrinkles throughout the day and make bending, stretching etc comfortable. However, this is one of those fabrics I pulled from the shipping box and asked myself if I had even looked at the pic before adding to cart. Not only did I seem to add without looking closely  but I went back and changed the quantity to 2.5 yard  — an action that must be manually done. Oh and I did that without noticing  I was buying a print of huge flowers. Even for a shirt, I am unlikely to wear a print of flowers that are bigger than a dinner plate. It’s just not part of my personality. But, turned inside out,  it makes an OK muslin.

I still anticipated some fitting adventures and therefore serged finished the edges.  I also installed a zipper. Using water-soluble thread in the bobbin makes for easy alterations and easy removal when the muslin goes into the trash.  During fitting the zipper is wonderful. Much better than pinning, unpinning and stepping on pins. Much better. To my surprise, the initial muslin had much too much ease at the waist. Well, throughout the pant but most noticeable at the waist.  I stitched the side seams 1/4″ deeper. Waist was still too loose which had me wondering if the 3/8″ I added at center front during pattern-making was a mistake. 2nd fitting I added a 3/8″ deep tuck in the front. Which felt fine at first but as I was taking pics  the waist became too loose.  I finished pics holding the waist up.  But I had first pics and I wanted to look at them. Up stairs I went…


Well I thought I had pics. Looks like I  have right side, back and left side. I had another 2 backs and another 2 of just the cover stitch machine. Hmm..cameras can be mysterious creatures. Still there are some things I can tell I need to do before the next set of pics.

The waist needs to be smaller yes, but do I need to take in the front or back.  I looked closely at the sides. I even superimposed straight lines along the seams:

I’ve decided to increase the back darts 1/8″ (total removed will be 1″) and leave the front alone, for now.  I liked the look of the hip from the back

Looking at the side view, well I really think it is too tight for a trouser/slack. I will let out the side seam at the hip 1/4″ (total added 1″).  Also, after the last waist change, it started looking a little tight across the tummy. I will start the side seam change with 1/8″ at tummy level (3″ down from waist) down to crotch level.  Lastly, I’m going to cut about 2″ off the leg length. At this time, I don’t want the leg puddling on the floor. It causes wrinkles up above.  Wrinkles that I would fret about needlessly. Won’t change the tissue yet – well won’t change the tissue until the end– but especially not whacking 2″ off the leg length. I want the legs to fly above the floor and close to my ankle during fitting. Later I will want the default length about 1/2″ above the floor.

So the thought was check the pants; do the next alterations which already included tweaking the waist again (for a third time.)  Instead I thought, “I am an idiot!”  Has it been 2 weeks since I fit the skirt sloper?  Why not copy that perfectly fitting waist? Both this pattern and the sloper hang from the natural waist. I really should have though of this before!! I pulled out the skirt sloper and copied the hip curve.  Then I measured the waistband and marked center back, both sides and center front. Whoa! This pant waistband could not have been fit. It is at least 4″ longer than my skirt waist. good thing I thought to use the skirt. I could have been tweak for a couple of hours.  That lead to a very good feeling and fitting waist. Now onto some serious fitting:

Also, to shorten the leg, I took a 1/2″ tuck about 2″ above the ankle. I am surprised at how nice and smooth this is hanging. The front crotch looks perfect and the entire crotch feels comfortable.  The leg looks nice although the side is breaking about 6″ above my knee and there is a ghost of down ward lines about 3″ below crotch and definite pull line at about the same level as the side break.  Interesting the lower diagonal drifts over the center and becomes part of a crease line, if I made a crease line.

I see the sides looking nicely as well. Normally I expect some drape lines along the side, the result of the side being too long. I note with pleasure, that the waistband sits level. In the first fitting, before the waistband was corrected, the front slanted upward about 2″ above my waist and the back drops towards the floor. Due to the vertical folds, I think there could be too much ease in the thigh area. Both sides have similar diagonals which continue almost to the ankle.  I do have a rather trim ankle, so excess there is expected. I’m looking carefully at how the back follows my body curvature. It is just enough to me.  It is not body hugging like I expect of my jeans. Neither does it flare like my wide-leg, beach-romping trousers.  I like this look.

I always hold my breath until I can see the back.

While the front and sides were very smooth, the back has a series of small diagonals above the high hip. Otherwise, you are seeing ghosts of the print and a fold-line I didn’t iron away.

From the bottom of the bum to the knee, I see lots of extra ease. There is a small, short diagonal coming from the inseam. I’m not sure if that is a fitting error or an excess length because

I can see I did not get the hem completely off the floor. Maybe more importantly, I can see that the inseam is not level with the side seam. Entirely my doing. I made Peggy’s Inseam dart which definitely shortened the inseam but not the side seam.  At no point have I restored the length.  I don’t remember Peggy ever saying it needed to be restored.  Did I fall asleep when  she mentioned that? Every time? I mean she must have 2 full tubes describing fitting a pant and the subject comes up almost at every broadcast.  How did I miss it? If that is, I need to offset the lost length.  Do anyone making the inseam dart feel the need to correct for  it down the leg some place?

Planned changes for Fit #3?

  1. A little fish eye dart beneath the waist where those little diagonal lines are occurring.
  2. Increase the depth of the tuck I made to shorten the leg
  3. Figure out where the length removed during the inseam dart should be restored

Got to admit, in times I pass, I would quit right now; find a nice fabric and make a wearable pair. But I  want to know about the decisions I made to get to this point. So I’m going to follow through with those 3 alterations.

I stitched the  1/2″ leg tuck at 1″ then turned to the waistband.  I was surprised to see that I had not stitched the waistband evenly. No it wobbled. So I took it out. Carefully pinned into place and stitched a second time.  Not sure if that will make a difference but it is worth the try.  Then  I started considering how to offset the length lost with the inseam dart.  Slashing and spreading was the obvious solution but where? Since my knee always seems to be a problem, I slashed there.  Cut a 2″ strip of fabric from the remnants and then paid h3ll stitching that into the pant leg. It was a struggle and I am sure not perfectly even.  I took comfort in the fact that if it was indeed the right move, it would be easier to make the alteration on the tissue.

As you look at the pics, recall that I made the slash-and-spread on only one leg, my right leg. The left leg should look at about the same.

I’m hoping you can see either the big safety-pin in the leg or the slash with the fabric peeking out.  That’s the right leg. I do believe that the right leg looks better. Still a little bumpy below the leg. I may still have room for improvement. Then again, All I made need is for alteration to be done at the tissue level.

I also think the right side leg, looks better, even though not nearly as much length is added and, of course, none is added at the seam itself.

Does my right leg look better? (It’s the one on the left side of the picture. I am not entirely sure. I seem to have a bunch of fabric between my ankles from both legs.  Surely that can’t help to make the legs hang straight.  Also when looking from the back, I’m not sure I spread the slash far enough.

Look at how the raw edge on seam is higher than the other seam.  Since I was folding and guestimating, maybe I didn’t fold evenly. Still that looks a lot higher on one side than the other.

What next?

I am tempted to remove the inseam dart from the tissue and run up a quick muslin. But you know me, I kinda of ready to finish to this muslin by confirming it in good fabric. I want to get back to the question in my mind that started this journey: how do I reduce the amount of ease added over my thigh when the crotch line is as long as I need it?