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.