. II need to start talking about this happy journey way back in November 2018. At the time, I was working with the Halston pants. I had such high hopes for creating a pattern from them because the RTW pant looked fairly nice on me. I could see a few tweaks were needed; or so I thought. After ripping the finished pair apart, creating a pattern and beginning muslins, I learned that it wasn’t quite that easy. As a matter of fact, every change I made that should have improved the fit, created issues some place else. I was totally flummoxed.
Along about that time Rae Cumbie made a post about fitting the Eureka and in particular things not to do. I read the post and thought “Why did I stop using my Eureka?” At one time I had used the Eureka pattern exclusively. Made many adaptations. Then new pants patterns were marketed. Even though I didn’t understand what made the Eureka fit when other patterns wouldn’t, I couldn’t resist trying the new pants patterns, always hoping for the best. Hoping for the miracle of pants that fit. I thought back to the time when I first fit the Eureka. I remember it as being easy . I decided to pull out my copy and use it again. Have to confess that I have purged patterns, shuffled patterns and reorganized them. Which resulted in my not finding my copy of Fit For Art’s Eureka pant. So I bought another. Someday, I will find I have 2 copies of the Eureka.
And that’s where this post starts. Er, when the new copy of the Eureka arrived which was within a week. I read the directions carefully. I had already reviewed my experience post and discovered my issues at the first fitting of the Eureka were all self-inflicted. So, I read the instructions carefully and chose to make a Med size with Back #2. I chose my fabric based mostly on the fact that it is light-colored, the right weight for pants and oh yeah, I’m never going to sew pants from this 30-year-old fabric again. (At one time, I made pastel colored pants and would have loved a yellow pant. My life style has since changed and this fabric languishes.)
I got muslin 1 done:
I examined the back carefully. I begin with the back because the front and sides of nearly every pant pattern tend to be near perfect. It is the back which tortures me. Overall, I’d say the back looked a bit tight and small. That’s typical for me. Usually my solution is to slice the back vertically along the grain line and separate the 2 halves to add an inch of ease. Unfortunately, that also makes the hem circumference much larger than I want. So I didn’t immediately take action. I continued to evaluate the back. I think there is some excess ease around the thighs (also typical for me) but this is a woven, non-stretch fabric. A little extra ease could be a good thing.
I looked at the back photo while reading and examining the diagrams carefully and in detail. I’m not posting any pics from the instructions because well it is copyrighted but also this is the kind of information that works best when you are also working a test garment (muslin) made from the pattern. Just like many other Indy pattern companies, Fit For Art has their own philosophy for fitting pants and they may disagree sharply with the another company’s procedure. Sometimes I think, I’m not a novice why can’t I just work with what I know to be true. But other times, like now, I think I paid a lot for their opinion. It worked last time (after I undid my preliminary changes). I thought, I should at least give their instructions a real chance. Anyway, after careful study of my back side, the booklet drawings and text, I decided to follow the recommendation of choosing the next size larger back. For me that was Back 3 in size medium.
So I made Muslin 1.5 i.e. I cut Medium, Back 3 from a new piece of fabric and replace the back two but kept the front and waistband of muslin 1.
The muslin is a little long in the leg for me and I’m standing in such a manner as to introduce a drag line on the right side, BUT It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a nice fitting back on me.
My Sewing Angel’s advice: “Copy that crotch to poster board so you can use it everywhere.” She finally confess her secret for great fitting pants nearly every time: Several years ago she was carefully and perfectly fit. My Sewing Angel copied her crotch to poster board and transfers it to every pant pattern she tries. When I think about it, she makes perfect sense. No matter the pant pattern, it is still going to have to fit my body space. Why not start fitting by using the crotch I know works with my body? I do this with tops. I start a new top/blouse pattern by first copying my sloper/block. I line up center front/back and superimposed the shape of the new pattern onto a copy of my sloper. By starting with my top my sloper, I have already adapted for my size, my shoulder slope, my round back, and rounded tummy. Why have I not been doing something similar with pant patterns? I think I never truly understood that I needed not only the circumference, but the circumference divided for my body (on skirts/pants I am larger in back than in front) and that the body space has to fit. Maybe I haven’t used a pant sloper because I haven’t had one. OK, probably the real reason is I hoped all these designers were telling the truth when they said they’ve made all the changes for your perfect fitting pant. So sue me for being gullible, hopeful and believing.
With the back fitting pretty nice, I evaluated the front and sides of Muslin 1.5. Which oddly don’t look quite as nice as the back.
This seems typical to me, i.e. the back needed a change to the crotch so the circumference would be sufficient. But then my smaller needs a little less circumference. Both front and sides need some length adjustments. (It could be depth (darting).) I made a few changes. Offset the waistband wich shortened the crotch depth and took a little ease from the front. I was pleased with muslin 1.5. Not saying it couldn’t be tweaked a little more, just that I was pleased with where I finished.
And that’s where I stopped pant fitting In November. At which point, DH and I drove off to Sioux Falls a 3 day anniversary celebration 42 years is amazing. It’s worth celebrating! Instead of celebrating in style, we made the Emergency Room trip and came home deflated by the diagnoses. BUT the day we arrived in Sioux Falls, I had time to shop at JoAnn’s. I was impressed. In the front were 2 full shelves of good pant fabrics. I was overwhelmed with the selection. Such richness had not been available to me in some time. I buy pant fabric off the Internet by guess and by golly; always planing an alternative if the fabric is really not pant-worthy. JA’s pants offerings used to be 1/4 that volume and all in basic black. I think the buying team has changed. Maybe they realized they are America’s leading Brick and Mortar store. I quit drooling and decided to stick to my plan which was buying blue fabrics. I never seem to have blue pant fabrics have in my stash. I went back to the hotel with 3 gorgeous slack fabrics. And then it all went smash.
To be continued……