Eureka Pant

First Good Fabric Eureka Pant

I spent a puzzling week working on the fit of this first pair. They never looked as good as the muslin. But as you can see, when I’m standing normally and dressed, they look OK

My fabric is a heavy ponte purchased from a new-new-to-me source,  I particularly liked their descriptions which included the GSM (a weight reference).  I purchased several ponte roma swatches and bought this navy which is so dark it is almost black. It was also the heaviest weight they had at the time. I love its feel.  It is spongy and thick. Well, not fleece thick but thick compared to other fabrics. But it may be part of the issues I had during fitting. Also contributing was my desire for a Yoga Pant instead of the gathered, elasticized waistband of the muslin.  (Lots of stuff around my waist on that one.) Finally on the muslin I had offset the back side seam to have sufficient hip room and was still having issues with the CB pulling downward. Thus my decision to go up one, back-size without making another muslin.

I transferred the fitting changes to  the tissue. Copied the tissue and then cut a copy of it. I measured down 3″ along front and back waistband and removed that much all across. I created the Yoga waistband by measuring along the pant’s new upper edge and then cutting rectangles the length of that edge by 6.5″ wide.


No matter what I did, I could not remove the 2 diagonal wrinkles.

Believe me, I tweaked every seam.  Basted in changes and then removed same. Since the sideways, side seam, fish eye dart worked wonders on the muslin, I tried those again too. No dice. The diagonals from hip to inseam remain.

Before tackling the back wrinkles,  I struggled fitting the waistband.  After the pant was basted together including the waistband, I had removed the elastic from the muslin and threaded the same piece through my new Yoga waistband. When I tried the pant on, the waist would slowly sink so the top of the waistband was sitting on my high hip.  I wanted it just below the waist (like jeans). I fooled with that for the first entire session. Then emailed my sewing angel to ask her advice, who told me the fabric was too heavy for the elastic. When I returned for the next sewing session, I combined her idea with mine. My idea was a wider elastic. Her’s was pulling the elastic tight around the hip (or tummy if larger) and using that length.  I used a 2″ elastic and pulled it tight. Cut elastic that length + a seam allowance. At the try on the back was still too loose. Also there was just so much fabric at my waist. A yoga pant should be fairly smooth across the waistband–even smoother than below. I trimmed 1″ from both sides of the waistband (mine is in 2 pieces front and back so total of 4″ waistband length removed). I also removed 1/2″ from each side of the back, waist elastic.  Immediate improvement. But I did find that the back would still slowly pull down. Having already tried everything Fit For Art Recommends, I pulled out the Palmer Pletch pant fitting book. Their suggestion was adding to the front crotch. The back diagonals were unaffected and the front looks no nicer now than it did in the muslin.

The photo above? Is one the best of the pics.  While the back didn’t pull immediately down, it would slowly. Concurrently, the front would hike upwards almost to my bra. I don’t think I’ve seen a fix for that.

My fabric has 40% ways stretch both ways. The muslin, made in non-stretch fabric has excess ease.   I had expected to remove some circumference and maybe a little length in the crotch depth. I can pinch out about 4″ ease. But if I baste the seams deeper, multiple diagonal lines develop. The waist doesn’t stay at the waist. It see-saws back and forth as described above. I’m sure my still expanded tummy and waist contribute most of the issues but how much is a result of the heavy weight fabric? How much is from the real stretch of the fabric? Is the excess ease an issue?

After more than a week, I dressed and took photos. Because of my typical dressing habits and how I stand these pants are wearable. Only trouble is, they are so heavy I won’t be able to wear them all day until November (when the cold weather returns).  I spent Sunday afternoon completely finishing, took new pics and hung them in with the winter clothes.

Definitely think I made one change too many.  I am taking a short break from pants. But when I return, I will make a pair like the muslin in non-stretch fabric except using Back 3 large. I need to make these changes slowly so I can understand where things went so wrong. Hopefully by November, my body will have settled and  I will have this figured out.


Eureka Pant

Muslin #3: Fitting Eureka a 3rd Time

I promised a continuation and here it is some 2 months/8 weeks later. The chemo was tough on me. So much so that I couldn’t do anything the first week after chemo and very little the 2nd week. It would be the 3rd week before I was functioning well enough to go downstairs to my sewing room. I’m a little confused as to the timing of events here but basically, I couldn’t try on the old muslin because I had deconstructed it. I compared the tissue to the muslin which convinced me I had transferred all the fitting changes. I measured the waist and thought there would be enough circumference. So  I selected a nice winter fabric (polyester moleskin) and cut a pair of pants. Basted them together and tried them on. OMG they were huge. Confused, I compared my tissue to the pattern. With the changes to my preferred seam allowances and the fitting changes, there is so much differences I just couldn’t tell what I had done. Plus I’m having chemo brain and can’t think. So I decide on a new muslin and fitting the Eureka for a 3rd time.  Should be easy right?

I started by taking my measurements. To my surprise my waist had increased substantially while my tummy and hips shrunk. Thinking I may have measured in the wrong places,I measured again while looking in the mirror to be sure.  So with new confirmed measurements in hand, I check the sizing charts again. I should fit a medium. Even with the much expanded waist, the medium should fit. I trace the pattern and all it’s markings. Shorten the leg 1″, then measure the waist. Ahhh, I’m not so sure the med waist is going to work. My measurements say I don’t need more circumference anywhere else, so I add 1/2″ at the side front and back only at the waist and tapering to 0 by the first HBL.  Select another yellow cotton twill (30 years ago, I must have really loved yellow pants) and cut Muslin #3. Basted it together and then….

It was time to go to the hospital for the full monty aka Full Hysterectomy.  Mind you I didn’t get all the above done in a day or two. I could work for only an hour at a time and as usual did my other chores. I actually could have started fitting but decided to wait until they had removed all the stuff in my abdomen.  I was under the delusion I might be smaller upon my return from the hospital. After the hospital I spent 2 weeks not doing much. Last week, I was able to return to the sewing room, but for only a half hour at a time.

Since Muslin 3 was basted together and my tummy looked no smaller, I decided just to start fitting.  I made several fitting adjustments but each one at a time.  So the waist was too big. I shortened the waistband. Then there was excess ease in the front. I took a 1/2″ tuck along the grainline. Following that, I decided it was really too long in the crotch. I don’t remember that happening before but I took a 1/2″ tuck horizontally across all 4 pieces. Then it looked too tight across the seat so I offset the side seams. Finally I take a 1/2″ tuck from side seam to mid way  across both front and back. Looks like a fish-eye dart but horizontally and at the side seam. Through it all, even though some improvement was seen, the fit wasn’t right. Especially the back X wrinkles:

Now understand, this was not a one day process. 5 changes took 5 days. On the 5th day, I was flummoxed. I gave serious thought. The X wrinkles had not happened with the previous muslin, why now? On the 6th day, I asked “Or did it happen now with Muslin III.”  I looked at original fitting, the one before I started marking changes:

It’s big all over, but not real X wrinkles

See? Big and droopy, alright, but those aren’t X wrinkles in the back. When did they start?  I look back through my fitting pics finding they started when I decreased the circumference of the front:

See. Front looks much nicer. Back would be Ok if not for the X wrinkle.  So did decreasing the circumference cause the X wrinkles? It must have because this was the 2nd change (decreasing the waistband length was first) and the first time the X wrinkles appeared.

At this point, I am having another problem. My waist is changing daily.  Some fittings I’m taking the waist in. Others I’m letting it out. Who can fit pants with an unstable waistline?  I had already planned to make my first real pair into yoga pants. That made my decision easy. Fit now with elastic waist. Try for classic fit later when my body settles.

OK decision to move to elastic waist pants made but I still have the issue of bad fitting.  I decide to do a Betzina pant fitting. I remove all the fitting adjustments and waist darts.  Then I hike it up and secure with elastic at the waist. Standing in front of the mirror, I pull up until the crotch feels comfortable and then pull up the sides until I can’t see the massive drapes. Before taking pics, I draw a line at the bottom of the elastic.

That front is not nice, plus I have pulled the crotches up too high but it tells me what I want to know:  Without the reduced front circumference, the back looks OK. Not great. Not fantastic but wearable.

I measure the distance from waist to the line drawn beneath the elastic in several places.  I realize the crotch length is too long by little more than 1″.  The sides  are another 1″ (total 2″) too long. I make a 5/8″ tuck horizontally across all 4 pieces on the 2nd HBL. Then  I make a 5/8″ fish-eye dart along the 3rd HBL.  I cut an waistband really an elastic casing, which I stitch to the top of the muslin and then insert elastic before trying the muslin on and taking pics.

This particular cotton twill does not make a gorgeous pant. It hasn’t been carefully pressed or lightly starched either. But it tells me exactly what I want to know. There are no X wrinkles on the back and, surprisingly both sides and front look nicer. Not fantastic but wearable.

So I’m calling this fit “Close Enough”.  I’m proceeding to make real pants.