Culottes, Jinni, Shorts

Jinni Shorts

After finishing the Jinni muslin, I copied the pattern and transferred all my fitting changes.  I made a copy of the tissue with fitting changes, measured up from the hem along the grainline to create a 10″ inseam aka shorts.  I prefer shorts that don’t cling to my legs, so I added 1″ to the side seam at hem level an drew a line from there straight up to the hip. Then added a turn back allowance for the hems. Ta da! Shorts pattern ready for use.

Time to choose fabric.  I’ve noticed in the last few weeks that not all the shorts I deemed “wearable” at the beginning of summer are comfortable in the crotch. I think I am comparing those shorts to the new-npt-perfected shorts I’ve been making in recent weeks. I’d really like to replace the now uncomfortable shorts. I made a quick eval and decided  the worst of shorts I want to replace are black.  So,I hunt in the stash for 2- yard lengths of fabric in black. I have none in non-stretch fabrics.  The fabric I settle on has a gorgeous texture weave that reminds me of snake skin.  Because it is black, the texture is very subtle until you are close. All the pics have been lightened about 70% so we can see the drag lines. Unfortunately, it has 10% stretch which causes me to reconsider. Overall, my experience with 10% stretch is it handles the same as non-stretch but during wear has just that extra amount of give to  make movement comfortable and it tends to snap back i.e. doesn’t seat-out or form bulges. I decide this fabric with 10%  stretch is OK to use.

I press the fabric then layout the pattern before cutting.  I know that I need to be a little open-minded about the fit. First I’m not entirely sure I transferred the fitting changes exactly.  Was pretty close to ‘exactly’ but there is room for error. Also I’m dealing with a different type fabric from my muslin.  I have to make allowances for the fabric because, to quote Peggy sagers “the fabric always wins.”   With that in mind, I serge finish edges and  put a zipper in with permanent stitches before swapping for a bobbin with water-soluble thread and basing all the other seams.

Fingers crossed, I give my shorts a first try-on.  I concentrated on setting the crotch where it was comfortable and making sure the waistband fit. I was fitting in the afternoon fit,  concerned me because I clearly saw what a huge difference between morning and afternoon fittings with the Jinni muslin.  However I have to start fitting at some time and most of my sewing is done in the afternoon.  To my surprise, the waistband felt perfect. As did the front and back crotch an well everything.  Let me repeat, everything felt good. I was ready to finish and wear these.    Pictures tell a different fitting story:

Huh?  What happened to the  near-perfect fit of the Jinni Muslin? When I was finished with the muslin, the front and sides were perfect; the back needed a little scooping but otherwise looked terrific. Now working with a stretch fabric, a more forgiving fabric,  the sides are too long, the darts too long,and there are issues with both front and back crotch.

OK maybe I didn’t get the crotch scoops transferred correctly and maybe the WB is a little off on the side seams.  I begin fitting making 1/4″ changes each fitting. After 2 days, 10 fittings and picture session, I paused.  I realized the last scoop and lowerings had no effect.  None. Zip Zilch.  Instead of looking and thinking “a little change here” I did a more thorough evaluation.  To my knowledge pants fit when (1) I have enough ease, (2)the crotch height (front and back) is the right length and the (3) crotch extensions are the right length.  Should add a (4) because the waistband can make everything look wrong.

The waistband was fine. Not riding up. Not too tight. WB was fine i.e. #4 fit.

I pinched the side seams and realized there was plenty of ease across my widests points i.e. #1 problem fits.

The front crotch was now hanging and rubbing too far down and the back crotch was forming bubbles under the waist band  So crotch heights were now too long but had been correct previously i.e. #2 fit before alterations.

The only thing left that could be wrong was the length of the crotch extension/fork i.e. #3 was wrong.  Just to confirm, I added 2″ gussets. Well yes indeed that helped, but  not enough.   I was very surprised because the muslin had been scooped at least 1″ and this pant had been scooped the same amount. Scooping increases the length of the back crotch extension.  I had now added 2″ length to the 3″ Back fork as drafted.  Total 5″.  How much fork length would be enough? I cut 6″ gussets. Umm, the gussets I used were 6″ wide and 10″long rectangles evenly adding width the entire length of my shorts inseam .  When I tried the shorts on I said, ” I’ve got culottes! ” But  those crotches looked great!


Thing is that would be like a total of 9″.  According to my bowl, center of my body to butt apex is 6.5″. To me it seems a bit off that the shorts would require a 9″ back fork.

I could have sewn some more that day. Done some more experimenting but I stopped to think.  I’m not a culottes wearer but I don’t like to ruin a good pair of pants even when they resemble a skirt.  Overnight I decided, a pair of culottes in my closet would be fine.  I finished them. Replaced all the basting with permanent stitching and hemmed the legs.  I mean, a wearable is always a win, isn’t it?

As for crotch length, I think I need a new game plan.



Don’t think you will find this pattern anywhere. It was drafted by an elderly lady in the 1990’s  who has pretty much disappeared even from social media. It’s possible she is deceased because if alive she would be about 95. However, if anyone knows anymore about her please share.  I  have a copy of her pant pattern because my Sewing Angel took pity on me and said “Try this”.  Figured I may as well run up a quick muslin. Only an hour and I could report back on another failure. Except….

To my shock, after the first muslin, I decided to invest a little more time.


Right out of the envelope was better than either the Eureka or Fit Nice (Kessinger) pants both of which I’ve spent a lot of time on and still arent close to perfect. Jinny was about on par with my 906 jeans i.e. looked like it need a little tweaking for near perfection.

Fit02 03,

I scooped the bottom back crotch (Sarah Veblem calls this lowering the crotch) twice for a total depth of 1″.

Fit 4,5

Fit 03 looked so good, I begin adjusting a waistband. No easy task since my waist seems to change every time I zip and button my pants.. Eventually, I had the length adjusted and the side-seams placed along the WB so they would be perpendicular to the floor. Fit05 pics  were done late in the day. Front and sides? Good to go!!! What happened to the butt????


Sewing Angel explained the she works on fitting pants only before noon because she experiences the same morphing body as I.  So with no changes, I mean not a single pinch, poke, or pin, I try the pant on first thing when I get down to the sewing room.


Not bad!  Maybe a little more scooping in back is needed but most of the issues have simply disappeared.

I was surprised by this pattern.  I’ve spent hours and hours; days and days on other patterns. I invested more time getting the Jinni WB right, than fitting the rest of the leg. I made a few easy changes that made an immediate improvements.

Still have a little more to do at this point, especially on the back. But I think I will leave that for the next muslin/test because, unfortunately, I don’t expect to wear this pant at all.  I’m living in shorts right now because it is summer.  It will be a few weeks before I even consider putting on pants with long legs. Secondly, this fabric is from the late-80’s and 90’s.  Our choices were really limited. You could choose cotton, silk, wool, nylon, rayon (if you felt rich) and, oh yeah, polyester.  Poly was not a wonderful fabric for slacks during the summer months.  This 100% cotton would have been a much more comfortable fabric. But it would wrinkle as badly or worse than linen. In the 80’s, I just accepted that. Probably because I knew everybody at work would look the same. It’s not a look I want to wear today.  We have much better choices. So it makes a good muslin/test garment which I am unlikely to wear no matter how good it is.




Eureka Pant

EurekaX : Wearable Pair

Finished a wearable pair of Eureka’s. Finished as in I’ve had enough of this nonsense. Will the way I normally dress cover up the worst?

I used a plain-weave,100% cotton fabric advertised as “shirting”.  Would not have used this for shirts.  It’s not a light weight crisp fabric.  More like med weight chambrey for winter shirts. As such it does have considerable body.

When I transferred changes from the muslin to my tissue, I really thought I would be tweaking the fit. Well first issue, was realizing I didn’t fit or even attempt to use a waistband on the muslin. “No problem,” I thought “I marked the waist along the bottom edge of the elastic as directed.”  Add the seam allowance and waistband should be done.  I used the waistband pattern from my Kessinger’s cause I like the way it fits. Spent 4 fitting sessions fussing with the WB.  This fabric acted like denim. It would stretch a little more every time I put them on or took them off.  I shortened the WB 2″. 2″ less than the Kessinger which I am currently wearing.

Anyway, 4 fittings for waistband before deciding to insert elastic. 3 more fittings trying to adjust the ease.  Finally decided I was completely off and undid all the adjustments, sans waist-related. Started again. 8 fittings later, I put on blouse and shoes and declared them barely wearable.  At that time I had lowered the crotch another 1/2″, increased the CB crotch 2″ at the waist (like a big ol’ dart), and gathered the leg to the waistband. I had 8 darts in the back before deciding to pinch and gather.  Also, have a single dart on each side of the front.  The below-butt, thigh ease is still wrong. If you look closely at the front, the back is showing along the side seam between knee and WB. Shouldn’t.  I tried smoothing out the side curve (I don’t have curvy sides. I have a curvy front and a curvy behind). Could not reduce the curve more than 1/4″ at it’s deepest.  There’s still plenty of curve left. Every time I tried to smooth that curve either the seat was too tight or the crotch developed diagonals (like little birds) just above the back crotch curve. Or both; both would happen.

For the most part, the front and sides looked good throughout. If I only had to work with them, this would be a nice pair of slacks.

Other than the front dart, I didn’t adjust the front.  As mentioned previously, I increased the side-seam 1/4″ where the sides were curviest.  Also had to shorten the side seam by 3/4″. Before that I looked really bowlegged. It was the stripes. Lift the sides enough and the stripes are straight instead of bowing.

The back was nearly impossible to even improve.  The best I could do was making the crotch the right length so it did not tuck into me, pull and bind. As stated before, I did remove a little of the side curvature, but anymore than 1/4″ would result in bigger, deeper diagonals and what looked like VPL (but wasn’t because I wear boy-shorts).

BTW all the wrinkles above change depending upon not only how I stand, but where the WB decides it is going to sit this time.

After 3 days of fitting, I asked myself how much would be covered up by my clothing and the way I normally stand:

Bank line view:

OK good enough for today.


What I hoped for the most, from Sarah Veblems on-line class and this latest round off fitting, was more understanding of pant fitting as it applied to my body. OK, I did hope for near-perfect fitting pants.  But I am a realistic and I am very happy with some of the light bulb moments I had from both the class, the discussion threads and my effort at fitting.

  • I had not really considered the effect of my tummy.  Most of the fitting advice centers on making the front crotch longer to go over the fuller tummy.  In the class discussions it is brought out that that a substantial belly will also require a longer crotch.  How long? That’s for the individual to discover but Sarah suggests discovery 1/4″ at a time.  I went up 2 pattern sizes which gave me the fork length I needed in front and most of the fork length needed in back.
  • Sarah’s discussion of scooping and lowering the crotch especially in relation to the HBL’s was very informative. I did feel a great deal of unease about the 3/4″ scoop and 1.25″ lowering that I did which didn’t solve all the issues in back.   That was left for the:
  • Prominent Seat AKA Protruding or Generous Seat.  There is an entire video devoted to this issue.  I doubt I will ever completely resolve this fitting issue with a slack fit.  I didn’t understand before this class the issue my seat was causing. I’ve tried just about every pant pattern I can get my hands on hoping for the miracle pattern. If it isn’t a loose fitting trouser or body conscious jean, I will have the issue of too much ease over the thigh accompanied by diagonals or poofiness.  Take a look again at Sewing Plums pic of the different seats.   Sarah says I can work on that excess ease by shortening the back crotch (Not messing with that. It was too hard  getting it looking as well as it does. ) Or adding a center back leg-seam as in my Trudy Jansen jeans. I may attempt the center-back leg-seam in the future. For now, I”m tired of this game and August is too hot of a month to be trying on  long-legged pants.
Eureka Pant

EurekaX: Muslin 2

Bt the time I gave up on Muslin 1, it was a wreck. Even as I was scooping and lowering, I had felt like I was going too far.  The instructions are pretty clear. Scooping and lowering will cause the HBL’s to become level.  I have to confess, I wasn’t totally sold on the HBL theory.  I could have easily ignored the HBL’s except for the wrinkles and folds I didn’t like and was seeing.

The 1.25″ scoop and 1.25″ lowering created issues. Oh sure the front and side HBL’s leveled, but the front crotch, which was not being changed, started looking too long.  Deep vertical folds developed close to the front inseam

Why was scooping the back, creating too much fabric in front? Also, initially I had placed the crotch at a comfortable level and the front thigh also felt good. After the drastic scoop/lowering, the front thigh started pulling and being uncomfortable. It perplexed me that I was not making changes to the front at all, yet the front was becoming worse.

Another thing that perplexed me was the ease across the butt.  I kept seeing a blinding light bounce off my seat:

I’d look at that and think “I need more ease/circumference.”  But then the side view would show a typical and desirable slacks fit

I started this new muslin, Muslin 2, wondering about the HBL’s, but also concerned with the wrinkles, folds and tightness in unexpected places.

Before starting Muslin 2, I compared Muslin 1 tissue to the larger-size range just recieved. I had thought I would trace the  next size up as  Rae Cumbie, one of the creators of the Eureka pattern, suggests. According to Rae moving up a pattern size or moving up a back size will solve many problems. Certainly did when I fit the size Medium a couple of years back. I went from a Medium with Back 2 to a Medium with Back 3. Instant success. When I compared the Muslin 1 Tissue to the pattern I discovered that all the scooping/lowering I did plus the extra 1/2″ added to the side seams was equivalent to using the XL. XL wasn’t working for me. So I went up to the 2XL.


I traced the same size front and back. On Muslin 1,  I made several tweaks to the tissue based upon my previous experience.  This time around, I lacked confidence for that.  I traced almost exactly as is.  I did straight-out the hip curve just a teensy bit by drawing a vertical along the side seam between waist and the first HBL; and before cutting the fabric I folded the leg up 4″.

I calculated that size 2XL had 8″ of ease. How did it fit?  Well it was way too big

FIT 01

Huge vertical folds are forming on both the side and back. It’s more of a pajama fit than a slacks fit.   The front looks pretty good

… until I realized how big it is.

The front and side HBL’s are level at this first fitting.  No scooping needed. For the first time, the Back HBL’s are better

They arent perfectly horizontal but they are not dipping sharply into the crotch. Speaking of the crotch

The vertical folds of excess fabrics rather disguise there is an issue back there.

So what to do?

Fit 02, 03

The next fittings, were about reducing the excess ease.  I wanted a slack fit or at least a trouser fit, not the pajama fit I was seeing.  Besides while my experience tells me that back crotch looks like it needs scooping, I can’t be sure how much of what I am seeing is simply fabric with no place to go.  I figured since the ease was everywhere, i.e. the whole pattern was too wide, it wouldn’t hurt to reduce evenly by folding along the grainlines and stitching measured amounts. I thought taking the tucks along the grainline would keep the grainline in the center of the leg–where they belong.


i.e. just the way I traced the 2XL and stitched the muslin



Ease was reduced by stitching 1/4″ seams along the grain lines.




Ease was further reduced by stitching 1/2″ deep along the grainlines

Also I started stitching in the back darts. Know this is not an optimal point to drape darts, but I was struggling with masses of fabric at the waist. I made two 1/2″deep darts on each back.  BTW this is not unusual for me. On some patterns I’ve made 6 darts in back (3 on each side). The 4 dart 5/*” deep arrangement is pretty standard for me.

Fit 04

I wanted to reduce the ease further. But at this point, (Hip +4″ ease), I was feeling the fabric across my seat.  Also the leg hem is as narrow as I want it.  I discovered several years ago that “carrot legs” make hips humongous. The front looked nice until I saw the wings on my sides.  There doesn’t seem to be corresponding ease on the back despite all the ease over the back thigh.     I would like to achieve something like 2-2.5″ ease. Since the fabric is feeling tight across my seat, the evenly deep seams are not possible.  Hoping to decrease the wings, I offset the front side seam 1/2″ from the back.  I can now see the issue at the back crotch and be pretty sure it’s time to scoop.  I hemmed and hawed. No doubt in my mind that I needed the scoop, the question was how much. Do I really fuss with incremental 1/4″ scoop and then 1/4″ lowerings as I had done on Muslin 1 or do I cut to the chase.  Finally decided that it would be fast and easy to cut another back and proceeded with my usual 1/2″ scoop and 1/2″ lower.

I am perplexed. Both happy and unhappy with these 2 changes.

The back HBL’s look better ie less chevroned.

To tell the truth, I don’t care about the HBLs. I only pay attention to them because Sarah Veblem says they are the key to fitting pants.  I am really all about the crotch and the leg.

Is the crotch fixed?

Well it is better but still looks a bit weird.  LIke it could use a little more scooping.  But, Oh MY! Both sides have developed big folds of fabric. Yes one side could be adjusted a little better at the waist (leveling the HBL’s)  but I don’t think that’s going to completely remove the diagonal folds.

For the first time, I had issues with tightness across the front thigh and even though I carefully adjusted CF in the mirror so the HBL’s were level, they are chevroning.  I think the new front fold indicates that the front crotch is now too long.  Pull it up at CF?  I did. It’s snug. By-and large, I am satisfied with ease across the front and sides.  Do I want to scoop some more? I mean the first scoop seems to have made the side and front worse and barely improved the front.


I scooped and lowered another 1/4″. Also tried to remove some of the excess ease in the lower leg by increasing the side seam below the 3rd HBL and the knee HBL.

It felt more comfortable; Side and front HBLS are pretty level.  Back HBL’s no worse, not sure  any better i.e. not sure a total scoop/lowering of 3/4″ as an improvement

Half Inch Scoop

3/4″ Scoop

Then I did what I probably should have done back in Fit2/3. To finally reduce the excess ease, I pinned the side seam but only on one side; removed the pins and basted before trying on yet again.

To my surprise, the pinned/basted side looks much improved. Did I make a real mistake earlier by not pinning out the ease along the side seam?  I tried to preserve the grainline in the center of the leg. Easy to find out


I released the  front and back center tucks I had made in Fit 02/03. Turned the muslin inside-out and pinned the other side.

I was surprised at how much better the muslin looked by pinning out the excess at the side seam.   Both side HBLS are angling down towards the back. Front HBL’s are level; back are nearly level. My real concern is the crotch.  The front crotch is stellar.

The back needs more work on the darts, but the crotch looks good

It does feel a little close across the seat.  Like I’d wish for 10% stretch, but I am not seeing that blinding light that generally bounces off my butt because the seat of the pants is too tight. Oh and the leg is astonishing

This is a slack fit.  See  how the pant back just cups under the seat:

That is a slack fit. As far as the extra fabric over the back leg, I’ve come to understand I probably need it. The Generous Derriere video;  all the discussions and now this Pin showing the difference between seats:

Pic should be linked to  SewinPlums site where there is much more information on many fitting and styling subjects.

The pic shows 3-different tummy and seat types.  I am the last or far right figure. To me it is clear that there will be excess fabric beneath my tummy and  hip.  If it bothers me, I need to switch to a jean fit.  I don’t want every pair of pants to have a jean fit. Besides, I also enjoy a trouser fit.


I’ve marked the waist and, using Sarah’s method, transferred the changes to my pattern. I don’t think I can improve this muslin further.  If not perfect, it is at least not bad and definitely better than the RTW I was considering buying.  It is time to sacrifice a good pant fabric. Time to discover if the fit of this muslin is transferable to real fabric.  I’ve been at this point several times this year.  Only to be horribly disappointed when working with good fabric.  I’m reserved; with-holding a final evaluation–until I can see it work “for reals”.



Eureka Pant

EurekaX: Fitting Muslin 01

WARNING:  Overloaded with pics.  This is the detailed journal/post of my latest attempt to fit the Eureka. 

Muslin 01: Fitting Size Large with Back 3

Fit 01

I had forgotten about curvature built into the side of this pattern.  I am pretty straight along my sides.  It is my front and back that have all the curves. Consequently, if I make this pant as drafted I will have a jodphur-look or as I like to call it M!ckey Mouse ears.  I do not pin out the side curve right now. From experience I know I am quite likely to change the crotch. When I do the whole upper torso changes slightly  and will shift the curve’s position. So, if I pin out now, I  will be changing it later.  Rightnow, I look at the collapsing sides and say “I’ll get back to this”

I clearly saw the front chevroning in the mirror when I adjust the muslin to sit on my body comfortably.  Suspected and now confirmed are the back chevrons.  The side HBL’s are fairly straight. Any slanting could be due to my photo abilities rather than a fitting discrepancy.  It is the front and back HBLS which need attention. I don’t recall the front chevroning during my fitting earlier this year. But I can’t trust my recall.  I definitely had issues from Chemo Brain.  What I do remember clearly, is I was never able to completely remove the back chevron using the instructions which accompanied the tissue pattern. My Kessinger fitting is coming along nicely — still room for improvement– and the 906 has definitely produced very-good versions.  So I wouldn’t attempt fitting this pant again at least this quickly except for the new understanding and knowledge I derived from Sarah Veblems Fun with Fit: Pants online class.  According to that, I need to work on fixing the back chevron’s first through a combination of scooping and lowering the back crotch.


So you’re supposed to view the HBLs and thn reach around to the back and pinch until they are horizontal and the grain lines vertical. I didn’t do well with that procedure.  I got uneven bunches. I think my arms must be a tad short.  I decided that since I normally lower the crotch 1/2″ and scoop 1/2″, I would try altering the back crotch by those amounts.  I sort of followed Sarah’s procedure to transfer draping changes to the pattern.  I got my back pattern piece out. Drew in the seam allowances along curve and inseam before drawing the horizontal line at the base of the crotch and the vertical line descending from the waist. Apologize that the pics are not that easy to see.  Blue dashes designate the original stitching line.  Brown lines are the horizontal and vertical just drawn. Next was ticking in 1/2″ below the crotch and 1/2″ in the back of the crotch.  I drew new lines as Sarah demonstrates and used my curve to copy the original curve. Finally establishing the new cutting line in purple ink.

Up to this point in time, I have always needed to lower the crotch. Scooping was never enough.  I felt a bit experimental today and decided to first test simply lowering the crotch.   I sliced along the new cutting line but only up to the point where a scoop would start taking effect. I didn’t trim away the slice, I am not sure my assumption is correct. I pinned the little slice of tissue into the interior of the tissue thigh area and left it dangling there while I operated on the muslin.

I love Sarah’s process for making these changes. I aligned the tissue on top the muslin using the Grain and HBL’s. Just like Sarah demos except I didn’t have draping to transfer to my tissue. I marked my new cutting line on the muslin then gave it  a quick trim followed by stitching the new lowered crotch. And the results:

Well they did feel more comfortable, even if they don’t look much better.  The real questions are have the HBL’s and horizontal folds of Fit01 improved?

Comparing Fit01(left) with  Fit02(right)

Not really.  Also, I expected the center back to rise more. I expected some improvement in the chevroning of the HBLs. Not that I can tell.

BTW, that comfort factor?  It’s the first thing I always notice when I am on the right track. As garment fit improves, I always feel more comfortable in the garment.

Interesting to me, the muslin looks a little tight on my butt when looking straight on and feels close. However the side view says it is fine.

I mean, it is a slack and should cup just a little under the seat. Maybe I havent worn a slack in so long I don’t remember how they should fit?


This summer, fitting pants has involved adding length to the front crotch. I found this out the hard way.  I added and added and added to the back crotch. No joy.  The front would pull the  back  forward and through the crotch.  I would accumulate more and more height at the waist front while the back continued to dip and really look like a mess.  After adding 4″ to the back, I tried adding to the front crotch. Problem solved.  I had this in mind and was glad it would be easy to test because I added 1/2″ seam allowance depth to the inseams. I ripped open the crotch and down the thigh 9″. Sigh, for years and years I’ve always had a thigh gap.  Didn’t matter how much I weighed, I had air between my thighs.  Now when I stand with knees touching, thighs touch–all the way to the knee.  Thinking I could use a little ease in the thigh area was the reason for ripping down 9″. Oh how easy it was to align the two edges.The gradual slope made it so easy to determine the stitching path..  But did it help?

Pretty sure that’s a big negatory on the front.  I have deep diagonals pointing to the middle of the thigh and poofiness in the  Venus area; and the HBL’s are not improved one bit.


I trimmed away the rest of the tissue modified before lowering the crotch (Fit 02)l repositioned the tissue and completed the combination scooping and lowering of the back crotch. Since adding to the front crotch didn’t improve the fit at all, I restored the previous seam line and then took pics. At this juncture the back has been scooped 1/2″ and lowered 1/2″

Talk about comfort level, way up IMMEDIATELY! The HBL’s are still dipping. I am reluctant to be highly critical of the plumb of the  grain lines because of how I stand (legs apart) for these pics. Also, I have picture taking issues.  My pics always have to rotated at least a few degrees to look upright.  So, taking it all with a grain of salt, it looks to me like the grain lines angle out rather than bow out.  If they bowed, they would bend back towards the inseam instead of continuing unabated along the same angle. In which case, more scooping is prescribed

The back thigh, while definitely improved, has   a big diagonal accompanied by  a smaller diagonal extending from the 3rd HBL towards mid-thigh. There is some horizontal buckling a little lower but I think that’s just the result of a hot, sticky day.  I’ll have to watch and see if the issue continues.

I am feeling happy, especially when I see the near perfect side HBL’s

(umm, my pic flash and color can be unreliable).

and the front

while sporting some excess skirting has finally improved!    In the mirror the HBL’s did not dip. By the time I walked to my pic taking position, the front rearranged.  I am wondering if I need more ease across front hip and tummy or if I just need a little more length in the back crotch.  Well, there’s one easy way to find out.



Since I’d already added the 1/2″ SA depth to the inseams, it was beyond easy to offset  front from back inseam to extend the back crotch length.  Procedure was very similar to when I added to the front crotch length and does not need to be repeated. Also, I’d rather you watch Sarah Veblums videos.  Sarah does an excellent job demoing this procedure.  Much better than I.

Well this feels crazy. The HBL’s are dipping and the diagonals are still there. I thought scooping and extending the crotch point both had the effect of adding to the total back fork length. I thought they were interchangeable except for where extra fabric would be needed.  I’ve added 1/2″ more to the point, why doesn’t that help as much as the scoop?

And look at this crazy front:

I’d rather wear the front from the very first photo shoot! HBL’s are dipping a lot, plus there are diagonals and weird drag lines from crotch to tummy. It is slipping during modeling.  I place the front HBL’s level/horizontal in the mirror. Walk to my photo–shoot place and take a pic.  Somewhere in between, and not noticed by me, the front slips  a little.  I wonder if that would be corrected by adding a WB? I fought a1.5″ wide elastic WB for weeks. It had the same unstability making fit a nightmare. Now I am pulling the pant up and expecting it to stay in the same place by tying  a 3/8″ elastic at my waist. Not sure this will ever really work.

The front looked better in the very first fitting:


I thought  it odd,  that adding to the back fork length didn’t help.  Since scooping and lowering in combination did, that was my alteration here.  I scooped and lowered another 1/4″.  So in this pic the total amount scooped is 3/4″ scoop and 3/4″ lowering. Also, since adding length at the point didn’t have any effect,  I restored the inseam SA’s to their default depth.

I don’t see much of an improvement from Fit01. When when I compare with the previous fit session, I am not sure the additional 1/4″ did anything at all.  Both pairs of  2 diagonals extending from hip to midthigh are still quite prominent.  and the chevroning hasn’t budged. TBH, I’d ignore the stubbornly persistent HBL chevroning, if the back diagonals would lessen greatly or go away.

I expected for this scoop to make the back hip too tight.

But the side view, says circumference at hip is still fine.  I do want the slack fit which will include a little cupping.  Well good news and considering my photo skills,  the side-HBLs are once again near perfect.

The front

surprises me more than the back.  With that 3/4″x3/4″” lowered and scooped crotch,  the front HBLs are nearly horizontal. But, eeh gads, I had to pull them up pretty firmly and I am feeling tightness across my front thigh which is supposed to indicate a too low crotch.   Still this front is almost, I stress, almost wearable. The front HBLS are pretty level and the grain line pretty straight. It is the circled area that has me most perplexed:

Sarah mentions several times both in the videos and the discussion that one way to determine what is happening is to turn the pant inside out and place one leg within the other.  You then step into the leg and observe how the crotch is conforming to the body. For what it is worth, and sharing my post-chemo belly,  I took a pic:

Then carefully pinned around the front crotch–something I was not able to do with the back.  –I think I am “jumping the gun” here.  Sarah stresses over and over:  fix the back HBLs and grain first. But it is the end of 5 long-hot fitting sessions. I am tired of little progress.  I want to see change! I pinned and found that the crotch is snugging as it should but then a fold about 3/8″ thick (total 3/4″) is forming along the  crotch and inseam. What does that mean? Do I have too much front crotch length?

I love the class and videos, but when looking for a specific solution they are a PITA in which to search for answers. I keep mentally holding onto the new-to-me info.  Which was back chevroning and diagonals means scoop; and a big belly like mine is going to need additional front crotch length.


I scoop one more time but do not lower.  Remember way back when I added 1/2″ to the back side seam?  I nearly always need more fabric to cover my seat.  I often explain to people that I am deeper than I am wide. If you drop a vertical dividing my side you’ll see that my tush sticks out further than my tummy. IOW, I have more to seat to cover than tummy–even though that’s now quite a bit of tummy.

It is a disgusting repeat.  Both front and back HBL’s are dipping the same amount as at the first fitting.  I have now scooped 1.25″ and lower 3/4″.  The front has gotten worse.  I shake my head echoing the disgust I feel.   Even with new understanding, I still cannot fit this pant which once fit practically out of the envelope in a size medium.  No wonder fat people tend to hate themselves. The failure can be overwhelming.

FIT 08

Figuring it cant be any worse if I lower the crotch, yet again.  I lowered it another 1/2″.  At this point I have scooped 1.25″ and lowered 1.25″.  Did it help?

Not with the HBL’s.  The diagonals in back ar less prominent, an improvement. The front really has a skirting issue i.e. lots of skirting at the hip joint.  Looks kind of poofy. Not a look I really want to wear. Maybe it would look better in a pant fabric?  I am using a 100% cotton. It’s a home dec fabric which doesn’t have any stretch (required for muslins). But it isn’t something I would wear as a pant.


I take a break.  For one thing, I am again at this place where I don’t know what to do next.  I think a 1.25″x1.25″ scoop and lower is extreme.  I think it pointless to continue the same scooping and lowering when not seeing any improvement or as here the front is worse. There is an old saying “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”  I found that saying to be spot on.  If I want to see different results, I need to do something different. But what?    I wonder about going up a size. The  very first Eureka I  made several years ago, practically fit right out of the envelope? Well it did after I changed from a Back 2 to the Back 3.Going up a size could be a possible change, except  the size I am using (a Large + Back 3)  is the largest in my envelope.  Sigh, it is the only new thing I can think of doing.  I have ordered the next range, from PR.  Should have it in a few days for comparing, tracing and Muslin2.  I also posted on PR hoping that Sarah will come through in a few days give me some pointers.  In the meantime, there’s always other sewing I want to do.

Eureka Pant

EurekaX: Measurements, Tracing, Initial Adjustments

One important caveat on this fitting session.  I have found some light weight support panties that I love.  They have a leg about 2″ and extend all the way up to my bra band. They support my tummy making  separate abdominal able support unneeded. It’s nice to need one less accoutrement in the summer.  So far, they are light enough that over heating has not been an issue. Probably won’t want to wear them if we hit 100 deg temps. In addition to the abdominal support and smoothing the entire torso, they give me an actual waist!  Haven’t seen one of those in months. But it is important to note that without these, any fitting I do on the Eureka will most likely be invalidated.  IOW pants worn with the support panties won’t fit, look or feel the same as pants worn with.  It’s a trade off.  During fitting, I will make it a point to wear them every day.


Even though I had just taken full measurements a month ago and spot checked them since then, I remeasured the critical Waist/Tummy/Hip.  Full disclosure in the table below.

My Body Measurements//// Plus 2″ Ease////Size According to Body measurement////// Size Chosen by Added eEse.

Waist 40 42
Tummy 46 48 L M w/Back 3
Hip 48 50 XL L w/Back 3


I opted to trace the Size L with Back 3. Following Sarah’s instructions, I traced front and back the same size (L) even though in the past I have needed a smaller front. I knew from before that I needed Back 3. Back 3 has always been the key to fitting the Eureka. I was pleased with the entire video about Fitting the Round Derriere and the next one on Fitting the Generous Derriere. Found my own derriere in the Generous class. This class definitely explains why I have always gone up one size to get enough seating room.


This is not my first go around with this pattern.  I know, without question that I end up making the same adjustment — perhaps in different amounts each time–but the same adjustments over and over.  I doubt that some things about my body are going to change.  Such as I am 5’3″. Patterns are developed for the 5″5-6 woman.  Patterns, this one included, always have too much length.  I can spend time and effort rediscovering the differences  or I can skip to what I know. I did the later.

I folded out 1″ above the top HBL to remove -1″ crotch depth.  I may later remove a 2nd inch but for now this gives me some fabric to put and hold under the elastic until I can rework the back crotch.  I also folded out 1″ length about the Knee.

This of course makes some jogs at these points.  I used my Fashion Ruler to smooth out the jogs.

Next up, I know I want  to add some fit insurance in a few places. Sarah says nothing about this. Before I even cut fabric, I know that I will be lowering and scooping the back crotch as well as fiddling with the front crotch.  If I don’t add the fit insurance now, I will be taping bits to my tissue and making a 2nd muslin in a very short time.  My fit insurance is an additional 1/2″ added to the inseams of both front and back and 1/2″ added to the side seam of only the back.  I traced the pattern in blue. Now I added my fit insurance in RED:

One thing I did, which Sarah says not to to do is add the front fly.

She’s right that it makes for excess bulk. One of the things I struggled with on the 906 Ponte Shorts were those friggin’ huge seam allowances. I real PITA. But I know I will want the fly later when I start sewing real pants. For fitting, I want to pin the pant together at the center front, which I can manage, rather than pin the CB seam, which I will mangle.

The pattern is still rough cut i.e. not to it’s final dimensions when I pin at the HBLS and carefully walk seams adding and removing pins as needed. Sarah does an excellent job of demonstrating this.  I have one additional wrinkle in the process.  Although my inseams are the same width, my side seams will not be.  I added 1/2″ to the back side seam. So when I walked the side seams, I placed the front side seam on top and aligned with the original cutting line.

I’m always amazed at the inaccuracies that appear even though I carefully traced and carefully made adjustments.  Not bad this time.  I trimmed 1/8″ from the leg length at the front hem and again about 1/8″ length at the front side waist.

Now I trim carefully to the final dimensions and I clip each end of the grain and HBL lines.


I am ready for my first muslin.  I select a recent garage sale find. It is an upholstery cotton with the always-missing-from-my-stash, non-stretch feature. I prefer wearing pants of nice denim or woven with a tiny bit of stretch and that is what I buy.  I will probably need to repeat this fitting process for knits at some point because I do wear knits too.  My fabric is a bright print that I thought of using for a blouse. When I picked it up I thought I had 3-4 yards of 36-40″ wide fabric.  When I pre-washed I discovered I had 7 yards of 42″ fabric. I will never use that much for blouses though I do still intend to make a blouse.  It presses easily.  For the muslin, the pretty right side of the fabric will become the inside. The plainer/duller reverse will be fine for all the fitting marks I will need. Before, laying out my pattern pieces, I pin up  the hem on the tissue A hem is not necessary on a muslin and  I just don’t want to fuss with a hem that keeps falls down as  Sarah did during the demo.   I cut around the pattern pieces; then transfer the grainline, HBLS and knee line in red Sharpie. I want to see these lines in the pics I plan to take.

I decide I want a visual reminder of the Fit Insurance I added.  I stitch along the the added SA line and the crotch stitching lines.  I look at the crotch and decide “Nah, I’m not doing all that clipping.”  Hope this isn’t a mistake.  I trimmed 1/4″ from the crotch to have a 3/8″ SA.  This is my standard.  You wouldn’t believe the number of times in recent months I’ve been working with the default 5/8″, that I’ve stitched at  3/8″.  That 1/4″ can really make a difference. I find that the 3/8″ crotch SA easily bends around my body. I have yet to have a fitting or sewing issues due to the 3/8″ SA.  There could be a first time. For now, I am accommodating my Chemo Brain and do things “normal” when I can.

I stitch the fronts and back together after carefully pinning at the HBLS and paying attention to my change seam allowances. Finally 2 hours after I begin, I am ready for pics of my first fitting.

I stress that the time needed is all self-inflicted.  Should you simply measure, select and trace size and start cutting fabric, you’d be at this point far sooner than I.

Now I slipped the muslin on; pulled it up comfortably. Established a temporary waist by tying with 3/8″ elastic — I didn’t have the recommended 1/4″– at my natural waist and then bending side to side.



906 Shorts with DG2 Waistband

I am continuing to work with the Trudy Jansen Designer Jean #906.  Up to now, I have used this pattern exclusively for denim and twill — two fabrics which either shouldn’t stretch or have little stretch.  However, current figure issues have me scratching my head and deciding if I need to use knits/stretch fabrics then so be it. I selected a very nice and Ponte Roma purchased this year from Stylish Fabrics. I made the purchase from  them because they gave more detail on the fabrics allowing me to make better choices.   For this fabric is was the GSM (grams square meter) that convinced me it would make a nice pant.  Color I am using is the Denim Blue.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that that prices were reasonable. Which I took with a grain of salt. Price can often be an indicator of quality. IOW I might really be working with a muslin-type fabric. But it feels good in my hand. Recovers well and hangs nicely on the hanger. On my body– well fit is the issue. Especially since I am using a pattern drafted for no stretch and this Ponte easily stretch 60%.

To make it more interesting, I decided to adapt the pattern for the DG2 Waistband. Well, that’s what I call it.  I noticed with my fav RTW jeans, DG2, that there wasn’t a real yoke or waistband on some styles. No the “waistband” had been divided at the side seams and attached to the top of the yoke and  front leg.  A full WB is used as a facing. When the facing is topstitched into place, it really looks like  a separate waistband.  I immediately adopted the idea and used it frequently. Well when I was making jeans all the time.  I so loved the DG2 jean that I seldom made jeans. Which accounts for why I have forgotten so many things about this pattern and so many small changes I made to it would be perfect for me.

For the DG2 waistband,  this sewing session was started with a little tissue work.  I noted I would be using the back lower leg pieces and one copy of the waistband as the facing. I would need a new yoke extended and a new front both extended to include the waistband.

New Pieces:

Using existing pieces.


I don’t think I spent a lot of time on creating the new tissues. Although I did take it one step further and make a 1″ tuck in the lower leg. The previous shorts have all finished with 10″ inseams. I prefer my shorts a little shorter.  The 1″ tuck means the finished short will have an inseam of 8″.  Much better for triple digit SD summers and I think looks better proportioned with the top-lengths I usually wear.

I gave the fabric a quick press (it presses easily), laid out the pattern and started cutting and constructing.   Even though the Ponte could have been used for pull on pants, I wanted to keep much the same procedure and used the  front zipper closure. Because it was Ponte, I interfaced the zipper pieces.  All of them. Thoroughly. Even then, I watched carefully during the 5-minute application. Instead of installing the walking foot, I lifted the foot several times  to keep the fabric layers from shifting! Specialty feet work, but if you know what you are doing, the regular presser foot does it all!  With water-soluble thread, and after  interfacing the WB facing,  I basted the rest of the pieces together.  Within an hour, I was ready for the first fitting.  Sewing pants is fast.  It is fitting that takes the time.

“And how was the first fitting?” you ask?

Well kind of as expected and kind of not.  I had stitched the seams the designated amounts but I expected the 60%-stretch Ponte would need deeper seam. It did. The waistband was falling off. Impossible to tell how the rest of the pant fit until the waistband was fixed. Eventually I stitched the side seams 1.75″ deep.  The 1.75″ SA made the pant look nicer on my body.Oddly, this wasn’t tight enough to hold the pant waist to the body but make the SA any deeper and the pant was too form fitting.  Since making the SA deeper gave an appearance I didn’t like, my solution was  planning to later make an elastic application.

That 1.75″ was on the side seams only  The yoke-to-leg, CB and waistband-to-facing remained at my personal default 3/8″.

Viewing the camel toe and the mess on the back leg prompted me to I let out the inseams; and scoop the crotch. Also, lowered the crotch. All changes I normally need and which helped the previous TJ906s. Well, the back actually got worse.

The front  camel toe  required some reshaping itself. But the worst was the unstable WB.  Or maybe it was my waist. One fitting the waist would fit. Next times it was too large. The time after that, larger still. I made the first WB facing from the Ponte.  A ripped it off and made a second with a non-stretch fabric.  Really appreciated how thin that made the WB but didn’t help with the changing waist length. Also I was still playing with the  crotch length.  Eventually, I stitched the back crotch at the default SA but the front I added 1″.

After 8 fittings I called it wearable but not perfect.  I installed what I call a floating elastic waistband:

I didn’t invent this, but I have found it to be an easy acceptable “fix” for RTW–especially back gaposis issues. I cut the elastic shorter than needed had I made a pull-on WB (31″). Placed it inside the pant and neatly top-stitched.

I did not make belt loops.  Unfortunately, my top stitching seems to disappear into the fabric so we don’t see the great effect the DG2 WB can have.

Final fitting

This is still far too large at the waist and hangs even though the elastic is hugging my body. I am flummoxed not knowing how I could have taken the WB in any further without making the lower portion too tight.  I tried gathering to the facing.  Nice puffy waist.  I finally eased over 4″ of the pant waist to the facing.  It is still that large. Which allows the pant to hang other than designed and adds weird even misleading drag lines.

I worked a lot with this Ponte pant.  8 fittings is a lot to do especially with a pattern that should already be fitting.   Don’t think this is cast in concrete, but I am unlikely to use Ponte Roma again with TJ906.  I think there are a few reasons for this failure. First, the pattern selection. Ponte would work  far better with a different waistband say a Yoga.  The zipper was not needed. Later on when I considered changing the WB to a pull-on, I ran into the issue of ripping the out the zipper.  I avoid ripping.  If there’s anyway that I don’t have to rip, I wont.  The massive seams needed were difficult to work with and  particularly uncomfortable in the crotch. It was relief when I serged them suckers to 1/4″ for the finish.

At this point,  I think I’d need to develop separate non-stretch and stretch patterns. I do think the SA depth required for both 40 and 60% stretch is consistent and at least would be a better/closer place to start the fitting.  Could save me a few fitting sessions and trips up those torturous stairs. However, I do need the wider inseam SA.  I am not entirely sure about the recent addition I have been making to the front crotch. It works, but I’ve always been told not to touch that. I’ve seen Indy pattern developers/drafters/sellers react with  horror when someone mentions tweaking the crotch curve. I mean, their reaction shut-down the conversation and people drifted away. (I used to go to sewing conferences). But when the other solutions don’t work, what’s a body to do?

Anyway,when I am half gussied, these are wearable:

The probably won’t be in the closet next year. But I do take away some hard-won knowledge from the experience.



Seam allowances depths (not changes but what the SA depth measured) made to the defaults of the traced pattern

Side Seam 1″ 1.5″
Crotch 3/8″ 3/8″
CB Back Leg 5/8″ NA
Inseam 1.5″ 1/2″
Yoke 3/8″ NA
Waist 3/8″ 3/8″
Back Crotch Scoop 1/2″
Lowered Back Crotch 1/2″



Recap: Judy Kissinger

I was struggling with Eureka, which I very much wanted to use, when I ran across FitNice by Judy Kessinger. The Eureka has a very precise fitting process. If you don’t follow it, they promise your pant won’t fit. So I was impressed by Judy Kessinger’s easy fitting process. I hemmed and hawed before taking the plunge because well she’s not exactly cheap. Finally decided taking a break from the Eurekas could be nice especially since I was running out of ideas of how to fix them. And, you know,  it wouldn’t be the first time  I followed the siren song of a new pant pattern.

A long video is available to help fit the Kissinger pattern or you can read the directions or you can read the instructions printed on the pattern.  I watched the video.  Not surprisingly  a larger size for my waist and then a smaller one for my hips was recommended. I figured out my sizing and traced in no time.  Judy also provided a couple of pattern tweaks which she stresses must be made before you cut fabric.  I made what she calls the ‘butt lift” i.e. a small dart precisely placed in the back crotch.

I made a test garment. which was really a success story. A fluke success since I never repeated the lovely fit which was achieved by letting out the side seams just a bit.

This is one of those fabrics I bought and wondered why. Not sure where it came from on the content but it did not have any detectable stretch. I thought all its ills were due to the elasticated WB.

I continued with Judy’s easy instructions; trimming the excess front the waist and marking that on the tissue. Didn’t really want to wear this pair of pants. Just didn’t like the fabric but hey! I’m ready to sew a good pair, right?

So I select another fabric, this time a nice suiting. Five fittings later..:

…I give up. This version fit better if I turned it around and wore the butt in front. I set it aside  (it’s still a UFO).  I was so surprised at the difference between pair one and pair two that I took both pairs apart and compared them.  To my surprise the no-stretch fabric from pant #1 had indeed permanently stretched! It was no longer the shape of the tissue and it was much larger than nice suiting.

One of the issues I had was the traveling waistband. The elastic did not want to remain at my waist. That’s because my tummy has become very rounded.The waist band wants to move up to a narrower part of my body (my bra band). Unfortunately, along with it,  the back is pulled down and through my legs. I really started thinking about not using an elastic WB. So for the next pair, I removed the WB extension from the pattern and made a straight WB.  I’d also found that I didn’t need the large pattern size and made a straight size 48.

The fabric is a very dark brown sateen with 10% stretch.  After 5 fittings there’s still room for a little improvement but overall the pants are wearable.  In fact because of the dark brown, none of the drag lines I worry about show.

Good deal, right? I decide I’m read for shorts.  I mean it is summer.  I’ve been fitting long legs because I’ve learned the pattern isn’t really fit until I’ve worked out the issues of the whole leg. But I’m wanting shorts in the closet for wear. I select a pink, non-stretch cotton twill. I’ve wanted this as a pair of shorts since last year.  Now’s my chance.

Now, granted I could have made more fitting effort. I only made 3 fittings and definitely messed up by not shortening the sides more. It was obvious in the brown sateen pants that shortening the side seam was still needed.  Shortening the side seam would have fixed both front and side view issues, but I am not sure about that butt.  It feels comfortable.  Unfortunately here is where my Sewing Angel started singing about her jeans.  She made me drool and I had to make a pair. Which ended up being a couple of pairs of jeans and several shorts which I shared just before the two Recap Posts.

I won’t always be so enamoured with my TJ906 jean pattern. In time I shall work with the Kessinger again/. I think it needs more work but I also know there are things I can do to improve the fit.  I am not out of answers here just a bit flighty.  Besides the shorts above don’t look all that bad if I pull myself together a little.


Fitting Summary

  • Size 48 + 1/2″ ease for slightly differing fabrics.
  • Butt lift alteration in tissue
  • Shorten side seams
  • Straight WB
Eureka Pant

Pants Recap

So the Eureka

by Fit for Art, has been a  pattern. much loved by me.  I remember it as being easy to fit that very first time.  I made pant after pant. I made many variations. Then my enthusiasm wandered or was captured by others’ new releases and I drifted away from using this base entirely.  I turned to now after spending previous months trying to draft my own and adapt nicely fitting RTW to a usable pattern. You see, my issues started last fall, well before the cancer was discovered. I was truly hoping that this easy, versatile pattern would be workable.

Interesting I could get a nice looking muslin

but when I transfer the changes to the tissue and cut another pair, it was a disaster.  Time after time, pant after pant I could fit the front or the back but not both!

I made so many tweaks/changes, I forgot what I did.  After discussing with my Sewing Angel, I decided to stick with an elastic band due to the fact the cancer and all involved was changing my body rapidly and almost daily.  I thought it maybe I could develop a reliable waistband and crotch I could ignore some of the other mess.

I forgot that the other mess included the under-butt wrinkles which was a large part of the reason I wanted newly fitted pants.

Eventually, I did make a few pairs (seen above) that were tolerable. I mean if I dress up and moved about the wrinkles were not so bad and besides the pants felt good. Not too big anywhere because the waist fit keeping fabric up where it should be i.e. tummy and thighs.

With summer rapidly approaching, I switched to sewing shorts.  I opted for an easy wide leg with a 7″ inseam. These are wonderful during the summer.  Quick to sew both because of the much shortened leg length and the waist band.

The mess under the butt tends to just go away but I did have other issues.  Mostly fabric issues. One fabric would work nicely the next would need more ease than I allowed.  Most of all the crotch was still not stable.

Some times it fit nicely. Other times, well it acted oddly. Like I hadn’t just fit it 2 dozen times before.

The biggest solutions for these pants was all the same:

  • Elastic cut to 31″ long–much shorter than my natural waist. But that was the length which would slide up over my hips – with a bit of a pull- and keep the waist in the same place.
  • A big scoop in the back crotch.

I declared a couple of the above wearable. I mean I’m at home most of the time. I really don’t have to worry about how good I look, especially while going through chemo. Besides, overall they had the same improved criteria of whatever was in the closet i.e. the waist doesn’t need to left open so it slides downward. Also in time, I included enough ease that both pants and shorts were comfortable.

But I still wasn’t satisfied and would have gone on tweaking and pulling my few head hairs over the Eureka had not I stumbled across Judy Kessinger. But that is the topic for the next post.