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
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.
HIP + 8″ EASE
i.e. just the way I traced the 2XL and stitched the muslin
HIP + 6″ EASE
Ease was reduced by stitching 1/4″ seams along the grain lines.
HIP + 4″ EASE
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.
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
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:
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”.