Let me bring you up-to-speed…
After I finished the Jinni Shorts that turned into culottes, it was mid-August. I had enough wearable shorts for the rest of summer and it was too hot to wear or fit long-legged pants. I thought I would take a break from pant fitting for a few weeks. Come back in mid-September with a fresh mind and eyes. In the next few days Pinterest kept feeding me pics of fitting pants using tin foil or wax paper or a flexible ruler. After a few days of this bombardment, I thought, “I’ve started this method before. Didn’t finish because I didn’t understand some things. It wouldn’t take long to make a quick ‘bowl’ to see if I’ve learned anything. Could use the Jinni’s…..” I’m figuring an hour or 2. Maybe a quick muslin and then toss the whole shebang. I decided to use 4 Out of 5’s excellent instructions. Created my bowl. Then made a quick short’s length copy of my original Jinni tissues. I pinned the tissues together and placed my bowl on top. Hmmm 4 Out of 5’s instructions made so much sense I had to continue with a muslin. Over the next 4 weeks became 4 muslins. I couldn’t quite perfect the crotch but I was really close. Each muslin had gotten better and better. More importantly with each muslin I realized why they didn’t work. Not just what was wrong, but what caused it to be wrong. After Muslin 3 I thought I had the answer. I really thought I did it. I really thought if I made Muslin 4, I would have perfected the crotch. I transferred the fitting change of shortening the length of the sides and cut Muslin 4. Front looked good. Sides looked good. Back looked good between waist and about 3″ above the inseam. From there down it was crumpled all the way to the inseam. As I studied it and studied the tissue change, I realized I had relapsed and made the last change in a manner I know to be in error. I had used darts in the tissue to shorten the side length. Why is this wrong? It doesn’t just change the length of the side. It changes the shape of the back crotch upright and skews the grain.
I wanted to fix my last error but something else had been nagging me. The back of my brain keep insisting I had forgotten something. Missed something. So I hunted for videos until I found Joy and Vivian’s complete flexible ruler demo Part1 and Part 2. Ah hah! I had used the wrong undercarriage “spot”. I was supposed to mark the inseam not the place I did mark. So I wrapped the flexible curve around me and marked the inseam. On the my Bowl tracing the inseam point is moved about 1″ towards the back. Then I traced a new copy of the Jinni and since it was now fall i.e. not shorts weather, I traced the entire leg.
I pinned the tissue leg together, this time allowing the extra 1″ at the inseam which fitting had proved I needed. It was another “Ah Hah!” when I placed the corrected Bowl on my pattern and compared the two.
To me, it’s a little easier to see after I trace the crotch shape with RED pen.
My crotch (Bowl) shape is a lot different from the pattern. I do think it reflects the successful fitting changes I’ve had to make and maybe explains why some of the changes I’ve made were wrong or not enough. Once I add the 1″ to the front crotch length, the front usually needs only a little tweaking. Correctly positioning the inseam on the Jinnie tissue automatically adds the 1″. I should note that an additional 1″ for the front inseam is an option already drafted in the Jinni pattern. I would have to add that 1″ in other patterns. When using the Bowl on the other muslins, I was scooping into the back of the crotch. Hollowing it out, 4, 5 and 6 inches. It would get better but never totally satisfactory. The last few years, I’ve had to scoop in the bottom of the crotch (sometimes called lowering). It occured to me that it was odd I didn’t need to scoop/lower the crotch. With the Bowl correctly positioned, a lowering is clearly indicated. Also of note is when the Bowl is correctly positioned, the back needs to be scooped only 3″. One last observation, from this Bowl it appears I need to shorten the front crotch depth 4″ and the back depth 1″. 4OutOf5 shortened immediately. I decided to wait and set the crotch depth by placing my pant where I want it on my body and then mark the waist. I added 3/8″ SA to the red back crotch curve blending it to the front as-drafted-curve. I trimmed the excess tissue from the front and set it aside. I know that scooping 3″ out of that back curve is going to make it impossible to put the pant on. My hip is 48″. Most pants have 2″ ease so that means there is probably 50″ circumference part of which is in the front. When I scoop the back crotch 3″ I will be removing 6″ of circumference (2 backs so 2*3″=6″). Subtract the 6 from the 50 and there will be 44″ of fabric to cover a 48″ rear. Not going to work. I have yet to see a demo of how to add 3″ to the side at the hip. The instructions say to add it straight across from where you scooped and blend the curve back into the waist and thigh. Have you tried adding 3″ to the side? I have and I can’t figure out how to blend it smoothly. I always end up with a big curve on the side. Which BTW always ends up adding inches to the thigh as well as changing the side length. It’s one of those things I’d really like to see someone do. 5Outof4 has only 1″ to add and that does blend pretty smoothly. This is the point at which I have quit in the past. I simply don’t know how to smoothly add the large distance I need for my round, prominent seat. I really wanted to test this new crotch shape. So I added the 3″ my way. I cut the back tissue vertically along the grain line and inserted 3″ of tissue. I don’t like this solution because it adds too much ease across my thigh and changes a slack leg into a trouser. Currently, I really want to make the Bowl work. So whatever the change does, it does.
As you can see above, I trimmed the excess tissue from the crotch and the rest of the pant. Almost as an afterthought I shortened front and back leg 1″.
Then I selected a new muslin fabric. This is a non-stretch, cotton broadcloth. It is a little lighter than I would prefer for pants. A little heavy for a blouse. I preshunk and pressed. Before laying out the pant legs, I folded them up 6″. This is a disposable. I only need enough length to be sure that the leg length is affecting the pant drape.
So onto fitting. Fitting was all about getting the waistband properly positioned and getting the darts right. I did not adapt circumference in the torso, hip or leg even though that first fitting begged for less in front and more seat room
The next 2 fittings tweaked the length of the crotches and distribution of the waist ease. Once that was done the front started looking near perfect. The back was a matter of adding crotch depth while increasing the angle of the center back seam. The more I tried on the muslin, the more the fabric wrinkled and misbehaved. In the last pic, I believe I have both near perfect front and back.
I took 3 pictures of the back. These are the best. The fabric seems to hang up in a couple of places IOW, this cotton broadcloth does not float over the body. Nope, it grabs and holds onto whatever is beneath. I can see and adjust the front and sides, while looking in the mirror. Cant see the back in the mirror. Best I can do is smooth my hands over it, but I don’t know what it looks like until I see the pic on my big pc.
The back crotch itself is pretty smooth, which is what I am most concerned about.
Interesting note. According to the tissue with Bowl, I needed to shorten the back crotch depth 1″ the front 4″. When finish, the back is not shortened at all. The side length is shortened 3.5″. The front is shortened 2.75″. My waist is a real roller coaster ride.
A second interesting note: The crotch and seat felt comfortable through every fitting. Even the first where the seat looked obviously too tight. Every depth change made the crotch, seat and stomach even more comfortable. Let me say that a little differently, every time I adjusted the crotch depth a 1/4″ to be a little shorter in front or a little longer in back, made the entire torso feel more comfortable.
So what to do next. Well, I am not worrying about leg width. I want to be sure the waist, torso and crotches fit well. So I am transferring the crotch depth and waist shaping to the top and back leg — no darts in the tissue. I will mark the dart positions, lengths and widths on the tissue as I draped them on the muslin. I am really not changing the tissue much. I will change to a better fabric. I’m thinking that with those large legs a nice crepe or rayon…..