Happy Pant, PalazzoPant, Straight waistband

Well They’re Done

I had decided to make an actual pair, with long legs and everything. Quickly realized, I would need to confirm the alterations I had settled on in the muslin. I mean, long experience has taught me that the pant in real fabric might look nothing like the muslin.  I thought I might not have transferred the crotch changes correctly and since the muslin was in linen, I wasn’t sure about the ease. The muslin still felt a teensey bit close.

I started by transferring all the fitting changes to my muslin (see previous post) and then choosing another non-stretch fabric. The label read 100% cotton flannel  “suiting”

I cut the fabric; inserted a zipper (this fabric felt nice and I thought I might have a wearable., and basted all the other seams with water soluble thread. I started making tweaking alterations. Shortening the back crotch 1/2″, took care of the bubble under the waistband

and, as suspected, scooped the crotch another 3/8″ I shortened the leg 2″ but it took me 3 tries to get there. Then I started narrowing the leg. I took new fitting pics after each increase to the seam allowance (Inseam 1/2″, 1″: side seam 1″, 2″, 3″) before realizing that the pant was growing on me.  I’ve never had denim grow this much.. This “suiting” however kept getting larger every time I slipped them on!. I opted to interface all the legs, the waistband was already interfaced and was not changing size. Took the pant apart except for the front crotch at the zipper; ironed to remove wrinkles and then interfaced. I actually laid the leg wrong side up placed an uncut length of interfacing glue side down and then pressed the interfacing to melt the glue onto the fabric. This worked albeit a little bit of a hassle both arranging the interfacing on top and then trimming the excess interfacing. Trimming the excess was such a hassle, I clipped just under the waistband and had to devise a quick fix.

Quick fix was arranging the cut edges together and fusing a interfacing patch to the wrong side before zig zagging over the cut.  At this point, I basted all the seams, increasing the side seam to 1.5″. Pant was still too big so I increased the side seam another 1.5″, yeah I was swimming in them. Just a little snug across the tummy now but, it looked good. At this point I had put the pant on 10 times. I was over it but was going to persevere narrowing the leg until I sat back and got an overall view of the pant so far. It really wasn’t bad which surprised me because I had a 28″ hem circumference. So I finished it!

I’ve got these Hiked up on my body a little

I was pleasantly surprised that the wide hem looked as good on me as it does. Usually anything more than 20″ and I look like I’ve been swallowed. This will be a fine plazzo pant version. Once the back slides down in place, it will look roomy over the thigh but waist, tummy hip and crotch are excellent.

So these are in the closet. I transferred the shortened crotch and leg length alterations but only trimmed 1/2″ from the seam allowances.  Even though I increased the side seam allowance 3″ I am not sure that would apply to every fabric. I will make another pair to work on narrowing the leg, later. I’m going to give it a rest.  I need an easy success.

Here I am gussied up a bit. Not bad for a wide leg pant!



Happy Pant

Happy Pant Muslin 2

I have been thinking about Muslin 2 ever since I posted Muslin 1. I had a couple of “wants” to work through.  I wanted to make a full length leg. I wanted a a hem circumference with  a maximum of 20 inches. Also thought I should attempt a knock knee alteration again. (Again?  It has been years since I tried unsuccessfully to make a knock-knee alteration in order to correct the diagonals below the knee.)Id think about it and decide to narrow the leg at the same time as I length it. Then decide no just make as is to confirm that all the adjustments I made are correct. Then I’d decide to boldly make that leg the max width I want it at the time time.  I’d also decide to make the knock knee adjustment and then talk myself out of it.  I can have a beautifully fitting leg and mess it up by trying to reduce the width of the leg. I went back and forth in my mind. I wanted to leap to the perfect leg but feared making all the changes at once would be a disaster. A critical point for me was needing to be sure the alterations already made were correct.  I’ve had numerous fitting muslins that looked great.  Make them in real fabric and they look like crap. I hadn’t made that many changes to get Muslin 1 fit, so should I worry about that or not?  I decided to proceed according to my analytical nature with is One Change At A Time.

I copied the original and put it away in case I needed it in the future. Then I made the fitting changes to the new full-leg pattern:

  • Reduce the rise
    • 1/2″ back and sides
    • 1/4″ front
  • Scoop and lower back crotch 1″
  • Add  19″ for full length leg (I’m a shorty)
  • Add 2″ ease to front and back side seams
    • This should be too
  • Add darts
  • Create a straight waistband
    • 3.5″ wide by 24″ long
    • With 1/4″ SA for center back (when desired)
    • Mark side seam and Front Fly

My biggest worry is that the fitting changes I made will not be right, so I stopped here but did  contemplated the knee and hem circumference.  As the pattern is now, it will finish at 29″.  A far cry from my acceptable 20″ and no where near the  desired 17-18″. In order to reach my goal (20″) I will need to trim off 9″. Not even sure it will be possible to make that big of a change.

I turned to look at fabric. I have another possible muslin fabric. But I think this pair could be wearable especially if I can be satisfied with more than a 20″ hem circumference.  So I leave the muslin fabric on the shelf and study my “real” pant fabrics.  I very much want another pair of brown pants. So now I’m looking at a much smaller selection. I want a non-stretch fabric.  I want a fabric I can wear in the house without needing long johns underneath. Boy that narrows the choices. I guess my destashing habits are having an effect!  My final selection is a 100% cotton flannel-suiting with subtle herringbone weave.  Purchased from fabricmartfabrics.com I’d estimate between 1 and 2 years ago.  It is such a nice fabric, I’m surprised it has sat in the stash this long.

I give it a long loving press. Layout my new pattern pieces and places weights on top before snapping out the lights and going upstairs.  Enough for one day.


Happy Pant

J Sterns Happy Pant Muslin

Time to make my first musin. I’ve chosen a linen fabric. It has a firm hand. No stretch. Like most linens it is no trouble to cut and stitch. However, also like most linens, it freys and wrinkles like-the-devil.  The latter being the reason I have little linen in my stash and the reason I moved this cut of fabric from the “Make Pants Stash” to the “Make Muslin Stash”. I basted in a zipper because  I think pants fitting is easier with a zipper in place.  I slipped on the muslin, adjusted the elastic at my waist before deciding I was wrong about the ease. This pant is too tight across my seat, I feel sausaged.

It also has the deep diagonals on the back of the leg, although it should be noted they stop at mid-thigh instead of extending all the way to the knee. There are not as many drag lines as usual but that could be due to the firm hand of the fabric i.e. the firmer the fabric the less likely it is to drape into folds of any kind. I also see the expected “too much”  fabric over the back thigh AND while the crotch should be extending 2.5″ above my waist there is only about an inch up there.  I’ve often corrected the same issues by simply scooping the crotch. Scooping the crotch cannot be undone so I do the less permanent alteration that sometimes helps , I let out the side seams. I should now have 4″ excess ease. So why does the butt still look and feel a ….ummmm…. little tight; squished?

The good news is that at the waist there is more like 2.5″ excess instead of being too small. Maybe I measured the waist incorrectly? Oh and the thigh wrinkles are not as deep.

I stopped at this, the second fitting,  to take pics and contemplate the next step. I consulted with my Sewing Angel, I do this frequently. She is a wealth of good fitting information and moral support.

Does anybody besides me dream about their sewing?  Well in my dreams I debated on adding my ease at the side seams, scooping a 1/4″ at a time or trashing the whole thing–including the 45 pages I have printed, trimmed and taped. Trash the whole thing?  Doesn’t sound like me, does it? I’m usually the one adjusting things 1/8-1/4″ at a time; using a dozen fittings; 3 or more muslins. What I realized is I already have a pattern draft, the Jinni, which is very similar.  I was asking myself, why did I want to continue reinventing the wheel? I guess I was just a little disappointed that the muslin, despite having reasonable measurements, did not fit better.  I was hoping for a first fitting and then some tweaking.   I can see already the Happy Pant is going to need to the same amount of work as always, not just a little tweaking. My final decision to go forward was because  Jen includes in the workbook  how to remove ease from the leg-something that has always given me fits. I decided to proceed and  immediately scooped and lowered the Happy Pant, back crotch 1/2″.

Stitched and trimmed.  I’m using a wider elastic (suggestion from my Sewing Angel) to hold up the pants:

One of things I did for pics this time, was ensure that the side seam was placed on my side and not angling towards the back. I may still have a little issue with the side-rise length but I thought this possible when my personal measurements revealed a 1/4″ difference  with the pattern.


The front is not looking very elegant.  I don’t know how much to blame the firm-handed fabric because I know there is also insufficient ease across my tummy. Often when I scoop the crotch, the pant move up on my torso and ease is suddenly just fine everywhere.


Horizontal line above my seat is my shape wear. It rolled up to that level. Time for the next size in shape wear!

The back was markedly better. Diagonals are less deep and not as far down the leg.

I talk it over with the sewing angel before trimming the excess 2.5″ I added for the fold over waistband and then adding a 2″ strip into the side seam.

Well I meant to add a 2″ strip, use 1/2″ seam allowances for a net addition of 1″ ease each side (2″total).  The strip obviously finished  wider than 1″.

Which gives me way too much ease at the waist and in front. But it still has diagonals from the crotch.

Also its looking a bit like a toddler’s full diaper on the back. Slightly better in terms of squishing the rear still  plagued by the diagonals coming from the crotch.

After contemplating, again overnight (the older brain needs more time to work through all the options we know about), I decide to reduce the ease a little. I increase to the strip seam allowances to 5/8″ each. With 4 seams, each containing 2 sides that 1/8″ increase turns into 1″ less total ease. I’m contemplating another scooping and may need that ease later on.

I also decide  to dispense with the fitting-elastic and make a waistband. Well not a complete waistband but a 3″ strip folded over and basted to the pant waist.  I copy the markings from the Jinny WB knowing that it may not be accurate because the scales have again increased…  (I keep telling the nurses not to show my pounds.  I like the Kilo numbers better.) .. and along with the additional kilos my waist is likely to have increased in inches.  I added darts. Not completely randomly. I know approximately where I always need the darts. So I eyeballed them into place. I had marked the bottom of the fitting elastic in the previous fitting but looking at the pics; realized I didn’t have the sides evenly under the fitting elastic. I offset the waistband from the pant waist but not as much as I marked.

Not surprisingly, getting the waistband right kicked off the need for some small adjustments. Initially waist was too small. In fact the entire torso was a little closer than I wanted. So increase waistband length, then change 2 of the 5/8″ strip SAs to 1/2″ . Finally satisfied that the waist and upper torso weren’t going to improve any further, I again scooped  and lowered the back crotch by 3/8″.

At this point, I decided “Good Enough”… for this muslin that is.   There are still some wrinkles around the stomach and the seat needs a smidge more room. Not sure, but it might be OK to lower the crotch one more time. Another alternative is offsetting the back waistband 1/2 instead of the 1″. The front is offset 1/4″, sides 1/2”. The waistband is slightly loose. I’m not going to shorten it anymore.  Since my waist has a tendency to fluctuate for wear, I’d stitch elastic inside.  Really nice thing, I fit these over 2 days. It’s been taking me at least a week to achieve the same with the other patterns I’ve worked with.


I had problems choosing between size 16 and 18. I should have gone with my original hunch, Size 18, because I eventually added 4″ of ease.  It was a error to cut the attached, fold-over WB. Especially in this firm-handed fabric because the excess was hard to work with and my waistline dips and rises as it travels around my waist. I wish I had started as usual with a straight waistband. Would still have needed some finessing but easier for me to see what needed to be done. Total 6 fittings but I admit some were self-inflicted errors in judgement.


  • Create tissue  WB for Happy Pant mark with CB, CF and Side Seams.
  • Mark Darts
  • Trim 1/4” from top at waist.
  • Add to seam allowances so total added is  +2″ to both front and back.
  • Scoop and lower Crotch 1”


Add full length legs.

  • WB position may need adjusting
  • Crotch scoop /lower may need adjusting.



Happy Pant

J Sterns Happy Pant: Sizing

I started by taking the measurements as recommended in the workbook which accompanies and is included in the cost of the pattern. Well I almost follow instructions. See I do have a couple of pair of nice fitting pants. So I measured the crotch in the jeans I like the most.

Figuring that 9 pages was not too much to assemble, I printed the High Hip front and back pdf’s at home. Wish I sent them all off for printing because counting front and back together are 18 pages which need to be trimmed and assembled. Way to much for impatient me but  I did get through it. Must remember to send pdf’s to the printer if I want more than a collar or neckline.

I am between sizes. No surprise there. My measurements always seem to fall in multiple sizes. I chose the 18 because it was not smaller at the hip than me and then I traced front and back. Measuring the pattern is next or at least that’s what I thought the workbook indicated and was what I proceeded to do. The needed changes stunned me:

  • Waist +3″
  • Hip -5″
  • Thigh -7″
  • Inseam -3″
  • Front crotch =1/2″
  • Back crotch +1.75″
  • Hem circumference -9″

Holy cow!  I know ease  is needed especially since the test will be non-stretch fabric. But 5 and 7 inches at hip an thigh seems excessive. Adding nearly 2″ to the back crotch is a little stunning. Typically I adjust the length of the crotch extension. But the thigh is already 7″ too big. Adding any there is going to make the thigh ease way too much. The hem at 27″ (drawing the sides straight down from the knee) would be a huge disappointment.  I’m hoping for a slim leg and small hem circumference (17-18″). That big flapping 27″ hem would be upsetting.

I pause here to consult with my sewing angel.  With her advice in mind, and a good sleep, I switch from the high hip version to the low hip version. Now this is critical. When I see pics of close fitting jeans:

Not the Happy Pant but an earlier version of my 906 Jeans.

I do not see a low hip, yet the adjustments I usually make include lowering the back crotch which is the typical low seat alteration.  I trace the low hip size 16 and 18 back pattern pieces.  I didn’t trace them but measured and marked directly on the printed pdf.  BTW that is 36 pages I have now printed and assembled. Hate PDF patterns.  First thing I check is the back crotch length. On the size 16, the size smaller than the 18 or the 18 high hip, the back crotch is 1/4″ longer than my own. After I print the front to the size  16 low hip front (now up to 45 printed, trimmed and taped pages), I find that the differences are either minor (+1/4″) or reasonable (+2″ at hip+ for ease needed. . This is more like it!  Being the curious sort, I pull out my Jinni pattern and compare with both sizes 16 low hip and 18 high hip.  The Jinni is very similar to the size 16 low-hip. Major difference is that the Jinni is scooped more, about a 1/2″ lower and deeper. Feeling much more confident, I trace the back and front size 16 low-hip Happy pant increasing side seams to 1″, front fly to 1.5″ (so it can be a cut on fly) and 2.5″ at the top of the pant for future fold-over, elastic, waist bands. Note, I have not extended the leg. At this point it is a beneath-the-knee length short, just as the printed pdf..

To be continued