sdBev's Pants!

Author Archive

I realized with that last pair of Vanessa’s that I’d made a grave error during the original fitting. I had not made Peggy’s inseam dart. My fault. I know that most of the time I need that dart. But occasionally, I have not. It depends upon the underlying draft. When half the wrinkles reappeared after recutting to allow for changes made to the crotch by the Hip Line Dart, I should have known. But I didn’t. Can’t explain. Anyway, I traced size BB again, added 1.25″ for a hem. Made the 2″ Hip Line dart and added a 1/2″ wedge to the CF for the front pooch. This time I added a 1/2″ inseam dart on both back and front legs.  I don’t really understand why the 1″ difference in length made such a difference in the fit of the leg. The leg tapers evenly from crotch to hem. The knee was comfortable but the hem was close. I didn’t want the hem to be any narrower.  Sigh. Still don’t understand why that difference was needed but I made a 1/2″ horizontal tuck about 3″ above the knee on both back and front pattern pieces. After another pause, I decided to make a 1/4″ horizontal side-seam dart to shorten the upper leg side-seam. Nearly always, this is an issue. Most certainly has been with every version of my Vanessa’s that I’ve made. Instead of waiting for my sewing angel to point it out, I made the change now.  Next I made my seam allowance changes.  I prefer 1/4″ along the inseam and 1/2″ along the side seam, 3/8″ everywhere else. Finished my new pattern by trimming all the excess tissue.  Note, I did not correct the total crotch length (that comfortable 15.5″ previously enjoyed). Nor at this point did I attempt to remove any more ease from the back leg.  I felt it was important to see if I have eliminated the other issues before working on that back ease. As for the back crotch, I’m not 100% positive it needs to be 15.5″. I’m mentally more comfortable scooping it out during fitting (especially since I made that odd unusable crotch the muslin before.)

I selected a fabric I would love to wear for summer pants. It is a lighter weight cotton in a soft tan color. No stretch. 0. Zero. None. That does happen to be my preference when fitting a basic pattern.  In record time, I had cut, serged or basted as needed for a first fitting.

OK to clarify, I wasn’t expecting Fit01 to fit. I knew I had removed 2″ from that wonderfully comfortable 15.5″ back crotch length. No way possible that the shorter crotch would be comfortable. This first fitting,  I wanted to define the amount of scooping needed i.e. do I need the full 2″ which was removed or a bit less. From the pic I’m starting with a 1.5″ scoop but won’t be surprised if a greater dip is needed.

A note here:  I’m trying to make this post more succinct than I’ve done in the past. Instead of multiple in-depth posts, I’m going for one summary. So while you are reading one post, please be aware that the activities have taken place over multiple days.


Before I could get back downstairs  to scoop the crotch, I watched an interesting video from Peggy Sagers describing how to take a pant pattern you love and adjust the leg styling.  I thought, she’s really right. With about 90% of the patterns I’ve purchased, I make all the same changes to the new pattern so it is very much like an older and already fitting pattern. Sometimes the differences are nil and I wonder why I bothered. Pants are a little different because of the 3 basic drafts, trousers, jeans and slacks.

As far as 3 drafts I can definitely be disagreed with. Many people see slacks as a styling change to trousers. I think of them as different drafts because of the change in straight-of-grain and a few other things which make the slack draft fit closer to the body.  But, yes, they could be right and I know it.

I’d already realized the crotch of  Sally’s pant 3200 looked a lot like the Vanessa crotch. It was the legs, from thigh to knee  that looked vastly different. Oh and the waistband but that’s not a biggie IMO.  With Peggy’s video fresh in mind, I inverted the pants legs into one; pinned on the ironing board and then superimposed the S3200 back.  I allowed for a 3/8″ seam allowance at the top. The similarity was astonishing!  (Keep in mind that S3200 has been fit to me and the pattern altered to reflect the fitting):

I compared the patterns and traced the S3200 crotch onto my Vanessa pattern tissue.  I also traced the crotch onto the tan pant. Tracing onto a finished pant is fraught with inaccuracies and I did need to correct the pen marks using my curve before stitching and trimming the new crotch curve. Now, I’m hopeful but not truly expecting this to be the final change. What I’m honestly expecting is that I will need to make another tweak before I’m fully satisfied. None the less, after looking in the mirror I took Pics of Fitting #2  and ran upstairs to examine at the big PC.

These are pretty dang good! You really have to consider the fabric. It is non-stretch. Cotton. They look no worse, scratch that, they look better than many of the cotton, non-stretch pants that I’ve purchased off-the rack in years past. When I was a petite 96-pounder. (I graduated from high school weighing a mere 96 pounds. )

I wouldn’t mind wearing these walking down the street and revealing my knee support…

…but they tug a little on my rear and I can feel them creep downward at center-back as I move about. As initially expected, I need to tweak the crotch fit. But I’m tweaking. Not making a new muslin. Not making big changes.

So began a series of 3 scoops and pics to the back crotch; 1/2″ at a time until I had scooped 1.5″ with hardly any difference in feel or look.

My experience says, if you keep doing the same thing with little or no improvement your not doing the right thing. I prepared to put the pants into my closet thinking “until I can get smarter, these are at least not embarrassing to wear.” Then I had another thought. I got out my Curve Runner and measured 13.5″. Huh? I had assumed that copying the 17″ S3200 crotch would create at least a 15″ back crotch curve length. So I got out my flexible ruler, formed it into a curve which I traced along the back crotch.

I stitched, trimmed; and using the Curve Runner measured the new crotch at 15-3/8″.  Despite being off 1/8″ I decided to try on and take pics.

If I’m not ‘there’, I’m really close. BUT I’ve got concerns. As well as things that please me.

First off that fabric. It creates so much mental conflict for me. I love the color. Very versatile. Can’t think of a single top this color won’t go-with. Love the weight and fiber (100% cotton). The ultimate comfort for summer. Hate the way it wrinkles. After each set of pics, I spritz with water or starch and press making the pant look good on the hanger. I take pics and the pant looks horribly wrinkled. It’s the fabric. I’ll probably wear these pants, in summer. Because I  really need summer-comfortable pants which protect me from sun burn without causing heat stroke.  Yes that happens when your temps routinely reach triple digit levels.

The side views are interesting/puzzling. Not really sure if I’m seeing something that needs correcting or just fabric that  rumples badly. Once I’ve fit a pattern, I  prefer to use fabric with a little poly or Lyrca  for daily wear just because those fibers help a pant look/keep looking good as well as increasing the comfort level.

Let’s go onto the fronts which have gone from (as in the Autumn 6PAC) Good-First-Thing-in-the-Morning to OMG-I’m-Glad-I -Wear-Long-Untucked-Tops

I have to rethink my front alteration. Adding a wedge to the front, my long time fix, is definitely not working in congruence with the back crotch changes needed.  As for the much improved back, there is now an  issue of insufficient hip circumference.

I have seen warnings here and there, about possibly needing to add ease at the side as the crotch is scooped. I think I’m definitely beyond “possibility “and into the “how much” realm.

So I took ‘walking pics’ and hung these in the closet.

While creating a 15 3/8″ crotch length has wonderfully improved their look and feel, I’m really at the same point as at the end of Fit 02. Well except those were wearable and these are comfortably wearable. I need to fix the pattern for the front crotch; and the ease of the back hip; and the crotch length before I go any further towards my real target of reducing the ease over the back thigh. Besides, I’m red-faced to admit that I may not want to reduce that particular ease. I’ve noticed that when I sit, my thighs spread enough that these become the right thigh circumference. If I had a little Lycra in the fabric, it  would be a different story. I truly want to fit a pattern with slim legs  for a non-stretch fabric. Also, I’d really rather not make my knee support visible…

…which is clearly happening with this number of inches of fabric around my thigh-to-knee.  Like most people, I’d rather not bring attention to any of my disabilities physical challenges except of course when I’m challenged for parking in a handicapped parking spot to which I am legally entitled.

Despite all my criticism. I’m encouraged, not down-in-the-mouth.  Overall, I like these. I can cover up or ignore my biggest complaints. Besides the deep cleaning I did at the beginning of my sewing session today, for the September Sewing room Soup-up, has reddened and swollen my nose, which is also accompanied by a catch in my back that will not stop until I can sit for an hour or more with a heat pad and taken a couple of mind-altering, prescribed pain pills.


Catch you later,





I spent the previous 2 days starting the September Gussy of my sewing/stash rooms. One the tasks took longer than I planned but I found myself asking some questions about that last muslin (The Vanessa with the crotch dart).

So first thing today I played with my ideas

  1. inseam dart 1/2″ (1″total)
  2. Knee level position
  3. Combined inseam dart and knee level tuck
  4. what happens when these are shorts instead of long-legged pants.

Showing  the inseam dart on the left leg …


I actually took the time to mark on the pant leg where the pattern knee level was and then with the pants on where the center of my knee is. The pattern is  1″ lower than my body. I made a  1/2″ deep (1″ total) tuck above the knee. Important to note that the Knee placement uses a tuck taken evenly front, back and sides; while the inseam dart above takes a 1/2″ at the inseam tapering to zero at the side seam. The inseam dart changes the angle of the leg. The tuck does not it only makes it shorter.


I encouraged with the results,, I put both inseam dart and knee-length tuck on the same leg


This is a leg I could wear without a lot of dissatisfaction if it were not for the visible dart and tuck.  Then I wondered if this pattern will act like past patterns and be fine when converted to shorts. I chopped 19″ off the bottom of the leg, hemmed and bam!


I have a wearable garment. OK room for improvement.  It needs the side seam dart I make (horizontal to the waistband and about 3″ down).  Also, I can really see how much ease is in the back leg. I’ve already removed 1″. Now I pinched out 3 more for  a total of 4″ I’d like to remove. Oh and there was still ease left. I’m not crazy enough to make skin-tight woven pants.


Mostly importantly I have a more ideas for fitting. I’m really zeroing in on that 4″. The rest is reasonably fit, IMO.


Overnight, I realized I could have an issue. Remember how I re-cut the crotch?

Well, I got to thinking about the point of the extension

I’m going to take a 1/4″ seam along the inseam (left side) and then  3/8″ along the right which curves upward into the crotch along the way to the waist. I realized that by the time I did that, I would have 1.5-2″ of a string for the back crotch. I would be losing nearly 2″ of crotch length when I stitched this garment together. So what to do

I started by adding another piece of my tissue to fill in what I’d already cut away. One of the reasons I like Aisle Runner for pattern tissue-paper is because I can fix anything by sliding another piece beneath and stitching the two together. Then I marked 1/4″ away for the inseam allowance. Gave it a tink and decided I wanted 3/8″ unsewn; ‘nother tick 3/8″ away from the first; followed by a third tick another 3/8″ away to accommodate the crotch seam allowance (which for me is always 3/8″). No pic, it’s hard to hold the curved ruler, take a pic and trace the curve at the same time. Please try to visualize, I placed the 15.5″ end at the third tick, the 0″ at the top of the waist and then persuaded the ruler to for a curve. Fortunately, this is what the curved ruler does so well. When the excess is trimmed away, I had that odd crotch seen above which translated to an even more odd crotch when the pieces were cut and stitched together:

Well that can’t be worn. Which is why you see the black line drawn on the fabric between front crotch curve and back crotch curve.  I serged along that line to finish the crotch edge. Then stitched the rest of the pant together.

Which probably has you saying:What ??? ???

I did think about it for a few seconds. I had already accepted that this would most likely be discarded as unwearable at the end of today’s sewing session. I couldn’t think of a quick change to the tissue which I could use to recut the fabric. I proceeded because I knew I would learn if I have removed enough ease over the back thigh and also if I had added enough ease to the front piece to take care of poochie:

Also in case that miniscule, unexpected chance that trimming the crotch as above worked and produced a wearable garment, I would know immediately. With this muslin I would have success. Frankly, I’d be glad to alter the tissue right now t to correspond with the trim taken above, if it would mean I’d be able to  make more great fitting pants without making more muslins.

So did it work? Because Vanessa is an easy quick pant to sew,  I had the answer in less than an hour.  I practically zipped it together making one additional change at the SM.  I planned for 1/2″ seam allowances. I stitched at 7/8″ because that worked on the prior fabric which had 10% stretch and this fabric has 20% stretch.

Possibly instead of yes/no, I should discuss how well my changes worked. Poochie is better

Not completely erased and when looking at the entire  waist to crotch view…

…I know I’m not there yet. I’m trying to decide on increasing the dart from 3/8 to 1/2 or 5/8″ (which adds 1/4 and 1/2″ respectively at the front). This is a pull-on pant and some drag lines, gathering lines should be expected.  This is so not a drapey fabric i.e. more drag lines to be expected. But I do think there’s still room for improvement. I’m not sure if the crotch is wrong, because I changed the front crotch as well as the back; or if ease is the answer; or a different fabric is the real best choice. I’ll have to work through this.

Interesting from the side

The back does not appear to dip at the center. As I’m wearing the pant, I feel like it does.  ATM, I’m unsure about those drag lines.I could be looking at too much length on the side. I wonder if it is just the fabric. I mean even with the Lycra, this is not a fabric that snaps back into place. I am pleased, HIGHLY pleased that I’m not seeing any rouching/gathering along the side seam. That happens to me far too many times. From the side, I’m just puzzling out the drag lines wondering if they are length issue (from waist to knee is too long) or if that wild crotch of mine could be causing these too?  So many times, so many different situations, I’ve seen that when I correct the obvious big error that most if not all  the other issues just go away. It’s that removal of the king pin that frees the log jam. Is the crotch the log jam?

Before I turn all the way to the back, look at the full front

As a whole it is comfortable. I moved around; sat down; stood up and  said this fabric would be better in a tailored pant with zipper at the front and narrow waistband holding all in place. Peggy Sagers 3200 might be the better style choice for this fabric. OK, it is what it is so, let’s get to the back

Starting at the top, the waist appears to sit level if a little bunched in a couple of places.  Even though not uncomfortable, it does feel like it is dipping during wear. The pant skims my rear. I do not have VPL (Yeah! Cartwheel. Cheers). The horizontal line is a fold in the fabric from sitting on the shelf 10 years. A 10 minute press did not entirely remove those folds.  I hope I have fixed the pics so you can click and see a bigger view. I prefer the uni-butt look. I know some people think a pant should follow the curve of the cheeks revealing a bifurcated physiology. I ‘m not one of them and would like to make this into a uni-butt. I’m not sure I need to change the tissue. I stitched the side seams at 7/8″ instead of the drafted 1/2″. I could easily let out the side seam or just not sew it that deep the next time.

My crotch dart did remove some excess ease. I think I would like o remove another 1-2″.

Now that the ease has been reduced, the leg looks too long between thigh and knee. I’m wondering if I need to use Peggy’s Horse Shoe, Inseam dart.  Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t. It depends upon the circumference at the knee. If the knee is tight enough it will hold the pant leg at the knee instead of allowing it to drape freely to the ankle.  I did not need the Horse Shoe dart on Peggy’s 3200 trouser. I just hemmed at the correct length. But Vanessa?

So where to next?

  • Another muslin, hopefully wearable. This time I want to choose a fabric better suited for this pattern. I really think this fabric would have been far more attractive if I had used 3200. The fabric needed has less body, more drape.
  • Increase front waist dart/wedge to 1/2″.  I’m going to proceed gradually. The downside of this particular alteration is that plaids and stripes look odd. The bigger the front wedge, the odder those fabrics look. Of course, I’ll cover it all up with my tops, but I prefer to know that it is right as opposed to knowing it is covered up.
  • Make Crotch Dart 3/4″ deep.  I’m going to whip out the template I made at the beginning (shared yesterday), trace around it to restore the previous crotch. That’s after I let out the 1″ crotch dart. I want the total dart depth to be 1-1/2″. If needed, I can make another muslin and increase the depth another time.
  • Redraw the Crotch curve.  I like using the flexible ruler, but I need to think this through and create a continuous curve from front to back. That weird crotch cannot happen again.
  • Not doing the Horse Shoe Dart. Not sure it is needed. My personal experience precludes me from making many changes at the same time.  I’m even reluctant to make the front waist dart/wedge at the same time I’m working on the back thigh.  I’ve had really bad experiences making multiple changes all at once. Bad and confusing. For me it’s actually more efficient to make multiple muslins and understand the effect of each alteration before incorporating the next.

Well onward and upward. Ain’t this fun?


So I copied my pattern and applied only the changes I knew worked which are

  1. adding  1.25″ for hemming (discarding the cuff piece of the original pattern)
  2. the 2″ Hip Line dart


So then I made a template of just the waist to crotch portion.  I’m going to be experiementing and I think failing. I’d like an easy way to restore the crotch. Kind of a reboot of the tissue. So a template that I can quickly run a pencil around  instead of tracing a new copy off the original pattern.

The back template includes the 2″ hip line dart. I also drew a green line on my pattern which corresponds with the bottom of template so I can put them back in place quickly.

I think the only solution for that front pooch…

is adding more ease over my tummy. That’s not my pubis. My pubis is a few inches lower. That pooch is the fabric trying to stretch over my tummy and then being suddenly released. That pant (from my 2017 Autumn 6PAC) feels comfortable. I’d never know I had the front crotch issue except that I both took pics and lightened them enough to see any issues. Anyway, I think the solution is adding an unsewn dart to the center front. Pretty sure that’s the solution because I learned it from Nancy Zieman many, many years ago. Back when I was about 130 pounds when sopping wet. I’ve always had a tummy. It’s my personal physiology. I’m just built this way. A little extra ease in front which is created by adding a little dart at the waist was always  the answer. Apologies I did not take a pic. I extended the pattern horizontally out from the CF 3/8″ then drew an angled line back to the crotch about 7″ below the waist.  I’m hoping it works or at least helps. If not, well I’ll think of something else. At least, that’s what my mother always said about us kids.

Next up is that back thigh. I don’t want to change the length of the back crotch. Dang that was comfortable. Don’t want to shorten the length of the extension. That too added great comfort. I just want to take some of the ease out below the crotch. So I made a dart in the well of the back crotch.

Yeah, I just slashed from crotch to knee and overlapped 1/2″ on either side taking out a total of 1″ ease .But of course that shortened the 15.5″ back crotch length I so loved. It had to be restored.  I fetched the flexible ruler and placed rubber bands at 0 and 15.5″. Then wrestled into a curved shape as close as possible to what was already there

I marked inside that curve and trimmed it away

Since I had the rotary cutter in my hand anyway, I reached across and nipped off that angle which formed when I made the Hip Line dart

Really, I have zero confidence that I am right. About the crotch. I’m sure that nipping off that point on the side is right and adding the 3/8″ at CF is right (maybe not enough but the right step towaard the needed correction.) I think I have made reasonable, logical decisions. But I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this. Pretty sure it is a total deviation from standard pattern drafting. If Peggy says I’m 100% absolutely wrong, I believe her.  But this crotch looks a lot like my beloved Trudy Jansen Jean.  I think I could be on the right tract. The only way to be sure is testing. But that zero confidence tells me to choose a muslin fabric. Even though I’ve managed to make a couple of Vanessa’s I really like, I’ve made a big enough change I might NOT be able to wear this one. Muslin it is. My muslin of choice is a stretch twill. It has 20% stretch and I’m pretty sure what isn’t Lycra is cotton. I’ve had the fabric roughly 8-12 years. It is an odd green, may look like yellow in the pics but it is green. Not sure why I bought it. I rarely wear light colors for pants. Even more rarely do I wear vast expanses of  green. Consequently this fabric has set in the stash season after season, year after year. I’ve handled it but always put it back in the stash.  Sometime during one of last year’s shelf refoldings, I moved it from the stash to the muslins. If the pant is wearable, I don’t think I have any tops to wear with it. If it isn’t wearable, well no big deal. It’s served an honorable purpose and we can all doff our hats and thank it for its sacrafice.

Postulating aside, I pulled the lycra/cotton, green twill from my muslin stack, pressed pretty well (could be better) and laid out my pattern pieces.

As is my habit, I turned off the lights and went up stairs for the evening. I like giving myself time to reflect. Especially when I’ve made on-the-fly questionable decisions.




I like the Vanessa pant pattern.  but I still have issues i.e. not all the excess is removed from the back leg and there is that odd pooch in front. So I’m wondering if there is anything I can do, especially about the back of the leg mess. It seems pretty obvious to me that there is too much width. Easy answer is pinch it out. I don’t seem to be able to do that nicely. I can pinch and move seams of the finished garment but I end up with as many drag lines and pulls as before and surprisingly about the same amount of excess circumference.

Some that Peggy Sagers has mentioned now and then in her YouTube’s keeps coming back to me.  She doesn’t say this every time she talks about pants or even every time she talks about pants fitting. I’ve been rewatching all the past episodes and I’ve been hearing this idea. About once a week, out of rewatching 4-5 episodes a week, I hear her say ‘if you have thin thighs choose size from your thigh measurement and grade the other (assume waist and hips) out.”  OK. So I never thought I had thin sizes. Well not since I was about 4.  For a long time I thought I was normal. Eventually, I had to admit, I’m not only elderly but nearly plus sized. Doesn’t sound or look like thin thighs to me. Maybe, just maybe my thighs are thin in comparison to my hip and waist. Peggy also says this type person usually is barrel-shaped. Usually big boobs, big stomach in front but sometimes big butt too. I don’t have the chest, but definitely my stomach and hips fall into barrel sizes. Although I tend to think of my side view as tilted watermelon

Imagine this with my head and arms above the tummy and legs/feet below the butt end.

I do always have thigh gap. My knees have gotten fatter and rub together, but my thighs never meet. There is always daylight between them unless I cross my legs. Which is why my “natural” pics always show me standing one leg in front of the other.

So maybe I have relatively thin thighs and should try sizing my pants by the finished thigh.

I measured my thigh. Divided in half. Then added 1.5″ ease (because Suzy Furrer said so.)  Came up with 13″ which happens to be in the children’s sizes of Vanessa. OK I’m not grading the rest of this pattern up from a children’s pant. I mean, the lengths are right, circumference is right at the waist the hip, the knee. Ankle is a little close but I can deal with that i.e. ankle doesn’t have to be changed. My issue is the excess over the back thigh.  I continue looking at the pattern, um back side only, and measuring across the thighs of various sizes.  I settle on an R.  I think maybe I can work with an R.  So I trace the size R, then trace the BB.

Hope this enlarges so you can see the difference between the 2 sizes. BB is traced with GREEN, R traced in RED.

My thought is, since only the back thigh is too big,  I would mostly be drawing new curves between the R and the BB. That didn’t work. Believe me I turned my curve every way imaginable.

I have a few more pics of the curve laying along the tracings connecting crotch, thigh and knee dots. They all look similar i.e. impossible. I think it is the same issue as the full bust and the armscye princess seam blouse. I think the distance is too short to make a nice curve. Truth is, I need every dimension, every measurement of the existing BB Vanessa. I need that crotch length. I need the hip circumference. I need the knee circumference.  I need the lengths/levels.  And I can’t see a way to make a nice curve.

I tried just plotting the dots and connecting them. Same issue (impossible curves)  probably because I used the same lengths and circumferences. They work. The lengths and circumferences except for the thigh work. Changing them is not going to make this pattern fit better. My next thought was to trace the R and try to slash and spread. No pics, just trust me. I couldn’t make that work either.

Sigh. I put my tools away for the night. Snapped off the light and went to watch Netflix. I’m viewing Scandal from beginning to end. Love Netflix. Sorry to see its catalog under attack.


I’m not expecting these pants to look any better than the final fit of the linen Vanessa. But I am expecting that the wrinkles wont be so highly visible in this deep green and black poly/cotton/lycra. Also, I’m not really expecting the lycra to have much of an effect. There was no appreciable stretch with the 4″ test swatch. I changed to a 10″ and just barely reached 10% — and only by pulling hard. I would think this was a stable stretch fabric. I like these kind of fabrics especially for blouses because they are comfortable to wear and almost act as a slimmer.

So I laid out fabric and pattern pieces. I changed the waistband from the 2 piece with the little inset in front to  2 pieces that  reached from side seam to side seam. I also took a step back in the fitting process and used the pattern pieces with minimum ease, the 2″ hip line dart but no changes to the crotch. When I first looked at the pics, I couldn’t help but be pleased”

Not too bad I think. So then I lightened the pics 80% and I think I blanched:

Simply put, they don’t look as good as any of the Vanessa linen muslin pics! Crap. Another WTF moment. I’m dealing with the back of leg mess,  front side seams that are rouched and I don’t  think that’s a key hole nor camel toe but I seem to have male anatomy hanging from my tummy. Ouch!

Not too much I can do with the front crotch seam. It was already sewn with a  1/4″ seam allowance. Fortunately, I wear my blouses untucked and long. The odd anatomical feature will never be visible especially since my fabric is such a dark color. I took in the side seams 1/4″. It may be the wrong assumption, but I knew that when I adjusted the ease during the muslin  the fit improved enormously. I also secured the elastic in place so that the waistband and elastic are distributed evenly for my figure. ( I need a little more in front.)  Finally I scooped just the back of the crotch 1/2″. For the final muslin I had dropped the entire crotch 2″. I figure right now I should correct obvious errors and that waistband wants to dip in back about 1/2″.

Did those 3 changes help any?

Both the side and the back are improved and that despite the hint of VPL. (I may ignore the VPL. After all it is also covered by my tops.) The front however is if anything worse.

I have to admit that the center back is still dipping. So I scooped another 1/2″  and this time also scooped the front crotch  1/4″ deeper and out in the crotch front. TBH I think the fix for the front is a wedge added at CF that creates more ease for my tummy. But that’s not possible after fabric is cut, so I guess I continue to be glad my tops will cover this, er, anomaly.

So after the 2nd scoop in back, scoop in front and curve over the tummy,  I have an improved front.

A side that looks better than the muslin ( and a whole lot better than it did at the first fitting of this pair of pants)

A back which remains unsat but is also improved over the first fitting

I’m not sure if I want to let out the side seam. Yes it could take care of the VPL, but  the original excess ease contributed to the unattractive first fitting.  The back waist is no longer dipping. It doesn’t make sense, really, to scoop any more. I had scooped the linen muslin past the point of scooping helping. Did that make sense?  I mean I scooped it 3 times and it helped but the 4th scoop made no difference. I’m of the opinion that if I keep making the fitting changes and they don’t provide improvement OR if I make fitting changes to the muslin and the garment retains the ills of the muslin, I am not making the correct changes. So I’m leaving this pant like this:

unless I suddenly get smarter and know exactly what to do to fix it.

On the up side, I’m not terribly in love with this pant anyway.  It is the color. I buy dark greens as a relief to my usual blue, brow black. I tell my myself  greens look good with my peaches and apricot tops. But green isn’t really necessary in my closet. Actually, I chose my colors this quarter hoping to use up some of these less loved colors and eliminate them from the stash.

Plus,  I think I may have another approach to fitting. Not my own, something that Peggy Sagers says occasionally when fitting pants about choosing size. Every once in a while she recommends that the person with thin thighs choose their size according to what they need around their thighs. She says most of these women have large stomachs (oh it that me?) and that choosing by hip or waist results is too much fabric around the leg (again me?). I don’t think my thighs are thin, but in comparison to my tummy ??? I want to try this sizing idea. I start with an advantage this time because I know what lengths I like; know the ease I want around the waist and stomach; know my thigh measurement but not my desired thigh ease. I don’t want to explore this fit idea right now.  I want to finish my Autumn 6PAC and then complete the September Sewing Room Gussy-Up.  My gussy plans are not extensive but I am looking forward to the newly cleaned spaces, some changes and some new equipment.  Next up though, will be the final blouse.


Pants 1

Posted on: August 15, 2017

I purchased that beautiful, warm-brown rayon a year or two ago from Casual Elegance. No they don’t have any now. It was recommended for pants. As soon as it arrived I knew why. It is a crepe weave which means it will resist wrinkling and hang nicely. Additionally it is heavy. Not wool coat heavy but heavier than the typical wool crepe you might buy for pants. I’ve wanted to use it but held out until I had a pattern I could trust. That pattern is Sally’s Pant #3200, Silhouette Patterns.    Sally’s pant surprised me.  Back in May I worked with it a second time. I thought I had lots more work to do, but suddenly it was close enough and good enough to be used.  I was however disappointed with the hem circumference. I was expecting 17-18 inches. It finished at 22″. For me. With all my alterations, it finished at 22″. However, that’s a nice circumference for the trouser pants I needed and made for my Autumn 2016 6PAC.

I made 1 fitting change. I made a 1/4″ dart above the hip extending about 4″ towards the center back/front. Just enough to remove the diagonal wrinkles (orange arrows) that had been forming on the previous versions. I also walked the side seams and trimmed them to match which  removed any rouching (red arrows)  occurring on side seam

I wanted these to be great.  Not just good, but GREAT!  I added a front zipper, double stitching the crotch to keep it from stretching; added the slant pockets;  stitched all the darts (all 6 of them) and carefully added the waistband, button and buttonhole.

Good fabric deserves good design. These feel wonderful to wear. They almost have a swish–the result of the 22″ hem circumference.  Any of the folds you see move about depending upon how I stand. The fabric is much darker IRL.  I had to lighten it 85% so we could see details.

They look and feel perfect. Love them.



I really love this pair of pants and will keep the pattern intact. However, I still would prefer that my trouser have a hem circumference of 20″ or less. In fact I like 18 best. Still I don’t want to ruin a good pattern. When I attempt to change the hem in the future, I’ll start by making a copy of this pattern.

I’ve watched with interest as bloggers across the world tried and published their results with Jalie’s new pants pattern: Vanessa.

Yeah, “with interest”. Because Jalie pants have not been difficult for me to fit. I think Jalie Stretch Jeans were the very first jeans pattern I was able to fit.  Their every pant pattern since then,  takes a muslin, but eventually fits.  (I have simply been unable to fit some pants patterns and others never fit nicely but are OK to wear while scrubbing floors).  Jalie may have had a hand-up as they tend to specialize in patterns for stretch fabrics. Stretch fabrics have  a built-in fudge factor when it comes to fitting. Vanessa is the first Jalie pant pattern (note all three words), that is drafted to fit pants in woven, non-stretch fabrics, that I’ve tried (IOW I’ve used patterns from other companies but never Jalie).. The pattern specifies that a drapey fabric must be used. So absolutely no bona-fide cotton denim. It has an interesting waistband which houses elastic and a tie. I don’t like those waist ties; and I think it makes any pant look like a sweat pant. So NO I will never be doing gromments and front waist tie. The leg is designed to be long enough to stack and fold at the hem. The leg is also tight enough to cause that stacking and folding. Most likely I will shorten the leg. To start with, I didn’t even trace the cuff. I traced the pocket pieces and the fly front but plan not to use either for the first fitting. I slipped the tape measure around my rear and sat down. That measurement is at least 2″ larger than my standing measurement causing me to use a CC for circumference.  Oddly, at least to me, with Jalie pants I also need a size shorter. Not sure why just that it seems to give me the right crotch length. So I chose the BB length which is maybe a 1/2″ difference. For the first fitting I added 7/8″ to the side seams and then, following all my summer shorts sewing;  being totally unsure of myself I added another 1/2″ to the back pattern piece. My fabric is a linen with I think some  poly. I presses beautifully. Hangs with a little bit of body. But resists wrinkling. 100% linen does not resist wrinkling. I laid out, cut my pieces. Marked the public side because it was hard to tell private from public’ and serge finished all the edges. Yep, it ravels like a linen.

I was determined to follow the LCD process. Because it usually works. I don’t know what’s wrong we me and shorts this summer but LCD has been good to me all the rest of the year. I was pleased that L seemed immediately good. Mostly I was concerned with the L of the crotch. I did note that the leg notch marks fell 4″ below my knee cap.  I didn’t want to take length away above the knee or even immediately below the knee. The leg is tapered and very close. I struggled to get my foot in and out. So I opened the side seam a bit; folded up the leg and continued with the fitting.

Next I worked on circumference. For the next 5 fittings I worked on circumference. I admit this was due to my timidity. I had stitched the seams as they would have been without my additions but the pant still looked too large in the mirror. So I took in the side seams 1/2cm at a time until it looked the way I wanted. During that time the knee and hem kept getting closer and closer. When I decided the circumference was right for the hip, it is not tight at knee and hem but feels a little restrictive when I move. Standing still, it is fine.  Had this fabric possessed even 10% stretch, I think it would have been OK.  I left it for now, an idea to play with in the future, because I was so delighted to have finally found a pant pattern that could be adjusted to my circumference and finish with a 14″ hem circumference. YEAH! I tell you, I’ve been looking for this pattern for so long. I couldn’t alter my other patterns to achieve a slim leg and narrow hem circumference. In theory, once a pattern fits you should be able to play with leg styling. But every time I did, I introduced errors. Let me do a few hand stands and come back.

Ah, but that left me with the always present depth issue:

the back of leg mess. Not shown here but I also developed a little of the front keyhole issue and because this is an elasticized waist, some draglines and pooching that can be eliminated by darting the waist to be just barely larger than the hip. Maybe I should have tended to the other issues first, but this is the pants killer for me and I went for it. I made 1/2″ hip line dart. Barely helped. Made a full 1″ dart, that is removing 2″ from the back crotch length. A crotch length that I might had has been wonderfully comfortable, but I’m not wearing a pant that looks like the above so 2″ GONE.

That did it:

Well, 99% but I’ll take 99%.  I eagerly returned to my pattern and copied all the changes i.e. trim seam allowances and make the 1″ Hip Line Dart.  I was eyeing the stash for a fabric to make a real pair, when I started wondering if I could recut the current fabric. Mostly the change shortened the back crotch length and set the back waist on an angle

But I also realized that the back crotch length probably needed restoring. While the waist was level while standing still in the pics, when I moved the back waist would slide down. Also I had not yet tackled the front keyhole issue:

Give how long I wear my tops, I could probably ignore the keyhole because it’s always covered up.  So I decided to rip apart and recut after restoring at least part of the crotch length. I placed the front and back pattern pieces together overlapping along the side seam and traced the crotch curve onto a piece of graph paper

Then I slid the graph paper below the crotch for retracing and immediately had a big long discussion with myself.   Part of me says always always always reshape the crotch 1/4″ at a time. Because it takes a commitment. You have to stitch and trim excess tissue. There is no Undo Button. But another part of me says I already know that crotch depth was comfortable and with the total depth there was only the slightest hint of the front keyhole.  Bu the more timid me won out and I slid my crotch template a mere 1/2″ lower. I trimmed the tissue and then cut the fabric using the altered pattern piece. That means I also cut all the excess circumference from the side seams.  However just as a 1/2″ hip line dart had not been enough, neither was the 1/2″ crotch length restore. Oh it felt more comfortable, but most of the back mess had returned:

Oh and the front keyhole was, if anything, worse

I continued ‘restoring the crotch length”, half-inch at a time, three more times until the back crotch length was now the same as the original pattern and the front was a big longer. This was immensely comfortable.  Especially since along the way I hemmed the pants with a short vent on the side seam

I could now slip the pants on and off; and walk around with ease. I did still feel a little restriction at the knee (probably will work on that, but the back pant never looked as good as it did on Fitting 08

Sigh, not having any idea where to go from here, I replaced all basting with permanent stitching and added it to the closet. After all it looks better than RTW

and that was 12 frickin’ fittings. Enough is enough.



I transfer changes back to the tissue. I didn’t cut the tissue.  I carefully measured and  marked and folded the new excess out of the way. I rounded the changes i.e. a 1 1/8″ change became a simple 1″. I was not fighting with measuring 1/16 or 1/32.  Those are often a thread or two and I’ve said repeatedly if my pattern can’t abide a change of a thread or two, it’s not the pattern for me. I’m not a perfectionist sewer. I don’t like picky fussy clothes and and I don’t like picky fussy sewing.

Then I pick another nice fabric. It is 100% cotton in a novelty weave. A bit light in weight but comparable to many of my summer shorts. It’s just not a stiff denim twill which since 906 is a jeans pattern I feel I should be using a jean like fabric. At least for fitting. I cut my fabric and because I know the pattern still needs some adjusting, I serge finish all the edges before putting the zipper in with permanent stitching. I baste all the other seams with water soluble thread WST.

The first fitting and all the droop in front has returned:

I find this especially annoying. But also, I wonder why? Am I working on the wrong issue?  Typically I find that if I fix an issue and it returns, then I’m not fixing the issue I’m fixing a symptom of the true issue.  Like when the doc gives you aspirin for pneumonia. You need antibiotics. As long as he gives you aspirin your chances of recovery are low and you still look really sick. It’s not until I start attaching the waistband that I realize what is wrong. The front is too wide. How can it still have too much circumference? During fitting I took out 1 1/8″. I recheck and discover I’ve made the error Peggy’s always warns us about and why she prefers to use the fitted muslin for a pattern. I made the fitting change but did not transfer it to the tissue. I correct the tissue. Take apart all the stitching and recut the front. Also serge finish the new side seam and waist before using WST to put everything together again.  That seems to have fixed nearly all the droop so I continue with Fitting 2; and then  3 and 4.

At fitting 4,  I throw up my hands and declare “This is crazy”.

I’ve got rouching along the side seams

Rouching for which I have carefully and multiple times walked the side seams. I’m always careful to make the same amount of change to both front and back. Rouching? Rouching!

I’ve got bubbles in the waistband and below the waistband


At the same time the crotch is cutting into my own.

Which is does while concurrently looking like I have too much crotch length. And the last few changes to snug up the rear have re-created the front droop

Albeit that the droop is now almost in the leg instead of the tummy.

This is the worst fit so far. The worst fit in 5 test garments.

It should be getting better not worse. It should not be that hard to fit this pattern.  I’ve always, like for the last 13 years, put a tape measure around my butt where it sticks out the furthest, and chosen a size based on the number read. I may need to take in the sides a little. I have scooped the crotch for some fabrics (but not most). I’ve tweaked the back seam under my bum to get it a little closer. But I’ve never made this many tests or these many adjustments. Never!  I don’t think it is the method. I still think it should work to choose the size by the finished measurement. I think my finished measurement is wrong. I’ve started with far too big a size and struggled with tweaking it smaller through draping. I can’t brag that draping is working.

In sheer desperation, I pull out the tape measure and measure my bum. Look at the chart which says I’m between a 16 and an 18.  I may be close enough to  use a 16 but I trace the 18. Mostly because the very first test garment was a size 16 and I had such a hard time zipping it up!   I take this pant as far apart as I can, (the zipper was put in permanently and I don’t want to rip); Then I compare the size 18 to the fabric.  I’m thinking I’ll just cut this modified 20 to an 18 and start from there.

Except, the modified 20 is now smaller than the 18. Can’t recut. Complicating that process is that I’ve taken so much from the side seams that the sides are shorter than the 18. Can’t start over with a straight 18 on this fabric.

I can use fresh fabric. But will that work? If this test is smaller than the default 18 I’m going to be tweaking the size downward again. So far I’ve made massive changes  without success.  I’m doubtful of that process. But the 16, the size smaller, was too small. While the 20 crotch length was needed in the back. Looking at the pant above, I’m not sure if I need an even  longer back crotch because the crotch is cutting into me but all those diagonals indicate the back crotch is too long.

I’m going to put this aside for a day or two while I contemplate my approach. I really want to start with the right size. I still believe in this pattern. I just think I’m going about it in the wrong way.

Despite the extreme inconvenience Photobucket has caused, I haven’t given up blogging. I haven’t even taken a real vacation. I did take a week to work with the embroidery capabilities of my Brother Dream. No post, but let’s just say I’m really impressed. Enough to wonder about trading in the paid-in-full Ruby.

The other time suck I’ve been involved in is refitting Trudy Jansen #906 Designer jean. I got sucked-in when looking carefully at the final pics of the Rose Short

I’m most concerned about the rouching that has developed along the side seams. I know that means I have somehow gotten one side (probably the back) longer than the front side seam. How, I’m not sure. I also am concerned with the developing pull lines around the crotch  and the little bubble along the CB. First thing I wondered was when did this all develop.I remember this pattern being beautifully fitting.  I can look back at my shorts and see that the side rouching has been apparent although to a lesser amount for the last 2 years. It’s not really evident in the long-legged pants I’ve made. I mean, there might be a little excess length. I didn’t walk the seams just look at them. So there could be a little excess but I don’t see it. I’m guessing the rouching mostly developed in the conversion from long-legged to short. The issues with the crotch are a different story.  I don’t see them when the pant is hanging on the hanger (the rouching I can see).  When I go back and look at photos, I see the crotch issue steadily developing. This could be due to size change. Lord knows I’ve tried to confront the skin cancer with white donuts. (Which BTW does nothing for the skin cancer either. Oh and does nothing for my other ailments but does make me happy.)But I digressed. This could be due to size changes but I also suspect that my rotary cutter has trimmed here and there accidentally. Bottom line, I think instead of continuing to alter the existing pattern I should start fresh.

And I do. I trace the size 16, which I’ve been using 2 years, from waist to knee notches. Then I trim the inseams and yoke seams to 1/4″; trim side seams to 1/2″ trim all the rest to 3/8″. Cut my fabric; permanently stitch the zipper, inseams,yokes, and baste the rest. I put the shorts on. Correction, I try to pull the shorts up. Foreboding wraps me in his cold arms. With great effort which includes a trip upstairs to lay on the bed, I zip this sucker up.  Either I’ve traced the wrong size or those little white donuts have done more damage than estimated. Enough for one day.

Next day I decide I should really do this right the only exception I will make is not start with a true muslin or attempt the hip line dart. These shorts have always fit. It’s like Trudy Jansen recognized that women don’t need or need as much of a dart as is usually added to the hip line. I slip the tape measure around my hips, then decide I should choose my size from finished measurements. I choose to trace an 18 length wise but 20 width wise. I cut my fabric, a rather nasty polyester, and baste everything except the zipper. I do sew the zipper in place because I’m optimistic about fit.  V2 is not really lovely and I’m surprised that it takes 4 fittings to get it that good. This pattern has always fit beautifully. But then again, I’ve always followed the designers instructions and selected by hip size.  I transfer changes to the pattern because I’m getting such large amounts of change. In fact, I’m beginning to doubt that my recorded finished measurement is correct. The theory is absolutely correct, but you must first correctly identify your personal preferences. (And in Peggy’s defense re  the earlier snark, she says repeatedly her instruction apply to Silhouette Patterns. She even refuses to drape someone else’s patterns because she doesn’t know what decisions they’ve made.)

Onto V3 i.e. Version 3. Despite the fitting photo directly above, I’m feeling  little more confident and select a much better fabric for V3. It is a cotton/poly twill (2% stretch) in a deep, dark-chocolate brown. Makes my mouth water just looking at it. I was definitely improving the rouching along the side which is a combination of (1) the knee notches on the front are higher than the notches of the back pieces. I’m sure. I walked the originals.  (2) The theory is if you take a 1/2″ dart on the front side seam, you need a 1/2″ dart on the back side seam. This isn’t working in actual practice. I think it is basic geometry. I think the curves of the side seam are becoming arcs of 2 different circles and therefore a half-inch change on one side does not create the same total length as the 1/2″ change on the other. You’ll just have to think back to your basic geometric rules. I’m not here to teach any kind of math.

All the pictures have been lightened greatly so that you can see the pant details.


So although the rouching is improving, I don’t have it nailed. Also, the crotch is definitely looking short. Which has me saying ??? I did as Peggy directs.  I settled the crotch where it was comfortable for me. And it looked to be of correct length until I started removing excess circumference and making depth changes above the butt. Note: my depth adjustments do not extend to the CF or CB on these shorts. The crotch length is not being affected in any manner.   Despite that crotch, I’m trying to copy  the changes for this fitting to the tissue. DH calls for all garbage (does anybody else try to beat the garbage men to cans?) I clear out some old, old versions of 906 and out goes garbage. Unfortunately, I get confused as to what I’ve done and what I wanted to do. I look at my adjusted pattern pieces and I can’t walk seams. I recalculate. Re-walk. It’s almost like I’ve got pieces from different versions and the garbage is gone.

Day 4 I start over with Version 4. I mean I lost it some place.  I need to start fresh with a clear mind. I keep the same waistband but trace the yoke, front and backs in a straight size 20.  I already know that the 20 has far too much circumference but I think I need more crotch length. Along the way  I’ve decided I prefer a 7.5″ finished inseam and trim the leg-length accordingly.  Once again, I choose a nice cotton twill for my test garment. Once again, I put the zipper in permanently but use water-soluble thread the baste all the other pieces. As expected, the 20 is too large but it’s easier this time for me to see this issues. One of the first things I notice is that the front crotch is not too short, although I’d swear that was the case from looking at those chocolate-brown shorts.  The front crotch is in fact almost 2″ too long. The back crotch however needs every 1/8″ of length it now has. I work at reducing circumference by taking in the side seams 1/2″. I have a depth issue that extends horizontally from mid back, across the sides, to center front — the 2″ excess length of the front crotch. This is not an easy fix. The depth/dart has to be taken on the back below the yoke, otherwise the yoke disappears along the side seam. If I take the dart at the same level on the front, I’ll have a weird-looking  pair of shorts I don’t want to wear –and I’ve already embroidered the pockets i.e. I want to be able to wear this next pair. So I take the dart on the back below the yoke but on the front just below the waistband. Which works on the test garment…

Trouble is the changes have gotten so large, they are hard to handle. Preparing to start another hopefully final version, I transfer the changes back to the tissue. My usual way is to slash and overlap the tissue where I darted the muslin. . The changes are so large that tissue won’t lay anywhere near flat!  I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience before. TBH here, I’ve never hit these personal measurements before and I’m sure my maturing (if you’re not pc that would be aging) body contributes to the new shape I’m fitting.  I actually ruined the tissue trying to slash, over lap, dart …

..and had to trace yet another copy for Version 5.  I am persistent. I will win. Instead of using the slash, overlap or dart, I plot points and draw new curves. For example, on the back I measure the dart depth and it’s position on my test garment, then at the top of the tissue I place a point on the side seam the width of the dart and using the french curve, draw a new curve from the top of the pant back to the dot. Repeat for other changes.  I realize the front needs 2 changes (1) an even 3/4″ removed across the front and (2)  a 1″ dart from side seam to mid front.  The 2 changes make it easier to accomplish the big change. I mean the 2 smaller changes are easier to make on the tissue and keep the tissue flat. I walk seams again and realize that this method has introduced some circumference where I don’t want it. So I move the point I put on the side towards the center by the amount of unintended ease. Hey this isn’t a Craftsy Course. Besides, I’m the only person I’ve heard of that needed to do such a thing, so maybe good clear instructions aren’t relevant.  I chose another nice 100% cotton twill for Version 5. I did a little more tweaking but stopped after 3 changes.

I’m hoping I’ve made these clickable to a larger image so the details can be seen.


to be honest my enthusiasm is flagging. I’m continuing this fitting because I want to keep going while the changes are fresh in my mind and besides the pieces from the Rose Shorts (that were closer to fitting than what I have created) are gone with the garbage men.  I’ve learned a couple of surprising things.  I need a size maybe 2 smaller in front that in the back. I respect Peggy. I like Peggy and I know she would tell me I’m wrong… but…  The front above has 2 vertical tucks to remove circumference .  When I increased the side seams 1/2″, I got VPL. When I take tucks in the front, most of the excess ease is removed and the pant looks better fitted.  The fitted front crotch is much shorter than the back. This is typical for me. Always has been.  For a long time I called it a tilted waist. I was tremendously pleased when RTW for which I had to depend upon for work clothing, decided to alter their block and make a  shorter front crotch standard. So, I’m not eager to copy the pattern another time, but I think it might be quicker if I chose a smaller size and then added length to the back crotch. Related to that, it might be easier to trace the pattern and add a Prominent Seat Adjustment which adds both length to the crotch and width across the butt. However, these days I’m desperately trying to follow Peggy Sagers and I’m continuing with the LCD process as I finish the fitting/refitting of TJ906.  But I admit I have 1 maybe 2 more test garments before I’m satisfied.

Four of the 5 shorts test-garments are in my closet. Yes, even though there is room for improvement I plan to wear these at least this summer. When I look at my 2018 summer clothes they may be immediately discarded.  Thing is they are no worse than anyone else is wearing. No kidding. I see shorts in SD that are either tight enough to count pubic hairs or loose enough I wonder why they haven’t dropped around the ankles. Once I get gussied up, my shorts look fine: