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
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
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.
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.
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.
CHANGES TO PATTERN
Create tissue WB for Happy Pant mark with CB, CF and Side Seams.
Trim 1/4” from top at waist.
Add to seam allowances so total added is +2″ to both front and back.
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:
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:
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..
I added 1/2″ to the waist with a simple slash and spread like this:
Apologies for not having the link. This was originally created and shared as an individuals class work. She truly deserves acknowledgement.
Then I decided I was tired of fussing from waistband, to yoke to leg. I added the yoke to the top of the leg pieces. Pant now has following pattern pieces: front, back w/side seam; back with inseam and waistband.
I chose a nice quality black ponte from the stash. Not hard to find since all my recent purchases have been nice quality. I cut my fabrics and started basting together pieces. Just before adding the waistband, I decided it was time to get rid of the extra length I always felt in front. When I wear my yogas, they always rest above the waist. Real yogas should sit about below about an inch.
The first fitting felt great. Shortening the depth between waist and hip was perfect! Then I looked at the pics and found the same old fold of fabric in the crotch.
I thought, if I make no other improvements, I’ve got to get rid of that fold. So I carefully marked and trimmed 1/2″ depth from the back crotch
Red crosses denote the area I scooped, which does lengthen the crotch just a little too. Well at this point the back looked much improved.
I thought all it need was a bit of lowering. I dropped the the crotch 1/2″ lower than drafted:
I expected great results. Near perfection. I was so excited, I even told a couple of people I was close to fitting my pattern. Then I took pics:
I bought a 2nd pair of Denim and Co jeans at the same times as the first.. This second pair is described as a “slim leg”. On the models, including a plus-sized, it looked like what I wanted but I have misgivings about the term. I’ve ordered too many pairs of pants which the host described as “slim leg not a jegging”. I get jeggings. I ordered this slim leg but for insurance, I also bought the straight leg jean previously blogged about. Another obvious difference between the two is that the straight leg has a yoke – which complicated alterations. However, having seen the final fitting of the first jean, I wasn’t gung-ho to dive into the same alterations. I decided to take it slow. I took first pics i.e. what they looked like without alterations.
Then I added the elastic inside the waistband– just as I did for the previous pair–to make the waist snug.
I hemmed the first pair 2″ and still felt they were a little long–(but that’s the amount I turned up during fitting); so these I hemmed these 3″. Still shy about launching into 3 hours of alterations, I took a 2nd set of pics; and compared with the first set and then with the previously altered jeans. Wow not a whole lot of difference. I would need to invest another 3 hours of work into alterations I wasn’t sure were make a whole lot of difference. I left it overnight.
Returning the next morning, I finished. Nailed down what needed to be nailed down and invested a puff of steam into the hem; and I took more pics.
They’re pretty good except for the bagginess over the back thigh.
I decided to look at the difference between the final of the First pair of QVC jeans and this 2nd pair
I don’t believe the 3 hours of alterations significantly improved the fit.
These Denim and Co jeans may not be high fashion but they come close to well-fitting. The waist is a little big, the leg a little long and they are baggy beneath the seat. I am tempted to buy a 3rd pair but ensure I buy PETITE. That’s what I thought I was buying this time but both my Order Status and the jeans tag say “W” (women). I’m curious as to whether the only change would be a shorter leg or if there would be some change to the baggy.
Oh well, while I contemplate that possibility, I’m going to enjoy wearing my dark-wash jeans.
I wear nice slacks and love my Yoga’s but I have become a jeans-woman. They just fit the lifestyle. However my current rate of sewing + fitting produces a pair of pants in about 3 weeks. Due to the weight gain mentioned previously, I need pants I can wear n-o-w. My hope was I could buy RTW jeans and with an hour’s worth of alterations produce a wearable jean. So I investigated Denim and Co jeans at QVC. I checked QVC’s sizing charts before ordering. As usual, I am between sizes. They recommend going down a size. I went up. When I got the jeans I could see there was some validity to the sizing recommendation. These are not constructed of typical jean denim. Not even jean denim with Lycra. The fabric is a french terry which looks like denim on the public side. Inside it is french terry, a knit fabric.
I started the alterations with the same frame of mind as fitting my sewn pants. I tried them on checked for fit. Thought the worst issue was bagginess under the seat and proceeded to shorten the back crotch 2″ and scoop the crotch 1/2″ — my now typical alterations. Sounds quick and easy, right? Well there was a lot of ripping involved. 2 inches of length is a lot of remove. I had to remove the pockets as well as opening and repositioning the yoke and later stitch the pockets back on. Scooping the crotch required that I open the part of the crotch where the inseams bisect and remove the double stitching along the back crotch upright. I shortened the legs 2″ as they were too long (thought I bought petite but the tag says W). Finally the waist was just a smidge loose. At first I thought I would just stitch thought the waistband and take it in along the side seams. That was until I realized I would be creating a big lump. Could not cut a slit and remove some of waist elastic length. No the elastic was nailed into place. I contemplated ripping but resorted to my lazy waist fix which is adding another layer of elastic along the inner edge of the waistband.
The elastic is secured about 8 times by straight stitching through the waistband and the new elastic. This lazy fix is not noticeable because I’m either wearing a belt which covers the stitching or letting my top hang over the waist also covering the stitching.
The alterations took me about 3 hours when I only wanted to spend one. Oh and they were made over 3 days. Still that’s better than the 2-3 weeks to cut, baste, fit and stitch a new pair of me-made jeans.
The fitting results are questionable. I bought a dark wash blue. My favorite. I sometimes buy black. Rarely light colors. One of the nice things about the dark wash blue is that errors, fitting issues tend not to show. I had to lighten the pics 70% to show you.
Looking in the mirror, they looked too long and a little baggy under the seat but otherwise IRL I thought they looked much better than here in these pics.
3 hours of alterations later…
….and I’m not so sure I should have doggedly pursued the alterations. Of course it could be my posture or all the handling but the unaltered pant looks better
Thank heavens for the dark wash; and with a little styling I’ll have no problems wearing these comfy jeans
I am continuing on with the tweaking of my Yoga which was made by adapting my beloved Trudy Jansen 906 jean pattern. This time I’m using a fabulous Ponte purchased from who I know not because I have once again lost the tag. But it just feels of superior quality and I know I have been buying a better quality of Ponte. I had altered the pattern some after the last pair so that was my starting point.
Sad, despite the work previously done. Odd too. Odd because I know how my woven 906 jeans are much nicer. Maybe a knit fabric is not a good choice for this pattern?
I did 4 fittings. I offset the yoke and top of the back leg twice (total of 2″) until most of the bagginess was gone. Then I started working on the fabric snuggling between my cheeks. In the end I stitched the crotch 1/2″ deeper and wider. The result
I still see issues, but I’m much happier with this back view. I do wonder if some of the issues are because my alterations were uneven. Like maybe I I offset the yoke 1/8″ here and 1/4″ on the other side. Also wonder how much my posture has todo with those wrinkles because I have 2 other fittings in which the right back leg hung perfectly– and the left had only a few dimples.
I will shorten my back crotch pattern piece 2″ before making the next pair. Until then, I will be happily wearing these
I’ve worked off and on for months fitting Trudy Jansens 906. I’ve used a variety of fabric and innumerable fitting techniques.
I’ve had to struggle not only due to the fabric but also to my changing body. Jun and July were really weird as my waist/abdomen could change drastically between morning and evening. Although I’ve been wearing less than perfect pants nearly all year, I consider the struggle successful because their fit slowly improved.
My latest pair of 906 Yoga’s constructed with a heavy Ponte De Roma.
I don’t think this fit is perfect but it is good. I stopped here and finished by serging all the seams because I realized I had made a series of changes not all of which might be needed be in future pant sewing. Along with that idea came the thought that I couldn’t transfer my changes to the tissue. I couldn’t trust they’d all be needed. What I need is start once again from the cut fabric, testings to see which changes are needed and which were not.
The big breakthrough?
I’ve been making changes based on the premises that I had a prominent seat which needed more ease along with a longer and deeper back crotch. My break-through happened when I saw a pin which showed that I needed the shorten the back crotch length and , trim some length at the inseam like this:
In my defense, I corrected a lot of wrinkles along the way. It wasn’t until I reach the point where the only remaining wrinkles were these commas that I decided to try the alteration above. It worked! Well it vastly improved the look of my latest Yogas (navy above).
I was so delighted that I tried it out on a pair of RTW pants:
Before alteration / After alteration
Look how different the backis!! My alteration is a 2″ wide dart, widest-end at the CB crotch. I place it where you would normally expect a yoke seam. These could stand a little more work but they I have grown out of them~Thanks to Chemo and Steroids~ Fortunately they were not terribly expensive and at the time purchased I deemed them “wearable” not excellent fit.
Having finished the navy pants shown above and on the index page, I am a happy camper. Ready to start sewing more pants using this new found information.
I was pretty happy after wearing the previous pair for a day. Wearing confirmed my impression that the front crotch was too long. Both front and sides finally settled in about 3/4” above my natural waist. I didn’t take pics , but the back relaxed and moved from its previous dipped position to rest exactly at the waist. Back WB was still sitting lower than front or sides. As a whole I think this is a fabric issue as my non stretch jeans front, sides and back like to sit at my natural waist. This is for me an important distinction as if I ever decide to make a non-stretch yoga pant, I would want to start with my unaltered sloper. It also tells me what tissue tweaks I want to make next.
Knowing I have a goodly supply of pant weight Ponte’s that have been waiting for eons until I could find a suitable pattern, I decided to proceed making wearable-tests/muslins. I wont like the back yoke being smaller than I made it for Ver 1. So I copied and used my sloper yoke for 10% stretch as well as copying the back leg pieces. I trimed another 3/4″ from the top of the front leg Total 1.5″) and trimmed 3/4″ from the top of both back leg pieces. Then made a 3/4″ dart from side leg at the side seam, zeroing at the CB-leg seam. (NET: inseam leg lowered 3/4″; side leg 1.5″ at SS – 3/4″ at CB-leg). I trimmed 1″ length at the bottom of all legs. Feeling a bit confused, I transferred all the seam allowance markings and walked all the seams. Interestingly, the front leg was 1/8″ longer than the back legs which I promptly trimmed but otherwise I had made the correct changes evenly to all pieces..
I will want pants that adapt to me in all 3 of my basic colors (navy, black and chocolate). Since V1 Yogas were brown, I found a black Ponte with 30% stretch (both on and cross grain) to use. Unfortunately it only 2 yards long. At my garment size 2.25 yards is needed. It just takes a longer length to place all the pieces on grain because of their width. Knowing that this was a wearable-test, I placed the back, inseam-leg piece in the opposite direction. Normally I like to place the pattern on all stretch fabrics on-grain and going in the same direction i.e. all waist/neckline/sleeve caps pointing towards same cross cut edge. That’s a habit carried over from a terrible disaster (a real waste of money when I had no money to waste) and also an interesting experience in which all the pieces had to be not only cut the same direction, on grain but also sewn always from the same end i.e. always start at bottom or always start from top. Sounds weird but otherwise my top twisted. At the time other people were recounting the same experience. While I have a little more disposable income now, the fabrics are also a little pricier and I still hate to stupidly waste my money. Hence, I continue this habit of on-grain, same direction pattern placement but buy slightly more length.
I cut and fit the WB first. I stitched the top waist edge 1/4″ narrower and the hem edge 1/4″ wider than the pattern piece I created. It seemed a little snug at the bottom of the waistband. I let that go for now. I mean the WB does need to be snug to hold the pant up. Maybe the WB isn’t snug but just right? At the first fitting with the legs basted, I found that the legs were still 1″ too long and the pant was tight from hip to the waistband.
I saw crumpling over the back crotch and back leg in the first fitting and the WB looked tight at its bottom edge once again suggesting that was too small. I started a round of adjusting the ease at the side seam while removing length between WB and back crotch. Repeated once before I realized that I might not be making the right corrections. I have this other issue everytime I fit Trudy Jansen’s 906. I create a sharpe back-crotch angle between low hip and WB. Not a drafting error at all. This happens as I trim seam allowances and adapt for the difference between waist and hip by adjusting waistband, yoke and seam depths. The end results in a poof of fabric in the center back of the torso. It’s very obvious when using non-stretch fabrics. But these pontes and the like, just sort of droop all the way to the knee. Rip. Rip. Rip. Thank Heaven for water-soluble thread which removes so easily. I had added a gusset to the WB and side seam. Ripped that out and basted at 1/4″. I had off set the yoke and the WB from the legs to remove length. Rip that out and baste back at the drafted seam allowances. Then carefully stitch a seam which smooths the back angle.
I’m not sure I”m describing this phenom well enough so let me share a few pics.
This is what I sew if making the back crotch seam an even depth
Wasn’t sure the basting showed up clearly enough so I created a pink/purple line to following the stitching. Se how it angles out sharply from the top to bottom of the yoke and them seams to lean back-in as traveling on?
This is what happen when I try to make a nice smooth angle — no zig to right or left but excess fabric created in the seam allowance.
On the pant it self (sorry hard to see I know) On the left below the yoke especially folds together.
That is removed in the pic on the right but there is still some crumpling happening and some curved or diagonal lines across my seat. Which, thank fully, do not extend all the way down the leg.
They are mostly below the cusp of my seat and to the thigh (there are break lines at my knee but I don’t worry about them).
The white you are seeing is water soluble thread which I haven’t completed dissolved.
So this pant could use some more tweaking. there is poofyness below my tummy and light diagonals between seat and knee. I’ve already been working on it 3 days. I’ve already made 5 different fittings. I’ve decided I am not going to make 15+ fittings as I have for other pants. It is frustrating and sometimes I seem to just get in a loop; make a change, need another change; need the first change adjusted and repeat. So while I see there is still some work needed, I think this black will not show many wrinkles. Take a look at the final, unlightened pics:
It’s good and enough!!!
ETA Found a Pinterest that shows pretty close to the wrinkles I”m getting