Crotch2010, Eureka Pant

A Stray Thought

I’ve resisted scooping the Eureka’s crotch.

So far, during fitting, I’ve gotten acceptable to excellent results (regarding how the back fits) without scooping the crotch. What I’ve noticed though, is that while taking pictures of blouses worn with Eureka’s pants, is that during wear the pants have developed flat-butt symptoms.

I share my side silhouette again:

This is  NOT a flat butt.  But during wear my Eureka pants are creating excess folds of fabric directly under the gluteals.  I actually loved Sandra Betzina when she said something to the effect (remember I was doing cold medicines at the times and my memory is a bit fuzzy) that just like boobs drop with age, so do seats. In her opinion when seats drop, they push against the crotch and push fabric under the seat creating the appearance of a flat butt.  The only solution, again in her opinion, is to scoop the crotch. (Thankfully she didn’t suggest some kind of push-up bra for the seat!)

I really want to try scooping the crotch just to see the effect upon the Eureka pattern. I’m reluctant because I think it means more rounds of fitting. I mean, the crotch is the perfect length and depth right now. When I change that, something else will have to be changed.  Also, I’ve got two Eureka patterns, now, one for knit and one for non-stretch fabrics. That’s 2 patterns that will need to be re-fit.

The other thing, is the years of pant-fitting lectures with instructors who adamantly declared “Don’t touch my drafted crotch. It fits everybody just as it is.  If you touch it you will ruin the fit”. OK first off, I know they’re lying. Every pattern is composed of averaged or some conflagration of added and divided measurements from a variety of people.  The sample might be limited to those of us who, uh, need mature-figure considerations. Or it might not. Regardless, any fool can see that the generous proportions of my crotch are going to sag and hang disgustingly on my trim DIL.  So I know the instructors probably mean well, but they are lying. I want to believe their lies. Well more accurately, I’m hoping that their sample of figures i.e. the variety of people their measured and based their calculations upon, I’m hoping that sample included a lot of people very,very, verrrrrry similar to me and finally I will have found the Holy Grail of pants patterns: (horns blaring TADA)  The ONE that fits with little if any change.

Sigh, that almost happened. The majority of the changes I made to the Eureka were length changes. Yeah, like most patterns they were drafted for the average 5’6″ figure. At 3″ shorter than the standard, I nearly always need to make length adjustments. Not having to adjust the crotch was a big deal. OTOH, I might need less fabric if I didn’t have to accommodate that big honking crotch.

What would you do?


New Way to Fit my Old Bu!! (Part Three and final post)

originally published12/1/10

Actually this was a show stopper:


It had me thinking and wondering how these could fit at all let alone fit well with only 1 minor complaint. I mean I feel like there is too much ease under the bum however my pants look fine everywhere.  I do know that I can’t cut a fabric and sew it up.  I have to baste the new pair of pants together completely, photo it; examine the pics at the computer and then make alterations.  I can usually sew the pants together with permanent stitching after the first pics.  However, I’ve given up topstitching because I hate to rip out topstitching and it’s really difficult to topstitch after all the pieces are put together.  I have concluded that the drafts take advantage of  fabric’s inheirant characteristics and I am extending that process by basting first and permanent stitching after I observe what th fabric is inclined to do.  The rocket inclined back crotch is able to come up and over my behind and still fit at the waist with minimal darting.  The front crotch is sufficiently short so as to give a nice front appearance and there is enough width in both pieces to meet smoothly at the sides.  Somehow, fabric moves and adjusts to give me a nice pant.


So I could quit now.  I do have 3 good pant drafts.  Millions of women would kill for just 1 reliable pant draft.  But the analyst in me kept thinking about the anomaly and suggested scooping the crotch to fit my behind.  Usually the experts recomment scooping the bottom of the crotch (as shown in red above), which would be especially helpful for women-of-a-certain-age who’s behinds  have dropped. In my case the scouping carves out a flat spot to match my flat spot and adds enough back crotch length to completely traverse my back crotch curve.  My thought was, why not scoup out the curve where my curve is?


So I did,


See the green above?  It’s scooped even with the existing crotch point.  Nothing is added to the crotch point, or crotch length or waist (at the moment.) But before I made a muslin, I got cold feet and started measuring and measuring and measuring.  My crotch lengths were about the same as the good fitting drafts, but I had lost width across the seat.  I now had only 1/2″ ease.  I did a shout-out to my fellow Sticher’s Guild readers and received the answer that a minimum of 2″ hip ease was required.


So I wanted to add more hip ease.  But adding at the side seams  produced a strange looking shape that filled me dread.  The side seams no longer “walked” evenly.  I would have had to ease the side seams. I just couldn’t follow through.  A note here: Like many retirees we downsized to a smaller house at my retirement.  I also downsized my fabric  along with the 9 previous months of pants making; and now don’t have any fabric that I’m willing to just discard.  I’ve been especially happy with the 3 drafts because I’ve been able to produce wearable pants with every fabric.  Going back to a throw away muslin just didn’t sit well. Nope didn’t sit well at all. 


Solution?  I used the experts recommended method of adding ease and sliced from the waist to hip spread the wedges until I have 1.5″ ease across the back.  Wedges?  Yes I made 5 cuts because it’s easier to spread while retaining the same basic shape. 1.5, per side, total 3 inches ease across the back?  Yeah, I actually prefer my pants a little on the loose side until there is lycra involved. The new pattern piece looks remarkably, er, uh   NORMAL



The new pants, on the other hand are OUTSTANDING




Yes I know it’s hard to tell with dark fabric  But I finally found this dark blue micro-fiber micro-cord that I was willing to experiment with.  I’d made a pair of pants previously and found that the fabric shrank with every wash.  After 4 washes those first pants were no longer wearable.  I figured if this draft turned out to be eh?, then I wouldn’t have to wear them for long.  If, on the other hand, the draft was good, I’d be able to wear it several times and really see the problems. I notice that somehow I’d caught the right pant leg on something so there are some wrinkles showing there that normally don’t exist. Changes made for this draft starting with

  1. Scoup back crotch
  2. Add 1.5″ ease across hip and waist
  3. On this pair I used 5/8 SA from hem to knee and 1/4″ SA from knee to waist. The front is fine, so I’d like to add about 3/8 to the front from knee to waist just to have a consistent seam allowance.
  4. The back is too loose from knee to hem. I had to make a bigger dart (not a surprise here) to fit the waist to me. Future change will be to remove some of those spread wedges.
  5. I do want all my seam allowances the same width. I’m less inclined to make mistakes if the SA’s are all alike. On tops I’d go for 3/8″ SA but for pants I want a little fudge factor. I know that some fabrics just don’t have as much give. Being able to add 1/4″ at 3 seams (2 sides and the center back i.e. 1.5″ ) could make the difference between wearable and not wearable.
  6. The legs also had to be hemmed an extra inch so the let should be shortened 1″ below the knee ( As drafted, the knee level-line falls in the center of my knee)


Final confession, I’ve had this done for about a month now.  I meant to post sooner.  In fact to sort out my thoughts, I had taken pictures and created a Power Point Presentation as I making the pants.

  1. The fabric is, as I suspected, shrinking with every wash and these will not be wearable in a few short weeks.
  2. However, I’ve found no other problems with the draft. 
  3. I’m inclined to leave the leg at it’s present length.  I’ve noticed that many of my pants shrink in length but remain fine width wise.  I just let out 3 pairs of pants which are fine except they are now too short. 
  4. This draft is perfect for trousers or slacks and I will use the alterations on future patterns.  All my issues have been eliminated. Afterall, isn’t that the reason for sewing clothing for myself?
  5. I have not tried the alteration on jeans, but I will be doing so in the near future.  My plan for jeans is to make a new pair about every 6 months.  In the Mid-West, new jeans are actually acceptable as when better casual wear is required. So the next time I make jeans, about February I’ll be trying this alteration
  6. I may also try a combination of scouping below the crotch and the back of the crotch.  It may be that such a combination will solve my problems without needing the additional wedges to add ease

Best of all, I have 2 ways to alter pants patterns and they both work for me.


New Way to Fit my Old Bu!! (Part 2)

originally published 11/30/10


So to continue  This configuration was actually working well:


That is the pants weren’t sucked into my rear in the back, they were the perfect height both front and back, the side seams bisected my leg and hung perfectly straight; and I wasn’t plagued by X folds in the back but I did seem to have a little too much ease right underneath the bum.  Now, I’m not young enough to desire a close, form revealing pant.  I want a pant that skims all the lumps.  You know, tight enough to show I’m a woman and loose enough to show that I’m a lady.  The experts looked at my latest versions and said “you need a flatt butt adjustment”.  Please, I’ve never had a flatt behind and don’t have one now.  This is my rear from my personal croquis:


That’s not flat. It’s not as round as it used to be, but it’s not flat; and needs to be considered along with the body-space requirement of pants.  Body-space is a difficult thing to explain. Briefly, and you should do some research on the subject yourself, briefly it’s the amount and the shape of the space that your body takes and which your pants must fit around.  You can get an idea of your body space using a simple exercise.  If you have a flexible ruller that’s the best tool. But also aluminum foil rolled in a log can be used or anything else that you can bend to a form and will hold that form when it’s released.  Put the flexible ruller or aluminum foil between your legs and give yourself a wedgie.  Mark the waist front and waist back (I used 2 rubberbands). Oh and mark your “special place” too.  Because that’s usually the center point for your crotch.  Carefully step out of the ruller or foil and then lay it onto a large sheet of paper.  Trace the inside, again marking the wast front, waist back and your crotch center point i.e. that special place.   Stand back.  You now have a snap shot of your natural crotch.  Mine looks like this:


Whoa!  How about that?  The front is on the right clearly showing my tilted waist.  One of the first issues I fought with was too much fabric in the front.  I always looked like I was missing something in front.  I’d sit down and this big fold would pop up in front.  I’m female.  I’ve always been female.  This limp male protrusion was an embarassement. The next thing I realized was that I am round, very round, with maybe a flat spot between my legs.  Rather like a tire where the rubber meets the road.  Except that a tire is usually uniform on both sides of the flat spot where I clearly have much more on one side (the backside) than the other.  Oh and how well do you think that fits in the standard pant draft?  Forget the standard, how do you think my altered draft is going to fit?  Well just look at the two side by side:


Actually, it’s a miracle that they fit at all. The only similarity I see is that the front is shorter than the back. Where my back side curves up and in at the waist, my pant draft zooms off like a rocket in the opposite direction.  I have a flat spot, my draft does not.  I am rounded my draft is a narrow, deep U.  How the heck do these pants hang so well on me?  It’s not logical. Just not logical.


A New Way to fit my Old bu!!

originally published 11/29/10


Part I

Yes this will be done in multiple posts, I think 3.  I probably could condense what I have to say. But I use my blog as a reference for myself. So it is important to have a complete reference, a total thought process documented when I come back to it in the future. So I want to start by reviewing my journey up to this point:



The crotch above is typical of most of today’s patterns. It is also available in a L shaped crotch. As with most women, my front crotch length is shorter than  the back and I do need more fabric just to cover my back side. I seldom need to alter a pant front. But I have multiple problems with the back. The average pant, whether RTW or Big 4 pattern absolutely looks sucked into my butt right at the “ah ha.” It’s uglier to see than to read about. 



The experts advise (1st alteration) making a vertical slit about 1” from the crotch tip leaving a hinge. Spread the triangle apart (hence the need for the hinge) and then fill in between and behind (see th green wedge above?) with tissue and tape.


That works as far as getting my pants out of my butt. However 2 other problems develop: Immediately the back pulls down at the center top. The side back does not extend forward enough. The front is pulled back and both side-front and side-back valiently try to cover my form making an interesing but undesired “s” curve of my side seams. The result of alteration #1 is requiring 2 more changes to the pattern: (2nd alteration) Increase the back crotch length with a horizontal wedge (3rd) Add ease with a vertical wedge (see the green areas below



These 3 alterations gave me a pant which didn’t get sucked into my butt, didn’t pull down at the center top, and extended to side so that no stress was placed on the front. But when doing the final fitting, I often found myself scooping out another ¼ to ½” in the bottom crotch (see red area) just to feel comfortable:



My pants look pretty good with these alterations.  In fact I’ve sewn and worn numerous pairs. Happily. Pleased even. So much so that I have applied nearly the same alterations to other patterns with equally satisfactory results.


This is a good place to pause.  I have, by choosing good basic blocks and applying these alterations, achieved pants that I can be proud to wear.  This is a good place to be.  This is pant happiness.