DraftingFitting, My Bowl

Refining My Bowl

The basic curve and lengths, the dimensions, of my bowl seem correct. But, I am uncertain about a few things which make me uncertain when trying to use the bowl.  I started this exercise to remove my uncertainty by answering specific questions:

  • Where exactly is my inseam?
  • Where exactly are my beginning/ending crotch-extension points in relation to my inseam?
  • Where exactly are my greatest circumferences (tummy and seat) in relation to my inseam and curve?

While I was at it,  I wanted to examine the slope of both my waist and undercarriage in relation to my curve.

I began by nailing down my INSEAM LOCATION

Months ago, I took apart a 5-6 year old pair of my favorite jeans hoping to discover their elusive perfect-for-me curve. I separated half of that old, faded jean into front, back and crotch sections.

To my surprise, the years of wear had so permanently stretched out the jeans and the curve in particular that I couldn’t trace it. I traced something, but didn’t end up with a usable curve. I didn’t toss the lot because I have yet to reach a satisfying pant fit. Now I hunted in the back of the closet for the still-intact half  because I realized it could be useful in determining the position of my inseam.  I retrieved an alcohol marker; removed my jeans and slipped this half pant up over my lower half.  Holding it at the waist, I marked the inseam of the pant onto my body. Done! Well almost.  I now have a definite reference to transfer to flexible curve and then onto my paper crotch.


I removed the half-jeans; tied 1/4″ elastic around my waist and marched into the bathroom after snagging a yardstick and my camera.  I took a few seconds to place and test the location of the camera.   No you aren’t going to look at my hardly dressed body.  I took pics, but then traced the major outlines onto blank paper for discussion.  Starting with the tilt of my waist:

I drew a black dashed line where the yardstick had been held in place; used blue ink to trace the perimeter of my body. That’s quite a bit of my upper leg traced. The knee is just below.  Interesting to see that my waist tilts most in front. Sort of sharply tilts from the side are staying fairly horizontal across the back and side.  There is a curve following my thigh which reveals how much my tummy hangs.  Usually, that is totally disguised by my clothing.  I also have to admit, my fanny is no longer as high as it used to be but it still isn’t flat.  Most important thought is the angle between the black dashed line (yardstick) and my waist (the top of the blue outline) is about as expected. Since I was 15 and 96 pounds I have been shortening the front crotch, lengthening the back by the same amount.  More than few people have commented “your waist is tilted” when discussing fit of my clothes. What was surprising was the line following my undercarriage:

I had placed the yardstick between my legs resting at the back bone, against my body to the pubis.  All along the way, I can feel the yardstick touching. It isn’t as if the yardstick is balanced off two prominent bones. This is how I am “hanging” underneath and it is how I want my pant crotch to follow my body line.  My waist and my undercarriage tilt in different directions!  I can’t help but wonder if this affects some of the wrinkles that I see. More importantly, the reason why I nearly always need to scoop the back crotch of my pants is illustrated. (No kidding most pants rub uncomfortably against my tailbone if I do not scoop the back crotch.)

I put the yardstick aside. Slid 7 markers onto the flexible ruler planning to find and mark onto the curve

  1. Inseam
  2. Water Spout
  3. Garbage Disposal
  4. Tummy High Point
  5. Fanny High Point
  6. Center Front Waist
  7. Center Back Waist

The hardest part of that process is taking the flexible ruler away from the body without distorting the shape just carefully formed. As for the rest, I looked in the mirror and either moved the markers by  visual alignment (inseam marker, tummy, fanny, waist front/back) or by touching the body (what’s left?).

I used tear-away stabilizer for my paper base. Drew the horizontal and vertical axis. Now was when that initial effort of digging out the old jeans and marking my body up paid off.  I knew exactly where to align the vertical axis: my inseam mark.  It did slid a bit below  the horizontal axis when  my water-spout and garbage disposal points were balanced onto the horizontal axis.

There is room for improvement. For starters, maybe the curve should be balanced further below the horizontal axis since the actual curve beginning and endings are about 1/2″ further along the curve (from the water-spout and garbage disposal points being used). But it is clear enough that my seat angles below echoing the schematic above in Pic 02 and  reaffirming that I need the back  crotch scoop.  Also clearly  seen is that the front waist (on the left) is at a lower elevation than the waist back (on the right). For the most part, My Curve is totally as expected. At least it was until I measured the length.  At that time I discovered  the front was 11″ long and the back 15″. That’s less than the previously recorded 13/16.75″  ???WTF??? I did not expect to lose almost 4″” of total length. It did give me pause.  The curve looks good, so I must not have placed my quarter-inch elastic at the right elevation. (I have a couple of indentations along the sides; none directly in front.)  I tie the elastic around my waist; bend side-to-side and back-and-forth so that the elastic finds the narrowest part of my body. If it slides over any part of the rib carriage, I know the elastic is too high. But otherwise, I’ve always been able to accept and measure as the waist wherever the elastic settled.  It’s possible this “waist” is in the right place and the previous elevation was wrong. But, I did have * one nearly-fit muslin that was looking pretty good with the 13/16″ measures.  On this point,  I’m waffling still.

I took a sec to compare this bowl with my previous just by sliding the tissue of Aug Bowl on top of this the Oct Bowl

I expected some rotation of the curve because I chose a different inseam location. So the pic above (dark black is Oct Bowl; blue is Aug Bowl) is not really surprising. Other than the front crotch seems to have developed a flat spot. See there where it rises from water-spout up to the waist full point?  It’s a pretty straight line between the two.  I have been thinking my crotch resembled those caricature of a  tire you know ‘where the rubber meets the road”.   This is a bit different. Is it trust worthy?

Please I invite all suggestions. Have I missed anything?  Am I off track? I know that I am not going to copy this shape point-by-point to my pattern. But I would like to make use of any of the information it provides; and I’d like to make use of that knowledge at the tissue level of pants fitting.


Now I am going to wander off and sew something. Keep myself busy until I can get input from all of you.


*1 The ‘nearly fit’ muslin was V1411 (blog post here). I quit working with it when I realized I wouldn’t want to ever use a pattern with so many pieces. In retrospect, I wonder if I should’t tape the pieces together and finish the fitting.



5682 - Jeans, CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, DraftingFitting, My Bowl, View B


I added the 1/2″ to the hip at the back of the leg by slicing and spreading a half-inch then sliding a strip of aisle runner beneath and stitching in place. I didn’t move the waistband around again.  I have realized that’s all going to need to be redone because if what I am doing is correct, I will need to change the yoke which will change the width of the back and the point where the side seams attach to the waistband. It’s all relative. Everything affects everything else. Besides I have it close enough to see how the leg is affected.

The additional 1/2″ ease does seem to make a visual difference and my seat feels better. Like less of a sausage ready to escape its casing. Looking in the mirror, I was much encouraged and decided to compare with   Fit #01 with Muslin 1 i.e. the very first try on which contained only a few tissue changes. I was thinking that after 2 muslins 10 fittings and 20-30 alterations, the fit should be a whole lot better. Close to finished even. Was I ever so wrong?

After 5 days and all that work, I don’t think my muslin looks much better than it did with no changes. Am I being too timid?  Some things can’t be undone, so yes I do them in small increments. Doesn’t everyone? Or do you make the big step and then undo it later? Really? How do you un-scoop the back crotch?  I was hoping to be almost finished but even though the seat feels more comfortable the crotch does not. The total crotch length exceeds the crotch length of My Bowl. Also, while front crotch lengths are the same (between My Bowl and the fabric), the back crotch of the fabric is longer than the back crotch of My Bowl. Why does the crotch feel tight? Along that line, why is the waistband sitting above my waist? The top of the waistband should rest at the waist not above. Even with the last addition of seating ease (total extra added now 1″)  and 10% stretch the pant/WB has not dropped into place. It suggests that I still need more ease.

I feel like I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere along the line.  I’m hitting the pause button, at a very minimum.  For years, I wouldn’t even buy a Big 4 pattern  because they were impossible for me to fit.  Hey, that’s:  back before age caught up with my body, I couldn’t fit a Big 4 pattern.  That could still be true today.

5682 - Jeans, CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, DraftingFitting, My Bowl, View B

5682 View B:

  • I wasted some time considering the possibility of making a new muslin and even a different pattern. In the end I decided that it would be faster, easier and possibly better if I made what changes I could to this muslin and then cut new fabric. The changes for the next fitting:
  • Pinned out the side front Mickey Mouse ear, then stitched
  • Slashed the back over my seat. In the slash I inserted aisle runner. Stitched to one side and pinned 1/2″ away on the other.
  • Wanting to eliminate the question of are the lower leg issues due to length or fit, I trimmed another 1-3/4″ from the bottom.  That’s a total of 3″ which I don’t plan on removing from the pattern.
  • To straighten the side seam and hopefully erase some of the drag lines, I moved the side seam towards the CF along the waistband and pleated instead of gathering leg to WB. Sigh, this is not a permanent end point. I’ve realized if the ease I have added is correct, I will also need to change the yoke. When I do, I”ll know how long the WB needs to be but not where the side seams need to join it.

Before I slashed, I marked the back where my butt stuck out the most. I was quite surprised at how high that mark was.  I determined the max protrusion point mostly visually  but also by smoothing my hand from the top towards it and then again from below to the point.  I thought that would be reasonably accurate.  Where I thought it should be and where it was (orange line below) was not even close. Just for comparison sake, the ruler top edge is sitting on the crotch and the Blue line above would be the hip level as specified in my drafting class. Why is my butt flying high above that?

 Ruler at Crotch; Blue line 4″ above; Orange line at my  seat.

I’m getting tired of this.  Sometimes I just don’t have enough staying power.  I know I make the process longer because I insist on making one change at a time. Two at a time at most.  But I come back to the same question: if the hip and waist have sufficient ease and the front and back crotch are the correct length, why is it such an issue to fit pants?  It should be just tweaking. Not all the crap that I am doing.

OK for Fit 04

Did not draw the side lines for you. It was ease for me to see that the side seam is leaning towards the back but the rest is dropping to the floor quite nicely.  I’m ignoring wrinkles and folds I see on either side and just noting that right along the side seam looks pretty good.

You have to look on the right side — ignore the left. I made all changes to the right side. The mouse ears are  not visible nor did I notice them once I put the pants back on.  Pleating the pant to join to the waistband did make the upper pant much smoother. But now instead of an entire smooth leg, I have divots at the crotch.  I’ll confess that the crotch felt tight this time too.  It may be because I have my back support on (the black you see above the WB.) Next pics I will remove my support but if it has that much an effect upon fit, I’ll have to think about fitting for this frequently needed support.

The issue here was VPL except we could see the entire pink pantie.  While we don’t see the VPL, I still don’t have enough ease across the seat. Next fit will only be a 2nd slice adding another 1/2″. (But I ask myself, aren’t jeans supposed to be this close?  Am I trying to turn a jean pattern into trouser fit?  If that is the case, why don’t I just start with a trouser and cut a yoke?


To make sure we focused where the changes were made, I cropped the pics to show just the right side.

I think the side view looks nicer but I can tell you the side seam has not been straightened. It is just reacting to the additional ease across the seat.

Sadly the front, looks even worse, IMO.   I removed my back support for the pics just in case the support was having a real impact on the fit. If the support was having an impact, it was for the better.

The back is better in that the part I wanted to fix — not enough ease across the seat– has been fixed. The seat doesn’t feel or look too tight for jeans. For trousers, I might want a little more ease; for slacks especially with a little Lycra, I’d be happy as is.  But I haven’t solved all the fit issues. There is still more to do.


5682 - Jeans, CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, DraftingFitting, View B

5682B Muslin 2: Continue to Fit

So, I drew another back crotch curve setting it 1/2″  away from the previous. Then I tried to find the place of biggest difference. Not so easy when trying to hold fabric sewn into a 3D shape and holding a 2D pattern next to the fabric.

I came close enough and (right pic) stitched, trimmed and admired my new back crotch.

Above, ripped open the side seams from about 1″ below waist to about 6″ below crotch.  I drew but did not trim a new curve for the front, side seam raw edge.  Aligning the back side seam with the new front, side-seam curve was pretty easy but did give me cause for deliberation. Didn’t I need to also offset the amount carved out of the back crotch?  I’m pretty reluctant to make multiple changes at the same time.  Peggy Sagers makes it look so easy. But here at home, by myself, I find  when I make multiple adjustments that later on I undo those same adjustments.  I’ve made 2 changes. That’s enough for the next set of pics.

I’m cutting to the chase and posting both Fit 1 and Fit2 pics so we can view and critique at the same time.  Let’s look at the side seam first.

Unlike Fit 1, the side seam is not clearly displaying Mickey Mouse ears or excess side fabric. The side seam curve is pretty clear.  Definitely leaning towards CB  just under the waistband but then straightening by the hip.  From that point, I’m not sure if the seam is continuing in an arc towards the ankle or behind the ankle. Something to keep an eye on.  I am pleased the side view looks better. Lots and lots of better. I’m looking just under the hip and all the way down the leg.  Fewer drag lines, fewer folds. I like this.

Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Almost can’t believe the front is looking so much better I’d quit messing with the front if both sides looked like the left of Fit2 . The picture doesn’t show it too well, but there is still about 1/2″ of excess ease along the side seams. That is something not seen in the side view and again you won’t see in the back view. Before we get  to the back  though I am quite interested in how the right side divot has continued and even  may be a little deeper.  In Fit1 there were diagonals, not quite the whiskers of a short crotch length around the inseam. In Fit 2, there may be one on the right side (none on the left). Then again it may be entirely related to the right-side divot.

OK time to look at the back:

Did you notice a lack of enthusiasm three? I am seeing  little to no improvement. In some places there are more drag lines then there were before. I am also seeing a mirror of the lower front leg diagonal. It’s most prominent on the left leg but it’s there on the right as well. I cringe because I think I am seeing the beginning of the dreaded X wrinkles. They are located higher than usual i.e. not right at the knee but up by the thigh. Is this an improvement or not?  So far I have followed the curve of My Bowl of the 2nd orientation (using the water-spout for inseam location). It’s pretty flat…

… a shallow even curve with both front and back at the same level.  Most of my pants have needed the back crotch to be lower than the front at least this much:

In the past and depending upon  pattern and fabric, I have scooped even further.  (I have what Palmer and Pletsch called a “High Low Anomaly”. They only write 1 paragraph on this. If you’re not reading carefully you will miss it.  I passed by at least a dozen times until someone told me the page to look upon. )

For Fit03 I will take the front side seams in another 1/2″.   On the back, I will scoop so that the back is lower than the front.

I paused before making the planned changes.  I wondered if somehow I had misread the pattern.  I thought when looking at this:

.. that the contents were a pattern for 1 pant style ( a jean) with pocket and hem-width options/variations. I thought: Fit once make 5 different looking pants! Now I wondered if that was true since the top of the waistband with View A is sitting at the waist with the rest extending below. The Version B waistband was resting at the waist but extending upwards. The top of the waistband is closer to my rib carriage but not uncomfortably so. I looked closely at the pic and think, well B  could have a different waistband.  I pull out the waistband pattern:

It clearly says for A, B (the view I’m fitting), C, and D.  Patterns have lied to me before, OK been misprinted, so I pull out the instructions:

Again, pretty clear the same waistband is to be used for both A and B versions. But then again patterns have lied to me before…

Moving on, I think since I’m not  making significant progress on the back, maybe I should start at ground zero and measure the actual pant crotch. Wrangling fabric so the sewn together pieces can be measured was no joy but it did reveal  a back crotch length 16.5″ ; front 12.25″. I need 16/13.) Both measurements are with waistband. The WB really should be sitting with the top at my natural waist! Like the pic of 5682! Why is sitting up so high?

I move the side seam forward 1″ along the waistband to correct the leg curve. Next measure and mark 1/2″ below the back crotch.  I use my curve to join the mark to both previous front and back curves. A little tricky but done. Then I stitch and trim the new crotch curve and measure a second time.  After the curve adjustment, the back curve is  the same length,16.5″. The front however has grown to 12.75″. How? It’s always possible my measuring was not entirely accurate. But I’m surprised to be 1/2″ off.  Could that really have made the front crotch grow 1/2″? You know,  I wouldn’t even blink if it had been 1/8″. Wouldn’t give it a second thought. But 1/2″?  ??? I proceed to making new fitting pics.

The curvature of the side seam is much improved. But the inch was not enough.  I’ll need to move the side seam forward again. The curve shifts backwards at the hip level; wobbles a little at the knee and then breaks at the ankle.  I think these are to be expected i.e. not a problem.

Look at the waistband first and the diagonals extending from it.  I had so much extra fabric to ease to the waistband, I didn’t do a good job. On a trouser I would prefer a front pleat and back darts. Next time I move the side along the waistband, I think I will change from gathers to pleats. You may be a better judge, but I personally can’t really tell if those diagonals are fitting issues or just excess fabric in the wrong place  for the smoothest front.  I question that they are length indications because 1) the total length is only 1/4″ less than needed and 2) when wearing, it feels a bit long between WB and crotch. Also, I’m looking again inside that red box. Why are there diagonals on the right side but not left? They  seam to be extending from the zipper application. Is that possible? Would a bad zipper application cause such a thing?  Whoops, I forgot to change the ease at the side! Still got MM ears on the side.  That’s important  to remember because when you look at the back:

Micky Mouse ears in the front BUT Visible Pantie in the back??? If circumference is just circumference, why doesn’t it move to the back where it is needed instead of poking out on the side front?.  Interesting set of inseam diagonals. Right under the bum they all point up and toward the sides. Around the knee, they start pointing from the inseam down and towards the side seam. Not exact X wrinkles as they do not meet/cross at any point. Not at knee; not like Fit 02 where they crossed at the thigh.

This is enough work for today.  Tomorrow I shall

  • Shift the side seams toward the front  1/2′ along the waistband
  • Pleat instead of gather leg to waistband both front and back
  • Trim 1/2″ on the front side seam (Mickey Mouse Ears)
  • Add more fabric to back side seam and increase the back side seam.


5682 - Jeans, CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, DraftingFitting, My Bowl, View B

5682B Muslin 2: The Next Step

I crossed my fingers as I made multiple adjustments to front and back. Using the second placement, I marked the curve of My Bowl. Found the largest difference, measured and annotated it.


Starting on the front.

(Above) The crotch was 1/2″ too tall. I trust My Bowl when it comes to crotch length. This was a surprise, but  prompted my  first change (pic below)  with a 1/4″ dart across the front to remove the excess height.

I drew a new front crotch curve trying to hit 1″, half the amount of the largest difference and trimmed the excess.  I didn’t think that through very well. I had removed the zipper fly, hollowed the crotch and then tried to replace the zipper fly. Not exactly possible as the front crotch had become extremely curved. So toss the  old fly, taped a new piece of aisle runner underneath and draw  a new fly.   I slashed from waist to about 2″ below the crotch line and stitched another piece of aisle runner beneath one side. Directly across from the largest difference on front crotch, I marked 1/2″, i.e. half amount hollowed out; realigned the two sides  with 1/2″ added where marked and stitched the other side  in place.  Trim excess tissue take big breath. Oh, I want to point out that dart beneath the crotch that terminated at the inseam.  I really want all your Silhouette Pattern devotees to know I have made that adjustment.

Onto the back,

On the far right is shown where I  sliced from waist to hem, spread and added an additional 1/2″ ease equally all up and down the back leg.  That’s the amount I had to add during fitting of Muslin 1.  I didn’t really want to add ease all the way up and down. It makes the leg larger; less. But it was the easiest action and for right now I want to know how reshaping the crotch affects the pant. next I drew a new back crotch biting into the back a mere 1/2″. It was a surprise to me. I expected the back crotch to need more reshaping. That’s not what the bowl comparison is tell me.  That’s followed by another slice from waist to just below the crotch and similar to the front and adding another piece of aisle runner. The two sides of the slice are separated by 1/2″ directly across from the marked largest difference between  My Bowl and the back pattern crotch.  Again, I’ve highlighted the Inseam Dart. I want everyone to know I made the blasted thing on both front and back.

I am not wild about the results on either front or back. They look wild and my pattern pieces have a tendency to undulate in place. I want pattern pieces to lay as flat as possible — for paper. But I’m wanting  a quick method to see how reshaping the crotch and adding an offset is helpful and how much change is needed. If this fix is confirmed, I have located a few other tissue alterations that would keep the paper flat.

Turning my attention to making a muslin, I considered ripping Muslin 1 (M1)  apart but realized I’d made a lot of changes including reshaping the crotch. Also M1 would not be large enough. I’d need to add strips and pieces which I fear would add further inaccuracy. Instead I saved  the waistband as is because it felt pretty good on and I had tweaked it 3 times to get it this close.  I tossed the rest of M1. In the muslin stash was  another fabric that is actually a better pant fabric.  It has a wild print that I don’t want to wear over my bottom. I had purchased it thinking a top.  Too heavy for a top. Too wild for a pant.  Muslin it is. it is composed of cotton and lycra and has about a 10% stretch. Enough stretch to be comfortable. Not enough to effect fit. Unfortunately though, not the best for comparing with the previous no-stretch, stiff fabric.

After 2 hours I’m ready to cut fabric and sew. Once again I have proved, construction of a pant is so quick and easy.  All the time and effort went into working with My Bowl and the Tissue! I trimmed the hems off the bottom. Why hem when you plan to wear this long enough to check a few things and then discard? Also, did you note that I said very little about the yoke?  My Bowl converged with the top of the leg and practically mirrored the CB yoke seam.  I thought no change was needed. Consequently during construction, the yoke was really eased to the top of the leg which had been spread 1/2″ for fitting. But, this is  quite in line with what I need to do with closely fitting jeans.  Do it every time I make TJ906.  Generally I need, 3 darts in back. None in front, but THREE in back. I’m not a lover of the contour waistband. It’s a requirement for nice-looking, authentic jeans. But I don’t love it because making 3 darts is much easier than easing that much of a difference. It’s done, mind you. Just not a whole lot of fun and it looks odd until it is on my body. I was ready to try on the pants when I had an “Oh crap” moment. Recall this pic..

..wherein I purposely placed the waistband above the yoke to remind myself that the waistband needed to be included in the total crotch length. Well “Oh Crap”, I didn’t do that. I almost went back to the sewing machine to make a 5/8″ tuck (my waistband is 1-1/4″ wide) when I decided to just slip them on and check.

Probably a good move as neither crotch feels too long. Front crotch length looks good. I am on the fence about the back crotch length.  I looked at front and back quickly. Then checked the side view and drew in the side seam.

I find the side seam is a real good indicator of where the fit issue is.  Interestingly this one wants to curve from waist forward and back to about mid-ankle.   There is some buckling at the knee but not the occurrence of diagonal pull/drag lines I’ve been seeing for a while.

Return to the front

Look closely at the sides. These are the “Mickey Mouse” ears I have referred to in past posts. There is no flesh filling out the curve. I think this is the reason for the curved side seam. Before I plan action to fix the ears, I compare the M2 Front  with the nicest front pic of M1

I definitely think M2 looks better. Nearly all diagonals are gone.  I see some just below the waistband. 1) there’s a lot of gathering going suggesting that the waistband and joining pieces need more fitting. For now, I’m ignoring those.  There is one fold on M2’s right hip unlike the multiple on M1.  There’s also a few downward lines around the crotch. I am not concerning myself with the rest of the leg yet.  I think the first thing is to reduce the crotch-reshaping offset. I am happy to do this as the pattern will assume a more typical appearance.

Moving along to the back and, heck, lets compare with M1 at the same time.

There are more diagonals on the back than the front. Interestingly enough, I don’t’ see the ears. The fabric of M1 was very, umm, firm so the back of the leg poofed instead of the folds I am seeing on M2. I’m not really sure the leg is better or worse. Like I said earlier comparing these two fabrics is not the going to give me the best results. But I will be able to see what is working.

Dang!  I was really hoping for a one and done. Not going to happen. First up is reducing the ears on front. Next is reshaping the back crotch  another 1/2″ which means making another crotch-offset.

CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, DraftingFitting, My Bowl

5682B: Return to Pants Fitting

Despite leaving pants alone for 3 days, I really didn’t have any new ideas. So I turned to an old idea on which I had not yet followed through:  My BOWL.

The first thing I did was trace my original tissue.

I added a 3/8″ seam allowance and then trimmed the excess tissue.  I thought adding the seam allowances as on my pattern tissue might make it easier  to match up the two.

Then I retrieved 5682B tissue pieces.  Marked 3/8″ on either side of the inseam crotch then pinned the crotches together as they would be stitched.

Note I folded the fly out of the way to eliminate that distraction and added the yoke for a more accurate idea of the pattern crotch length.  The waistband is floating above the back. I want to remember that the pant had 1.25″ added to both front and back at the top of the pant via the waistband.

I placed My Bowl tracing on top of the pinned together pant tissue aligning inseam and top of pant + yoke. Do note that My Bowl does not extend at all over or into the waistband which I thought was essential to total crotch length!

I had a deja vu moment.  I am sure I must have done something like this years and years ago.  My first thought is that My Bowl has little resemblance to the pant crotch. My understanding is that I should now reshape the crotch adding/removing length as needed and hollowing out the body space.  Hollowing out the body space will mean that I don’t have enough fabric to cover my body (this is true of nearly everybody, not just me.) What you have to do, is add whatever was removed from the inseam to the corresponding side seam. WOW I’m going to be moving around inches. Can you imagine what that is going to do to the hip side seam shape?  Plus, I know that is wrong. I absolutely remember sometime in the last 10 years having adding extra to the side seams and then curving back to the leg side seams. When I put those pants on, I had Mickey Mouse ease along both side seams and not enough fabric covering my butt. Why didn’t the fabric just move over where it was needed?  Peggy Sagers says circumference is circumference and the fabric will adapt. Didn’t happen with my fabric.

Recently a commentator suggested I was placing my vertical and horizontal guide lines incorrectly. Correcting them means taking my clothes off and a repeat measuring/tracing of My Bowl. South Dakota is in an interesting time of the year where it is cool/cold in the morning; sweating in the afternoon. I hate turning on the heat because I know I will be fanning myself a few hours later (and probably standing in front of the air conditioner). In a few more weeks, the weather will be more even. I’ll have the heat on and won’t mind removing a few items of clothing in private. But for now, I just estimated where my ‘water spout’ would be and rotated the bowl slightly to put it on the inseam.

In this position, the comparison makes a little more sense to me. Yet I hesitate to carve out the interior of the pattern. One thing, I’m very suspicious of the crotch height. 1-1/4″ will be added to each when I add the waistband. In the pic just above, it does not appear the extra length is needed. But the individual and total crotch length (13/16/29) was measured on My BOWL and the pattern merely adapted. Further, the pant muslin was adapted for what I was seeing in pics of the muslin i.e. adapting for the particular fabric. I don’t think the muslin crotch looked too long. Apparently, I have a disconnect with the crotch length which  I can’t explain.

Now that I am thinking about it, I also don’t think that simply copying the Bowl shape to the pant works. A very simple explanation for that is BIAS.  The entire crotch and inseam is cut on some angle of bias. Bias is wonderfully flexible and adaptive but it can also change the garment into something hideous.  I never had the big urge to work with lots of bias because I remember my aunts and cousins bemoaning that they had let a garment hang for days, weeks even before hemming. During the first actual wear the dress completely changed shaped. They were embarrassed by quitting time by the lopsided hanging of their hem as well as various bubbles that appeared. Doesn’t everyone out there have memory of denim pants which fit in the morning but would have been appropriate for a Big Friendly Giant in the evening? Bias is tricky. At least, that’s what I learned.

Then there is another consideration. What I take from inside the crotch may or may not be evenly added to the side seam. That’s because I’m taking from body space/hollow at the crotch but the side seam is total circumference that is usually divided by 4 (or total number of seams).

So I am sitting here looking at these 4 pics and wondering what’s the next step.


5682 - Jeans, CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, View B

5682 View B Fitting

I’ll say it again and again and again. Pants are easy to sew!  I used water-soluble thread in the bobbin. I cut the inseams 1/4″ wide so I had to serge them but otherwise, basting all the way including the yoke, zipper and waistband. No other edge finishes–this is a test garment. My personal experience is that without the zipper and waistband in place, I can’t adequately fit the pant. Happily I had 5682 View B  ready to try on in what seemed like no time (about an hour because I did add interfacing to both waistband and facing). Before trying on, I measured the front and back crotches on the sewn garment. I came up with 16.25″ in back 13 in front. I always take that with a grain of salt though because it is hard to manage fabric, zipper, multiple seams and ruler or measuring wheel. IOW the measurements might not be accurate.

Fit 01

This is a terrific first fitting, after all,  I have worn worse looking pants. I don’t see or feel any large issues. It really looks like I will be tweaking rather than making substantial changes.  I’ll remind you again, the fabric has no stretch while the pattern specified denim or stretch woven. Some of the appearance of ill fit might be a result of the no stretch.

I’m just not sure about the front. Does the tummy look tight to you? I am unsure about the front crotch. It feels long enough but I think should be reshaped a little just before the curve. That’s not unusual for me. The paren () crotch shape just isn’t mine.  I recognize the familiar diagonal lines over by the sides.

The back looks both a little tight and the crotch a little wrong. During the pics I could tell it was gaping. I think that had more to do with a front waistband flapping about issue.  The waistband ripped away about 3″ close to the zipper. WST is great for test garments but that is a disadvantage.  With this fabric instead of a folded mess I’m getting poof underneath my rear.  The sideline:

drops straight from waist to knee; ;buckles a little at the knee and then drops straight to the hem. Nice!


  • Stitch the waistband together in front
  • Let out the side seams 1/8″, evenly (no curves on the side seam; the change needs to be evenly divided.)
  • Make the first Diagonal Dart 1/2″ deep

Fit 02:

Well the ease added to the front did nothing to improve it’s looks.  The 1/2″ total ease added made the waist too big. I pulled it tight and clipped in place for the pics.  On the side, the seam still drops nicely from the waist and in this pic all the way to the ankle. I can clearly see the diagonals which have always been the result of the side seam being too long.  I am not sure why those diagonals are extending beneath the back waistband downward towards the left or right.  The leg and yoke joined smoothly without the slightest stretching.  Have to think about that.The extra ease does make the back across the hip looks a little nicer. I think that the back crotch may still be a bit short–even though it measures 16″ the amount specified by my bowl. It just seams to be tucking up into my bifurcation.  I’ve basted a 1/2″ deep fish-eye dart across the right leg.   Which has me undecided.  The right leg looks much nicer from the dart to hem but from dart to butt it has developed some nasty diagonals. Frankly, I’d rather have the poofy look of the left leg;and remember I already made a 3/8″ inseam dart to the pattern. I shouldn’t need to make it now. Usually I put off scooping the crotch. But I strongly felt the front crotch needed to be reshaped (it did) and so did the back crotch at the same time.

both are just slight changes. More like refining the crotch shape changing from () to L’s.

I slimmed the hem to 17″ by increasing the SA at the hem 1/2″ tapering to 3/8″ from the knee to wait.  Was planning to change the inseam hem the same amount on the tissue but I like the way this leg looks.  However, I don’t like this pant for jeans. It would be useful to me as a slacks pattern should I be able to solve all the issues noted above.  I like best the front of Fit01 and the back of Fit 02, again as a slack. not a jean

Planned Fit 03 Changes:

  • Add as much length to back crotch as possible.
  • Offset waist band 1/4″ side seam to CF
  • Ease pant to waist band so no ease is added at the waist.
  • 1/2″ Vertical fish eye dart applied to the left leg.

I offset the waistband 1/2″, I wanted to be very sure I had removed enough to make a difference. Next I added 2″ strip at the top of the pant leg and then stitched the yoke so that 1/2″ was added to the crotch length. Inside the back looks a little odd…

..but this is a test garment. I’m not concerned about looks so much as results.  Finally I made the fish eye dart 1/2″ deep in the left leg.

I tried placing the dart so it would look like a gusset which is a very common and acceptable tailoring aid. Then I took pics:

I would say disappointing pics because I don’t see any improvement. In fact, I think the back leg looked better before the fish eye dart

Before Dart   After Dart

It’s possible the dart is in the wrong place or not deep enough.

I know someone out there is eager to suggest Peggy’s solutions. First I am not removing any length from the crotch. I need every 1/4″ especially with this non-stretch fabric. As for the top of inseam dart, I put that in the tissue. It is already incorporated and is not having the desired effect. It is ludicrous to expect to do the same exact thing but get different results. IOW I’m not adding another top of inseam dart.  It’s done. It failed. I’m not repeating the failure.

I have 3 issues on the front

  1. it now has too much ease due to adding more for the back in Fit 02.
  2. the waist is still too large even though I have reduced it through easing the pant leg to the waistband. For the Fit 03 pics I still needed to overlap and clip at the front
  3. Those diagonal wrinkles were not reduced one iota and I doubled my initial estimate of how much needed to be removed.

So what will I do. I’m going to remove the ease added to the front in Fit 02 by using a narrow seam in the center of the front. I will offset the waistband another 1/2″. I’m tired of moving the waistband back and forth. I am adding elastic and letting the elastic gather the waist to my body.  In Fit 02 and 03, I have adapted the waist by overlapping further in front. While it makes the waist smaller it does pull the sides toward the center as when we tie a blouse at center front:


My rayon blouse cooperates and ties very nicely. The stiff cotton  fabric does not ie. I pull. It resists.

Fit 04 I put a 1/8″ seam in the center of each leg which removed 1/4″ circumference. I offset the waistband 3/4″ lower to help with the diagonal lines and I inserted 1-1/4″ wide elastic into the waistband so I wasn’t pulling to any particular point when snugging the waist to my body.  Truth is, I add elastic to all my waistbands. I enjoy the comfort it gives me to have a waistband  that will stretch a little when my tummy needs it. Oh and I learned this trick from my favorite jean after taking an old pair apart one day.  Let’s look at the side view first

I am happy to see nearly all the leg diagonals are gone.  Those that remain are at the knee or lower and may be the result of knee movement or the below ankle length I’ve chosen. IMO sides are fine. I see no further reason to work with them.

Yes it is blurred. I don’t understand. My camera is placed in a fixed position. It cannot move.  I set the timer then go take my position and stand very still until I hear the click of the shutter. How do I get blurred pics?  Well the most important thing here is that I moved the vertical fisheye dart from the gusset area to the center-back, left-leg. The change did not improve the back of leg. The better leg is still the fish eye, diagonal dart on the right leg.

FIT 04                                    Fit 01

The front is… well not what I was expecting. I thought returning the front circumference to the default, since it looked so good in Fit 01. While the diagonals disappeared on the back and side views, my front has developed prominent Jodhpur thighs.   But as I compare carefully, I see that there were always deep  folds across my thigh crease and the diagonals below.  It is some how like the fabric is falling sideways and then down.

Truthfully, I am not sure what to do.  This is particularly disappointing because I have felt with each fitting that I almost had it. Like the next tweak would be the last. For now, I have pressed carefully and hung in the closet. Tomorrow, I hope to be inspired with new ideas and new solutions. For, as of now, 5682 View B is a  DUD.


2018Revisit, 3200 Sally's Pant, DraftingFitting

Shades of 906

I could call the pant done. After all the hip line and inseam darts didn’t help the back leg at all and so are not needed. The spectacularly successful alterations were getting the crotch length correct and adding ease to the front knee to offset my knock knees.– Thank you Gayle for suggesting!  Re the knock knee, when the medicine works, the diagnosis is a bit moot. IOW may as well quit denying I have knock knees since a knock knee alteration fixes 2 symptoms. So I could call the pant done. Just make sure I use fabric which drapes close to the body and be happy that I have a slack-type pant that finishes with a 19.5″ hem. WaaaHOOOOO! That’s a winner!!!

But I have a curious mind and am still wondering how I can fix all the loose-fitting back-thigh area when the rest of the pant is semi-fit. I am going back to the drafting I did previously. I remember being so stunned at the back crotch shape when I initially created the inseam.

To me that was just wrong. When I smoothed out that curve like Suzy was said to do I would added lots of back thigh ease. Lots. The way the thigh is calculated and plotted, my thigh point is placed about 1/2″ inside the framework Yes, with 1″ ease as Suzy recommends, my thigh plots inside the pant drafting framework  I stopped and measured my pants draft and discovered I would be adding 4-6″ ease over the back thigh (did not calculate ease in the front thigh).  In the ease charts I have 4-6″ is loose-fitting. I am wanting a semi-fit which would be closer to 2-3″ ease. I did the math. I need to remove close to 4″ ease. Well that’s a lot. So I decided to rip open the crotch, add a 1″ dart, wide end at the crotch and descending about 6″ into the thigh of the pants. I did not sew the crotch back together. There’s no question in my mind that I will have pull lines and wrinkles because the dart takes away too much crotch length.  All I want to know right now, is how much ease do I want over my back thigh and how much I need to remove. So without stitching the crotch together, I took pictures of the back with first a 1″ dart and then a 1-3/4″ dart:

2″ dart          2 3/4″ dart

To avoid the whole right leg, left pic confusion I once again cropped the picture to include only the leg I am working on.  


I didn’t see much change with the 2″ dart (stitched 1″ deep) but the leg felt  better. Have to confess I really didn’t feel that much difference with the next one. the 2 3/4″ dart (stitched 1 3/8) but the pic says worlds. Yes it is already very clear there are pull lines developing from the shortened crotch.  So I added a 2nd dart removing another 2″; then changed the first dart back to 1″ wide. Maybe a bit crazy but 4-3/4 felt too tight; 4″ felt much better and it even looked better.

4-3/4         4″ darts

So great, I’ve proved that adding the crotch length added the excess fabric over my thighs. So what? Everyone else seems to feel that’s OK. Just wear as is. I think that “everyone else” with a hip equal to mine, must have larger thighs than I do and so to them, it is OK.  I may be making a completely wrong assumption but why is that I am the only one who complains that their ‘fitted’ pants have too much ease over the thigh? Why is it that everyone else, can take a hip-line or inseam dart and the mess under their tush disappears. Why is different about my body? I think my thighs must not have the heft theirs do.  However, that doesn’t answer the question of: what next. Sure I can make the dart in my pattern, but then I have to address the increasing number of drag lines radiating from the back crotch. They are always, always solved by adding length. If I add length, I will be adding ease back where I just darted it out.  I seem to be stuck in a conundrum.  Is there an answer?

Well I wonder if Trudy Jensen may have found the solution years ago. The crotch shape of her Designer Jean pattern #906 intrigued me. It’s a jean pattern. I am searching for a slack/trouser, semi-fitted pants pattern.  But look carefully at the unusual shape of the back crotch, because this jean fits me wonderfully no matter what size I need to make.

I always call it the Fish-Hook Crotch. If I had pair the front crotch on the left side, you’d see how it continues on to match the front.


I’m sure someone out there is thinking “If that crotch is so great for you, why don’t you just copy it to your new pattern?” Because that didn’t work.  When I copied it to another pants pattern, the back problems were not solved. At first I thought, well Ms Jansen does something different in her draft I don’t know about. So I bought several other of her pant styles expecting to find more patterns that fit perfectly and easily. Didn’t happen. Nope. She didn’t use this crotch shape in any of the other pants patterns I purchase.  I did try her patterns; ruining more fabric while trying to make the new pants patterns fit as nicely as the 906. All was not wasted, I did learn something helpful from the experience.  I learned that sometimes scooping a little bit; making the crotch at least a little bit like the 906, I could solve my issues with many pants pattern. Not all, but many. Then my body changed again. You know, human growth is well documented for ages new-born to about 18.  After that it’s a little sketchy and I don’t remember anything about the issues I face now. Which by the way are not all that unusual. After I retired and moved, I made connections with many people my age and older. When I talk with them, they acknowledge my issues; sympathize and offer solutions  the medical community demeans. But they work; these solutions work.

Well, as usual, I’ve gotten off the rails here, let’s return to sewing for my current body and why I think the TJ906 crotch could be helpful. Note that the crotch extension seems short. I don’t think it extends 2″ past where the crotch upright would be. Also look at how the crotch upright is leaning drastically. Rarely have I seen a crotch lean like that. While this crotch works on this pattern for me, most of my other patterns have fit far better by changing the crotch to a more upright, an L shape (think Christine Johnson). But here is what I am thinking and the direction I’m going:  What happens if I shorten the extension and  create a new crotch curve by forcing the flexible ruler into the height of the pattern, but curved to end at the length desired, my back-crotch length.

I start by copying my already fitting back pattern.

Umm, that’s already fitting except for the extra ease over my back thigh.  I copied the crotch level line that I drew and also drew a crotch upright line extending it well below the crotch level line.

Look closely at that pic.  I made tick marks 1″ apart between what I hope is the crotch upright and the crotch point along the crotch level line. I had thought to remove the same amount of length as I pinched-out on the musline to form darts. I was immediately struck by how much that would remove. WOW that hardly leaves a back crotch extension of maybe 2″. Not sure it would leave a back crotch to same length as the front!  I couldn’t wrap my mind around a back crotch that short. I stopped to measure the back crotch, including seam allowances (17 5/8″). Then I pulled out the 906 crotch and laid it top. Just to make it a little more visible, I outlined the 906 crotch withblue dashes.

I decided that was such a winner, that even though I hadn’t been able to transfer it to other patterns, I would use that length and remove roughly 1.5″

I put the 906 crotch away and forced the flexible curve onto my pattern so that the top was at 0 and the end point (17 5/8″) at the mark for the 906 crotch.

I copied that curve..

Using my metal curve,  I made a connecting line between the new crotch point and the knee. Then it was time for truing. The inseams did not match. This new inseam was too short and curved in too much. Suzy says, and I believe I’ve had the experience,  if the inseams aren’t close in shape and exact in length they will be difficult to sew and will create issues during fitting. I copied the  front inseam- curve from crotch to hem in pencil and once again using my curve corrected the entire back inseam. Then traced over that final line in green Sharpie.

I am not entirely happy. I was hoping to remove a lot more fabric from across my back thigh. But even if I have to repeat this process, at least I’ve made a good start. The only way to tell my progress is a new muslin. I selected a sister fabric to what was used in Muslin 1. It too is a cotton-Lycra shirting. Purchased on-line, it didn’t thrill me on arrival. I pulled it and put it back on the shelf several times for other projects before moving it to the muslin fabric. I just don’t like it. It too is a large flower print, in the same dark brown but yellow background. Since it is a very similar fabric  the fit should  be similar.

The biggest change in the pattern and therefore the muslin, is the new back crotch. I did add the knee- ease tested on the previous muslin. I thought that proven enough I shouldn’t encounter major issues. Which is why I am surprised at how differently this muslin fits between waist and low hip. It is definitely tighter at the waist. I no longer have those lady times and issues i.e I did not gain 5 pounds overnight.  Old women like me are more likely to struggle with sluggish bowels. Not currently an issue for me either.  The pattern in a new fabric is too tight from waist all the way to the low hip but not below. I feel it. May as well not have any Lycra. I do see the pull lines from the crotch probably due to the new back crotch.  What really concerns me most on the front, is the pant legs falling together between knee and ankle. Didn’t I correct that with the 1/2″ knee adjustment? I made the alteration to the front leg and cut the new front with the alteration in place. Hmmm.

How about some positives.  I see as well as feel that the back thigh ease has been reduced some–just not as much as I want. It is progress. Also, I have definitely had worse looking backs. Anyone who has read this blog of any length of time will agree, this is not the worst pant back-view I have posted.  But it isn’t nearly as nice as I was hoping. To my eyes, the crotch is obviously too short. Instead of wrinkles over the thigh, it is puffy. Pretty sure that’s a fabric issue because one of the things I told myself when the other back was finished: :chose fabric that will drape close to the body. That means no jean fabrics; no stiff twills and now I should add no shirtings. Most of the diagonals are of course due to the back crotch which was not shortened at all. In fact I had a scare during sewing because instead of a smooth join the crotch peaked at the inseam:

I’ve actually ignored such a peak. The resulting pant was d@mn!!@@#$%%!! uncomfortable. Also, the curve is not a “nice curve”. It undulates. It must be a nice smooth curve for fit and comfort. So using my metal curve I drew a smooth crotch curve ; stitched and trimmed.  I trimmed the peak 1/2″.

Not good. In fact scary. Scary enough that I pulled out the flexible ruler and measured again. Relief filled me as the final measure was 18″.  The back crotch length actually grew. I am assuming the front crotch length is the same since I didn’t do anything to the front (other than the knock knee adjustment.)

As in front, the leg starts swinging towards each other at the knee all the way to the ankle; and dang it all, the hem is not level. It was. I can recheck the knock-knee adjustment made but sadly I don’t think  it is the solution I thought it was. This takes me back to 10-12 years ago when I first starting fitting the back of my pants using photos. I would make the recommended correction. It worked in the muslin. Add the correction to the tissue. Make another pant only to find out the alteration didn’t work. Why did it work for the muslin and then not work in the real pant? Because it  isn’t the real problem. The problem is something else. When I find the real cause, I will find a real and permanent solution.

So now what. Well I still have the back pattern which fits but has the excess over the back thigh. I will use it, if I need full-length pants. I don’t anticipating making those until the end of September after I pull out the Autumn clothes and do an inventory.  I gleaned suggestions from the comments you all have made and created a text file to use when I feel like tackling this again, I have some ideas. There is a possibility that I need a fabric with more stretch. Denim typically has stretch even without Lycra. So maybe this fabric didn’t have enough stretch? I think I’m on the right path. That is,  I really believe the reason I have so much excess ease/fabric over  the thigh is the length I need  to add to the back crotch. Whatever suggestions I try, have to retain the crotch as drafted i.e. length and shape, but somehow reduce the ease over the thigh. I also need to look carefully at what is causing the legs to swing together below the knee and what is causing the uneven hem.

While I have some suggestions and ideas, I’m putting this on hold for a few weeks. As I said, I don’t anticipate sewing full-length pants for a few more weeks.  I have noticed that several of my summer tops are not going to make it into next year. Already, I’m planning on replacing them using TNT’s. Even though I made a few dresses this year, some will not be retained for next year both due to wear and that I’m not really in love with them. So I’m planning to make a few summer dresses in the next few weeks, again using TNT’s. BECAUSE using tested patterns allows me to indulge in fun sewing i.e. machine embroidery, painting, decorative stitches etc, etc.  The next few weeks are all going to be devoted to fun, fun, fun in the sewing room. (Can we make a song with that?)





2018Revisit, 3200 Sally's Pant, DraftingFitting

Revisiting Sally’s Pant

I had time to mull over the question of new muslin or new wearable pants while copying changes from fitting back to the tissue. I decided, it wouldn’t hurt to make another quick muslin but no finishing; not even ravel prevention. Just cut, stitch and slip into. My fabric is a cotton/poly twill with a smidgen of Lycra fro stretch. Again, Lycra not the best when trying to fit basics that can become slopers. Truth is, nearly all of the real pants fabrics I buy either have a Lycra content or I intend to use them for the wide, 22-24″ leg, trousers and they are very drapey. I bought this fabric a few years before I retired thinking of a summer jacket.  12 years on, I have little use for such jackets. But I had thought I might make pants. Always hesitated because I really didn’t like the paisley print. This was a brain purchased and not a heart purchase. I was looking for jacket fabrics. I used to like my jackets to have a little more personality. A paisley print would have been perfect, just not in those colors. When I decided against jacket use, I put it in the pants pile of fabric. I picked it up and put it back several times. Same problem: I really don’t like the olive, brown and black print. I was considering dyeing it.  Today, I opted to use it as a pants muslin because dyeing is not an exact science as far as I am concerned and had the print been more to my liking, this fabric would already be in a garment and probably worn-out. So after transferring all the changes to the tissue, it became a pant muslin. So that I could see the fitting issues, I turned the print inside.

So this pant has been fitted to my waist by copying my hip curve from my skirt sloper and adjusting the darts. It does not have front darts nor did I add my 3/8″ wedge to the center front. The only other alteration was shortening the legs– no hip-line dart, no inseam dart. Nothing else. Hip curve, waist darts, shorten leg. The front and sides look better than ever before.

..but I’m not wild about the back. I could ignore the few ripples around my high and low hips; even the divot at thigh level. The fabric has body. Much more body than the normal jean denim.  I am concerned about the back leg between thigh crease and floor.  For that I compared this muslin with the previous 3 fitting sessions.

Yes 3 fitting. First pic is of muslin 1 fit 1 which contains the inseam dart. Middle pic shows the Fit 2 on the left leg (right side of picture) and Fit3 on the right leg (left side of picture).  The first muslin was made of a crisp cotton Lycra shirting. Although it would make a crisp shirt especially after starching, it does not have the body and firmness of the current muslin picture all the way to the right.  I note that between the legs looks much better in Muslin 2. However the body of this fabric reveals the pull of the knee which I couldn’t see before. I think it was there, I just didn’t realize it.

I’ve been wanting to explore a suggestion made for knock knees  by adding 1/2″ ease along the front leg by the side of the knee. I ripped the leg apart and added a 1 1/2″ strip then stitched it back together with a fish-eye dart 1/2″ at its widest point.

As before front and side are not that remarkable. In fact I’m not sure there is any improvement but the back is most definitely interesting

I don’t see the dominate pull at the knee. Maybe a ghost? But look at this hem:

For the first time in years, the right hem is nearly level while the left shows its characteristic upward lift on the inseam.  The uneven hem was so standard for me, I thought it was supposed to be that way. I haven’t even bought a pant, including my DG2’s that didn’t eventually lift at the inseam hem.  You can see the absence of the knee pull lines better in the hem leg pic too.  While it looks level at the moment,  I am not 100% sure I’ve added enough ease with the 1/2″ fish-eye dart. This is an issue I would need to revisit a few launderings down to road.

So in times past I have called my pant fitting DONE. At other times, I have experimented with various solutions including Peggy’s hip-line and inseam darts.  I have another idea.  Which I will share, tomorrow.




2018Revisit, 3200 Sally's Pant, DraftingFitting

Revist 3200: Muslin Sallys Pant Size 22

I started by tracing the framework established for drafting my personal pant pattern (the one I didn’t finish drafting and fitting).  I still think that frame-work could be useful even though I have issues. (Chief of which is the crotch being 2″ too short and the curve from crotch point, though thigh to knee adding too much ease across my thigh. Good new, at least I understand why I get so much ease.)   So I traced the framework and set aside for later.

Then I traced size 22 front and back. I thought already had a waistband which fit nicely. I saw no point and tracing and fitting a second.  Then I slipped the frame-work beneath front and back size 22 tracing to see how they related–err–did they relate.  I lined them up along the crotch level lines and then sort of centered the pattern tracing over the framework.  I was surprised at how much they matched up.  I saw few differences. The back waist was about 1.5″ above the framework waistline; the front about 1″ above the framework. But that makes perfect sense. If Peggy followed standard drafting procedures, she dropped the back crotch line 1/2″ below the front. I did not. So that accounts for the extra 1/2″ of the back. As for the remainder, the draft crotch length was 2″ shorter than the measured crotch length. I’m not really sure where I went off the rails, but that fact accounts for the difference. IOW the draft total crotch length is 27″; the pattern is 29″ and there should have been pattern above the frame-work.

I started making my planned changes to the tracing.  Sadly, the tracing did not show up well in pictures. No point in sharing those pics, so let me just tell you what I did.  According to my calculations I needed to add 3/4″ at the front waist. No surprise really as I often add a wedge at the crotch front.  I made 3/8″ wide wedge. Just a bitty narrow thing. I also made the 1″  inseam dart at the top of the leg which Peggy Sagers so highly recommends. I do believe it helps because I see the leg change from being spread eagle to resembling a more normal human stance. Knowing it was still possible to have crotch height issues, I added 7/8″ at the top of the waist for a little  fit insurance.   Last thing I did was adding 1/2″ fitting insurance to the side seams. Most people add a full 1″ or at least make the seam allowance a full inch. I did not because my 3-page Excel worksheet of calculations indicated the crotch length should be correct but all the pattern ease would be too much.

Some of you Sager’s fans are probably asking about the Hip Line Dart.  Peggy emphasizes making the hip line dart and if that doesn’t clean up all the back mess, make the inseam darts. She doesn’t say to make to make the inseam dart and then the hip line. But after all the fun I had drafting, I am not sure the mess over my leg is due to standard practice of slashing and adding  1″ to the back crotch (which then us old ladies have to remove). I really think my issue is the long back crotch that I need and which when the inseam is drawn ease is added over the back thigh. Besides, I know when I make the hip line dart, I immediately add a 1″ wedge at the waist center-back.  I need the up-right length.  I need a 29″ crotch. What’s the point of removing it 7″ below only to add it at the top”?

My muslin fabric is a cotton/lycra shirting. To tell the truth, I might be tempted to use a similar fabric for summer-weight pants. That little bit of lycra is enough to shed wrinkles throughout the day and make bending, stretching etc comfortable. However, this is one of those fabrics I pulled from the shipping box and asked myself if I had even looked at the pic before adding to cart. Not only did I seem to add without looking closely  but I went back and changed the quantity to 2.5 yard  — an action that must be manually done. Oh and I did that without noticing  I was buying a print of huge flowers. Even for a shirt, I am unlikely to wear a print of flowers that are bigger than a dinner plate. It’s just not part of my personality. But, turned inside out,  it makes an OK muslin.

I still anticipated some fitting adventures and therefore serged finished the edges.  I also installed a zipper. Using water-soluble thread in the bobbin makes for easy alterations and easy removal when the muslin goes into the trash.  During fitting the zipper is wonderful. Much better than pinning, unpinning and stepping on pins. Much better. To my surprise, the initial muslin had much too much ease at the waist. Well, throughout the pant but most noticeable at the waist.  I stitched the side seams 1/4″ deeper. Waist was still too loose which had me wondering if the 3/8″ I added at center front during pattern-making was a mistake. 2nd fitting I added a 3/8″ deep tuck in the front. Which felt fine at first but as I was taking pics  the waist became too loose.  I finished pics holding the waist up.  But I had first pics and I wanted to look at them. Up stairs I went…


Well I thought I had pics. Looks like I  have right side, back and left side. I had another 2 backs and another 2 of just the cover stitch machine. Hmm..cameras can be mysterious creatures. Still there are some things I can tell I need to do before the next set of pics.

The waist needs to be smaller yes, but do I need to take in the front or back.  I looked closely at the sides. I even superimposed straight lines along the seams:

I’ve decided to increase the back darts 1/8″ (total removed will be 1″) and leave the front alone, for now.  I liked the look of the hip from the back

Looking at the side view, well I really think it is too tight for a trouser/slack. I will let out the side seam at the hip 1/4″ (total added 1″).  Also, after the last waist change, it started looking a little tight across the tummy. I will start the side seam change with 1/8″ at tummy level (3″ down from waist) down to crotch level.  Lastly, I’m going to cut about 2″ off the leg length. At this time, I don’t want the leg puddling on the floor. It causes wrinkles up above.  Wrinkles that I would fret about needlessly. Won’t change the tissue yet – well won’t change the tissue until the end– but especially not whacking 2″ off the leg length. I want the legs to fly above the floor and close to my ankle during fitting. Later I will want the default length about 1/2″ above the floor.

So the thought was check the pants; do the next alterations which already included tweaking the waist again (for a third time.)  Instead I thought, “I am an idiot!”  Has it been 2 weeks since I fit the skirt sloper?  Why not copy that perfectly fitting waist? Both this pattern and the sloper hang from the natural waist. I really should have though of this before!! I pulled out the skirt sloper and copied the hip curve.  Then I measured the waistband and marked center back, both sides and center front. Whoa! This pant waistband could not have been fit. It is at least 4″ longer than my skirt waist. good thing I thought to use the skirt. I could have been tweak for a couple of hours.  That lead to a very good feeling and fitting waist. Now onto some serious fitting:

Also, to shorten the leg, I took a 1/2″ tuck about 2″ above the ankle. I am surprised at how nice and smooth this is hanging. The front crotch looks perfect and the entire crotch feels comfortable.  The leg looks nice although the side is breaking about 6″ above my knee and there is a ghost of down ward lines about 3″ below crotch and definite pull line at about the same level as the side break.  Interesting the lower diagonal drifts over the center and becomes part of a crease line, if I made a crease line.

I see the sides looking nicely as well. Normally I expect some drape lines along the side, the result of the side being too long. I note with pleasure, that the waistband sits level. In the first fitting, before the waistband was corrected, the front slanted upward about 2″ above my waist and the back drops towards the floor. Due to the vertical folds, I think there could be too much ease in the thigh area. Both sides have similar diagonals which continue almost to the ankle.  I do have a rather trim ankle, so excess there is expected. I’m looking carefully at how the back follows my body curvature. It is just enough to me.  It is not body hugging like I expect of my jeans. Neither does it flare like my wide-leg, beach-romping trousers.  I like this look.

I always hold my breath until I can see the back.

While the front and sides were very smooth, the back has a series of small diagonals above the high hip. Otherwise, you are seeing ghosts of the print and a fold-line I didn’t iron away.

From the bottom of the bum to the knee, I see lots of extra ease. There is a small, short diagonal coming from the inseam. I’m not sure if that is a fitting error or an excess length because

I can see I did not get the hem completely off the floor. Maybe more importantly, I can see that the inseam is not level with the side seam. Entirely my doing. I made Peggy’s Inseam dart which definitely shortened the inseam but not the side seam.  At no point have I restored the length.  I don’t remember Peggy ever saying it needed to be restored.  Did I fall asleep when  she mentioned that? Every time? I mean she must have 2 full tubes describing fitting a pant and the subject comes up almost at every broadcast.  How did I miss it? If that is, I need to offset the lost length.  Do anyone making the inseam dart feel the need to correct for  it down the leg some place?

Planned changes for Fit #3?

  1. A little fish eye dart beneath the waist where those little diagonal lines are occurring.
  2. Increase the depth of the tuck I made to shorten the leg
  3. Figure out where the length removed during the inseam dart should be restored

Got to admit, in times I pass, I would quit right now; find a nice fabric and make a wearable pair. But I  want to know about the decisions I made to get to this point. So I’m going to follow through with those 3 alterations.

I stitched the  1/2″ leg tuck at 1″ then turned to the waistband.  I was surprised to see that I had not stitched the waistband evenly. No it wobbled. So I took it out. Carefully pinned into place and stitched a second time.  Not sure if that will make a difference but it is worth the try.  Then  I started considering how to offset the length lost with the inseam dart.  Slashing and spreading was the obvious solution but where? Since my knee always seems to be a problem, I slashed there.  Cut a 2″ strip of fabric from the remnants and then paid h3ll stitching that into the pant leg. It was a struggle and I am sure not perfectly even.  I took comfort in the fact that if it was indeed the right move, it would be easier to make the alteration on the tissue.

As you look at the pics, recall that I made the slash-and-spread on only one leg, my right leg. The left leg should look at about the same.

I’m hoping you can see either the big safety-pin in the leg or the slash with the fabric peeking out.  That’s the right leg. I do believe that the right leg looks better. Still a little bumpy below the leg. I may still have room for improvement. Then again, All I made need is for alteration to be done at the tissue level.

I also think the right side leg, looks better, even though not nearly as much length is added and, of course, none is added at the seam itself.

Does my right leg look better? (It’s the one on the left side of the picture. I am not entirely sure. I seem to have a bunch of fabric between my ankles from both legs.  Surely that can’t help to make the legs hang straight.  Also when looking from the back, I’m not sure I spread the slash far enough.

Look at how the raw edge on seam is higher than the other seam.  Since I was folding and guestimating, maybe I didn’t fold evenly. Still that looks a lot higher on one side than the other.

What next?

I am tempted to remove the inseam dart from the tissue and run up a quick muslin. But you know me, I kinda of ready to finish to this muslin by confirming it in good fabric. I want to get back to the question in my mind that started this journey: how do I reduce the amount of ease added over my thigh when the crotch line is as long as I need it?