Jinni, Jinni, My Bowl

The Fabric Always Wins, Especially In Pants

I transferred the waistband location  added SA and marked the darts, but I did not transfer any of the other changes made to the muslin.  For fitting insurance, I marked 1/2″ above the marked seam allowance. I can always trim. Adding after-the-fact is difficult if not impossible.  Plus that gives extra to shape for the dart tops.

Then I begin the job of choosing a fabric.  The muslin looked so good I wanted to use a reasonable good fabric in this (I hoped) first pair of pants. Because my alterations have increased the hem circumference to 24″, I wanted a fabric that draped close to the body but not  reveal all.  Normally my pant colors are black, dark navy blue and dark chocolate brown.  All colors that are difficult to photograph and  will be difficult for me to see drag lines.  My chosen fabric is a caramel brown.  It is Polyester with a little Lycra which Fabricmartfabric advertised a Fine  Twill.  I love this stuff. Buy it everytime I see it on their website. Has 10% crosswise stretch–no vertical stretch.  It is light weight as in ounces per square yards but feels  heavy in-hand and drapes like crepe.  The weight I have  is not a winter fabric unless I wear thick tights or long johns.  It works fine for fall,  spring and some summer occasions.

I cut my fabric and serge finished all the edges.  I put the zipper in then swapped out to water-soluble thread in the bobbin before basting everything together.

As with the muslin, fitting was all about correctly placing the waistband aka crotch depth. I was shocked that my crotch depth was 2″ too long.  Here’s my first fitting.


I embarked on a series of fitting adjustments all tweaking the crotch depth and adapting the waist to the WB.  Eventually I settle on decreasing the front crotch and sides 2″ but the back 3″.  I also offset the back side seam to add another 1/2″ ease across the seat (and there is still a hint of  VPL).  I want you to see the final fitting before the finished garment:

Last fitting:

Pretty nice, if I do say so myself. From there I opened seams where they crossed just enough to get and make permanent stitches.  I trimmed the excess at the top and the point which formed where the inseams and crotch met. Hemmed and applied the waistband. Nothing was entirely ripped. Buttonhole and button were carefully placed to they would occupy the same place at the clips. The finished pant fits slightly different from the final fitting.


I immediately noticed that the waistband was not as firmly in place as before and I could feel the pant drop slightly.  It also appears that I have lost 5 pounds in the 24 hours between last fitting and final pictures.  I really should start automatically inserting elastic before I nail the waistband in place. Just for info purposes, last fitting was done about 2 o’clock the day before. Final pics about 2 o’clock the next day.  TMI but no I have not been starving myself, peeing a lot or had diarrhea. Well moving along… the  real problem with this pair of pants is: once I have a good fitting pair of pants, I can’t stand to wear the others. I will have to be making more and making them soon.

I did not transfer my depth changes to the pattern.  I am unsure why the torso (from waist to crotch) grew 2″ in front, 1″ on the sides, and  3″ in back. Honestly, I didn’t know whether the fiber (poly lycra), the weave (fine twill)  or 10%  width-wise stretch which made the huge difference. Normally a 10% stretch fabric behaves much the same and is treated as a stable weave/knit.  I know there can be some difference even if the fiber and weave are the same.  I expect  more difference when the stretch factor gets to 25% and am pretty sure that a 50% or greater stretch will almost require an entirely different pattern.

I’ve made a trouser.  I didn’t start out to create a trouser. I would prefer to wear a pant with lesser ease.  Not sure that will be possible for me. First my round, prominent rear will always need additional fabric. Covering the seat will probably add fabric across the thigh.  As I explained in the previous post, I just don’t know how to draw a curve adding 3″ to the side while dovetailing into the thigh side seam without adding more ease in the thigh as well.  Because of how I did my tissue alteration for the seat, I added 3″ to the hem. That created a 24″ hem circumference.  Even with this nicely draping polyester fabric, I don’t like the 24″ finished hem circumference.   I am narrow shouldered and short. A big wide leg, makes me look shorter and my shoulders narrower. In future makes, I will attempt to make the legs narrower, about 20″.  However, for the next pair, I want to test  crotch depth changes by sewing the same (i.e.no other tissue changes) with a similar fabric.


Jinni, My Bowl

Working with the Tin Foil/Flexible Ruler Method of Cr0tch Fitting.

Let me bring you up-to-speed…

After I finished the Jinni Shorts that turned into culottes, it was mid-August.  I had enough wearable shorts for the rest of summer and it was too hot to wear or fit long-legged pants.  I  thought I would take a break from pant fitting for a few weeks. Come back in mid-September with a fresh mind and eyes.  In the next few days Pinterest kept feeding me pics of fitting pants using tin foil or wax paper or a flexible ruler.  After a few days of this bombardment,  I thought, “I’ve started this method before. Didn’t finish because I didn’t understand some things. It wouldn’t take long to make a quick ‘bowl’ to see if I’ve learned anything. Could use the Jinni’s…..” I’m figuring an hour or 2. Maybe a quick muslin and then toss the whole shebang.  I decided to use 4 Out of 5’s excellent instructions.  Created  my bowl. Then made a quick short’s length copy of my original Jinni tissues.  I pinned the tissues together and placed my bowl on top. Hmmm 4 Out of 5’s instructions made so much sense  I had to continue with a muslin. Over the next 4 weeks became 4 muslins.  I couldn’t quite perfect the crotch but I was really close. Each muslin had gotten better and better. More importantly with each muslin I realized why they didn’t work. Not just what was wrong, but what caused it to be wrong. After Muslin 3 I thought I had the answer.  I really thought I did it. I really thought if I made Muslin 4, I would  have perfected the crotch. I transferred the fitting change of shortening the length of the sides and cut Muslin 4. Front looked good. Sides looked good. Back looked good between waist and about 3″ above the inseam.  From there down it was crumpled all the way to the inseam. As I studied it and studied the tissue change, I realized I had relapsed and made the last change in a manner I know to be in error.  I had used darts in the tissue to shorten the side length. Why is this wrong?  It  doesn’t just change the length of the side. It changes the shape of the back crotch upright and skews the grain.

I wanted to fix my last error but something else had been nagging me. The back of my brain keep insisting I had forgotten something. Missed something. So  I hunted for videos until I found Joy and Vivian’s complete flexible ruler  demo Part1 and Part 2.  Ah hah! I had used the wrong undercarriage “spot”. I was supposed to mark the inseam not the place I did mark. So I wrapped the flexible curve around me and marked the inseam. On the my Bowl tracing the inseam point is moved about 1″ towards the back.  Then I traced a new copy of the Jinni and since it was now fall i.e. not shorts weather, I traced the entire leg.

I pinned the tissue leg together, this time allowing the extra 1″ at the inseam which fitting had proved I needed. It was another “Ah Hah!” when I placed the corrected Bowl on my pattern and compared the two.

To me, it’s a little easier to see after I  trace the crotch shape with RED pen.

My crotch (Bowl) shape is a lot different from the pattern.  I do think it reflects the successful fitting changes I’ve had to make and maybe explains why some of the changes I’ve made were wrong or not enough.  Once I add the 1″ to the front crotch length, the  front usually needs only a little tweaking.  Correctly positioning the inseam on the Jinnie tissue automatically adds the 1″.  I should note that an additional 1″  for the front inseam is an option already drafted in the Jinni pattern. I would have to add that 1″ in other patterns.  When using the Bowl on the other muslins, I was scooping into the back of the crotch. Hollowing it out, 4, 5 and 6 inches. It would get better but never totally satisfactory.  The last few years, I’ve had to scoop in the bottom of the crotch (sometimes called lowering).  It occured to me that it was odd I didn’t need to scoop/lower the crotch.  With the Bowl correctly positioned, a lowering is clearly indicated. Also of note is when the Bowl is correctly positioned,  the back needs to be scooped only 3″.  One last observation, from this Bowl it appears I need to shorten the front crotch depth 4″ and the back  depth 1″.  4OutOf5 shortened immediately.  I  decided to wait and  set the crotch depth by placing my pant where I want it on my body and then mark the waist.  I added 3/8″ SA to the red back crotch curve  blending it to the front as-drafted-curve.  I trimmed the excess tissue from the front and set it aside. I know that scooping 3″ out of that back curve is going to make it impossible to put the pant on. My hip is 48″. Most pants have 2″ ease so that means there is probably 50″ circumference part of which is in the front. When I scoop the back crotch 3″ I will be removing 6″ of circumference (2 backs so 2*3″=6″).  Subtract the 6 from the 50 and there will be 44″ of fabric to cover a 48″ rear. Not going to work.  I have yet to see a demo of how to add 3″ to the side at the hip.  The instructions say to add it straight across from where you scooped and blend the curve back into the waist and thigh. Have you tried adding 3″ to the side?  I have and I can’t figure out how to blend it smoothly.  I always end up with a big curve on the side. Which BTW always ends up adding inches to the thigh as well as changing the side length.  It’s one of those things I’d really like to see someone do.  5Outof4 has only 1″ to add and  that does blend pretty smoothly.  This is the point at which I have quit in the past.  I simply don’t know how to smoothly add the large distance I need for my round, prominent seat. I really wanted to test this new crotch shape. So I added the 3″ my way. I cut the back tissue  vertically along the grain line and inserted 3″ of tissue. I don’t like this solution because it adds too much ease across my thigh and changes a slack leg into a trouser. Currently, I really want to make the Bowl work. So whatever the change does, it does.

As you can see above, I trimmed the excess tissue from the crotch and the rest of the pant. Almost as an afterthought I shortened front and back leg 1″.

Then I selected a new muslin fabric. This is a non-stretch, cotton broadcloth.  It is a little lighter than I would prefer for pants. A little heavy for a blouse. I preshunk and pressed. Before laying out the pant legs, I folded them up 6″.  This is a disposable. I only need enough length to be sure that the leg length is affecting the pant drape.

So onto fitting. Fitting was all about getting the waistband properly positioned and getting the darts right.  I did not adapt circumference in the torso, hip or leg even though that first fitting  begged for less in front and more seat room

The next 2 fittings tweaked the length of the crotches and distribution of the waist ease.   Once that was done the front started looking near perfect. The back was a matter of adding crotch depth  while increasing the angle of the center back seam.  The more I tried on the muslin, the more the fabric wrinkled and misbehaved. In the last pic, I believe I have both near perfect front and back.

I took 3 pictures of the back. These are the best. The fabric seems to hang up in a couple of places IOW, this cotton broadcloth does not float over the body. Nope, it grabs and holds onto whatever is beneath. I can see and adjust the front and sides, while looking in the mirror. Cant see the back in the mirror. Best I can do is smooth my hands over it, but I don’t know what it looks like until I see the pic on my big pc.


The back crotch itself is pretty smooth, which is what I am most concerned about.

Interesting  note. According to the tissue with Bowl, I needed to shorten the back crotch depth 1″ the front 4″.  When finish, the back is not shortened at all. The side length is shortened 3.5″. The front is shortened 2.75″.  My waist is  a real roller coaster ride.

A second interesting note:  The crotch and seat felt comfortable through every fitting.  Even the first where the seat looked obviously too tight. Every depth change made the crotch, seat and stomach even more comfortable. Let me say that a little differently, every time I adjusted the crotch depth a 1/4″ to be  a little shorter in front or a little longer in back, made the entire torso feel more comfortable.

So what to do next.  Well, I am not worrying about leg width. I want to be sure the waist, torso and crotches fit well. So I am transferring the crotch depth and waist shaping to the top and back leg — no darts in the tissue.  I will mark the dart positions, lengths and widths on the tissue as I draped them on the muslin.   I am really not changing the tissue much.  I will change to a better fabric. I’m thinking that with those large legs a nice crepe or rayon…..

DraftingFitting, Jinni, My Bowl

Fitting burn

I’ve just had the most annoying experience.  I’ve been experimenting with the flexible-ruler method. I’m 3 fittings in. Thought it was looking pretty good. At least the crotches were not their normal bunching, pulling selves.  Last fitting, last set of pics taken about 3PM and I swear I was busting out of the muslin. Could barely close the waistband and the pins were straining to keep the front closure closed.  That was after having added 1″ to the WB  length. Could not pinch any ease at the sides.   I was afraid to sit down–which at some point you must do with a pants muslin—for fear the pins would go flying and the seams split. Drag lines were everywhere and prominent. Well below the crotches  in the thigh area were  little commas  — i.e. crotches not bad at all.

In the morning, I’m thinking,I would like to scoop one final time and add more ease if its really needed.  So at 12 noon, I try the muslin on again. Son of a gun!  I can pinch 2″ on each side. Most of the drag lines have simply disappeared. The waistband easily closes and the front opening overlaps on its own. I didn’t even pin closed the front opening. Compare the 2 fittings before I continue my rant and finish with 2 questions.


Evening                                                   12 Noon


Evening          12 Noon

Granted with the patterning of the fabric, it can be hard to see what is going on.  But why such a difference between noon and afternoon fittings?  I’ve already eaten a small lunch, as usual and same as yesterday.  I have not had a BM  (did yesterday) so clearing that area is not a factor.  In mid-afternoon I may have a small snack. I do mean small. 4 carrots, or a whole, small tomato; a small scoop of cottage cheese. Chips, candy, cookies have been eliminated from my diet. Large meals are also gone. At most I have 3 small meals and the afternoon snack. Point being that neither today nor the day before, at any time  was  my stomach over-filled with food and my gut filled with toxic wastes.  So….

Why  is the am/noon fitting better than the PM?

Do you fit for the am or pm?


Some evenings I just cant stand my clothes and either unbutton/unsnap/unbelt or make an early change into pj’s. I’m inclined to fit for PM but then the garments will be too loose in the morning. If I fit pants for the evening, the won’t stay at the waist in the AM. What to do? What to do?


DraftingFitting, RTW

An RTW Review: DG2, H by Halston

DG2 aka Diane Gillman 2 has been my jeans source for about 4 years.  I loved the way they fit with the very first pair. I chose that size as recommended, size 14. Beautiful in pictures but as the day wore on, I couldn’t breathe.  Couldn’t eat unless I unzipped and unbuttoned. Pull on jeans were the exception to eating problem but still restrictive to my breathing.  I bought the next pair in a size 16, i.e. one size up. Much better, at least in the morning. By dinner I still needed to unbutton. Carefully studying the charts convinced me that a 16PW would be the answer as the only measurement difference was in the waist. Well truly, that was a gift.  Same great fit everywhere, this time including the waist and tummy. I have continued to buy DG2 jeans. DG doesn’t seem to make slacks or trousers. Her other option seems to be skinny-skinnies. At least at this time on Evine.com. I’ve been happy with my 16PW jeans but noticed within a few wearing that the waist had gotten too large. I added elastic to the waistband. Which helped how they felt and kept them up instead of drooping. Recently, I’ve started seeing poorer fit in the pics of the newer jeans and the well-worn are feeling droopy. I’ve started taking pics of the older pairs and have been dismayed that nearly every older pair looks like this:

I might ignore the back and sides for a while longer but the front is just, IMO, ugly.  I can pinch 3″ ease on each side, that’s about 6″ total and not what anyone wants in their jeans. I’ve started putting my old DG jeans in the Goodwill box and am contemplating what to do next. The 16PW are not looking as good when I get them as they did a couple of years ago. I may have lost some weight -I don’t torture keep track myself. The real problem with the 16P (the size smaller than PW) had been a too tight waist.   I’ve created a Pinterest board Save-Waist to capture ideas for after-the-fact enlarging of the waist. ATM I’m planning to buy a 16P hopefully dirt-cheap so I can cut into the waist and make my chosen fix without regret. But I recognize I may need to go down another size and I could need to give up DG2 entirely. My body seems to change every few years. Maybe I’ve changed beyond the parameters of her block. In which case, I see no point in paying $60-90 for jeans I’m ashamed to wear.

Moving on to H by Halston

A SG friend recommended Halston to me saying she had many of the same fitting issues and a similar figure. Halston has been her salvation. When examining the pants in detail she discovered Halston made a radical change in the grainline. She believes this is what creates her beautiful fit.  She discovered this gem of information during taking a pair apart to make a pattern.  Sometimes I think if I could buy pants that fit, I’d never sew another.  Eh, I have a huge collection of very nice, some very expensive pants fabrics. I’d want to make pants just to wear these wonderful fabrics. So I’m game. Except I don’t want to spend $90+ for a pattern. I’d definitely have to sew the pants back together and wear it! So my friend pointed me in the direction of the sales, closeouts and discounts. I couldn’t find Halston’s On-Line return policy and I’m far far away from a real store. I mean if these things don’t look pretty good on me, do I want a pattern of them or do I just want to return them? So I dug into my favorite on-line shopping sites and may have hit the jackpot at QVC.  QVC has started carrying a H by Halston clothing line.  Supposedly same great fit and quality of Halston but exclusive for QVC. AND QVC has a sales, closeout and discounts section. I got busy and ordered 3 pair a 16, 16W and 18. So I thought, when they arrived I have two 16’s and an 18W. Oh well, I can work with what I have.


I knew these where too big when I zipped them up.  That was confirmed by having to hold them up at the waist during my “photo shoot”. The pics bear this out as well showing the same issues I usually see when I start with a tissue pattern that is too large.  One nice thing, this is a very light color. I will probably be able to trace the grain line before carefully packing away and returning to QVC

The next two I thought would photo well but their colors are just a little too dark.  I had to lighten the pics by 50% resulting in  the color being off in the photos. They do look much better IRL

16 Jean

These felt wonderful when I tried them on. OMG snugged to my waist.  No fifths in the back of these, I can tell you! Just heavenly. I can pinch about 1″ease on each side at hip level which is a little more than I like in jeans. However the pics say this is not the beautiful fit my friend is getting.  Talk about the sides first (above).  Collapsing about high hip level and then undulating wrinkles below i.e. the typical wrinkles of a too long side. That might be correctable (reset the waistband a little lower, along with the excess ease, but is it worth my while? How they feel and how the side look makes me reluctant to send them back but…..

how the front feels and how back and front look makes me reluctant to keep them. While I may have been able to pinch excess ease at the side seams, my tush is saying “give me room”. Possibly, that is a crotch length issue because despite feeling comfortable the waistband visually dips at center back.  I also have the hated diagonal lines between butt and knee. Arghhhhh!  The front feels good at the waistband, but too big below.  That’s quite typical with all my pants patterns as well but on them I can make a vertical fold 1/4-1/2″ deep and eliminate the problem forever.  What can I do to fix these and then do I want to do that everytime I buy a pair of pants? Hold on, the front other issues. It is poofy, even where it crests but the crotch seems too short. What a combination! I might be able to correct the fit by scooping the crotch giving length to both back and front. Will that fix the poofiness? Do I want to, especially every pair I buy????

16 Slacks

All the Halston pants were lightly steamed to discourage  deep wrinkles but have not been carefully pressed nor even given a whiff of starch.  This slack style is what I have been trying to create myself. OK I’ve been trying to find out why pants fit and why the don’t but that’s because I had 2 jeans pattern and a trouser that fit fairly easily while all the other patterns were a fight from start to trash. I can never get a semi-fit pant to look good. Since I don’t make a lot to pants, I would be satisfied with a jean, a slack and a trouser pattern. The slack has eluded me.  But this one make me drool.  I am seeing slight indication that the side seam is too long, again correctable. Especially this small amount. Otherwise, the pant hangs fairly straight, breaking over the foot as expected.

Not the worst pant, I’ve ever worn.  I wonder how much better they would look had I added a little starch and a careful press.  The front does have some extra ease like I find in most patterns but not as much, not as much extra as in the Hjean and almost the right amount for a slack. I believe the CF waistband is actually dipping as I felt the crotch pulling upward too. Between the two, I’d say, front crotch too short. The back waist is also dipping. Amazingly, the butt looks like it has enough ease.  There is only 1 diagonal (on each leg) which might disappear with a good pressing. Given the issue with the front crotch, I’m tempted to keep this one and scoop the crotch.  Of course it was the most expensive ($50 even with half off) which makes me wonder if I really want to start operating on it. Still I can imagine buying pant after pant, scooping the crotch a little and spending all my time creating great-looking, unique, imaginative tops.  Hmmmmmm off into dreamland


Overall, I would give Halston a thumbs up. Each H pant had 20% or a little more stretch. I think that is standard in good quality pants. I was annoyed that I had to open the buttonhole on each pant. Every. Last. One. It was quick and only about 1/16″ but H is not dirt-cheap even in the clearance bin. I expect more out of expensive pants. I expect little details to be right. I also was dismayed that each and every pair were too short in the crotch even the size 18.  The buttonhole is really a annoyance, but the crotch length can be a killer.

So what am I going to do?  Send back the 18? Yes but what about the two 16s? Well I already have a nice fitting jean (DG2) and jean pattern (TJ906). I’m just not certain I could fix it with a scoop and then what happens in the first laundry cycle? At $28 (again half off) not breaking the bank but not dir-cheap.  I lean towards sending it back, then reconsider. Not sure, I’m just not sure.  I don’t have a nice slim pant, a slack. This is not fit nice enough to just wear.  Shall I operate? Shall I  trace without ripping seams? Or plan to keep;, rip seams and trace; then operate? It will take 3-4 alterations.  Again, what happens in the first wash?  Ah, life is full of interesting questions and options.

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.