Slimming the JSM

I like the draft of the JSM and fit but I like the current amount of ease with fabrics that drape close to the body.  I also want to wear trousers made of fabrics that don’t stand out from the body, but don’t cling either.  Fabrics like soft twills, crepes in wool and silk. Even polyester or beefy rayons.  I need to adapt the pattern for those fabrics by removing some of the ease across the torso.  (I did point those out with blue arrows in my last post about the 50/50 JSMs. So for a slimmer version I used the hip curve ruler aligning 4 at the waistline and 20 at the side seam. This trimmed an amount between 3/8 and 1/4″ along the side between waist and knee.  The 50/50 JSMs had felt close along the front crotch when first worn. During the day it seemed to stretch perfectly.  I prefer not to expect that behavior from all fabrics and I added 1/4″ length to the front crotch. Otherwise, this is the same pattern as used for the 50/50s.

I thought I was choosing an acrylic/polyester blend woven in a subtle plaid of black and blue.  As I was ironing I could tell this fabric has  a wool content. I had misgivings but continued to use the fabric. I don’t really care to wear wool in the summer.I experience a mild reaction, itching when the wool is against my bare skin.  During the remainder of the year, I can wear either tights or pantyhose and will not even notice the wool content. I could have delayed using this fabric, but I decided it had sat for so long in my stash (about 9 years) and use as a muslin to develop the closer fitting trousers was better than passing over it yet again.   I think it’s interesting to point out the differences in the pattern which are clearly due to a different fabric.
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These look beautiful in the side view. I’m really proud of them. But the back crotch feels tight, like it is just a little short.
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I’m surprised that there is some pulling on the inseam. Is that due to the fabric? The front crotch is 1/4″ longer, but the inseams are unchanged. Both front and back side seams have been trimmed in the leg area between 1/8 and 0 inches.  I think the front also tells an interesting story:
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Remember the front crotch is actually longer. Why does it appear to be pulling upward?  I did see a slight pulling at the front cuffs of the 50/50 pants. Was that fabric so much heavier that it pulled out the additional diagonal lines I’m seeing?  Will this be repeated with other fabrics?  Is this just a fluke with this fabric?

I wore the pants Mother’s Day afternoon because I wanted to know how they felt and behaved during well.  This fabric is wonderful in that it doesn’t wrinkle. It spreads when I sit and then recovers nicely when I stand.  For the next version, I’ve trimmed another slice off the sides but only on the front. This time the slice starts 3″ down from the waist and feathers out to nothing at the knee.  I also added 3/8″ to the crotch at the inseam.  I may be making the front crotch shorter after the next version. Then again judging by the close feel of the back crotch, maybe not.

I’m still pleased with the pattern, but less wild about this version than the previous 3.  Still when cold Autumn winds arrive, I’ll be glad these are hanging in my closet.


Finally Pants To Be Proud Of

My fabric is a 50% polyester 50% acetate blend purchased from Fashion Fabric Club not too long ago. I’d forgotten about it because I purchased it mostly to see what this “suiting” would be like.  To me, suitings are firm, medium-to-heavily bodied fabrics that will make great jackets and pants. I didn’t feel that way when I first  handled this fabric. It was heavy and had a nice drape, but  felt more like a winter blouse than jacket or pants.   Had I not wanted a dark brown fabric and not taken the time to straighten this particular stack, well it would still be hiding in the stash.  I pulled it out simply because I couldn’t find any dark brown fabrics (in my stash) that I thought would be suitable for my Summer 6PAC.  When I handled it this time, I wondered if it might be the perfect fabric for the  JSM pattern as currently fitted. I don’t remember what color it was described as, but it is a nice dark coffee-bean brown:
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Too dark to photo well. To do my review, I lightened the exposure as much as possible with my software and added blue arrows at places of concern.
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I’m showing views both with and without the belt. Normally, I need a belt so pants will hang properly. I’m pleased to share that these pants look only slightly better with a belt than without. I can attribute that to months of fitting with the same waistband and properly interfacing the current fabric. There are several vertical lines indicating too much ease. However, I think this is the type of fabric which looks good with the extra ease. It certainly feels comfortable and I note there is no sign of knock knees with this 50/50 fabric as was on the previous pair.

My only real concern is the diagonal wrinkles between ankle and mid-calve. They occur on both fronts but not backs as if I twisted the front leg. It’s possible this fabric slithered off grain during cutting.  I thought of it has having a lovely heavy drape, but not slithering around like chiffon or some crepe fabrics. It also has a nap and thus definitely a right and wrong side as well as a up or down grain.  I carefully laid out the pattern in one direction and marked the public side. I made only one change to the pattern itself.  I shortened the front crotch by 1/2″.  I’m not sure if that is perfect or a bit too much.  Had this been a knit with stretch, it would be perfect. But as a woven, non-stretch fabric I feel like the crotch is just a smidge too close.

Because of the front leg, if I purchase this fabric again, I’d want to heavily starch before laying out my pattern. I didn’t baste any of the pieces, not even the waistband. I also didn’t add pockets or anything fancy. So this garment received minimal handling.I had inch long ravels by the time I serged the side seams together. In the future I’d finish the edges before doing any other sewing.  It was not cheap cheap but at $5/yard I can’t really complain either. No matter how much I pay for fabric, if I finish it totally, like this, I want to wear it for at least 2 seasons. I’m not sure about this fabrics durability. I’m really waiting to see how the fabric wears before deciding upon whether to add more of the same to the stash. As for the pattern, now that the crotch is perfect (I know that every fabric will need minor tweaking) I’d like to develop a similar pattern with less ease for knits and eliminate the ease indicated by the vertical lines on this pair. I will keep this version because I have other fabrics which will look as good as this pair.


JSM in a New Size

Even though sizing up the pattern was progressing nicely, I wanted the correct size for my body.  It arrived just as I was wearing the last “not bad” version. I compared the altered pattern on which I was working with the new pattern. There were visible but small differences.  I know from experience that 1/8″ can be significant when it comes to pants, so I traced the new pattern. The new size seemed to have more ease (and it should have since it was the next larger size), than my altered tissue. Other than shortening the legs 2-3/4″, I didn’t measure or alter the pattern. I was so confident that this new size would fit well that I choose a couture gabardine ordered from Fabricmart sometime last year.  I stitched together with a 3.5mm length straight stitch. That’s a bit longer than usual but I felt that tweaking the fit would be necessary and wanted  to easily pick out stitches when needed. I serged the edges  and pressed all seams open.  I fused the hems in place and basted the waist band with belt loops before the first try-on.

I was stunned. The pant was obviously too tight.  I let out all the seams. I know that added at least 1-3/4″ ease. I also stitched the waistband at 1/4″ instead of 1/2 to add length to the crotch. Nothing doing. The first version was a total flop.  I was so perplexed, I measured the pant. As near as I can tell the fabric shrank when ironed. I didn’t expect that to happen. The tag says cotton with 1% lycra.  It did say to dry clean. I had already run this fabric through the laundry. Stunned is all I can say.

My next fabric was 100% polyester. This is an old fabric but has about the same amount of stretch as the previous gabardine.  Definitely checks the mark for using up the ancient stash.  In its time, this high quality fabric was something looked for when buying RTW.  However my tastes and comfort levels have changed. As I pressed the fabric, I wondered why it wasn’t already in the muslin box.  I was leery about the pattern ease and I thought about it for a while. I really couldn’t believe the cotton had shrunk so much under the iron especially after having been preshrunk. What’s the point of “couture gabardine” if it can’t be crisply pressed?  Just to be safe I added 1″ ease to the front and back pieces.  I also added a 1/2″ wedge to the back crotch and used the “plus waist” which JSM provides.  The plus waist is about 1/8″ wider at the sides, 1/4″ angled in at the center front and maybe 1/8″ taller.  I didn’t bother with pockets or seam finishes.  I stitched the pieces together with a 4mm stitch length and 1/2″ seam allowance.  To my horror, it fell off my hips during the first try-on.  I took the sides seams in at  1/4″; then another 1/4″ and finally 1/8″ distances from the original 1/2″. The wad between my legs was uncomfortable but the pants finally sat at my waist and had some semblance of shape.  So yes, cotton had shrunk considerably.

I didn’t want to wear pant #2 because of the fabric.  I chose a 3rd fabric a cotton/poly blend. It has a little more stretch than the previous fabrics but has a good hand for pants. On pant #2 I added 1″ ease. I now removed half of that before cutting fabric #3.   I skipped pockets once again. I serged the side, inseams together; basted the crotch and waistband  with 3/8″ SA,  fused the  hems into place for the first trial.  Pant #3 is still too large, but I’m not sure if the pattern is too large or if the fabric has too much stretch.   I finished the pant by stitched all seams at 3/8″ and using a blind stitch for the hems. The result:

I took pictures after wearing these for about an hour. I think this is how the basic JSM  should fit. The hem circumferences are 20″. That’s the widest that I think looks good on me.  I think the fabric has softened and stretched by being worn.  There are not ugly drag lines emanating from either crotch. I see a slight indication of knock knees on the back.  if this was a nice soft wool crepe or drapey rayon or linen, the pattern is fine as is. I do plan to wear these, in fact the plan is to keep this version intact because I have a few fabric that would be perfect. What’s really nice is that I arrived at this point so quickly. Yes the garbardine was a spoiler. If I had started with a more stable fabric, I would not have wasted my time adding the inch of ease. However, the 1/2″ wedge added to the back crotch was critical to getting these pants to look good and feel comfortable.

For future style changes, I’ll copy the tissue before applying my ideas.  I’d like to shorten the front crotch. Wear has confirm my initial impression that the front crotch is a bit too long.  I’ll also remove another 1/4″ ease from both front and back.  I’m toying with the idea of making the knock knee adjustment.  With this much ease there is just a hint, and that’s after wear, that knock knees could be a problem.

Overall, I think I finally have a good trouser pattern.

PS I’m not sure what to do with the couture gabardine.  I still have almost 3 yards of this stuff.  I don’t think I can even use it for muslins.


Re-Fitting JSM

That would be the JSM Tailoring block for pants. If you aren’t familiar with it, I highly recommend giving it careful consideration.  It’s called a basic pant pattern and I think is a good trouser draft vice slack or jean draft. It has an upright back crotch with nice large back extension — the better for those of us with behinds to sit upon. The front crotch is shorter than the back and it too is upright. It’s like a big U with most of the bottom curve attached to the back crotch.  The grain line nearly neatly divides the pieces in half. The pattern includes a modification for the full waist. Since the first use, it has fit me with minimal changes.  I always have to shorten legs. Like most patterns it is drafted for the 5’6″ beauty. I’m 3″ shorter. The legs would drag the ground if I hemmed this pattern as given.

I actually started to buy the next larger size. My hips have expanded beyond the range of the pattern I have on hand and almost to the size after that.  It was the debate between buying one or two sizes larger that had me checking the TJ902 against my current pattern. I was astonished to see that they were nearly alike. Tj902 was a little wider at the waist and the crotch is shaped a little differently. But much the same size.  I traced a new copy of my existing JSM.  I fit my patterns from a clean copy. As times goes along and my figure shifts I make changes to the copy.  Eventually, the copy has changed so much it barely resembles the original. I didn’t think simply reversing the changes would do. Hence new copy.  Since the biggest difference between the master copy of JSM and the fitted TJ902 seemed to be at the waist, I also used the full waist modification.  I wasn’t sure about the crotch length/depth.  According to my measurements the back crotch was more than 2″ too short while the front crotch was 1/8″ too long. Although the JSM crotch is more upright it is still cut on a bias.  Bias will stretch an amazing amount. I decided to shorten the leg 2-3/4″ (as my measurements indicated), add 1/2″ to the hip ease front and back but leave the rest to be detected via muslin.

My muslin is a polyester “suiting” from Fashion Fabrics Club.  I bought it specifically for this purpose, muslining, however I’m a bit reluctant as this “suiting” would be more suitable for blouses than for jacket, vests, skirts or pants.  I paid $2 a yard for it and really, I just want a quick check to see how far off the pattern is from my new shape. To my surprise it fits better than TJ902:

It definitely feels tight through the crotch and looks just a little large in front and a little long at the hem.  I no longer wear high heels. My highest is a 1.5″ wedge. Hem is easy to fix. Crotch concerns me. It looks to be pulling in the front as if, contrary to the measurements, it is too short in front. I’ve zipped this together using the serger and 1/4″ seams. Possibly increasing to a normal or just larger seam allowance will take care of the extra ease, but the crotch length will need a different adjustment. I’m not willing to do a lot to this cheap fabric. I didn’t every plan to wear this fabric. What I really want to know right now, is how much the crotch needs to be lengthened. So I change the seam allowance at the waist from 1/2″ to 1/4″ and take a new set of pictures:

Well, that opens a new can of worms. Suddenly there are wrinkles everywhere. But I’m intrigued. Not enough to rip out serging from cheap fabric, mind you.

I make a few minor changes to the pattern.  I add 1/4″ to the front crotch extension which is immediately smoothed back into the inseam.  Above the hip balance line, I add 1/2″ length across both front and back. I choose a new fabric. It’s a polyester but a polyester I used to love for work.  It has a lovely wear which is soft to the touch, almost velvet like but clearly a twill. The biggest problem with this particular fabric is that it snags.  We used to love it because it was ‘wash and wear”. Truly anytime at the ironing board was wasted. This fabric would look no better after being carefully pressed. But it also looked no worse for having been stuffed in a suitcase and flown 1500 miles. This fabric should serve as a warning against stashing fabric. While highly desired 10 years ago, today I’m wishing I’d used it sooner as I know that I’m using what was once expensive in a garment that at most will be worn once.  Oh one other feature. It drapes nicely. That would be nicely for a skirt. As pants it tends to cling to every curve. Every. Single. Curve.–that I’d like to keep concealed. Well it is what it is and the first try on was surprising:


How could a pattern which had too much ease -without changing the ease- now look too tight by revealing panty lines?

I make several adjustments, 12 to be exact.  I want to see exactly what  caused the issues above.  I know that fabric is a factor, but I’m having problems with the idea that a better fabric is solely responsible for a worse fit.  Along the way I discover that I’ve (a) stitched the 2-piece waistband with the wrong seam allowance making it too short; and (b) tightened my belt too tightly.  The simple act of letting out the belt a notch and then stitching the center back at the correct width, solves many issues.

I also work with the idea that the side seam is too long.  IOW I should have added the 1/2″ length only along the crotch by using a wedge instead of the even 1/2″ that I added.

Eventually I realize, I’m making no more improvement regardless of the fitting tweaks I try. I’m back to dancing around the issue. Raise the front; the back looks bad.  Raise the side, more wrinkles develop further down; and nothing will cover the lumps the fabric insists upon clinging to.

I decide to change fabric and change the length alteration from an even amount to the wedge. I also decide, I need to wear a pair of these.  That’s the only way I know how the fabric and pattern are really going to work. So far I’ve been using a bull-dog clip and belt to hold the pants together and in place at the natural waist. There’s a limit to how accurate that can be.

My next fabric is beloved although no longer popular for RTW.  It is a cotton crinkle. Sometimes it contains rayon. I don’t see the shine of rayon fibers but I don’t indulge in a burn test either. This fabric is heavy but still wonderful to wear in the summer. It derives some stretch from the crinkles which can expand as needed.  Over the years I’ve bought both RTW and fabric in various weights.  I like this particular weight with a medium width leg, which the JSM is. It finished with a 18″ hem circumference.  I added belt loops. They’re kind of big, because with this weight they don’t fold down neat and small but remain substantial.  Most of the time I wouldn’t care but the basic JSM is drafted with a waistband that finishes 1″ wide. The 1″ wide waistband and 1/2″ belt loops are incongruous. They don’t really work together. Fortunately, both will usually be covered by my tops.

One further note on fitting this pattern.  I’m using 2 darts in the back 0 ZERO in front. This is typical for me but maybe not  for someone else.

This was stitched together with 3/8″ seam allowances and the edges serge finished. The waistband, closure and hems are fully finished. Sure it could be altered, but who want’s to rip through all of that, especially when the fit is good, almost great.  The wonderful thing about using this really good fabric is that I can tell immediately what is causing all the issues and I do mean all. The front crotch is too long. Yes I even think that causes the wrinkles at the knee (both front and back). The pant is dropping in the front.  I may fix this. I may not. I haven’t worn them for a full day yet and want to know if there are other factors for me to worry about. Personally, I like these even if there is room for improvement.




originally published 4/10/12


This is why we love and work towards TNT’s.  This is the same JSM pattern I was fitting a week ago.  I was almost finished however didn’t like the way I had added to the crotch extension.  I traced new pattern making 3 changes.


I added to the back crotch extension by slashing downward through the deepest part of the U.  I am concerned about this because while it added the length I needed without adding to the length of the inseam, the scoop nearly disappeared.  I also added ease to the side of the hip.  But then I removed ease from the side-front.

These pics are the first try-on.  I’ve serged the side seams and hemmed the legs but have only basted the waistband to the pants.  All I need is a few tweaks.  I need to remove about 1/4″ from both sides at the waist.  I still see a bit too much ease across the thigh (both front and back). But I won’t make further corrections and won’t transfer the change back to the tissue.  This fabric used to be called “Calcutta”. I’m not sure if it is 100% cotton or if it is a blend. It has deep crinkles which almost act like knit stretch.  It might be possible to take these in a little bit more but I’m inclined to fix the waist and call it done. .


What happened to the CJ1010 posts?  I took them down. Temporarily.  I’ve asked for the designers help in fitting CJ 1010.


JSM_0401 Side Seams

originally published 4/5/12


So sorry but you don’t get to see the final pics. The pics just before the final, have an ugly yellow cast which also happens to blur wrinkles.  I have no idea how good the final pics are.  I took final pics and then because these pants have been handled so much and covered with erasable markers and water color pens, I threw them into the wash.  I uploaded the pics. I have no idea where. It’s one of the things computers can do to even the computer savvy.


In the final fit, the wrinkles above the hip are removed. There is still excess ease in the thigh.


As planned, I fit the side and the waist/high hip area concurrently.  I dropped the waistband another 3/8″ down from the top edge at the side seams, tapering to nothing at the out most darts (both back and front).   I removed almost 1.5″ only from the front side seam between 3 and 10″ down from the waist by offsetting the front and back seam allowance.  That effectively removed the vertical folds in front and nearly all of the side drapes.



In the final fit, the drapes at and above the hip are removed. The knee and lower leg look the same.

Although the vertical folds are gone, I still have kind of a bubble in front


In the final pic, the vertical wrinkles on either side of the zipper and diagonal wrinkles below the dart are elminated

I’m really surprised at this because I don’t remember ever having this issue with my JSM pattern.

But, I’ve worn, sewn, and ripped this garment too many times.  The waist band had stretched. At least I think it stretched. My waistline tends to change size during the day and I’ve been fitting these over 3 days time.  Anyway, I had to refit the waistband.


I realized that I’ve become overly-enamoured with fitting from the pics.  I think it took far too long to fit these pants.  Towards the end, I realized I had completely abandoned the time honored fitting technique of check in the mirror and pinching out.  I have been looking at the pic, trying to estimate where the issue is and how much to remove.  By standing in the mirror and actually pinching out the excess in the front, I was able to solve the front vertical folds immediately.  I then pulled up the side, until the side drapes seemed to disappear. I took pics, the yellow ones that are hard to see, and then retook the pics which were uploaded into the ethers.   So I do believe that I’ve fixed the fit issues from the thigh up.  I haven’t looked into the excess ease over the back thigh.  I did add belt loops before stitching everything permanently.


In the end, I felt uneasy. Oh these pants are fine and I will wear them.  It’s just that having made 90 tweaks feels like overkill.  Like I’m correcting the wrong thing or in the wrong order. I keep thinking that fitting should be a fairly elegant process.  I should know what my body needs and how to achieve it without many alterations and fitting sessions. I need to think about this.


JSM_0401: Crotch

originally published4/3/12


I’m reporting on #2 in the sdBbev Pants Fitting Order:

  1. Waistband
  2. Crotch
  3. Waist
  4. Hip
  5. Thigh
  6. Knee


After deciding that it was time to make the back crotch a little longer, I had to face the How To question.  My TJ906 and JSM patterns share a very similar crotch. I call it the fish hook.  Because it’s neither the usual “J”

seen in the Big 4 or the beloved L

introduced by Indy companies. The Fish Hook



curve drops deeply into the rear of the pattern and then rises to meet the front crotch.  The problem for me was how to make the total back extension longer.  I’d already scooped it deeper. Which helped, but I can’t do that again.  I didn’t add enough ease to the back. Whatever you measure at your widest, you must have that, plus 1-3″ of ease (ease is subjective) plus seam allowances in fabric width.  I’m down to a scant quarter inch in the seam allowances.  If I scoop out more, I’m going not going to have the total width in fabric that I need to cover my rear.  So instead of scooping I need to add to the crotch point.  That’s really pretty easy to do.  I will add a gusset in the crotch area.  I’ve done this many times. I’m nearly an expert at adding crotch gussets. In fact, I will deliberately use a gusset when I’m short on fabric.  My problem is, I don’t remember how I extended the crotch 3? 4? years ago.  I need to maintain the Fish Hook shape. I really believe this shape is the key to Pants Which Fit Me.  If I continue the back crotch arc in an upward direction, it’s not going to correctly meet the front crotch.  I can’t just extend it horizontally either.  A wide plateau, makes for a wonky crotch. Believe me, ’cause I’ve tried that one.  In retrospect, what I needed to do was slash at the bottom of the arc and spread.

Retrospect, because I couldn’t remember so I did Nancy Zieman’s pivot and slide technique. I must have done something wrong, because not only was the crotch now 1/2″ longer, the back inseam was at least 1″ longer.  I wasn’t sure what to do. But being me, I stumbled forward  and eased that extra inch onto the front inseam. Did it work?  Well, I sewed the inseams together and then the crotch and tried it on.  I didn’t take pictures, because the crotch felt like it was now about 3″ lower.  Even odder, the waistband felt longer????

I figured I had nothing to lose, I could always chop of this gusset and make another, so I ripped out both crotch and inseams again.  This time I stitched the inseams even. In aligning the crotches, the back at the center was 1/2″ higher than the front. I stitched the 1/4″ front crotch seam allowance and then tried the pants on again.

This is all basting stitches. Sometimes basting with water soluble thread in the bobbin. I’ve haven’t trimmed or clipped.  The most I’ve done is rid the sewing of excess thread.  I mention this because I was totally stunned at the difference.  DH happened downstairs and agreed to take pictures.  He asked me “How do these feel?”. I said “perfect” and they did.  I like my trousers to hang from the waist but otherwise be unnoticeable. (I like my jeans to hug my body and make me feel s*xy.)  His 2nd response was, “Then don’t do anything else to these pants. They can’t get better.” It is always wonderful when your family supports you.


The CROTCH is FITTED/FINI/DONE.  Now keep in mind, these pants have been tried on multiple times over a period of a couple of hours.  So there are wear wrinkles.  At this fitting, I’m most concerned about all those diagonal lines that were on both front and back inseams.  They have disappeared completely.

I didn’t get my pants smoothed into place for the pic. DH was hurrying me along

The side is looking better too. I’m not even seeing the diagonal lines above the high hip on the side.  (Last fitting they started within the back darts, crossed the side and terminated in the front darts.) I suspect those high hip diagonal lines could be a result of hurrying through the photo-op. But I am seeing a draping of pant fabric on the side, like a mini drapery swag.

The front crotch and inseam looks as good as it feels

Yes they badly need pressing But the CROTCH is DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Logically I know I shouldn’t do this.  I know that I should tweak for those diagonal wrinkles crossing the back darts and the swags on the pants side by working on Fit Order #3 Waist.   And I will.  It’s just that the front vertical lines are really bugging me.  They are on either side of zipper.  I can’t think of a time when vertical lines don’t mean excessive ease.  So I shouldn’t do this, but -working on #3-I’m going to drop the waistband another 1/8″   from back darts to front darts and at the same time (working on #4), I’m going to offset the side seams so I can stitch the front seam allowance at a deeper depth to remove that front ease. Truthfully, I thought the vertical lines would disappear when I traced the regular instead of plus option from the master pattern.  I don’t recall having this issue before and I’ve used this draft for 3-4 years.  But since the vertical lines are consistent on both versions,,,, well I’m going to fix it.,


JSM_0401 Waistband

originally published 4/2/12


This is a continuation of the previous JSM posts which was started when I determined that I need to go up a size due to excessive Thanksgiving and Christmas treats. I anticipate several posts as I fit this muslin in my final preferred order:

  1. waistband
  2. crotch
  3. waist
  4. hip
  5. thigh
  6. knee.

I’m terribly pleased with my first muslin  but recognize that I made a lot of changes to get to that point.  I much prefer and know that I can achieve a pattern which requires tweaking at the waist and side seams only to accommodate the new fabrics peculiarities.  To do that, I need to copy my changes to my tissue and retest/muslin using the altered tissue. So

I pulled out the master pattern again. I decided to keep the plus size option for the back traced.  I trimmed the 3/8 I’d added to the side seam. Then from the thigh to the waist, I did a slash and spread adding 3/8 only into this area.   I also trimmed the 1″ added at the top of the crotch and made it an even 1/4″ all the way across.  I kept the deeper crotch shape copied from TJ906. Interesting the regular back, had two darts at the waist, whereas the plus has only one.  Since two darts had been essential to fit the first muslin, I traced the two darts from the regular onto the plus-sized back.

Then I turned my attention to the front tissue.  I traced the regular waist/hip option instead of the plus.  In my alterations to the first muslin, I had removed almost 1.5 inches from the side. Clearly, at least to me, my plus is all in the back.  I removed the 3/8″ added to the side seam of the front just as I’d done to the back excepting I didn’t add any additional width across the front anywhere. I did add 1/4″ across the top waistline, just as was done for the back.  I pondered the front dart situation.  The regular front has only 1 dart.  I had needed those two darts otherwise the front would have been gathered.  I’m wanting a smooth line at the waist.  The angle of the center front and fly flap were wrong. Enough wrong to have produced the vertical fold I’d been unable to remove previously. So I pondered, having already removed the 3/8 from the side seam and an estimated 1/4″ from the center front, would I need that 2nd dart?  I elected to trace only the single dart, knowing I could add the second dart if it was needed.

Despite having already chosen and prepared the fabric for the next pair of pants, I stopped and contemplated the tissues before me. I continued my contemplations over night.  I was bothered by something and initially couldn’t ferret out the source of my unease.  Eventually I realized: the fabric of the previous pair had considerable stretch. Not as much as a knit jersey, but still considerable flexibility.  This next fabric has none.  It is a firmly woven 100% cotton, with a slightly rough texture akin to homespun.  I like this fabric for summer wear and often buy a 2 yard cut when I can find it.  I’m the one who needs to be fully clothed year ’round.  I sunburn easily and painfully. So when the rest of the world dons short shorts and tank tops, I’m looking for thin, light weight fabrics which are opaque not transparent to cover arms and legs fully.  This fabric fits the bill, but will it fit me anywhere near as well as the fabric with all the stretch? The one factor in it’s favor is that I did not fit the previous pant tightly. I made the waistband close enough to keep the garment hanging from my waist instead of sliding down to my hips. Otherwise, I sought only to remove enough fabric to eliminate folds and wrinkles.

Despite my reservations, the next morning I proceeded to cut the fabric without further alterations.  I stitched the darts and the zipper in permanently. All the other seams including the hems is basted with that long lovely basting stitch my HV Ruby produces.

I took my own fitting advice.  I basted in the waistband and wore the pants for a good while. I used this time to observe how the garment felt on me as a whole. Did it feel too tight or too loose? Was I hitching it up or pulling it down?  Did I feel a breeze on my backside?  As time passed I find that the waistband, trimmed to fit the stretchy woven, is just a bit too tight for this firmly woven fabric.  This puzzles me.  Unless my waistbands will enclose elastic, they ares always interfaced end to end and both sides. My waistbands should be stable and the same size from fabric to fabric.  Why did this waistband feels a little too tight? Then I begin to feel the crotch – which is actually longer than the finished crotch of the previous muslin- was too short overall.  Some quick pics (not to be shared) indicated that the front crotch was, if anything, too long. But the back was clearly cutting up into me.

Hmm, next I didn’t follow my own advice. By the time I got back to fixing the waistband, I’d  had enough rubbing in the crotch area to want to do something nowdammit. I increased the length of the waistband 1/8 on each end, total 1/4″.  I also measured and marked carefully, because I would be transferring this to the tissue, 1/4″ down the back crotch. Finally basting along the line I’d just drawn effectively scooping the crotch another 1/4″.  I’m uneasy about making two alterations and inexplicably  decide to go for broke.  I also drop the waistband 1/4′ lower onto the pant waist starting from center front across front darts, side seam and up to the first back dart. I know from wearing muslin #1 as I’m sewing this muslin #2 the front crotch really needs to be shortened. I drop the waistband on the sides because I see the same type diagonal lines on muslin 2 that are forming on muslin 1 as muslin 1 is being worn. Whoose, I hope you were able to follow the reasoning, because while I used basting stitches on everything, I think I did good.

There’s not too many places where I feel changing 1/8″ is going to make a real difference.  The waistband and crotch are two of those places.  Adding a total of 1/4″ to the waistband, now makes it totally comfortable while still making my pants hang from my waist instead of my hips. Th WAISTBAND is DONE. I’m not sure about the position of the waistband on the pant-body or the length of the crotch.

Starting with the pic of the back… I immediately gave a big sigh of relief when trying these on.  The crotch felt so much more comfortable. The back crotch no longer followed the lines of my private anatomy.  On my computer I’m able to zoom in and really study my backside.  I’m undecided.  While the it looks fine right in the crotch, I think it could be too tight across my rear. Yet I know that when wearing, it feels like there is sufficient ease.

The diagonal wrinkles puzzle me. They are forming well above the widest point of my rear and to the side. They are not pointing to the crotch, nor specifically to the waist. They are more directly underneath the back darts and echoed about an inch below the waistband.   On the one hand, I associate these as the result of my tush pulling against the bottom of the crotch (which I don’t feel). On the other I see these as a result of  the sides being too long allowing the fabric to drape and fold. They continue, brokenly, across the high hip on the back, to the side and then stop on the front just before and just below the front dart. I’m really asking, do I need to drop the waistband another 1/8″?  Or do I just need to smooth these downward?

To my surprise the front, which looked perfect but  slightly too large when the waistband was unfitted, has now developed vertical folds. The same vertical folds I was unable to remove from the first muslin. And clearly they are dimpling at my upper pantie line.

I don’t really want to analyze the rest of the pant until I’m sure about this hip area. But I un-zoom and look to see if there are any over all indications.  To my surprise the back, which often tortures me with X wrinkles, has diagonal lines all pointing to the center of the crotch. Look at the front and similar diagonal lines are visible from knee to crotch. OK not really surprised.  I’ve had to add 1/4″ to the previous more slender JSM’s and my TJ906’s at the very same point.  I think it’s time now to admit something is too short in that area.  Crotch is not fit.


JSM: Side Seams

originally published3/31/12


Yes I had to return to fitting the side seams.  I really should take my own advice about fitting from top to bottom., although the time spent fixing the angle of the side seams was not a loss.  The backside from waist through crotch and to the top of the thigh looks fine and I really don’t want to affect it at all.




I knew that I had too much ease across the front abdomen and have fitted this area twice.  I ripped the side seam even further, it’s now open from about 1″ below the waist to the mid thigh.  I want to transfer these changes to the pattern, so I’m carefully measuring where and how much is being changed.  Since the back seems to look good, I’m shifting the seam allowances so the back SA remains the same, but the front is now 5/8″ larger.  I’m not sure that words can adequately describe the process.  What happens is that the pant is still right sides together for sewing but the side seam edges are offset by varying amounts. In effect, I’m taking  in only the front. Which is what I want to do through the abdomen. I may not be able to take out as much as I want. For one thing, off setting the seams can produce wrinkles and could have to be undone.  I’d rather have a little extra ease than a garment which hangs poorly.  Secondly, my hips are not one smooth curve from waist to knee. I have a distinctive divot about 3 inches from the waist and again at the hip socket. I think it’s more attractive to allow additional fabric in these areas to smooth my figure.


I think I’m going to call the abdominal area “fitted”.  I’m pleased to find that the side seam still hangs fairly straight. I mean, if the side seam is slanted, I can’t tell it.

I do see the horizontal wrinkles on the side rear. I think this is due to the way I’m standing and how the pant is adjusted on me.  I had an issue with the camera and batteries and rather hurriedly shot the pictures.  When you have a fitting helper, they can adjust the hang of the garment, point out that you’ve locked your knees and smooth out the wrinkles.  When you’re on your own, well, I don’t always get all that done.  I also know that my clothing will never look in public like it does for these photos.  For these fitting photos, I have the place marked where the camera goes; the place marked for me to stand; and then during the 10 second delay before the flash, I adjust the garment, my posture and smooth the wrinkles.  In public, I rarely stand still for 10 seconds. Anytime I move, the garment is going to have wrinkles that aren’t in these fitting photos. But that’s OK. I know that happens.  And sometimes during the fitting photos, I just say “Whoops. Better luck with the next set” and go on about my business. So yes I see those wrinkles, but I’m in the “whoops” mode. I think those will go away especially since they haven’t been there in the 3 previous photo sets.


I’m mostly concerned with one particular wrinkle in the front.

It’s above the knee, and if you tell me you can’t see it, I will be so happy.  There are times I’d swear that the camera adds things.  There is a ripple or a roll in the fabric across the abdomen.  It is vrertical and about 2″ to the right (as I’m looking at it ) of the zipper. It’s been there every time.  From the position, I almost think it would be better to remove it by altering the tissue between the center front and the zipper flap. This is another one of those cases where you need to add/remove the ease where it is needed or occurring. Already, the front is greatly improved from the first fitting:



That was a sack!  I’ve removed most of the ease in this abdominal area, but the roll stubbornly remains.  The good and perplexing news, is that it is not visible in the mirror only in the photos. So I’m calling this good and




What’s next?  I’ve always wished to remove a little more ease from the back thigh. I don’t know if it’s possible. Besides in a trouser, that extra ease is expected. I also would like to trim the legs just a bit. My preference is no more than a 20″ hem circumference.  In a trouser 18″ is my preference.  These have a 19″ circumference.  But I don’t want to work on these two areas now. With this pair of pants.  I’ve made a lot of changes.


  • Tissue:
    • Knee and hem lengths adjusted to my own
    • Plus size hip added to both patterns
    • 3/8″ added to front side seam
    • 3/8″ added to back side seam
    • 1″ added to center back seam
    • 3/8″ added across top of both front and back
  • Fabric:
    • 1/2″ removed from length of waistband
    • Side seams marked
    • 2 darts added to front
    • 2 darts added to back
    • Varying amounts removed from top at waist
      • 1/4 center front
      • 1/2″ sides
      • 1″ back
    • 5/8 removed from side seams
    • back crotch scooped 1/2″



I’m not even sure I’ve got all the changes listed. What I want to do now, is finish these; hang them in my closet and wear with pride.  Then transfer the changes back to the pattern AND make another pair. I’ve got lots of aqua green that needs to be used up.


JSM: CrotchFitting

originally published3/31/12


I think I got my fitting order out-of-order.


The WAISTBAND absolutely must be my first area to fit.  My waist is the hanger for the pants and it is the waistband that sits on the hanger.  If the waistband is not correctly fitted, there are numerous wrinkles and folds for which there is no cure; and the ones I do cure will have to be reversed.


So I fitted the waistband but then I looked at the side seam. In retrospect the sideseam should not have been checked at this point.  Because I tweaked to correct the side seam and then made 5 more alterations trying to remove the the wrinkles across my lower back.  They’d improve one time and be back the next.  I started wondering if I was looking at length when I should be looking at width.  In sheer desperation, I ripped out the side seams from 2″ below the waist to 10″ below the waist.  I had plenty ease then but no improvement to the low back wrinkles. The problem was I was trying to correct the side seams and the low back wrinkles before I’d fitted the crotch.


You know what I did.  I scooped out the crotch bottom of pant back.  I used the back crotch pattern from TJ906 and super-imposed it over the pattern so I could draw the same curve on this pattern as the wonderful fitting TJ906.  I was tired of fighting this  and know that eventually I always scoop out the crotch anyway so I gave it try now. Dang crotch felt pretty good and most of the wrinkles were gone, but I still had that big bubble under the back waistband and the bubble in the front.




So I carefully measured and removed, at the waist, 1″ from the center back, 1/2″ from each side and 1/4″ from the center front. You’ve got to see this.  Not only is the crotch perfect, but the lower back wrinkles ARE GONE!



Next I need to check the knee position I can’t correct that and it really doesn’t matter on this pair of trouser pants.  What I’m doing now is building a nice basic pattern I can use for a blue print to fit other styles and a fitting order to use in the future when my weight drops requiring smaller sized clothing.  So while the knee is not critical for this pair, I do want to identify on my pattern when I need it for those future pairs of pants. I don’t plan to take or share pics.


Then it’s time to stitch those side seams up again, however, I believe that right now I’m going to pin them together checking for ease.  I have a feeling I’m not going to be pinning an even 5/8 on both front or back.