My quest to find the perfect fitting pair of pants continues, but work-related drama has been consuming my time and energy. So apologies for the slowdown here on the blog, and I hope this is only a temporary state of affairs.
I thought this round of alterations was going to take me very close to something ideal, or at least something I would move to a test pair with. Instead, I was very disappointed with the changes I’ve made and I feel like I’ve taken some steps backwards.
But first, let’s go over what I did to the pattern after Muslin D, before we talk about what didn’t work out.
Here’s Muslin D deconstructed, pressed, and laid out on my work table. The front piece (to the right) has two different front crotch curves I experimented with, and the back piece has a back crotch curve that has been scooped a little bit more. You can also just see see the purple markings where I added to the back crotch by letting out at the inseam. The side seams are also marked where I pinned out excess curvature at the hip.
Front Crotch Curve
I took the innermost of the two front crotch curves and traced out a seam line in pencil to approximate the muslin.
Here’s the new front crotch curve. Pencil line is seam line, red line is cut line.
Back Crotch Curve
I scooped out yet more of the back seam. Again, pencil line is the new seam line and the red line is the new cut line.
Here’s a closeup of the additional length I’m adding to the back crotch right at the inseam. Again, pencil is the seam line, red line is the cut line.
I redrew the side seams with my metal hip curve ruler, which has less pronounced curves than my regular plastic pattern ruler. Also, I took a longer taper to the knee, and added 1/4 to each piece near the waistband, again to keep the seam straight.
I also put the zipper in back rather than in front, because I wanted it out of the way for the front crotch fitting I wanted to do with this muslin.
How does Muslin E look? Not much better than Muslin D, to tell the truth.
Adding the ease has introduced all kinds of wrinkles and drag lines along the back, and the front is still puffy.
Addressing the Excess Fabric in Front
I attempted to get rid of the fabric in front in what I thought the most straightforward way possible. I pinched out the excess fabric along the center front crotch, and pinned it out (using safety pins, of course).
This got rid of a lot of fabric puddling in the area. But it caused a new problem. The action of “scooping out” the front crotch also lowered the entire crotch seam, so it now hangs an inch lower from my body.
Here’s what the new front crotch seam looked like, after I put a basting stitch in place of the pins. The deeper curve takes fabric and puts it into the seam allowance, but also lowers the seam.
Even the back crotch was affected; the stitch line lowered the point where the back crotch meets the inseam.
I noticed the lowering of the crotch seam immediately – because I got a lot of pull on my front thighs when walking.
Piling One Mistake Onto Another
I decided to raise the crotch point by taking a 1-inch tuck at the hip all the way around, effectively pulling the crotch up so it would meet my body again.
Here’s the full set of photos of Muslin E after this alteration.
The tuck did make the pants feel more comfortable and move more freely. BUT, it caused new problems. It shortened the back crotch seam, and now the back crotch is completely out of adjustment.
The vertical balance lines in back are bowed out once again, indicating insufficient front-to-back depth, and the horizontal lines distinctly show a downward “V”, indicating there is not enough back crotch length. This is easy to tell, because if I make any movement other than standing still (bending, sitting, etc), the waistline wants to pull down in back.
What went wrong?
I think there’s a couple things I could have done differently.
- I ignored the front crotch seam until very late in the process. I now realize I should have done this sooner, together with the back crotch seam. I think I will now have to revisit/redo some parts of the fitting process once I get the crotch seam back in shape.
- I made changes without a clear idea of what the alteration was doing, and what the outcome would be. I kind of winged it by just deciding to pin out the excess fabric in front. That got me into trouble.
- I made too many changes at once in this muslin. Once I did try fixing the front crotch, that led me into changing the back crotch, which led me to taking a tuck. All of them together makes it very difficult to fix the true problem. Instead, I should have backed up once I realized that the front crotch change had unexpected effects.
Time for a Lifeline
On the gameshow “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, contestants could ask for a lifeline.
I’m choosing “Ask an Expert”. I’ve sent this last set of photos to Sarah Veblen, who offers paid consulting via her website. She’s already told me that I’ve made too many alterations, and at least one isn’t helping. I’ll be working with her to get her suggestions for what to do next.
Another lifeline is “Ask the Audience.” If you have any suggestions to make, I’d love to hear them!