I’m working on Colette’s Clover pants in a bottom-weight cotton-lycra no-wale cord stretch. Previously, I altered the pattern using my basic block. This fitting solution should work on other pants that have the problem of too much fabric through the back thigh area.
After quickly basting the muslin to check the basic fit, I ripped and then stitched the Clovers together except the inseam and hem. This post will focus primarily on the back inseam. I show my pattern work as I go; this is essentially the same process as fitting the Pinkie Pants but more methodically documented.
If your fashion fabric is ravelly, be sure to finish the raw edges. All seams are basted until the fitting is complete.
The red lines shows my first alteration. I did this on the machine, and marked it on the pattern. I deepened the back of the crotch curve by a scant 1/4″ (6mm) and blended the new line of stitching into the crotch curve. Then I sewed the inseam, taking in more of the fabric at the top of the inseam. This is how it translates to the pattern.
The second fit is slightly better. I tend to adjust seams incrementally, to avoid over shooting the mark. If a wrinkle points up to the crotch curve, I know I need to deepen. If it’s horizontal or , I work on the inseam.
I ripped the basting through the middle of the inseam, stopping mid-thigh.
This is what it looks like after I sew it. I try to leave the seam allowances until they get *really* wide, because I’m somewhat conservative about this type of fitting. I want to leave myself a way out until I’m sure I’m right!
At this point, the back crotch curve had been edited several times, so I took out my block and matched up the straight part of the CB seams to check the curve was still curvy enough- it looked as though my editing had straightened it out too much. I corrected it. I’m using the same curved line as the original block because it is a “map” of my seamlines, but it’s dropped about 3/4″ (2cm) at the inseam point. The green line shows the original curved line.
Then I reached down and pinned the inseam while I was wearing the Clovers. Most of the work up to now focused on making sure the back crotch was properly adjusted for the change in the inseam. But now that area is fine and I need to focus on just the legs. If I take fabric only off the back inseam, it causes the side seam to twist around my leg while I’m wearing them. (Ask me how I know!)
The fabric is not pulled taut. It is just pinned, down to my knees where I tapered it off.
Rubbed chalk into the pinned seam and took out the pins.
This is the new back inseam stitching line. I’m pointing to where my line of pins began. I tapered that into the back crotch seam and smoothed out the chalk line.
This is the front inseam. Not nearly as dramatic, but it is a similar shape to the back curve line.
That’s better, but still pretty wrinkly. Remember, I haven’t trimmed my seam allowances yet.
I can live with this. I might only rip the knee area of the inseam one more time to play around with it, but this is the point where I decided the pesky back thigh fabric was sufficiently reduced. And I can still pursue my night job as a ninja.
Nothing crazy in the front, either. I’m sorry about the quality of these photos, I usually take in-progress shots with the computer camera which picks everything up quite well in full daylight but I didn’t finish these until late afternoon.
I’m saving up for a *good* camera and a tripod. It will happen soon.
I transferred my changes to the Clover pattern. It will need a little more refinement, but this is my new stretch “block.” I’ll think about the refinements while I quirk up these Clovers, and post about that and the “fisheye dart” technique next week. In fact, while I was writing this post I had several ideas but they’ll keep for a few days.
If you’d like a crack at working with your own custom fitted pants block, let me know. I’m on it.
AND- if you’re in Brisbane and you’d like to take my Perfectly Fitting Pants workshop, visit Piece Together for more information and to register.
Did you see Lee’s lovely version of the Sisters of Edwardia blouse on Sew Weekly? really suits her, and it goes so well with the K.Hepburn style trousers she made!