Monday, March 1, 2010

Muslin Convert

I've always thought that I just did not have enough sewing time to waste on making muslins. But I have seen the light. Over the weekend, I made pants muslin 2.0 and 2.5, and then cut 3.0 for my Amazing Fit Pants. I had been tempted to scrap this pants pattern after my initial batch of problems. I'm so glad I didn't!

After my initial posting, I had an epiphany: what if the changes I made to the front of the pants to fix the bagginess in the crotch were negatively affecting the back? So, I undid the changes and immediately things were a bit better in the bum. But not perfect. And now the front was a problem too.

In muslin 2.0, I tried to fix both problems by shortening the crotch length in the front while lengthening in the back. The back tuned out somewhat better to be sure, but the front was worse somehow. This is where I had a critical second epiphany about the crotch of these pants. There are two components to the crotch: depth and length.

Crotch depth (distance from waist to crotch)

Crotch length or circumference
(distance from back waist, between the legs and to front waist)

I'd already figured out that the length was too short in the back. But what if the pants were simultaneously too long in the crotch depth? That could cause the bagging in the front. To test this out, I made muslin 2.5, combining the front of muslin 1.0 (the original, better-fitting front) with the back of muslin 2.0 (the better-fitting back). Now, I had enough crotch length. So, on to playing around with the depth. I made a tuck across the tummy and back (about midway between the waist and crotch) to essentially hike up the crotch about 1.5".
I shortened the pattern at the
crotch depth alteration line

Voila! The bagging in the front disappeared and so did the cupping in under the bum in the back. The crotch was looking good and feeling comfy too! However, there were still a few wrinkles across the back thighs.

And this brings me to muslin 3.0. One of the very helpful sewistas at PatternReview pointed me to an article on Special Alterations to Pants that, in part, dealt with "pones" (aka saddlebags). I think the remaining wrinkles are cause by pulling across the saddle bags. Essentially, I need some extra room in the outer thighs. So, this is the purpose of muslin 3.0, which is all cut and ready to be sewn. I'm optimistic that this could be the final version, but if I need to do some fine tuning and make a 4th muslin, that is ok, too.

I can't believe how far I have come with these pants over several muslins and one obsessive weekend. I never would have been able to test out different alterations and fine tune the crotch this way if I had been working with the real pants fabric. Anyway, I am now SOLD on muslin!

PS - Sorry I have no photos of muslin 2.5. My photographer was under the weather yesterday. If he is up to it tonight, I will get some pics.

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