Dear Sewing Friends,
I have done a lot of muslin sewing! In my last post I had a break through moment of realizing I had to do what is essentially a flat butt adjustment. I had pinned out the extra folds across the behind but turning a few pins into a workable interpretation on paper was something else, but after a week of trial and error I got there! I am starting this post with the final product.. I got there!
A non saggy back leg. A smooth front. A Customized Crotch..do you think that would be a good title for a book?
A note on my stenciling experiment. I had some good quality but meh cotton, aqua with brown squiggles, that I had fun stenciling with Setacolor paint (made for fabrics) and a stencil from Spotlight.
www.pebeo.com You paint it on, then set it with a hot iron. My results are a bit
I was adding water as an afterthought. Next time I will dilute it by about a third, carefully first.
*Edited to add I have washed these pants twice and they did color bleed but in a pleasingly artistic way fading more in some parts than others. I perhaps should have done more heat setting. Also I have since found out you have to let them dry completely before ironing them to heat set. I wish all this was in the instructions on the packaging!
Anyway, back to the block. I have photographed the messy one that shows what I did. It is still not completely finished.. I will redraw it with a lowered waist because in the above photos my waistband is completely folded over and that's where it wants to sit.
Here's what I did and what worked on my body.
I pinned out a wedge from side to almost-crotch seam to take out butt bagginess. The fold does not go all the way through. I did try that but it did not work. I then put that same amount back further up the side just below the back dart level to even up the side length of the pant. Once again, the fold does not go all the way through, it is identical to the folded out wedge.
I had already lowered both the front and back waistlines as per my markings with elastic on previous muslins. I ended up putting a wedge of length back at the centre back only. Now I had the right waist shape that I can, as already mentioned, put lower. *Edited to add On me the ideal waist is 3.5cm below the belly button and can be snug as long as the crotch curve is adequate.
But this is the most important thing I did. I corrected the grain of the leg, which had been thrown out when I tilted the back torso for my sway back.
The grain of the leg must fall from the centre of the butt or the leg will not hang right. The crease lines on the original frame (see Part 1) do matter as construction lines even if you never ever intend to iron in creases on your pants.
I had to take away some width from the inside of the leg and transfer it to the outside leg seam in order to redistribute width using the crease line. *Edited to add I later took off a tiny bit more (3mm) along the length of the inner leg line and curved inner thigh line a bit more.
I had, in effect, balanced the leg and then the back concertina knee wrinkles were gone. Relief!
I'd done it!
Should I tell you about the things that didn't work? They include:
Taking out a wedge just under crotch point. Still had the leg issues.
Moving a portion of back crotch to front crotch. Nope. The under butt cats whiskers were back and the looser back leg didn't give the look I was after either.
I won't bore you with pictures of the other efforts such as..
Widening the back leg,
Narrowing the back leg (all before I fixed the grain). My epiphany came when I mistakenly put one of the baggier muslins on back to front and even though the torso was off the legs hung perfectly..
Once the leg was balanced I scooped out a bit of width at the inner thigh and finally came out with a decent fit. I think I can now try working with different amounts of leg ease and different styles.
Here is my great wall of muslins.
The yellow dotty one will become pyjamas, I am happy enough to wear the batik around the house. The plain calico will be recycled, maybe into bags. The floral sheets had already been used as drop sheets.
I will do one more post about comparing the block to commercial patterns in my stash, and do the promised reference list.
Right now I need to do anything but sew pants! It's the weekend and the sun is shining.
Thanks for reading,