Forest, Trees and BurdaStyle 10/2012 #116

Sewing my way through multiple muslins to fit BurdaStyle 10/2013 #116 was at times very frustrating, but it was also a pretty interesting process.  Interesting now that hindsight has edited out the worst of the swearing and sulking!

I have learned that I am very easily tempted to look at individual fit issues in isolation and that isn’t good.  One or two things catch my eye and I want at them straight away, regardless of whether it makes sense to work on them first.  I get caught up in the minutiae of each set of wrinkles or creases, rather than view the garment as a whole.

I suppose a skinny trou pattern was as good a place as any to learn this about myself.  #116 is not a particularly difficult or complicated pattern you’d think right?

BS 10-2012-116

BurdaStyle 10/2012 #116

BurdaStyle recommends two way stretch gabardine or equivalent but I ended up using woven cotton drill with a hint of lycra.  Still not complicated.

The first muslin doesn’t count.  Too awful.  Muslin #2, in one way stretch calico drill, was almost right and if I had looked properly I would’ve have stopped there.  But I didn’t.  So I didn’t.

BS 10-2012-116 muslin2

BurdaStyle 10/2012 #116 muslin number two

I added some sideways ease to cater for reduced fabric stretch.  Fine.  Then I should have diagnosed a full butt alteration and gone for leather in my ‘fashion fabric’.  Instead I fiddled no end with the crotch curve to try to sort out the wedgie and camel toe, then the   horizontal fold wrinkles in the front crotch caught my attention and I was like a blind dog with a bone.

Muslin #3 I didn’t post because, frankly, it pissed me off too much.  I got horribly confused trying to sort out those pesky horizontal wrinkles plus added unnecessary prominent calf and low butt alterations, raised then lowered the crotch curve different amounts, added front crotch width AND let out the front inseam.

What was I thinking?

It was epic really.  The legs were twisting, fabric was bunching on my calves and under my butt and the wedgie was still there as were those Damned.  Horizontal.  Folds.

Muslin #4 was slightly better but still had a touch of ‘division’ front and back and it pulled uncomfortably when I walked – the crotch curve was not Emily-shaped at all.  There was still bunching down my legs and while the horizontal folds had diminished a little they hadn’t gone.

another muslin #116 2

BurdaStyle 10/2012 #116 muslin number four

I retreated to the lounge to sulk.

A few days later I reviewed all the comments on my skinny fitting posts and went through my books again.  I even ordered a couple of new books.  Then I retraced the pattern with 1″ wide seam allowances throughout and cut it out again making absolutely no changes whatsoever.  The plan was to machine baste it together and start fitting again slowly and methodically tweaking with assistance from said books and several very helpful blogs.

It worked much better and I am still smiling.  They could be closer and better fit and there are still wrinkles and folds but that’s fine this time.  Oh, and here is a picture of the final changes I made to the crotch curve, in case you’re interested.


BurdaStyle 10/2012 #116 crotch curve alterations. Click for detail.

The thing I found most difficult, other than fixating on one fit issue, was sifting through all the information available on trouser fitting and then deciding what I needed to do when and where on my particular project.  It is overload to the nth degree.  So, in the end I used these:

* 3hourspast.comthis bit which links to the relevant posts therein.

* J Stern Designs Blog – there’s a lot of really useful fitting info on Jennifer’s blog plus on a pants sewalong she hosted here.  Thanks to Beata for the links.

* read through my two new books and took note of the words rather than just looking for wrinkles in the fit-issue-diagnostic-pictures.

Oh this is not the end of pants fitting for me.  I know I can I know I can I know I can I know I can.

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33 Responses to Forest, Trees and BurdaStyle 10/2012 #116

  1. Heeeeeeeyyy, long time no buzz! Gosh it’s been forever. You know I love reading your posts because sewing is one of those things I one day wish to master, yet when I look at your photos I nod, somewhat impressed, then read that the item in the photo is actually a mess. Terrible, terrible me. 🙂

    • Long time yes – sorry m’dear. I have been on a technology diet, or something, as haven’t been writing or reading much of anything for an age. Thank you for checking up on me and for reading too …..

      Terrible terrible me too then lol because one day I may master sewing. At least I’m good at pretending and covering up the slip ups. I just can’t help telling everyone about them is all.

  2. sigrid says:

    Looking back at some of my trousers, the original versions that I thought didn’t fit well enough were better than the tweaked out versions. It is HARD to get the different alterations to coordinate.

    • Sigrid you’re absolutely right though at least recognising that is the first step so we can decide whether or not to tweak in the first place. Plus, if we do tweak, whether to decide whether or not to look back and compare against the unaltered version. Hah!

  3. Javie says:

    Wow- I admire your perseverance. And what a great fit you achieved! I tend to get frustrated and toss things on the side after a few trials. Jen Stern is great- I met up with her in the flesh last February and she helped me fit my jean muslin (still need to blog about this- I am a bit behind :P) Fitting pants is not for the faint of heart!

    • Thanks m’dear. Oh wow how cool is that to be able to take a fitting class for trousers. Please do post about it and have you made up your jeans? Do tell. Do do do :). No pressure though of course lolol.

      • Javie says:

        The jeans are still in muslin form- the very same one that Jen fit on me in Feb. I need to get this made into jeans before I gain or lose weight and have to start all over again 😦 Taking a class on trouser fitting helped me because it would have taken forever for me to muddle on this on my own. I’ll try to post about it soon- life has been kind of crazy for me so I am behind in my blogging.

      • Life is crazy and I don’t want to pressure you Javie. Do it when you have time m’dear.

  4. Fitting pants is, if you’ll excuse the intentional pun, a pain in the butt! That said it’s worth it. I’m always guilty of stampeding through the fit without being methodical. And I over fit to within an inch of their lives. Which means to say…you are not alone!

    • Oh thank god! To everything you said 🙂 and thank you for saying it. Fortunately, I am far too stubborn to let anything as “simple” (heaven help me) as a set of trousers stop me. They have been dubbed the Blimmin Trousers in my house though as after wearing them I noticed a sag happening in the butt area. Will need to snug them up. Mutter mutter mutter mutter.

  5. Jo says:

    Wow, so well done, MAJOR kudos to you for it! You rock Emily, they look awesome 🙂

  6. Definitely epic and I commend your tenacity. The trousers, however, look fantastic which is great reward. (And, you know, I keep looking at catalogues and thinking that some of the models are better than others at disguising the crotch creases.)

  7. I’d never have the determination to stick with that process. Well done you! I bet that pattern will make a useful block too.

    • Dog with a stick that’s me! Thanks Catherine and yes the plan is to make this one of my blocks for future tinkering. Once I get the last few wrinkles ironed out sufficiently.

  8. oanh says:

    Your thorough process is astounding and inspirational! I’m oh so close to completing a wearable Clover muslin but have that tightness / pulling across the crotch when moving. Must study more!

    • Thanks Oanh. Sometimes I can’t understand myself. No wait. That happens quite often lolol. I’d love love love love love to hear more about your clover muslin. What do you mean by tightness/pulling across the crotch when moving? Do tell pleeease?

  9. Karen says:

    One thing I have found that is helpful to me when fitting/trying on those muslins – is to put your muslin on with the seams facing out. It looks kind of wild, but it’s much easier to see how the real fit is – and what the comfort level is. It’s also easier to make adjustments with the seam allowances exposed. Anyway, I admire your tenacity!!

    • Oh yes I have seen that in one of my books. I keep forgetting to do it. I guess that means you sew it up with the wrong sides together right?

      The problem with tenacity and lack of skill is that it takes forever to sew anything. Forever. Oh well. Sigh. Can’t change meself though right? 🙂

  10. Oh to read those words about not fixating on specific spots but looking at the thing as a whole had me whooping with glee!! SOOOO important when fitting to keep this sense of the whole. Grasshopper, you are well on the journey to fitting enlightenment!

    • Wow gleeful whoops? Fantastic. I have to say I heard your voice telling me to stop being so fixated on one 🙂 – thank you for that. See what happens when you release the grasshopper? LOL.

  11. symondezyn says:

    Yipes, I feel your head spinning!!! I know EXACTLY the torment of trying to figure out what exactly one’s fitting problem IS, let alone how to fix it!!! Information overload indeed!! I have tried to “read” wrinkles many times in the past, books and tutorials circling around me, overfitting to frustration, and then ended up doing exactly what you’re doing, and just starting over with extra SA… sometimes a fresh start is best, all while trying desperately not to overthink it 😉

    • Its so damned frustrating and I think I have an idea what some of the wrinkles mean. Lordy I can see why load of folk don’t stray beyond a few pants patterns because with new ones, particularly new pattern companies, you have to figure it all out again.

  12. CGCouture says:

    You absolutely can! I didn’t have the chance to comment on your last post (was struggling to catch up my blog reading!), but I thought those looked pretty freaking fantastic. 🙂

  13. Tanit-Isis says:

    Yay progress! And yay you for persevering. I need to make more pants soon…

    • Thanks! Pants schmants …. I need to do another pair as proof before winter finishes :). BTW I really liked your red Clovers. I wonder if you wear them, despite the bits you don’t fancy.

      • Tanit-Isis says:

        So I didn’t wear them much for a long time, and then I got a job where I couldn’t wear jeans and so I wound up wearing them a whole bunch over the winter. There are still things I don’t like about them (I’m just not a fan of the side zip, I think.) If I could find my traced and altered pattern, I’d probably make another pair and tweak it to perfection (a little more height in the back, adding some more length in the leg) but it seems to have disappeared in this past years’ moves so I’m not sure whether I’ll bother or just try some other pattern. I think a lot of my issues have to do with my own (very particular) preferences when it comes to ease and waistband height. And of course fabric stretch is also a wildcard in there. 😉

      • Oh I know what you mean about particular preferences in clothing. The side zip thing is OK but I’ve a pair of trou with a back zip and it rubs on my spine which is worse. Maybe I’ll do a pair with a fly front. Who knows.

        On the fabric stretch front, after two days wearing the back has dropped under my butt so I’m going to have to figure out how much smaller to make them to sort that out. Hmmm

  14. SewingElle says:

    yeah! well done for getting to this stage of realization. And your skinnies look fabulous.

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