Sewing schadenfreude… enjoy my Clover conundrum
Firstly, I know I promised to be absent in any photos this post around. But the draft I have all written & ready to go will simply have to wait its turn. I’m in a pants pickle. R’s out of town, so bear with the mirror shots. Isn’t he lucky to be avoiding my hair pulling!
I need your help, oh seamsters of the world. I have sewn three Clover muslins, adjusting each as accordingly as I thought necessary. Each version seems to be worse than the last. Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, I know that these are meant for a fabric with a bit of stretch, and therefore my muslin fabric should have a bit of stretch. Call me a rebel or call me a fool, but I’m using plain ol’ woven cotton muslin. I don’t have any cheap appropriate stretch fabric, can’t quite afford to run out & get some, and there’s that pesky little pact I made regarding the non-purchasing of new items this month.
This is a very simple pattern. But trousers are not simple. All those interconnecting parts that meet in the middle of your moving, 3D body have a lot of pressure placed on them to fit and flatter your front and rear.
Let’s talk things I know: I know I have wide hips. I am 99.99% certain I have a low butt. I may have a short torso, you tell me (I’m 5’6″ and my hip bone protrudes almost as high as my husband’s, who measures in at 6’3″).
Let’s talk things I don’t know: I am still on the fence about whether I have a swayback or not. My butt is big, but mostly wide vs. protruding. My spine curves in at the lower back, but maybe this is mostly an illusion of the pronounced outward curvature of my upper back. I may have large quads. I did enough Bulgarian split squats this summer for that to be in the running.
Let’s take a look at muslin 1, sewn as a straight size 10. We’re all friends here, right? Right. So please ignore my pink panties.
The waist was too loose, to be expected with my hip:waist ratio. There were slight frowning wrinkles in the crotch. The Colette cheat sheet says I have a smaller waist, so I made this adjustment, 1″ total. Furthermore, knowing that I have a low butt and having had made an adjustment for this in the past (yeah, those unfinished jeans I’m always going on about), I lowered the back crotch curve. Even consulted the markings on the jeans tissue. On last quick adjustment I made was to pull the center front seam into the waistband 3/8″, then tapered out to the side seams. I did this just in case I do have a short torso, as I thought it would fix the, ahem, sad crotch.
Hence, muslin 2.
The waist sits much more snugly, so huzzah for that. Don’t worry about the slight pouf/Oompa Loompa thing going on at the side seams, from the waistband to the hip. That is a quick fix by grading. But check out my booty! I feel like I still have a wedgie, and then the fabric just pools & pools under my butt. And now these radiating diagonal lines are worse, as if my butt were just trying to break free. Consults cheat sheet: full butt adjustment? Or did I simply do something wrong with the initial adjustments? Also, lowering the crotch curve should have taken care of the pooling. But with all of the other changes, maybe I made that worse, too? Even the front is frowning more :( Colette’s full butt adjustment looked all sorts of crazy involved to
lazy me. Instead, I consulted over here, deepened the crotch curve a tad more (1/4″) and added some width to the front & back inseams (1″ at crotch, tapering down to pattern piece matching notches). While I never finished Sunni’s trouser sewalong, I have seen her sporting two different pants, including the Clover, and they fit like a dream. I also know the chart she used is from Pants for Real People. I just bought Fit for Real People, and my jeans pattern is a Palmer & Pletsch, so I trust this system all around. Don’t get me wrong – I know that the Colette cheat sheet and all of the related adjustment posts are so incredibly thorough. But to me, they are also confusing. Not in application, but in deciding what my fit issues truly are. I feel like I can stare and stare at the sheet, convincing myself of a myriad of possibilities. A trouser fitting choose your own adventure!
Muslin 3. Totally not the charm.
These look more problematic than ever, no? More pooling under the cheeks, and check out that crazy crotch! Kors would have a field day with these! When I sit, you guessed it – pants tent!!! (Again, ignore the tapering I need to do from waist to hip at side seam.) At this point, I really wish I could get behind the whole jeggings look. But I will not be defeated!
I have half a mind to try something whackadoo…. What if I slashed & spread at the fullest part of my hip, either only in the rear, or rear & front? Would that relax the butt enough to diminish the diagonal wrinkles, and allow the hip to fall more naturally against my body, thus allowing the pooling fabric to hang? Am I off my rocker? Should I start fresh from the standard pattern?
Here’s proof that these jeans do exist, and only need a few tweaks to be wearable. How is it possible I’ve practically made jeans, but can’t fit a basic, four pattern piece trouser. Ugh. (I’ll admit, it was during a jeans class that I sewed these to the point they’re at now. But still.) Again, please excuse the dark mirror shots. I’m going to go drown my sorrows while I await your collective wisdom.