Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pin & Fine Tune

When I watched one of Peggy Sager's DVDs a few months ago - the pant one I think - she showed how to measure your crotch depth differently than I'd seen before. It was from the waist to the surface you're sitting on but at an angle across the curve of the hip. My number was a long number which is exactly the experience I've had - that I have a long back crotch curve and a higher front crotch curve.

Yesterday, I fine tuned the crotch shape on the Vogue 8712 pants. It took a lot of futzing and I remember doing the exact same thing back in June 2012 when I first sewed this pattern. In the picture above, I'm wearing the 2012 pair inside out and pinning the crotch curve against my body. See those diagonal lines? They mean that the curve needs to be shaped even more which is...

... also what I found yesterday. The serged curve in the image above is the original seam, the next chalk line is the seam you saw pinned in yesterday's posting and the third one is the line I actually ended up stitching on. You can see that I lengthened the curve considerably and yet on my body, this hugs my behind nicely and the pants hang straight.

I made all of the changes from the intersection of the inseam and the crotch seam until I had determined the final shape and then I blended that with the front crotch curve taking off that point you see in the picture above. Don't be afraid to pin and fine tune even if it looks like you're taking off way too much fabric. You'll end up with a much better garment for taking the time. All that fabric is no longer bunched up around the back of me and the finished pants are far more flattering.

The skirt that wants to be a cardigan didn't get much further along except in my imagination. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to go forward with it while I was knitting. One thing I know for sure is that I don't want it at the waist position shown above.

I want it at an empire height. I took these pictures in October when I first started thinking about this project and I haven't changed my mind on that yet. I see the skirt attached to a pieced bodice that I still plan to...

... create starting with this check wool print that goes well with the boucle of the skirt. The goal is to make the finished garment look cohesive which means elements of the bottom half need to come up and elements of the top half need to move down. I love challenges like that. I've removed the elastic from the skirt and cut down center front and I've picked a jacket pattern to use parts from for the bodice and sleeves so I've started... sort of... and... LOL... we'll see what happens next.

Between knitting and dreaming up ideas for the skirt to cardigan project, I spent a considerable amount of time on the Internet researching possible directions for my 2014 goal. Until we know more about Howard's situation, I'm not sure what's realistic - definitely not a production goal - but no matter what, I know that I'll need to be creative because that's how I distress and energize which means it won't hurt to have a sense of direction. I'm pretty sure where I'm headed and I don't want to rush my decision as I want whatever goal I pick to be a year long, sustainable, comforting, creatively encouraging, energizing push. Once I'm more sure, I'll let you know what I'm thinking about.

Are you thinking of 2014 goals yet? If so, will you start now? To me, New Year's Day is simply a check point not a brick wall. Like my birthday in June and the long weekend in September, it's a time when I re-evaluate and make decisions about what I'd like to do going forward and I don't necessarily wait until that date to implement the plan because goals that energize and challenge are welcome any time of the year.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a 2014 idea


  1. would you get the same result by taking one of those flexible rules, shaping it to the crotch shape and then tracing the shape onto the flat pattern?

    1. You could. I've done that before and I find it gives a good starting point and there's always still some fine tuning to do. Just knowing your front and back crotch length can make a difference to altering the flat pattern. You'll know how many inches to increase/decrease. My goal with this posting was to show how much can be safely cut off to get good fit. Sometimes people see it as way too much and are afraid to make that cut.

  2. I used the flexible ruler thing, too. I had two rulers that I bound together, to get the front and back shape as well as the waist height. Then I traced that shape onto a huge piece of paper, and cut it out. Now I have a 'bowl' shape that I know matches my body. I lay that over any pattern that I use. So interesting how that works.....every time I know to make the L in the back, taper to cut 3.5" off the front height, and take that same part you were talking about out of the front curve. interesting about the skirt photos. The first one is ok, no great shakes but not bad, either. Move the skirt up and voila! Wonderful! I can't quite think how you can accommodate that higher waist but I'm sure that you'll come up with something creative! It will fun to see what you come up with for options!

    1. Exactly. I had a template like that and they're fabulous only I find you need to alter the template every time your size changes so this time I pinned and that worked too. It's more about being willing to cut off that unnecessary part and to recognize when you've arrived at what works.

      LOL - I've pulled the starting patterns for the skirt transformation. Hopefully I'll have something to show tomorrow so you can see where I'm going.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.