Monday, February 9, 2015

More Than Just A Morning Fit Off

When I woke up Sunday morning, my waist measured 1 1/2" smaller than it did when I went to bed Saturday night. This is what I mean by trying to fit a moving target. My measurements are in constant "motion". It's annoying, frustrating, hard to work with and it is what it is. I'm not going to over-think it or at least I'm going to attempt not to over-think it. I just like my clothes to fit which is why I altered the grey with wonderful rows of hand stitching Myrna pants. They were more than just a morning fit off.

The first time I finished these pants, I remember them fitting fabulously and when I tried them on again, they are obviously too big in the front in a not-at-all flattering way. After removing the waistband, I pinned the excess fabric to get a smoother fit.


The pins are 1 1/4" from the seam line for a total of 2 1/2". That's considerable - in fact, it's so considerable that I tried on the other two pairs of pants I've sewn from this pattern and they didn't have this crotch issue which makes me wonder if it was something to do with adding the extra seam... or... who knows. It could simply be the fabric factor. Either way, fitting is one of the delightful issues of sewing and that's okay. My worst sewn garment is still far better than most RTW.

After pinning the excess from the outside, I rubbed chalk along the pins on the wrong side to mark where the new seam line would be. This is a "temporary" line. It's a starting point. From here, there is fine tuning such as...

... with the chalk dot that is lower than the drawn curve. I had a pin there - and made a chalk mark there - for a reason and even so I start conservative. It's easier to take out more fabric than to put back.

The illustration above shows the first seam line pinned. When I tried the pants on, there was still a bubble at the front so I lowered the line to that chalk dot, pinned along the new line, and then...

... tried the pants on again. In this image, there is a lot of fabric on the inside that impacts the look of the seam. It can't lay as smoothly to the body as it needs to lie until the extra seam allowance is trimmed away. That's something I only do when I'm quite sure I'm not going to need any of the fabric. The image above tells me that I'll be taking out more rather than putting back so I safely trimmed the seam allowance.

Because part of this seam is already serge finished and I'm blending the new seam line into the remainder of the old one, I stitched along the chalk line to form the new seam line and then again 1/4" away for the seam allowance. I then trimmed to the second line and zigzag finished the raw edge. You might think this lowered the crotch point by an inch which - if it had - would have shortened the inseam only all that fabric was bunched up not pulled down straight. Removing the bunching simply cleaned things up.

I adjusted the curve twice and then when it was close to "perfect" basted on the waistband, tried the pants on, and held them in place with an elastic. They are inside out to lie as smooth as possible next to the body and, as you can see, there was still a bubble so I took out another little bit just around the front crotch curve.

The finished pants look slightly tight and that's good because the fabric will relax with wear. The way they were before, I wouldn't have worn them and that wouldn't have been good after all the work I put into hand stitching the seams. Now, they're wearable. I'll wear them to journal this morning just to make sure they are comfortable before wearing them to Sew Expo. LOL - I learned the benefits of a trial wear the hard way. There's nothing worse than being uncomfortable in a new outfit at an event.

What is the take-away? I'm wondering if when I'm using a pattern with an elastic waist, it should perhaps be elastic in the back only. Less ease in the front is far more flattering. I have a few pairs of pants with elastic only in the back and they have a much smoother fit. It's something to think about BUT... I also need to check my math and make sure I didn't cause the problem because those other pants... made from this same pattern... with elastic front and back... they fit pretty good too.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the patience to alter

Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. 
- Joyce Meyer


  1. If you wouldn't wear it the way it is and it's able to be altered - why not? I think we forget that altering to fit was the rule rather than the exception in the past. That was before Fast Fashion and the fact that so many no longer know how to even sew on a button. Good save!

    1. Now that I've worn them and the fabric is relaxed, they need just a teeny tiny bit more saving but they're certainly wearable right now so there's no rush. I want to adjust the waistband about 5/8" lower at center front curved to the sides.

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    1. Thanks for clarifying. Finding the same comment word for word on numerous blogs did not come across in the way you intended. It's nice to know you meant your words sincerely.


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