All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I Hope Emerson Was Right!
I think I have figured out my StyleArc Flat-Bottom Flo Pants after many experiments. What a process! Along the way, I (re)learned some life lessons:
- Too many cooks spoil the broth. I consulted two books and three people to find the best solution to my fit issues. They all provided different solutions, which meant I lost track of all my changes, and I had to start over.
- Be scientific and make one or two changes at a time. On my first go-around, I worked too fast and made way too many changes to the muslin before cutting into my real fabric.
A Good Fit in Six Easy Steps!
In the end, I made a few (ok, six) simple changes to the pattern itself:
- Raised the waistband one inch so it wouldn’t hit me mid-muffin.
- Increased the front-crotch seam allowance by ½-inch because I started with too big a size.
- Added ½-inch to the top of the front inseam to account for my “athletic thighs.”
- Scooped out the bottom of the back crotch ½-inch to account for my droopy derriere.
- Shortened the waistband by one inch because I made too big a size.
- Lengthened the legs by three inches because I’m 6-feet-tall. After one washing, however, I learned I should have lengthened them by four (or maybe five) inches!
Plus Two Changes While Sewing:
And, I made some changes while sewing:
- Increased the side seam allowance to almost 1 inch.
- Increased the center-back seam allowance to almost 1 inch at the top.
And…I Thought of a Simple Way to Make My Muslins Work!
After all of my experimenting, I had two almost-good muslins. They both fit well, but I hadn’t raised the waistline, so they hit me mid-muffin. I was pulling them up all day long. So, I made new waistbands for them! Instead of two-inch waistbands, they now have four-inch waistbands. They stay up great and smooth the muffin top! Both of my muslin fabrics have faded after many washings, which is fine with me. The waistbands will catch up, and I never tuck-in my shirts, anyway.
I think I would have made fewer changes if I had started with a smaller size, but I’d rather have too much fabric than too little. Since I started sewing for myself, I’ve stopped worrying about the size I start with. I just pick the size that matches my measurements. Inches are just inches; size is just a number; fit is what matters. Don’t you agree?