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Alteration for lowering back curve on pants
Wrinkles under back curve gone
woggy
woggy  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/14/13 4:38 PM

So many of us older women, who make pants, struggle with the back crotch curve not being low enough to curve around and under the lower edge of our fanny that has decided to no longer be PERKY.

I have finally found the alteration that puts the back curve exactly on the edge of my lower fanny. This alteration has eliminated those pesky wrinkles/folds that radiate from under the curve that I got no matter what alteration I did to remove them – and I have tried every alteration imaginable. Except, of course, the one I did not do until this past weekend.

The shape of my fanny has dramatically changed over the years and this change has caused multiple fitting issues. The biggest issue is my uneven pelvis. I have scoliosis and the top of my right pelvis is lower than top of my left. This unevenness has caused the edge of my right fanny to be lower than my left.

The edge of my right fanny caused the curve/inseam to collapse which created a fold or a few diagonal wrinkles. These wrinkles weren’t all that bad but I just knew there had to be an alteration to remove them. The wrinkles/folds were right beneath the curve not farther down in the thigh area.

I did the famous fish-eye dart this weekend. Debbie Cook’s website has a terrific tutorial on this alteration. Her tutorial is a synopsis of Kenneth King’s fish eye instructions in his pants making DVD.

I printed Debbie’s tutorial years ago and would constantly review it. I would do the same for Kenneth’s alteration. I bought his DVD and printed the alteration instructions. However, Kenneth’s diagram of the wrinkles for this alteration and Debbie’s pictures of her pants’ wrinkles did not resemble my issue so I did not believe it would work for me.

But I was wrong. I believe this alteration is the ONE for placing the curve at the right spot on an older woman’s fanny. This alteration lowers the curve but the KEY that I discovered for my shape was the adding back to the top of the inseam. Adding the removed amount from beneath the crotch curve to the top of the inseam changed the shape of the back extension plus the curve to resemble a J shape.

Scooping the curved area did not work for me. What I needed was to change the position/design of the crotch extension. The center of my body is one inch higher than the lower edge of my fanny. What was needed for my pants and shape was to lower the back curve on the pants to meet this one inch difference.

Lowering the crotch point on the pattern did not work for me. Lowering the crotch point which is also lowering the top of the inseam required that I stretch the inseam to meet the front inseam. My pants material does not include stretch. The material I use is cotton twill. Stretching the inseam did not work. Plus, the distance to stretch was too great for the type of material I used. Also, I did not want the curve to cup the edge of my fanny. Cupping accentuates the unevenness of my two fanny edges. I wanted the curve to rest on the edge of my fanny.

I tried the famous clown butt adjustment where you slice across the crotch line and raise up the lower part of the pant leg the required amount. This is Sandra Betizna’s alteration for a flat fanny. The wrinkles did disappear but some reason it made the curve too tight for my shape.

Now, if you look at Debbie Cook’s tutorial, she added a new line from the top of the addition/inseam across the crotch extension over to the edge of the curve. Her alteration added material in the crotch extension area. This addition across the extension is why I did not think her alteration would work for me. Debbie’s diagram shows a small amount of material added back to the vertical depth in the crotch extension area. The vertical depth was added between the original stitching line and the new stitching line. I needed room or depth in the extension to go under the edge of my fanny up to my center.

In Kenneth’s diagram, he extends the inseam line upward – the amount you removed then down to the base of the extension. He does not extend the line over to the curve of the pants.

I extended the inseam stitching line up the amount I removed, then from this point I gently curved my new line down to the base of the extension and just like magic, it increased the inseam stitching line to match the front inseam stitching line without stretching the inseam leg. The alteration increased the vertical depth of the original curve on the pattern to a lower position on my altered pattern. The added amount at the top of the inseam dropped the curve lower to fit my body.

Next, I laid the top of my front inseam on top of my back inseam. I traced the top of the front inseam on the top of the back inseam. By tracing the top of my front inseam onto the back inseam, I eliminated the peak formed at the top of the back inseam.

Another way to do this alteration is to draw a box around the back extension. You can review how to draw this box under Karla Kizer’s tip One – step pants back alteration on 3/28/03 found on the home page under Sewing Tips and Techniques. Short summary – draw a box around the curve and back extension. Lower this box the amount you need to lower so the curve meets your curve. Add tissue to the top of the cut out boxed area, than extend the top of the inseam up the amount you lowered. Gently draw a curved line from the top of the inseam down to the base of the extension. Karla’s tip does not include adding to the top of the inseam which is the KEY to this alteration.

Using the box alteration eliminates the need to add to the top of the side seam that is required when doing the fish-eye dart per Kenneth’s instructions. You will need to true the inseam a bit in the thigh area.

If you lowered the box by ½ inch, then you need to raise the top of the inseam by 1/2 inch.

This is the same if you use the fish-eye dart. If you decreased all the way across the back pants thigh area by ½ inch then you need to add ½ inch at the top of the inseam and ½ inch to the top of the side seam.

A few more things. I used a Burda pattern. Burda designs its pants curve a bit lower than the Big 4. Prior to making the fish-eye alteration, I made a pants muslin and I did have to stretch the back inseam a bit to reach the top of the front inseam. This design told me that the curve was dropped a bit on these pants. Beneath the crotch about ½ inch down, I drew two parallel lines ½ inch apart from inseam to sided seam. I then folded the pattern between these two lines. This alteration removed 1/2 inch from the upper thigh. I added ½ inch to the top of the inseam and ½ inch to the top of the side seam. This alteration lowered the curve enough for me so the small fold and odd diagonal wrinkle that I use to get were gone. By the way, I have never seen these types of wrinkles on any of the photos posted by any member on this site when asking for help to remove wrinkles or folds from under her fanny.

Secondly, if any of you have Pati Palmer’s pants fitting book there is a diagram of my shape on page 42, lower right corner. My edition of this book is an older one so I am not sure what page this diagram is on in the newer edition. The low crotch issue in this book is referred to as High Front Low Back Oddity. This diagram shows a high front and low back curve. The book shows different models, who have a low back curve, and the alteration suggested is to lower the curve by cutting away at the pattern which in essence is sewing a deeper curve or scooping the curve. The newer Palmer McCall patterns have a lower crotch curve drawn on the pattern next to the original curve and extension. If you have tried to use this lower curve and it did not remove the wrinkles, then perhaps raising the top of the back inseam would be helpful. Measure the distance between the original curve and the curve you used, than add that amount to the top of the inseam.

If you do either of these alterations, it is best to work with the stitching lines and not the cutting lines. It is easier to true the stitching lines then add your seam allowance. Also, once you have done the alteration, line up the front inseam stitching line with the back inseam stitching line to see what I mean by a J shaped crotch curve. You will be able to see how much lower the back curve is with this alteration.

I truly hope this alteration will help some of you folks struggling with a dropped fanny that no amount of exercise will raise! Some of us have genes that tend to be not very kind to us in our senior years.

My husband and I figured that I have made well over 500 pants muslins in the last 10 years trying to solve this fitting issue of a high front with a low back. Of course it doesn’t help that along the way my scoliosis got worse, the top of my pelvis spread or that my right fanny cheek became one inch smaller than my left fanny cheek. I attended a Palmer pants fitting class with no success and had an Italian tailor draft a pattern for me. The instructor in the class could not resolve this fitting issue nor could the tailor. Neither pants fit me. But I did not give up hope that one day I would find the correct alteration for this issue.

There have been many weekends when I would make two muslins trying to fix this issue. I would feel so defeated by Sunday night that I swore I would just make placemats and no more pants. But all during my work week, I would think about this issue, read PR for any new pants information, blogs or other sites. I took last Thursday and Friday as vacation days. I spent many hours at the mall trying on pants. I tried on 50 pairs of pants and not one fit. I was determined on Friday morning to find the fix and that is when I did the fish-eye dart.

Now that I have the curve in the correct place, I am confident that I can make a nice pair of pants. By the way, two other big issues were eliminated with this alteration. The first one is that the back crotch no longer slides to the front through the crotch area. The second one is that pants do not pull in the front when walking. For me, the position of the crotch curve is now balanced on my body which I believed eliminated these issues.

I wish any of you, who try this alteration, much success.

Woggy
-- Edited on 8/14/13 4:56 PM --
-- Edited on 8/14/13 5:58 PM --
-- Edited on 8/15/13 1:15 PM --
-- Edited on 8/28/13 6:48 PM --
-- Edited on 8/28/13 6:49 PM --

EleanorSews
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Date: 8/14/13 4:48 PM

WOW!!! You have blown me away. While this is not likely to be my issue...one never knows. What is so amazing is the clarity of your explanation and how understandable this concept is.

Thank you so much for taking the time. I will be printing this out and adding it to my "pants fitting notebook" because if I don't need it now, it is very possible I will someday.

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

Barbara3
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In reply to woggy <<
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Date: 8/14/13 5:07 PM

That was a wonderful description of what you did to get a good back crotch curve/depth fit. Reading through it, I was wondering why you still refer to yourself as an Advanced Beginner, as it seems you've achieved a better understanding of this fitting issue than most will ever achieve.

Now I'm off to reread it and look at the resources you reference. Thanks for taking the time to post such a thorough description.

woggy
woggy  Friend of PR
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In reply to EleanorSews <<
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Date: 8/14/13 5:09 PM

Thank you Eleanor.

I am glad that the instructions are clear and understandable because I really hope this alteration will help other sewers.

The key is understanding the amount of vertical depth needed between our body's center and the edge of our fanny. Lowering the back crotch/curve area then increasing the back inseam length does just that.

I can't believe I have had this alteration in front of me since Debbie posted it on her website. I think she posted it sometime in the mid 2000's. I also bought Kenneth's DVD around the same time.

But, I finally did and am so glad I did!

Woggy
-- Edited on 8/14/13 6:04 PM --
-- Edited on 8/14/13 6:08 PM --

wendyrb
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Date: 8/14/13 5:25 PM

You write with tremendous clarity, insight and seasoned wisdom. With over 500 pant muslins spanning a decade- Advanced Beginner? Nope, not even Super Advanced. To do justice to your work, like others, I will print this out, study, make notes and follow up all your references.

Besides your expertise, my favorite take away is your unflagging faith in surmounting any daunting challenge. That in itself is an inspiration. Thank you for myself and for sharing with the PR community.

What's up next on your "To-Do List"? Keep us posted.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

woggy
woggy  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/14/13 5:55 PM

Wendy,

Thank you for the lovely compliments.

The next on my "to-do" list is figuring out how to remove width from the upper left thigh area. No wrinkles but extra material plagues me in the upper thigh due to wide hips with a semi flat butt, scoliosis and thigh flesh that spreads when sitting.

The width of the upper thigh needs to wide enough for when I sit but slim enough so I don't look like I am wearing baggy old pants!

I am thinking a vertical fish-eye dart to remove some of the material from beneath the crotch area down to my knee.

If it works the way I am envisioning it - stayed tuned for another lengthy description of what I did to achieve my results. Just hoping this fitting issue does not take another 10 years! If it does, then it really won't matter what my pants look like due to the age I will be.

Woggy

helen in oz
helen in oz
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Date: 8/14/13 6:05 PM

Thanks woggy for your detailed explanation. I'd love to try it, as gravity has affected my nether regions as well! I've read it about 4 times now with a pencil and paper, but as a visual person, I can't follow it all the way to the end - any chance of a basic diagram?

woggy
woggy  Friend of PR
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Pennsylvania USA
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Date: 8/14/13 6:12 PM

Helen,

Will try to post pictures. I thought someone might ask for visuals so I printed info on how to post pictures. Once I am clear on this process, I will post them.

I need to start dinner so it may not be for a few hours.

Woggy

Marilly
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Date: 8/14/13 6:49 PM

COOL! Yeah, try for pictures. : )
You know, once you get this together maybe it should go in the tips section too?
Shel

JTink
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Date: 8/14/13 7:26 PM

I wish I weren't so visual Are you saying that the fish-eye dart is what did the trick? It's one thing I haven't tried. I too have that low butt curve going on and find that making a wedge in the center back seam helps a little, but still not right. I'm going to try and find Karla's tip.

Thanks Woggy.

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