|Joyce Murphy who did a live chat with PR members a few weeks back was in my neck of the woods today. The class took place at Fine Fabric & Design, in Traverse City, MI, lasted 2 1/2 hours (too short!) and Joyce
brought a pair of muslin pants in every size for class attendees to try on.
A pattern was taped on the wall with all the markings and Joyce started off by talking about her background, which you can read about on her web site, and then she asked for a volunteer and I raised my hand, not being able to stand those moments of silence where folks are thinking about whether or not to stand up. Good news for me, because I almost got one of her custom fittings.
Joyce measured my hips (46") and went and got a size F pant and I put them on. With no alterations they fit pretty darn well, but then we started to dig into it. First thing is to figure out where I like my waist. Being short-waisted, I like my waistband at my natural waist or a bit below. If the band is way up at the narrowest point, pants look awful on me. Tugging the waist down there took out the inch or so that the waist was too big by (yikes what a sentence). Next thing was then the front crotch which needed about 2 inches taken up, which Joyce pinned out horizontally with the widest bit right at the zipper, tapering to nothing at the sides. Instant improvement in fit and hang.
Then there was a lengthy discussion of the back crotch. Her back crotch curve is very similar to Burda, she told us and very different from the Big 4. It fit pretty well, but I needed another 1/2" of a scoop and she talked about that for a bit, different ways to do that on the pattern, one suggestion being draw a line right at the crotch point towards the hip for about 4 inches, come down perpendicular to that line about 3 inches and then draw another line back to the inseam. Cut that box out and move it down one half inch, true the seams and voila, just a bit more room.
She then talked about shortening the pattern (which I didn't need). Never do it at the hem. Either choose mid thigh or mid calf. I cannot remember how to make that choice, as I was not taking notes and have already forgotten. Another pointer -- shorter, curved darts are better for full tummys and behinds. Joyce then talked about her custom pants pattern service, which costs $100 and includes the pattern, an initial consultation and a return visit after you've made the muslin. She is also teaching sewists her altering and adjusting techniques in Alpena, MI, which is where she lives..
Then everyone went to try on pants and two or three other women tried on my size and amazing how different it looked on each one. I helped folks pin up parts and I thought how wonderful it would be to do this for a living. Help women look good in clothes.
I recommend the pattern, though everyone did not buy it. Joyce also had Judy Barlup's Pants Construction book available and I bought that, too. I am thrilled to have such a good fitting pant pattern that just needs a few tweaks.