Figuring out my body has been a long process, and not one I think I’m done with. When I was a teenager, I knew I had nice legs and a hot tummy; I couldn’t figure out why jeans that fit at my waist (this was before I had figured out low-rise) so often had flaps hanging loose at the hips. I was confused over whether I had a big waist or small hips. A lot of things just didn’t make sense.

It’s taken a while, but here’s where I am:

I have what you might call a “boy figure”. I’m slim, reasonably tall (5′ 7,” 120 lbs).  My bust is small—though still technically a B-cup—but my ribcage is fairly large and my shoulders are broad. My waist is large compared to the rest of my frame, and my hips are quite narrow. Paradoxically, my butt isn’t particularly flat (though it is, as my husband often reminds me, on the small side), and I stand with a slight swayback. My arms and legs are long for my height—I need at least a 33″ inseam in jeans, and mostly don’t wear long-sleeved shirts because they are always too short. I’ve been thrilled with the trend for hooded sweaters designed to cover the hand, with the loop in the cuff for your thumb, because they are actually long enough in the sleeve. And, since so much of my height is in the legs, my body is actually fairly short—almost petite. In particular, I’m short waisted—there’s only about an inch between the top of my hipbone and the bottom of my ribcage.

The back... still a bit of swayback puddle.

I’m thinking about this partly as I struggle with the thought of doing a swayback alteration with the JJ. There’s still some horizontal puddling across the back. BUT—is it because of the swayback alone, or is it exacerbated by the short waist? It doesn’t fold as obviously in the front, but it still seems improved a bit just by shortening. Except overall I like the length—so if I raised the waist I would then need to lengthen the hem. Weird! Does it matter?

I’m also a bit confounded over the swayback thing for the Jalie jeans project. Mostly with regard to the waistband (and the back yoke). A lot of the other people complain that they need a curved waistband because they have a big difference between hips and waist. I don’t have that at all—but I still do have a bit of swayback, and what little padding my bottom has is all squarely to the rear. I often do have trouble with jeans gaping right at the back waistline, and all the RTW I own have a curved waistband. So did most of the ones I was checking out in the mall the other day, too. So I’m really thinking a contour waistband is the way to go. I’m just not sure about how to draft the pattern. I can’t tell from looking at my existing pants how intense the curve is (and it seems to vary… some have the grain on the true bias on the front, some don’t make it all the way there). I guess either way they’re definitely not making a 90-degree turn  over the curve; at most a 45-degree one. I should probably start by measuring the length of the waistband on the pattern. Then decide how much curve, how much at the back should be straight (I can probably get some of that from my existing bands), that kind of thing. Then make a test waistband and see how it fits (and where on the hip… another thing I’m picky abou). Damn, I wish I could just go and get the fabric to start this. /sigh



Filed under Sewing

3 responses to “Fit

  1. Barbara

    Why don’t you make a muslin? The 7th (!) pair of my “perfect” pants still had to be taken in at the center back a bit, hehe…An old sheet is the perfect piece of fabric to do so.

    • Well, technically the red JJ was my muslin for that pattern. (For that matter, the sheer one was made of scrounged fabric, too). For the jeans… I had to buy a stretch fabric anyway as I don’t have anything like stretch denim… so I might as well try my best to have the first pair be “wearable”… even if it’s just for yard work ;).

  2. I made a yoke pattern by covering my middle smoothly with short pieces of duct tape, marking meridians and levels (e.g., true waist, widest hip — I wasn’t assuming they were parallel to the ground), peeling off the tape and flattening it (with some slashes). Worked a charm.

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