Thurlow muslin – more fun with fitting

So after my success with the Grainline Moss skirt – I may have got a little carried away and decided to join Becky at Sew and So‘s Pantsapalooza sewalong. Quite a few people seemed to be working on Thurlows and having read a lot about them online it seemed like a good pattern to try – they are designed for pear shaped women – which is definitely where I am at and I loved the finished versions on several blogs – Lauren’s at Lladybird – at the end of her very helpful sewalong posts and Winnie’s at Scruffy Badger Time

I have decided to make the final version in black linen as these will be for work – but first I needed to do a muslin – I had absolutely zero expectation of being able to produce a wearable muslin so I have been using a duvet cover (in very attractive shades of brown)

The important thing I hadn’t realised about why trouser fitting is SO HARD is that it is really hard to look at your back and work out how to fit things when wearing them. Having a friend to help with pinning or a dress form would probably help but I didn’t have either so was stuck with trying to see over my shoulders and judge by feel…

I measured and checked the envelope and the finished garment measurements. Initially I cut a 6 at the waist grading out to an 8 at the hips which seemed to be a good approximation of my sizes. As I wasn’t aiming for the muslin to be wearable I sewed the absolute minimum – inseam, pocket facing, outer seams and then waistband

And the first version was not good – too tight on the hips and thighs and too short in the crotch at the back – warning – unatttractive image of this effect follows (and you can see my helpful L and R directions to myself so I didn’t sew the wrong bits together!)…

thurlow muslin1 front

On the positive side – the fit at the waist was good and it seemed that with a bit more space the thighs would be OK, but I really didn’t know how to deal with the crotch issue. I read a lot about it – there are so many useful trouser fitting posts out there! It does make me realise how little I understand about fitting issues – I got confused about whether I had problems with crotch depth or length – even after reading Sunni’s post several times..

Muslin number 2 – next I let out all the seams around the hips/thighs on this muslin and it looked much better but this wasnt enough to solve the crotch issue. I cut a new muslin using the slightly increased sizes and tried increasing the crotch curve out an additional size – the fit was really good except for the crotch – which actually looked a bit worse than before – too tight/short but also sort of oddly baggy around the inner thigh. It seemed that the curve was starting too far up and I needed more length before the curving started.

At this point I got a bit depressed, unpicked it all and then didn’t quite know what to do next. Then I found the Colette Pants Fitting cheat sheet and the Full Butt Adjustment. It looked quite complicated and I didn’t know how much I needed to spread the pattern by or whether this was going to work – but at this stage I had nothing to lose as I was on the verge of giving up. When I look at the pictures I realise that  there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the fit at the various stages – though the second version felt better on and wasn’t eating into me at the back!

thurlow muslin 2 again

So – having used up most of my brown duvet cover, several weekends and all my patience I tweaked the paper pattern a little more to give some more length to the CB seam and went for it with the real fabric!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. sewexhausted says:

    I ordered the Thurlow pattern as well… and am afraid to start. I KNOW it’s going to be work! I am going to shoot for January though and make myself start! Looking forward to seeing Part 2! ~Laurie


    1. mrszandstra says:

      The pattern goes together really easily, the instructions are clear and there are so many helpful posts out there about fitting – it’s just really hard trying to get it to work on my body (I’ve always struggled with RTW trousers as well!) – I’m glad I stuck at it though!


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