clover: let’s get real

21 Nov

i mean, let’s get real-real here.

this is my 4th pair of clovers i have completed thus far. in case you aren’t up to speed with this saga, every prior pair of clovers has been demoted to “muslin” and wadded up & stuffed in the Muslin Basket of Shame (i’ll throw that stuff away… eventually). making anything over & over again – especially if you can’t actually wear it out in public – sucks. it feels wasteful – wasteful of fabric, of precious sewing time, of misplaced giddiness (idk, i get real giddy when i am making a new piece of clothing lol).

this pattern almost broke me. it might still break me because it’s not quite perfect. i’ve made a lot of fitting changes and i actually feel kind of pants-intelligent right now. so that’s nice. i don’t want to dissuade anyone from buying or making this pattern because i don’t think it’s a flawed pattern… i’ve seen many of these made up, and they look GREAT. unfortunately, the body they were drafted for is quite obviously not my body. so i’ve had to do a lot of fitting, and muslins, and more fitting.

anyway, pants #4. i took another 3/8″ off the front crotch length and slightly narrowed the inside of the legs (like, maybe 1/4″. not much). i decided to make these a wearable muslin, so i used a stretch poly-blend suiting fabric i found in my stash ($2 yard sale score!) and a zipper i pulled out of a dress someone gave me for fabric salvage. i did serge everything on the inside in case the wearable muslin turned out awesome.

after wearing them around this afternoon, i shaved about 3/8ish” off the front crotch seam & tapered the curved side seam (on the non-zipper side, sry, don’t feel like re-inserting the zipper) to a straight line. in the future, i may let out the waistband a little because it digs in when i sit down. also, i thought the waistline didn’t look terribly flattering on me – too low – but looking at the pictures it doesn’t seem so bad. what do you think? for anyone who is curious, they hit exactly at my belly button.

i guess my question is, how fitted is too fitted? of course we want a smooth line, but i don’t want to get it so smooth that i can’t move comfortably! this is where i want y’all to be honest – critique! please! 🙂

when i stand normally, they look close to perfect.

when i stand with my legs together, though, i get a little bagginess around the crotch (ughh i’m gonna get some weird google search terms for this one). how to fix this? what is stumping me is that it is all the lower crotch/thigh area, and i can’t find fitting info for that – only the top half. it kind of makes me look like i have a FUPA right now. i don’t want to look like i have a FUPA. help!

another view, another baggy crotch.

clovers back
back looks good! there are a few drag lines on the sides and the darts look like that because i couldn’t get a good press (stupid poly), but i think it’s satisfactory.

clovers side
side looks good!

clover close-up
last crotch-shot, promise
see that bagginess? what is causing it and how can i fix it?

ALL THAT BEING SAID, i like these pants. i think the fitting issues are pretty minor & most normal non-sewing people won’t notice them. so i will continue to wear these, and continue to improve this pattern block. i think they look really cute on me, and i want several pairs!


36 Responses to “clover: let’s get real”

  1. Scruffybadger November 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    You have such an amazing figure these clovers are worth persevering with. I’ve no idea about your crotch issue ( beg your pardon for sounding personal!!) – can see what you mean- and am scared of starting my clovers still!

  2. Hannah Jean November 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    I think I know this one!

    If you read this super informative post over at Fashion Incubator:

    What it’s saying (I think) is that you need to change your flat pattern so that crotch curve is more of a J shape. It will give more room for your thighs without making your center front bigger at the same time. It should look like a full thigh adjustment, which would make sense because I also have very full thighs and get this look on almost every pair of jeans.

    I’m not positive, but I hope it helps!

    -Hannah Jean

    • lladybird November 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

      oooh i could just kiss you for this! thank you thank you for posting this link (and, shit, i think i just got sucked into a giant clickfest at that site I WANT TO READ EVERYTHING haha). i will definitely try this modification with my next pair. i have full thighs so it makes perfect sense.

      again, thank you! ❤

      • Hannah Jean November 22, 2011 at 4:22 am #

        I know, I love that site to death!

      • Carola August 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

        OK, 9 months later and I’m starting my own clover pants and am only at the muslin stage. I’ve chosen this project to start blogging too so feel free to look at my pics and please let me know if you tried the suggestions in that website and if it worked. Personally I LOVE the pants on you but know exactly what you mean about wanting them right even though most non-sewing people wouldn’t notice. Well done! I look forward to reading more of your stuff. 🙂

        • Carola August 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

          Oops, deleted a portion of my blog coz i don’t really know what i’m doing. Not sure if these are getting through to you. 😦

  3. molly November 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    They look pretty good! the only thing I could tell you to possibly do is compare the pattern’s crotch to one of your favorite pairs of pants. I have alot of issues with pants because the distance from my waist to crotch is short, so I haven’t tried Clover yet.

    • lladybird November 22, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      yeah, i’ve learned with these that my crotch is quite short. i’ll have to measure a pair of pants. the only thing confusing me is that i don’t have any pants that have a similar waistline – they are either super low rise, or super high-waisted.

  4. leahfranqui November 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    I got nothing for you in terms of help but I think these look pretty damn awesome.

  5. Crystal November 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I can see the problem you are referring to, although it is very minor. I think you are correct in that nearly any non-sewer would never notice. I think the rest of us are looking at your cute, tiny figure, thinking how great you look in your skinny pants.

    • lladybird November 22, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      aw shucks, this just made me blush 🙂 thank you!

  6. lori November 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    These look wonderful. Often when I buy RTW pants, I have the crotch issue you referred to. After two muslins of the Clovers, I decided that the shape of the pattern was just plain wrong for my body and I drafted my first pant pattern using a book from the early 80s. In the end, drafting my own pattern was not nearly as hard as I expected it to be!

  7. Molly November 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    LOL, I cracked up at the Google search term part. I think they look great and I am waaayyyy impressed that you stuck it out for four muslins! I would have flipped a table over and quit…

    • lladybird November 22, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      hahaha well, i figure it i get these rights, i can make them over & over without any further adjustments… and use the block to adjust other pants patterns as well. plus, i can’t stand defeat! no UFOs here!

  8. Thistle November 22, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    The only thing that’s getting me through my clover fitting woes is that as soon as I have perfected this pattern, I will be able to use it so, so many times. I’m about to embark on this not-quite-a-muslin-but-not-quite-perfect-either-probably stage with some red cotton twill. Since I’m not overly blessed in the curves department I usually skate by without having to fiddle too much with fitting when I use commercial patterns, but these pants are showing me how much I’ve avoided learning so far…

    • lladybird November 22, 2011 at 9:54 am #

      yeah, that’s my train of thought too. i bet the block will be good for other pants patterns as well.

      i’ve never had much of a problem fitting my top half – FBA and pulling in the waist/shoulders, but nothing complicated – so i guess the pattern gods are striking back & making me pay my dues 😉

  9. wundermary November 22, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    I was going to head in the same direction as Hannah Jean, only I’d never seen that link, either. It’s gold! I also immediately thought of this:

    Anyway, you’ve come a long way with these. I’m sure you’ll get it down with this next run. You should make them in some crazy crushed velvet to celebrate!

    • lladybird November 22, 2011 at 9:55 am #


      ooh crazy crushed velvet… do i dare??

      • wundermary November 23, 2011 at 2:28 am #

        Ha, that’s Rick James, crazy s**t! It’s the inside sleeve from one of his albums. I feel like I need an antibiotic, just looking at that photo!

        Absolutely you should make them in crushed velvet! They’d look awesome with a short placket at the bottom outside of each leg with a couple of funky buttons.

  10. joanna attree (@romneymarsh) November 22, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    I can’t understand why people love Clover. It’s such an unflattering style. I guess its just the cult of Colette. (and I do love lots of their patterns, its just this isn’t the sort of thing I’d buy for myself, let alone make the effort to sew)

    • lladybird November 22, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      i think they are flattering on me, hence why i bought them and am making them up.

      • wundermary November 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

        They’re certainly unflattering to some people, I’d never make a pair. Not because of the pattern, it’s more about my figure. No one wants to see that sh*t! 🙂
        They look pretty awesome on you, though. Once you follow that tutorial and remove some fabric from the CF, add it to the SF and change the contour on the crotch a bit, both of the fit issues at the crotch and side hip will smooth out and they will look absolutely stellar on you.

  11. Stephanie November 22, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Omg, your Clovers look fantastic. How on earth did you get them to fit your tush?? I’ll go back and read your muslin posts. I’m dealing with a bit of crotch weirdness myself, so I set them aside and ordered “Pants for Real People.” Fashion Incubator looks to be just as helpful.

    • lladybird November 22, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      i made a small full butt adjustment and then lengthened the back crotch by about 1/2″. turned out perfect!

  12. Layla November 22, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Got nothing for you help wise but i think a little saggy crotch never hurt anyone and i would rather take my eye out with a rusty fork than make 4 (!!!) muslins- so massive respect to you!!

  13. Norine November 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    I just found your blog from pattern review (your 2nd Rooibos review as I’m getting ready to get going on that one). And you’re adorable. I’m your newest follower. Yay!

  14. Colleen November 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Girl, you look GOOD! And the pants are sooo nice. I am confident you will perfect them!!!

  15. Sallie December 1, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    I totally know what you mean by the weird crotch wad!!! I think that is the bane of the clover pattern – and it falls at this weird spot and I had NO idea how to get rid of it! Thats one of the reasons I converted mine to a front rise because it kind of hides it in a weird way. Ugh… crotch wad…. That anatomy of a camel toe link is fabulous though… will keep in mind for my next clovers…

  16. arnysews December 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    I think by shortening the front rise the front crotch curve is pulling up too high so the fullness of the front crotch curve is in the wrong place. If I were you I would add back what you took off the front rise, and take it from the back crotch at the inleg instead.
    I got my Clover pattern yesterday and I noticed the back crotch fork/width is quite long. I plan to take 1/2″ off the back crotch at the inleg and add it to the CB waist along with an additional 1″ as the back crotch depth is way too low for me. The sides and front seem OK.
    BTW my first Clover muslin is a disaster, however the leg shape is really nice and I will persevere because they will be a great pant once I get it right.

  17. May 30, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    t always been so cool to black people but looking back it.
    Your horse could be covered from head to toe with horse tack gifts, but you must understand that your horse should know how to keep you safe during a ride.
    Horses are sensitive creatures and building a close bond between the horse and
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  18. Aimee Ault March 16, 2019 at 2:38 pm #

    I am dying after reading this a second time…. so I found your blog when I first got into sewing a few months ago and was super inspired by it… but I saw this post and was like, “Woah that is a very particular fit issue!” and then got the Clover pattern and saw they had a cheat sheet just for dealing with fit issues.

    Lo and behold, I sew up a muslin and have THIS EXACT SAME ISSUE you have. Like the fit of my muslin looks nearly identical to the picture you posted haha–which I guess shouldn’t surprise me because from pictures we have very similar body shapes.

    Anyway, I came back to this trying to figure out if you ever figured it out and was so glad I read through the comments 😀

    Thank you for sharing all your sewing knowledge, it’s such an awesome resource for new sewists.

    • LLADYBIRD March 17, 2019 at 11:28 am #

      It was a saga for sure!! But honestly, all those muslins and fitting gave me some really good insight into pants fitting in general, which has benefitted me in sooo many ways (both as a personal seamstress and in my profession!). Thank you for your sweet comment! I’m both pleased and slightly appalled that people are still reading these old-ass posts 😉


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