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A New Way to Fit Trousers

Threads magazine - 168 - Aug./Sept. 2013 Issue
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The typical approach to fitting pants is to start by adjusting the flat pattern based on the body’s measurements, then sew the garment. Joyce Murphy’s way is an adaptation of techniques she practiced daily as an alterations tailor. Once the pants are on the body, you can clearly see how to make them fit properly. The process she invented uses sample pants, complete with waistband, zipper, and hems, as a fitting tool. Sew them with little or no adjustment from a purchased pattern in any tailored style or my JSM Pants Block. Fit the sample pants from the waist down and from the center seams outward. Then, use the changes to create a new custom pattern. This method considers how pants look and feel on the body versus body measurements or preconceived notions of fit. Overall body shape and posture are considered. Unlike a muslin, the sample pants are never ripped apart and resewn but remain intact throughout the fitting and are saved for repeated use. In this article from Threads #168, expect a pleasant surprise as you discover what Joyce and Judy Barlup found from refining these techniques in numerous workshops since 2003. This process and these techniques are…

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  1. user-981967 October 24th

    I've been on a quest to sew a pair of pants that fit. Can't wait to try this technique. I am not a tall, willowy figure, so there will be plenty of adjustments!

  2. TwoBees October 25th

    I agree, I'm one of the short & curvy figure types. Also due to a medical condition I suffer from bloating that can alter my waist & abdominal measurements by inches in a few hours so have to wear elastic-waisted clothing.

  3. Barbilee October 22nd

    I agree with After8, I am also extra curvy in many areas not put into a regular flat pattern. I didn't find this very helpful.

  4. After8 October 22nd

    I was disappointed in this article. As a short, curvy person (lovely euphemism) I found little in this article of help, or perhaps I took one look at the tall, willowy model and thought: "Not for me then".

    The article would have been better if the technique was demonstrated on a range of figure types. We all know how critical, and difficult, fitting trousers can be.

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