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Readers Tips: Measure Crotch Length Accurately

Threads #208, April/May 2020

When making women’s pants, you need to know the correct front and back-crotch lengths. Women have many different body types: flat derrières or protruding abdomens, and everything in between. Patterns often need to be adjusted accordingly. To measure these lengths accurately, use two tape measures.

Remove the metal ends, abut the two tapes at zero, and tape them together. Add a length of string to hang a metal washer where the
two tapes meet, and secure the washer in place. This enables you to see whether the tape is positioned properly, so that the measurement begins at your crotch’s lowest point. To use, center the tapes with the washer hanging straight down in the crotch area. Bring both tapes up to the waist for correct measurements.

– Nancy Miller, Fountain, Colorado

This reader-submitted tip was featured in Threads #208, May 2020. Photo: Mike Yarmin

We pay for every tip we publish.

Threads Tips • 63 South Main Street • Newtown, CT 06470 • or via email: [email protected]


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  1. User avater
    jenkar | | #1

    Using this method, how does one account for ease?

    1. carolfresia | | #2

      This method gives you the body measurement; you'll need to decide how much ease you want in the pants you're sewing. Different styles call for different amounts of ease: A snug-fitting pair of jeans in stretch denim may not need much at all, whereas palazzo pants should have more. This is a question of personal preference. I'd suggest measuring pants you own that fit the way you like, and emulate that. (Or the opposite: If you have a pair with too little or too much ease through the crotch curve, you can customize pants you sew to solve for that.)

      Carol Fresia, Threads Senior Technical Editor

  2. ltheroux | | #3

    Some have the lowest point a bit further back - more under the buttocks. This method is very helpful in learning more about the overall shape of a very hard to fit body section.

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