Fit the Seat of Your Pants
Measure your derrière, then revise the back pattern
Many people experience problems with store-bought pants fitting correctly in the seat, waist, and hip areas. Bodies come in many shapes and types, and your waist-to-hip proportion may not match the garment’s cut. A common issue is finding pants that fit comfortably in the hips, only to have a gaping back waistband. Alternatively, if the pants fit your slim waist, they can hardly be pulled over your hips. The opposite situation exists, too, when your hips and seat are proportionally small compared to your waist. This results in excess fabric over the buttocks and back thighs.
For many sewers, the same fit challenges occur in commercial pants patterns, so making your own pants doesn’t immediately solve the problem. Fitting a pants muslin is tough to do on your own, especially if you’re focusing on the rear view. However, you can accurately adjust a pants back pattern based on your measurements. I’ll show my slash and spread (or close)technique. This simple adjustment alters length and width, both of which are involved in fitting a fuller or flatter derrière.
You’ll cut the pattern along a set of prescribed lines, then pivot the resulting sections to add or subtract fullness where you need to. Once you try this pattern-based approach, you can personalize the fit of any pants pattern you choose.
Record essential measurements
Put on close-fitting garments, such as leggings or tights, but be sure they don’t compress your body. Measure the body, then measure the pattern. Begin with a pattern that fits you well at the waist. In the process of adjusting the pattern, you’ll enlarge or reduce only the back pattern to fit.
Waist: narrowest part of the torso.
Hips: fullest part of the hips or thighs.
Hip depth: distance from the waist to the full hip, at the side seam.
Vanessa Nirode is a tailor for TV and film costumes. Look for her patterns at SetGirlz.com.
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