Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Altering a Pattern

cycler1729 | Posted in Fitting on

I bought a pattern online and I didn’t realize until after I was cutting out the pieces that it was a bigger size than I had thought – I was looking at a lot of them and they all said S-XL but this one is only L-XL and the pieces look huge.

Anyway, I was looking at the instructions in Threads how to create perfectly fitted slacks and I was wondering if I just put the measurements on the pattern since they are in the style that I wanted, just not the right size that it’d work.  I thought that the pattern sort of gives me a template to work from.  

I think that adjusting the crotch will be the most difficult for me.

Any hints?



  1. woggy | | #1

    Pant patterns are usually bought according to your hip size.

    There are various opinions on which size to buy if you are in between sizes.  Some say to buy the larger size, others say the smaller size.

    Generally, when you buy the larger size you might have an issue with the material on the back leg under your fanny and down towards your thigh - too much fabric can be in this area especially if you have thin legs.

    I recommend that you make a muslin of your pants first - to see how the pattern fits. 

    And yes, the crotch area is a real issue for most women.

    I suggest before you start to analyze your figure.  With your underwear on, turn your body so the side is towards a full length mirror or at least one that is long enough to see the following:

    Standing sideways look to see the shape of your fanny.  Look at the leg line of your panties - is the front a lot higher then the back - meaning do you have a low fanny?

    If your fanny is low, most patterns are not designed for this shape.  You will have back fitting issues below your fanny.

    Is your fanny large?  Is your fanny flat?  Do you have a swayback?  Is your pelvis tilted towards the back or do you stand with your fanny "tucked under"?

    If you have never made pants before, search this board for information on altering and making pants.  Also search patternreview.com - there is a wealth of information on both boards about pants making and altering.

    You might want to buy a book on how to make pants. Palmer and Plestch have an excellent one altering patterns and making pants.

    I have spent my weekends during this past year making many, many muslins until I got my pattern to fit.  I finally figured out that my fanny is low (the bottom portion near the top of my legs) about an inch lower than the center of my body.  Once I figured that out, made the correct alterations on the pattern then I was able to make pants that fit better than ready to wear.

    Good luck!


    1. cycler1729 | | #2

      Hi Woggy -

      Thanks for such a detailed response!

      I guess I'm very fortunate - my shape is pretty much in proportion and I've got nothing that needs to be adjusted a lot - my waist isn't much smaller than my hips but the style of slacks that I sew isn't really affected by it.  Mostly I sew stretch fabrics - elastic waist and no pockets. 

      I had a perfect pattern years ago and I've been looking for another copy but it's been hard to track down.

      I spent today taking measurements and transferring them to the pattern since it wasn't going to be used as is anyway.  I only did one thing wrong (that I know of so far) that I realized after I finished and put it away - I didn't add a seam allowance to the crotch so I'm going to need to add that to the pattern.

      As you said it's a great idea to do a muslin but instead of using muslin I think that for the same cost I'll sew a lightweight cotton and then I'll be able to wear them if they come out ok. 

  2. Pattiann42 | | #3

    Patterns include ease.  Using your measurements without adding ease can lead to another problem - an uncomfortable garment.

    I think it would be a good idea to just buy another pattern, unless you want to use the one you have now as a lesson in pattern making.

    1. cycler1729 | | #4

      I think it would be a good idea to just buy another pattern, unless you want to use the one you have now as a lesson in pattern making.

      Yes, that is what I intended to do - use this one to learn from.  After reading this board and lots of back issues of the magazine, I've become interested in proper fit. 

      Also, since this is a close fitting pair of slacks (like tights) and uses very stretchy fabric, the ease is built in the original measurements.  I've sewn them many times before but I was hoping to alter one pattern to really fit perfectly.


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More