Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram 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

b Fitting a problem figure

leslie_ | Posted in The Archives on

*
My sister has a very difficult figure to fit pants for. She has a narrow waist(27-3/4″), big hips(38″), and derriere. I am tryig to make her pants from McCall’s #2157. It is a slim-fit pant with a simple waistband, back zipper, and front and back darts(2 sets). When she tried on the muslin and tried sitting down, we saw that the fabric bunched up in the front at crotch level, and pulled very tightly across the derriere. How do I alter the pattern so the fullness gets transferred to the back of the pants where it is most needed?

Replies

  1. cathi_chambley-miller | | #1

    *
    I have the same problem, only even more so (12" difference). She probably has a full bottom, and therefore the pants fit her width, but not her depth. What you need to do is have her wear a pair of tights or something close fitting. then take a flexible curve and mimic her bottom's curve. Now, use that to draw a curve shape on a piece of paper. That's the SHAPE you need, but still not the depth. You probably will need to transfer some of the front crotch curve onto the back pattern, thereby extending the back crotch curve so that it fits her DEEPER than average rear. Then, use the curve shape to redraw the shape of the back curve. Also, I do better if the front and back seams are on the straight grain, rather than sloping into bias. Most fitting books address moving the "center" of the crotch into the back pattern piece, making the back curve more natural, and the front curve more shallow (this reduces some of that obnoxious poofiness when you sit, and keeps the pants from giving you a 'wedgie' when you sit. But the curve shape (from Cynthia Guffey's method) is what gives you the ability to account for whether her rear is high, or droopy, or flat or round.

    1. Martha_McKeon | | #2

      *leslie - your sister's measurements do not indicate that she is difficult to fit - she sounds very proportional to me, and if 38" hip are "big", we are all in trouble!!I would recommend that you try a different pattern company - Burda would be my recommendation. I've been sewing for over 30 years, and the Big Four (McCall's, Simplicity, etc) pants patterns are, in my opinion, "unfittable".

      1. TJ | | #3

        *Sounds like she is shaped like me -- the suggestions you have been given are good, and I would also consider adding height to the back waist, and possibly lowering the front waist (i.e., "tip" the waistband from back to front). I cut my fabric with an extra 2-3 inches at the waist line at the top of both front and back pattern pieces (plus pocket piece or whatever will touch the waistband). I try on the pants before adding the waistband: I tie a piece of elastic around my waist over the pants, and pull them up, adjusting all around, until they fit well (don't "overfit" or pull up too much!). Mark where the pants hit the elastic, and use that as the stitching line for the waistband (trim the excess). This adds extra fabric VERTICALLY as well as horizontally, to fit around the curves of the hips and backside. This keeps the waistband from pulling down at the back when you sit. To fix the front excess, I usually end up with a waistline that tapers from high at the CB, to lower in the front, since I don't have as curvy a belly for the fabric to fit over). My sense is that Burda and other European patterns build in, to some extent, the deeper crotch curve that Cathi describes (but still you should compare the curve to actual measurements, and BEST OF ALL to a pair of pants that actually fits). There was a Threads article some time ago about this difference between American and European cut pants patterns. Good luck! Your sister is lucky to have you sew for her!

        1. Susan_Turner | | #4

          *Leslie,One of my students uses lightweight nonwoven interfacing for fitting and to make patterns (I think that's all it's good for but that's a personal opinion. Instead of buying a new pattern, I would cut your current pattern out in interfacing making any adjustments you think would help. Sew the four pieces together and try them on your sister. Actually pin out the part that is bagging in the front and slit the fabric in the back maybe across the hip in the center back and a vertical slit over the center of each cheek. Let the fabric open up until it lays well. Tape somemore fabric over the spaces and use this to make a new pattern. Undo the crotch if necessary to see how much you need to add to the back length. It may sound confusing but I think it could work. Try to adjust the pattern exactly where the problem is.

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

Highlights

Shop the Store

View All
View More