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Can anyone recommend a pants pattern?

AmyC | Posted in General Discussion on


I am looking for a classic pants pattern with a flat front and side zippers. I’m petite (5’2″) and a size 10 in RTW. I’d like a pattern with seam allowances included, which I think rules out a lot of European patterns.

Thanks for any help,



  1. starzoe | | #1

    The Burda (European) patterns are now marketed with seam allowances added. As for the perfect pants pattern, the type you describe is published by almost every pattern company out there so there wouldn't be a problem finding the style that fits your description.

    As for the "best" for you, that is another matter. I would suggest that you get someone to take your measurements and then take some time to look at the pattern books in a fabric store, or even on line. The fact that you take size 10 is rtw has nothing to do with patterns, the sizes are not the same. Patterns are sized in petites, so look for those and start with a pattern that matches your hip measurement.

    You may be lucky the first time but most people do a lot of tweaking before finding the perfect pant for themselves. You may be interested in one of the downloads from Threads, it is a chart that allows you to measure a garment that fits well and to adjust a paper pattern to mimic the fit.

    1. AmyC | | #2


      Thanks for your help.   I'm sure this pattern is out there, but I'm actually having a lot of trouble finding this pattern -- I have searched Vogue's online database and looked through the catalogs of other pattern companies in the fabric stores.  The online search brought up every pant with a zipper in it.  In the catalogs, online and off, information about zipper placement, in particular, tends to be buried in the details.  

      I understand about pattern sizing, measurements, and the importance of fitting -- I gave my height and RTW size in the hopes that someone with somewhat similar proportions (ie, petite but not overly thin) had had good experience with a particular pattern. 


      1. woodruff | | #6

        Amy, Burda 8209 is a basic flat front with a side zip, and the pattern includes seam allowances. You can see a review, with a photo of the finished garment here:http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=14106If you haven't used Burda before, you're in for a treat. They have about the best shaped crotch curve on the planet. As to sizing, Burda has all sizes in one envelope. To find yours, look for a measurement chart on the pattern sheet itself. Using that chart, take your measurements honestly, circle the sizes closest to yours on the chart--you will probably be slightly different sizes at waist and hip, for example, and since the patterns are sized for a woman 5' 6" tall, you will certainly have to shorten any garment. To move between size lines, you just taper gradually in and out as you trace the pattern. The result will be a fairly customized pattern just for you.For pants, you will need a special measurement, called the "stride." To get this one, you pin elastic around your waist, and then take a tape measure and run it between your legs from the bottom of the elastic in front to the bottom of the elastic in back, holding the tape measure as close to your body as you want the pants to ride (closer is better than draggy, btw). Then you compare this measurement with the length of the seamlines of the front and back crotch on the pattern. You don't need to allow much "ease" at all for this.

  2. SkiNsew | | #3

    Take a look at this site.  They sell a wide variety of software that you can use for Pattern Making--  Everything from commercial software to patterns for individual garments.    You might be interested in their Click and Sew pants patterns #1103.

    I have used their products and find them to be very good.  In addition they have excellent support for anyone that has questions with using the product.



  3. Consuelo | | #4

    Amy, I well know the struggle to get a pants pattern that REALLY fits.  It is - IMHO - very worthwhile to study pants fit and work to get a basic pattern that fits you.  The style of the pant is less important.  It's been my experience that if you get this down pat you can create any style you want from a basic pattern that is well fitted to your body.  You will also be ready for future body changes... you can always re-do your fit to accomodate body changes that come with age.

    That having been said, how do you get a pattern to fit you.  Get the books that are out there, the good ol' Singer fitting book has a great lesson on this.  OR Sandra Betzina has a pants fitting pattern.  Whichever way you go, don't go it alone.  You need a friend to help you get the perfect fit.  Then use that pattern to create every pant style you need.  It's a liberating experience to get there.

    If you are lucky to have a high-service fabric store in your area (small, usually expensive stores), they may be able to help you with this.  If you are sewing with their fabric, they may be (SHOULD BE) willing to help. 

    Go for it, you'll be glad you did.

    1. lvs2sew | | #5

      Hi Amy,

      Like the others have suggested, getting pants to fit is a very time consuming process.  I liked Palmer & Pletsch's book "Fitting Pants for Any Body" and used it to make my first pants pattern.  I started with a muslin then made them in a mid weight cotton.  After tweeking the pattern about 3 or 4 times, I now have a perfect fitting pants pattern that I use exclusively.   I can now make my (basic) pants in about 3 1/2 hours - quicker than going to the mall and trying on a dozen pairs to find one that fits! 


  4. solosmocker | | #7

    Here's how I got my perfect pattern: I took a pair of RTW pants that fit so well I wore them to death. I saved them and took them apart seam by seam. I made sure I had the straight of grain and proceeded to trace them to Pattern Ease, a pellon type of fabric (?), that you can find most anywhere very cheaply. I eliminated all details and the waistband. I made this with 1 inch seams. I cut out the pattern ease and sewed the pants together with a large basting stitch and the zipper area left open to be pinned. I put them on and started tweaking. It took a couple of try ons but I was very pleased with what I ended up with. I then took it all apart and retraced it onto new Pattern Ease with all my tweaks. Then I made a pair of linen pants and they fit wonderfully. Remember different fabrics drape differently so there will always be a little tweaking.

    Oh, I am five feet tall so this pattern was an absolute necessity.
    Good luck and keep us posted.

    There are also some wonderful posts on pants fitting by Donna Kaye. You may want to search those out.


  5. User avater
    clairezbo | | #8

    In this month issue of Threads, there is a lesson on how to make your own pattern. It looks like it would be fun to try. I am small like you, and I have a hard time getting a pattern to fit without a lot of alterations. Why don't you give this lesson a try, and let us know how it worked out for you.

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