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copying ready to wear

sewcrazed | Posted in General Discussion on

I am copying a ready to wear pair of pants that fits me well.  They are a low rise and the waistband is curved.  Once my patter pieces are all made, how do I figure out where the straight of grain should be placed – especially on the curved waistband?


  1. starzoe | | #1

    Without knowing more about the style, I would put the straight grain on the centre front and centre back of the waistband. The straight grain on the pants should be on the centre front of each side and back - where you would iron in the crease. OR, lay out a front pattern piece and fold down the centre, matching at centre hem and crotch curve - the resulting fold will be where the crease should be and will be the straight grain.Also, check the waistline on the original pants and if there is a crease, that will be the straight of the goods.

  2. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #2

    Sewcrazed, study the original pieces.  Try to find a section on the waistband near the center back where you can follow the threads in the fabric, and trace them with a chalk pencil.  Trace a lengthwise and widthwise thread.  This will be the grain of the fabric.  Use this to figure out how they placed the pattern to cut it.   Same with the pants front and back.   Trace out part of the lengthwise thread in the fabric.  This indicates the grain of the fabric.   From there you should be able to put the pants over your pattern and pin mark that line in two spots.  Transfer that line to where you need it by lining up the pin marks and drawing a straight line.   Cathy

  3. MyrtleFillmore | | #3

    If you put the waistband on the bias, you'll get a nice body-hugging effect.  I'd have the waistband in two pieces with a center back seam.

    1. sewcrazed | | #4

      Would you put the waistband and the waistband facing both on the bias?

      1. MyrtleFillmore | | #5

        Yes, the object is to make the band pliable.  For dropwaist, it has to keep up with a lot of body movement without gapping.  It will be sturdy enough. 

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