Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter 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

crotch alterations

chefeileen01 | Posted in General Discussion on

I know this has been discussed many times but I can’t find any discusions.

Where can I find info on altering crotch width/length. I just don’t seem to grasp the effect of either one.

Thanks in advance


chef eileen


  1. tmorris1 | | #1

    Check under the "Fitting" groups there is a thread called "? on style and protruding tummy" There is a lot of crotch altering info on that page. If you still do not understand, I would be happy to give you some specific advice.


    1. chefeileen01 | | #3

      Thanks for the info-I went out and got a copy of the older "Pants for any body" and went to work using an old sheet. I think I finally figured out how to solve my problem , there is not enough room from knee front to rump. I alays pulled across there. I made a pattern 2 sizes larger than needed and instead of taking in side seams (like I usually do), I lengthened the back length of the crotch seam and added more to the back inseam then sewed the crotch seam back to front, deeper all around, then adjusted side seams. It seemed to work on sample, What do you think? 


      1. tmorris1 | | #4

        If it works on the sample, then it must be what you need. When you add to the back crotch length you are lengthening the crotch. Then by sewing the crotch seam deeper you are lengthening the crotch again. My suggestion from here is to trim that new crotch curve to 5/8 inches and copy the same curve onto all of your pants patterns.

        1. chefeileen01 | | #5

          Will try tomorrow on some Cheaper fabric and see what happens. My shape has really changed over the last years--at 75 my tummy has enlarged and rear expanded also weight has increased. At 25 all patterns fit--at 40 some minor adjustments--since then--that's another story--went from 5'6" 140 to 170. Now nothing fits. All styles seem to be low slung waists (pants) and short high waisted jackets and tanks or T's skinny. What are mature people supposed to wear, except granny stuff


          1. tmorris1 | | #6

            Eileen;The wonderful thing about sewing is that you can adapt patterns to suit you. Believe me, a well fitting garment will always be in style. Fashions recently are less about Fad garments and more about Flattering garments. The waist on jeans specifically has dropped quite drastically aver the past couple of years, but you may find that something just a couple of inches below the natural waist is more comfortable. Happy sewing, be creative, and always remember if you love the garment that you are wearing, you will shine in it no matter what the fashion.

          2. Ralphetta | | #7

            News Flash!!

            The young, hip, celebrities are currently wearing hight-waisted pants!  By that, I mean they are at the real waist...what SNL made fun of last year and called MOM'S JEANS.


          3. tmorris1 | | #8

            My point was more that if you choose a silhouette that flatters your individual figure, you will always be in style. I wear a mid rise pant because I have a short torso, and long hip. By lowering the waist of my pants it evens out my torso. I also find it more comfortable when sitting to have the waistband of my pants over the hip bone, and not the stomach. I try to encourage people to develop their own personal sense of style and use their sewing talents to express this. "Mom Jeans" have gotten a bad rap, because they are often paired with a t-shirt (often tucked in) and running shoes. If you pair them with a nice heel or ballet flat, a t shirt, a nice fitted jacket, and a fashionable bag, they just simply look fabulous, and I defy anyone that would contradict this point. If you take time to put yourself together well, no one is going to even notice where the waist of your pants is. When looking at fashion, look at the accessories. It is the accessories that are all-important in updating your look and making it fresh. Plus, a good shopping spree can be wonderfully cathartic, why not spend the money on those things that you cannot make yourself.

            Edited 5/2/2007 5:30 pm ET by tmorris1

          4. chefeileen01 | | #11

            I really enjoy all the comments. I like the idea of dressing up!! pants with jackets accessories etc. I have the habit of "oh it's JUST shopping so don't wear my good stuff. I really generally only go shopping so when am I going to use my "Good Stuff"  I have 3 closets full of "Good Stuff" and a couple of jeans t's and sweats for everyday and shopping. Boy the Sally Ann will love it when my time comes!! haha. I sew everything from lingerie, suits, coats, drapes, do upholstry, quilting but lately pants have been my stress point. Hopefully I have solved that problem

            Cheers all Eileen

          5. fabricholic | | #12

            Hi,I have to comment on the number of people in their seventies, on this thread and still sewing their own clothes. Three cheers for you. I want to make some lingerie, mainly panties. I want to use some pretty fabrics with lace. I have the patterns now, just have to buy the fabric. I have found a great lingerie fabric store, but it's in the Netherlands and I can't speak Dutch. I saw this on the website sewing.patternreviews.com. This woman shared a link kantje-boord.infor and they have sets, fabric and lace. It's beautiful, but I probably won't be able to order any. Where do you get your lingerie fabric?Marcy

          6. chefeileen01 | | #13


            I don't know what fabric stores are like in Alabama but here in BC Canada, a lot of them are closing. I usually buy my fabric for lingerie at Fabricana but their choice is getting rather limited. Our population is changing, many south asians here now, and so we have many Indian Sari silk stores. The fabric is beautiful but not for anything that I can wear.

            Cheers Eileen

          7. fabricholic | | #14

            Our big fabric store, Hancock's is closing a lot of their stores. There are two left about 40 or 50 miles from here. I could order from Sew Sassy on line, I guess. We don't have very many South Asians, but a lot of Mexicans have moved here. We have one lady from India that goes to my church, that still wears the sarong, not sure what it's called. I don't know her, but her daughter in law, I am getting to know. I will ask her what it's called. I am glad I don't have to wear silk every day. How could you afford the dry cleaning bill.Marcy

            Edited 5/4/2007 9:12 pm by fabricholic

          8. chefeileen01 | | #15

            --here their sarong is called a Sari, I guess it's the same name all over. Very beautiful, not sure if they are silk or synthetic but I love the colors. Oh to be young again and try many different styles!!

            Cheers Eileen 

          9. fabricholic | | #16

            Is that the dress that looks like it is thrown over one shoulder?

          10. chefeileen01 | | #17

            From my understanding the sari is quite formal. it is usually a piece of beautiful fabric from 5-9 yds long, and draped around the body and finally over the shoulder. It is usually worn over a long matching petticoat. Most of the local ladies here, for everyday, wear a very full draped pant and a long tunic with a long scarf over the shoulder. The fabrics are a mix of solid and shear and plain and floral/printed and in every beautiful co-ordinated color. Even some of the older gentlemen here wear an outfit of white or very light color pants with a ling matching tunic. Most of the younger people wear the tradional garb of the young. 


          11. fabricholic | | #18

            I will have to look closer the next time I see this woman. I don't think she has a big petticoat under it, though. It looks straight. Very beautiful fabric and rich colors.Marcy

          12. NewRenaissanceWoman | | #19

            Hey ladies

            How did we get from fitting pants to draping saris?

            For lingerie fabrics and notions - panties, bras, swimsuits etc. - try http://www.fabricdepotco.com. Susan is located out in the country in Texas. She is also very good at sending samples if you need them. call her or save the money and email her.

            I am a professional pattern designer and a specialist in pants (and bustlines). I will repost  after I have typed out the instructions for drafting a pair of pants, The measurements can also be used to alter a commercial pattern. Unfortunately they are drafted for flat tummys as well as flat behinds.

          13. fabricholic | | #20

            We were talking about the fabric store were changing to meet the needs of South Asians.Unfortunately, I don't fall into the category of flat tummy and behind.I will check out fabric depot. Thanks.

          14. Josefly | | #21

            I am sooooo looking forward to your post with directions for drafting pants patterns. Will you please post it under a new thread with descriptive title, so I can be sure to find it?

          15. solosmocker | | #22

            I second that! solo

          16. NewRenaissanceWoman | | #24

            Hi Josefly and solosmocker and anyone else following this thread

            When I promised to write up some 'simple directions' for pants I didn't realize how long it was going to take me. I realized I was going to need some illustrations to make things clearer (no biggie). I am a professional designer, instructor and fit expert for everything from your hats to your shoes. The directions for large size (aka big tummy) pants are shaping up into a whole article. I hope it will be worth your while to wait a few extra days. The directions include some measurements that are not now available in anyone elses methods and how to take those measurements. It may seem strange at first, but when you get to making (or adjusting) a pants pattern you'll see the light and wonder why no one else has ever written these up prior to this. Maybe I'll even fine tune the article and submit it to Threads for publication later if your feedback warrants it.

            Hang in there and I'll see you in Gatherings next week

          17. woggy | | #31

            Thank you so much for doing this for all of us who now have a "mature" figure. I have always felt that many of the published articles and books on this subject do not take it far enough for many of the home sewers to alter a pair of pants.I have tried many alterations via this board and patternreview.com and none of them work!Twenty years ago, I had a pattern drafted from a pair of well fitted pants. I sewed many pairs of pants for a year or two but then my figure began to change. I gave up but never gave up the hope of one day having another pant pattern that fit.I have always been in-between sizes even when I was slender - small waist, larger hips, sway back, etc. My pot belly since the age of nine has grown and my fanny has gone south - "What is a girl to do?"God Speed with this article!Woggy

          18. NewRenaissanceWoman | | #25

            Hello again everyone

            In case you wondered, I fall into the same category myself; big butt, big tummy heading south on a 5'4" frame. I have chosen to do all the illustrations to scale for the following; (measurements including ease) 48" hip, 42" waist into a 40" band or facing, 42" SS length, 30" inseam.

            Years ago I was the pattern designer for a couture design house now on Rodeo Drive. We wanted our pants to hang nicely without any of the usual 'smilies' and companion ilk. I drafted 2 patterns; one by an Italian method and the other more resembling American pants. The stylist eventually chose the 2nd pattern although I would have opted for the Italian version. For a slimmer silhouette, the Italian version divides the hip measurement with ease into 5ths using 2/5ths for the front width and 3/5ths for the back - this works nicely for the European measurements which are all metric and decimal. This works nicely if you don't have a big tummy but moves the SS too far forward when the extra inches are added for the tummy causing the SS to slope backward to the hem. In order to keep the SS balanced this ratio needs to be adjusted as you get more tummy. Also when your tummy gets out beyond your hip girdle - which supports it - gravity takes over and the 'tummy fluff' starts to head for the floor which requires that you always wear a firm girdle to support it or adjust your pants so that the front length is shorter than the back so they will hang straight and not have a fold of extra fabric playing cowl at the crotch.

            My 'article' includes all this and more. I checked out the article on pants crotch fitting in #122. It's good and I agree with most of it but from my experience it doesn't go far enough. Hoping to fill in the gaps. See y'all back here next week.

          19. Josefly | | #26

            This is interesting and I look forward to your article. I can't quite visualize how the front should be shorter than the back; where would length be removed? I'm assuming that the waist is higher in front, to accommodate a full stomach, and maybe it's that extra length that's confusing me. Just a puzzle which maybe you will address in your article - I'm sure sketches will be helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write this up for all of us.

          20. NewRenaissanceWoman | | #27

            I don't know about the rest of you with the tummies, but mine is big enough to include that extra roll that sits above the natural waist and almost makes me look Preggo. I tried doing situps for years after my kids and it helped for a while but I tired of them (the sit-ups not the kids) as I aged and finally let it all go. Unfortunately 'go' soon translates into 'going down' toward the floor.

            My waist tucks in between the 2 rolls as on most everyone else. When I and most other women try to wear pants that come up over the natural waist at a measure that is larger than the waist because of that roll, they always want to sink down into the natural waist and are thus too long in the front crotch. Since the upper roll comes right up under my bust, I don't want to wear my pants waist that high. They hang better when they hang from the natural waist.

            If you look at women in skirts and wider legged pants from the side view, you will notice that the front hem tends to dip lower instead of being level with the floor. This is because RTW clothes are made for women who are shaped like commercial dress forms. The same or even shorter in the back length. Unfortunately most women are the other way around. Even the slim ones. When I worked on a body demographic survey for the Simplicity Pattern Company many years ago this was blatantly apparent. I don't think they adjusted their patterns to accommodate the average woman however. That leaves us in the same pattern boat we've always been trying to paddle.

          21. chefeileen01 | | #28

            Wow! I am really interested in seeing what you come up with. For more than 20 years I have struggled with making pants that fit my mature figure.



          22. NewRenaissanceWoman | | #29

            O hope you gals are on the west coast - or in Australia - where its already tomorrow morning -because I'd hate to think you have nothing better to do at this hour of the night. Then again this is when some of us have the time.

          23. chefeileen01 | | #30

            West coast, only 8pm


          24. solosmocker | | #32

            I am eagerly looking forward to your "article". You seem to really have tapped into something that could be translated into some dollars for you as well. This would be a great article for Threads and clearly much needed. We are so blessed to have someone as well versed in pattern design as you are on this board. Thanks for being here.

          25. Pattiann42 | | #9

            Don't give a hoot about celebs or SNL....I wear what I want because I only have to satisfy myself....who knows, some celeb or SNL creature might copy me (joke)!

            Just think.......if you copied the celebs, you might end up bald with no underwear......yuk.......now that's disgusting!!!!!

          26. Ralphetta | | #10

            Actually, I was glad to see them because I don't look good in the low cut things.

  2. fabricholic | | #2

    If you ever get the change, check out Nancy Zeiman's Fitting Finesse book. It is a good one for fitting issues.


    p.s. Also, look at the Fitting discussions on protruding tummy. It discusses crotch alterations some.

    Edited 5/1/2007 10:00 am by fabricholic

  3. jalama | | #23

    Check out Threads issue 122 p.36. The illustrations on the first pages of the article have just what you are asking for.

    I have been working with drafting my own patterns and have the basic fit of the pants down, just need to fine tune the crotch area. It has taken several tries and I am getting closer. It's amazing how when this is not right how bad your pants can look. I am also learning that the different types of fabric really change the fit so that an adjustment I made in linen works very differently in moleskin.

    And here I thought they were such novices on Project Runway...

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