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

european pants

ottonpantherbaby | Posted in General Sewing Info on

What our european pants and how is the fit different? If someone could answer that for me I would appreciate it.

Thank you



  1. user-51823 | | #1

    where did you see the term? it might help to know where and how it was used, as i am not familiar with it as different from any othe kind of pants.

    1. Crazy K | | #2

      I, too, have seen the term referring to patterns for pants.......european style.......I think the pattern was in Nancy's Notions catalog........I was puzzled as well.  Is it a different fit?  Hopefully someone here can explain.


  2. sewingkmulkey | | #3

    I always thought it had to do with the crotch curve...



    1. sewist | | #4

      European Pants=====the seam under the crotch is more to the front.  That makes the front piece less curved and the beck piece more curved.

      Sheila L

      1. Crazy K | | #5

        Interesting.  Does it make them fit better?  At lest those of us with more 'mature' figures.........

        1. sewist | | #6


        2. Gloriasews | | #8

          So that's what European style is!  I recently bought a pair of jeans & am still surprised at inseam placement - it is a good 2" to the front of the pants.  I've never had a pair like this.  The jeans are very comfortable, but don't fit my mature & heavy body well - I have never found a pair of jeans that fit the way they should (without the diagonal lines on the back thighs & the pulling on the front thighs.  I need the knock knee & fish eye adjustments for sure, from what I've learned on these threads this summer), so I will make my own in the future.  Maybe it's the stretch denim that is so comfortable, as that is a first time for me, too.  On the other hand, maybe it's the European cut that makes them more comfortable.  Guess I'll have to make 2 pair of jeans (plain & European cut) to try these out & see for myself, once I have them properly fitted.


          1. woodruff | | #9

            I suspect you will love the European cut (Burda and Neue Mode, and some newer Simplicity Threads Collection patterns).In America, I cannot buy pants, except for jeans; I have to make my own, and I use Burda, because it is so much easier and better for me than using the Big Four. In France, where RTW uses the crotch curve with the slightly forward crotch seam, I can buy good-looking pants.

            Edited 9/27/2007 10:07 pm by woodruff

          2. Tatsy | | #10

            I'm not sure who American pants are made to fit, nobody I know.  The one thing that does help is to shop in the Petite department.  Those pants are made with more room inside and less excess material hanging in unbecoming pleats under the seat.  Haven't bought pants in France, but I do love to shop for shoes there and in Brussels. Right off the rack they are wide enough to accommodate my very wide foot and still so stylish.

          3. Crazy K | | #11

            Another place in American stores is the women's department......some come in sizes down to 12 and they offer short, medium and long........  The short seems to work better for me than the petite.  Too often the petite sizes are a tad too short in some areas.  They differ from brand to brand so a fitting session is a must.  Not a fun session either in most cases!


          4. Tatsy | | #18

            Women's pants are worse for me than regular sizes.  I feel and look like I'm wearing a diaper and the legs are way, way too big. I only found out about the petite sizes by being so intent on shopping that I didn't realize I'd wandered out of the regular size department. It has to do with gaining weight in the middle and not anywhere else.  My shoulders are still a size 6.  Not all petite sized lines fit. They do have to be tried on. 

          5. Crazy K | | #19

            I must have been very lucky to find the ones I did then.  The legs are not large......and my legs are not large either!  The ones I did find fit very nicely with no extra bunching up anywhere.  In fact, the nicest fitting pants I have found in a long time.  I can't remember the brand.......Alfred Dunner maybe??  The other was Worthington.......and that was ladies short rather than petite.  Works good.  I'm not really large anywhere.......just have gained too much weight for my short, small-boned frame.  The tummy muscles have relaxed a bit too much over the years but nothing extreme.  I just have too much 'fluff' around the hips to get by with some of the styles and if I go up in size to have the 'ease' around the hips, I end up with way too much fabric elsewhere!  I guess we're all shaped so differently.........probably why the casual dress with loose fitting clothes has been so popular!!

          6. user-51823 | | #12

            petite means less height in the entire torso only, and i can see how it would be a great solution for many women to look into. petite pants don't work for me though.
            i've never noticed problems with 'american' pants, but now i'm curious about the euro fit. i'll have to try making a pair.

          7. Crazy K | | #13

            petite pants are usually about two inches shorter in the inseam.....that's the part that makes them wrong for me........I have a short torso but my legs are closer to regular length.  The women's short seems to be shorter through the rise and somewhat shorter through the inseam but not as much as petite......if that makes any sense at all!!  The women's also seems to adjust for the more rounded hip/tummy area of the more mature figure.  All brands differ so some make work while others are awful.............

            I'm still trying to figure out a decent way to make my own.........and not always just the pull-on kind with elastic waist!  I finally found a style of jeans that work reasonably well for me at Land's End.......but in a season or two they'll change their cut once again and then I'll be searching...........  Maybe a diet would be in order for me.  That would surely help!!

            Happy Stitching!



          8. Gloriasews | | #20

            I absolutely hate trying on jeans (other posters have commented on every brand being different - aagh!) - these ones with the European cut I ordered from a catalogue, as the legs were long enough.  They weren't advertized as European cut, so I was surprised when I tried them on, but, as I said, they are really comfortable.  I'll wear them around the house, as they have diagonal lines below the bum, due to knock knees & they pull at the front thigh when I walk, but I think I'll copy them, make a pattern, do the proper adjustments to the pattern & see how it goes.  When I have time, I'll try the alterations suggested in 2 recent issues of Sew News - one was on removing the waistband on jeans & changing it to a bound waistline; the other was on altering RTW pants to remove the diagonal pull marks on the backs of the pants - I'll see if that works.

          9. stitchagain | | #14

            I wish I knew what the knock knee and fish eye were.  Is there a way you could direct me back to those discursions?  I tried the search button.

            On the pants pattern topic:  I just made a great jeans pattern, it changed everything I felt about making pants (with a zipper et al).  It was a Jalie pattern.  They are from Canada so I am thinking it is a European fit, I'll have to check when I get home.  The side seam was farther forward than expected.  

            The only surprise: I used their size X (size 14) -maybe I should have used size Y because the fabric used was a drapey microfiber.  It hurt my vanity a bit, because generally I buy size 8 in stores.  But it came out well.

            I don't know anything about the pattern co, this is the first pattern I've made.

          10. solosmocker | | #15

            We all must get over this sizing thing. Patterns are never the same as ready to wear. Ready to wear is sized much smaller than it used to be. Did you know Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14? I have read more than once that today she would wear a four or a six. Its only a number and a very manipulated one at that. The bottom line is the fit. Who cares what the number is?

          11. Crazy K | | #16

            Boy!  You've got that right!  I'm bad about that.........just not wanting to go up a size.....but I've had to....several times over the years.  I think they've changed in just the last few years, too.  I got an outfit....sweater knit in rtw.......sized, sm, med and large petite.  Well, I got the large petite.......after all that SHOULD fit, right?  Well, no way.......even the arms were cut so small.  I took it back and got a regular large and it is very ample and fits nicely.  Not tight at all.  Patterns I am more apt to go by measurement..........why is that?? Strange but maybe it's a vanity thing......no size label.  Ha ha LOL  It's all about vanity.............something I have to get over if I'm going to be happy in my skin.........and since I don't like to diet and exercise constantly, I guess I better 'just get over it'!

            Happy Stitching!

          12. user-51823 | | #17

            in my 20's i used to do alterations for a wealthy old woman who was about 4' 3" tall and nearly as wide. when she was young and poor she worked in NY's garment district, and boy, did she know how clothes were put together. in her world travels she would buy beautiful clothes 3 sizes too small after checking them out thoroughly and making sure they had ample seam allowances. she had me open them up and re-seam them to the absolute minimum to fit her, all to be able to show off the size tag to her friends and prove that she wore a size 6!
            in her defense, it always worked fine. due to her shape, she was extremely hard to fit otherwise. but she LOVED showing the original size label off!
            this was the woman who taught me to remove pressed-in crease lines with a damp pressing cloth and a dry wood pressing block.

          13. Gloriasews | | #21

            I haven't tried Jalie patterns yet (although I am a Canadian).  I think I'll try PetitePlus (Canadian also), as I am short-waisted, but plus-sized with longer legs.  They are supposed to fit well, from what I've read.

            As for the fish eye & knock knee alterations, check out the pants fitting threads over the past several months - a wealth of info is to be had, especially from our poster DonnaKaye.  Also, check out Debbie's Sewing Projects - she has great photos & instructions for the fish eye & knock knee alterations, as well as the full bust adjustment, several other bits of info & her blog.  Her web is . Good luck!


  3. Ralphetta | | #7

    I always think of Burda when I hear that term.  Their pants are cut very differently than the American patterns and they have always fit my body better, even when I was younger and thinner.  In my Burda patterns the center front seam ends very, very close to the bottom of the zipper.  All of the rest of the crotch seam is part of the pants back.  My body had no excess in the front, but plenty "behind."  That style fit nicely across the thighs, with no binding or bulging. The style was always more flattering and comfortable.

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