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Fitting pants, again!

SewNancy | Posted in Fitting on

I am still working on fitting a basic fitted pair of pants and I am still having problems.  The back is finally fitting well, no droop and fits smoothly even with my flat rear and tilted pelvis, the legs are smooth.  But, I  have a problem with the front fit  at the crotch.  There is a v shaped wrinkle formed from the crothch down and even with adding width to the front I still get horizontal pulls fromthe crotch out.  I have tried several things and am styimied.  I have poured over the Threads articlce and all my pants fitting books of which I own many!  Help!



  1. kayl | | #1

    Exactly where does the wrinkle point? From the crotch to... what?

    And is it a too-much-fabric sag wrinkle, or a too-little-fabric stress



    1. SewNancy | | #2

      The v points down from the crotch front causing  a folded v at the front of the pants.  I have a tummy and it seems like a recessed pubic bone, but at this point I am very confused. 


      1. kjp | | #3

        Hi Nancy,  I will preface this response with the fact that my only expertise comes from trying to fit myself.  However, I can't buy pants that fit in the stores, so i've been struggling with this myself for years.  I'm wondering about the crotch length in the front vs. the back?  Did you remove too much from the back thus pulling the front a little too far to the back?  I can't use anything but Burda for pants, but I have a much more protruding derrierre!  Or, what if you add a little to the front inseam to make the crotch a little longer there & then tuck out extra fabric where you don't need it?  You might be able to tell by where the inseam falls.  Also, I was just reading in Sandra Betszina's Power Sewing (p. 61) about inseam shaping - might help? 

        Good luck!  Karin

      2. kayl | | #4

        Sorry, Nancy, I'm still not "seeing" the wrinkles. Are these stress

        wrinkles or sag wrinkles? They run from where on the front crotch?

        About where the curve starts to level out, or farther toward the actual

        crotch point? Then run to where? Mid thigh in length? across the

        leg crease? To the grainline or beyond?

        When you say you've got a "bit of a tummy", could you need a longer front crotch curve? What happens if you open the crotch seam from inseam to inseam? Do the wrinkles get better? Worse?

        Have you compared your total crotch length to that of the pattern?


        1. SewNancy | | #5

          I fiddled a bit more with the pattern and it seems to be that I need to deepen the front crotch curve, but I think that the problem is multiple.  I  need more room in the tummy, there are stress wrinkle pointing to the tummy, but I have a short front waist and it is small in comparison to hips,  so multiple problems to solve, but I need to address one at a time so as not  to complicate the problem more!  I looked at Sandra Betzina's fitting book and I am trying her method to get more room in tummy and then I am adding a dart in front and deepening the 2 back darts to take up the waist excess.  I need to cut another muslin and try again.  I am determined not to rush into real fabric so I don't waist any more fabric!  I have some leather that I bought on sale last summer, enough for pants but I dare not cut it until I am satisfied that I have solve my problems.


          1. kayl | | #6

            My guess is that your body is deeper front to back than the pattern's

            crotch extension is allowing for. You may have better luck working

            with a Burda pattern, which assumes more roundness than most US patterns, or you may just be able to increase the crotch extension and

            go from there. Do compare your total crotch measurement to the pattern's -- that'll give you a good starting measure.

            Denim makes a good muslin for leather, so I hear.


          2. SewNancy | | #7

            I am using a Burda pattern.  I have tried deeper front extensions, without luck it makes the fold worse.  It is like a v shaped pleat at the front of the crotch.  It has to be a combination of things that I am just not seeing.


          3. kjp | | #8

            Nancy, just out of curiousity, what pattern are you using?  I have a Burda coordinates pattern (not Burda mag) for leather pants that I had some trouble with fit.  I made them out of faux leather & they're ok, but not what I'd consider a great fit.  I've had one other Burda pattern for capris that I was never happy with the fit.  One problem I have found with Burda is that they don't mark the waistline on their pants or describe where the waistline is supposed to fall (ie, just below the waist, low-rise, at the waist, etc.).  I have found this sometimes makes it very hard to correct the crotch fit! 

            I haven't made any of the Burda mag pants yet.  do they correspond well to the regular store Burda patterns in fit? 


          4. SewNancy | | #9

            It is a Burda pants pattern from the magazine.  I don't know if they are the same or not.  I just bought a McCalls Palmer Pletchse pants pattern that they sell to fit and I have their book, so I thought that I would give them a try.  They  fit pants on women with all sorts of figures and they look fabulous, so I thought that I would try it.  I'll let you know if it works.


          5. kjp | | #10

            I'll have to try to make my next pair of pants from the mag & compare it to my sloper made from a burda retail pattern.  Looking forward to the hearing how the p&P pattern works for you.  Karin

          6. kayl | | #11

            Nancy, have you checked to see if your waistline is actually parallel

            to the floor? Tie a twill tape around you at "waistband position"

            and measure CB to floor and CF to floor. A tilted waist can give this

            sort of V effect if what you're seeing is a sag wrinkle.


          7. SewNancy | | #12

            Dear Kay,

            I do have a low front waist, but I can buy pants that fit in the front without this v shaped wrinkle, but they almost never fit in the rear.   I have lowered it in the past from the waist, but I am fitting the Palmer Pletsch pants  pattern at the moment following their book and they suggest pleating out below the fly so that is my next move.  I have a wrinkle pointing to the front leg .  I have thighs that touch up high but not more than a few inchs down.   I have a very flat, low seat with calves that are further out than my rear end so I multiple fitting problems.  MY goal is to make a muslin ala the Peggy Sagers article so that I can use it to fit other patterns. 


          8. carolfresia | | #15

            Hi, Nancy,

            I'm not a fitting expert, and my body type is the exact opposite of yours (meaning I carry fullness in the seat and upper thighs--classic pear). So take this with a grain of salt....

            I wonder if Kay is onto something when she suggests that your body depth is greater than the U-shaped area provided by the pattern. In that case, you would need to give yourself a little more "body room. You tried a longer crotch extension, but maybe that's too low down. I.e. , maybe you need to add space further up toward the abdomen and tummy, by moving the CF seam a little further out from your body (you might need to add to the side seams as well to compensate for the fabric you're taking out at CF). I'm not sure how you worked with the crotch extension, but it could be that by changing that area you added fabric where you don't really need much (in the upper thigh), while not gaining it where you do need it--so you're getting a combination of sagging and pulling.

            Disregard if this makes no sense to you--I'm still learning about pants fitting, too, and with all the different body types we have, it seems like an endless process! Last Friday the Threads staff took half a day and did an in-house pants-fitting workshop. Each of us printed out a custom pattern using software, so the starting muslins were a pretty decent fit. Then we worked on tweaking the muslins. I think everyone went home with a well-fitting pattern. (even though I had no time to sew this weekend, I still spent the whole time glowing from the knowledge that when I'm ready to sew, my pants WILL FIT!). One thing that almost all of us had to do, no matter what our shape, was pinch out some length from the front crotch seam.

            By the way, we based our fitting on an upcoming article, which will be in the very next issue. Hope you get a good fit before that, but if not, more help is coming your way!


          9. SewNancy | | #17

            The sloper method seems to be better than fitting from an existing pattern, whether self drafted or computer.  I found that the Kenneth King CD was easy to follow (at least after  my husband noticed that his addition and division of the hip measurements was actually witin a bracket and needed to be treated as a simple equation!)  Then it worked well.  I would have liked it if he had used the capabilities of the CD as David Coffin did in his CD to add photos and video clips.  I agree about the pinch at center front.  I calculated my crotch width awhile ago as per a Threads article, oine of many on fitting pants!!! and I actually had too much width.  I hve a large flat derreiere. Gravity has hit and it is low, which gives me a definite downward tilt to my crotch line front to back.  I pinched a verticle dart on either side of my df seam above the crotch and running below the crotch line then I used his method for transferring the dart to the pattern edges to remove it and that is the best method I have seen or used and it works!   I made a pair of pants that fit and are comfortable. NOw for jeans!


          10. carolfresia | | #18

            Good job, Nancy. Glad to hear the sloper method worked for you.

            You know, gravity SEEMS like a good idea--I mean, who wants to fly off into outer space--but its effects on the figure (and face, too) aren't all that kind! I'm pretty sure that the pants I had fitted so well last week probably will need to be revised in about a year, unless I spend a lot more time working out the derriere muscles.


      3. lauraborealis | | #14

        I am having the exact same problem... the V in the front crotch (the point starts right below the bottom of the zipper and opens out; the fabric on either side of the arms of the V folds inward over it)... and can't find anything in my fitting books to determine what the problem is. Did you resolve yours? What did you do?

        I have a small waist, wide hips and rounded buttocks and upper thighs. RTW pants always seem to be too short in the crotch depth dept., making them uncomfortable when I sit. This inspired me to try to make my own, but despite doing a crotch curve alteration, I seem to be compounding the problem!

        Advice appreciated. Thanks!


        1. SewNancy | | #16

          I bought Kenneth Kings CD and made a sloper and had the same problem, but I used his method of pinning out the excess and then taking it out of the nearest seam or seams.  This was covered in his fitting article in Threads and it does work better than anything I hve done before.  I have a low front waist, so I always have too long a front rise in most rtw.   The amount I had to take out came out of the front inseam and deepened the crotch curve.  I am always afraid to take out too much but on  a muslin it doesn't matter as lon as you deep the adjustments in order and don't lose track of how much, which often happens to me and then I can't copy it on the pattern.  I also straightened the center front, but then needed to put some slant back in when I added ease to my sloper.  I think that the pants I have made from the sloper are the best I have made.  Of course, I made 4 muslins to get there, but as KK says pants that don't fit are just very expesive muslins!  I put them together with the least amount of adjustments ever.  I realized that the ease I added wasn't necessary with stetch woven.  I had given up on adjusting commercial patterns and while his CD could have made more use of photos and video clips, it is good. 


  2. Spanky | | #13

    Try Sandra Betzina's book,Fast Fit. I find most of her suggestions right on for fitting problems.

    Most helpful for mature shapes.


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