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Conversational Threads

Fitting trousers on an apple shape

PendleStitches | Posted in Fitting on

I’m very apple shaped with thin legs and am having great difficulty getting trousers to fit.

Everything is fine except that they continually slide down a bit after sitting. If I put a drawstring in then things are better, or if I elasticate the back waist.

What I’d really like, though, is to resolve this issue so I can just have a pair of trousers with a normal waistband.

Does anyone have any thoughts, please?


  1. sewelegant | | #1

    Have you seen any "maternity" trouser patterns?  I'm not sure how many are out there now because I have no need for them, but I remember they used to have some good and/or interesting ways of getting around that rounded tummy  with-out compromising a slim fit in the legs.

    1. PendleStitches | | #2

      Thank you. I hadn't thought of it but shall certainly take a look.

  2. Teaf5 | | #3

    One way to deal with a full tummy (maternity or maturity) is to make the center front seam angle outward (forward) above the curve of the crotch seam.  Usually, it is a straight, vertical line, but if you lean it outward 1/2-1" or so, you give space for a rounded belly.

    If you are full all the way around, you do the same for the center back and the side seams. You may also need to raise the waistline and/or curve it up over the fullest part of the tummy (center front).  You leave the pants legs alone, but you add fullness above the crotch line, where you need it.

    The final pattern won't look like a standard pants pattern, but it will fit better.  Try it in muslin or an inexpensive fabric, cutting 1-2" seam allowances and machine basting until you get the shape that works for you.

    1. PendleStitches | | #4

      Thanks for this. It makes sense and I had thought that maybe raising the waistline would be effective, but rounding the seam at the front also sounds like a great idea.
      I shall definitely give this a go.

    2. sewelegant | | #5

      This is what I remembered when I suggested maternity patterns, but I do not remember regular waistbands as opposed to elastic.  If one is not too big around the tummy I can't imagine it being that difficult or unattractive to put a zipper in.  I googled some maternity patterns and all I could see was - knit inserts to take care of the bulge - and that was all!  We all get so used to how patterns are "supposed" to look that it's hard to be objective and "make it fit".  I admire designers who can come up with the solutions.

      There is a new book out by Kathleen Cheetham of Petite Plus Patterns.  It includes a few patterns and she addresses the apple shape quite well.  I purchased the book, but have not gotten around to making a muslin or sample so have no first hand experience about how well it works, but I have used her patterns before and have been happy with the results.


      1. PendleStitches | | #6

        I'm ordering the book tonight. Thanks for the tip. I really appreciate your help with this. Thanks so much.

        1. sewelegant | | #7

          Your welcome.  Hope it works for you.

  3. cat42 | | #8

    I too am apple shape, with belly and balloon rear. My hips (on the side) are straight below the high hip bone, and my legs are slim. I've been experimenting with fitting and have an idea to offer, which worked for me.Try draping a slim pant fitting shell using gingham fabric. Start with a pattern and clean pattern paper. Trace seamline for both the front and back crotch curves, but straight-grain above the curve onto the clean paper. Note: if you know you need extra length on front and/or back crotch extension, add that to the curve. Also, if you want to experiment with angling CF or CB outward above the curve as someone suggested, draw that now.Now put away that commercial pattern; you'll be working with your own pattern from this point forward.Draw vertical (straight-grain) inseams below the crotch curves. Then draw vertical straight-grain sideseams positioned for the widest part of the front and of the back (plus 1/2" ease on each).Measure inseam from floor to crotch, and use that to determine where to draw a horizontal line for the bottom of the leg (at floor).Measure your length from waist to floor at several positions around your body: center front, front dart area, side seam, back dart area and center back. Note which is the longest length, then measure up from the floor line at the sideseam for that longest length and draw a horizontal line on both front and back, for approximate waist seam.Now add 2" seam allowance for front and back inseams and sideseams, and 2" seam allowance at waist. Add 5/8" seam allowance through crotch curves and 1" seam allowance above crotch curves for center front and back. Mark grain lines on front and back.Cut out these pieces from the gingham, paying attention to grain. Baste on temporary front and back crotch to waist, and sideseams from waist to crotch depth. Baste inseams only about an inch each side of the crotch seam, to hold the crotch together. The legs will not be connected below the crotch at this point.Try on, and adjust crotch seams as necessary. You can also play with the CF and/or CB positioning (tilt forward) for big belly or balloon butt. Once you get the crotch to fit (pay attention to drag lines), then fit a length of elastic around waist and tug pant as needed so that vertical gingham lines hang vertical all around, and horizontal gingham lines are perfectly horizontal. Mark the bottom of the elastic for the waist seam.Now the hard part, and it helps to have a friend help. Mark the center of the knee on front and back with a pin (this will be the crease line position). Then determine the position of the inseam first, so that the verticals and horizontals remain straight, the knee center remains centered, and the inseam bisects the leg at crotch, knee and ankle. Do this with pins, then baste. Then do the same with the side seam, ensuring that it bisects the leg at waist, hip, knee and ankle. Take off pant, and line up inseam with sideseam of each leg from floor to knee. Your knee-center should lie on the crease lines when the seams are lined up, and the creaselines should be on-grain from knee to floor. If they are not perfectly positioned and on-grain, you will need to adjust inseam and sideseam.When you feel good about leg fit, trim all seam allowances to 1", except through crotch curve, which will be 1/4" seam allowance. Cut off at hemline, or leave 1" extra just in case.Try on again and refine seams as needed. Play with center front and back, both on grain and tilted (forward or backward) to get the best fit. Mark darts and baste, then refine.Now transfer all seamlines including darts to your pattern, keeping grain line on-grain. Draw 1" seam allowances on all seams except 5/8" on center front and back, including crotch curves, and 1 1/2 " hem allowance. Cut this out of muslin or other fitting fabric and baste, then refine, and transfer all changes to your pattern.When I did this, I learned some interesting things. You will have different learnings depending upon your individual body.
    1. I didn't need much crotch extension on front, but I needed a fair amount on back.
    2. My CF was best just slightly off-grain (about 1/4" off at waist, tilted toward sideseam).
    3. My CB was also best off-grain (about 3/4" off at waist, tilted toward sideseam)
    4. I had the longest waist-to-floor measurement in the area of the back darts, not at the CB which one would expect for a big butt.
    5. I only needed one narrow and short front dart, but got best fit with 3 deeper darts in back.
    6. My front was widest at tummy line (3" below waist), but my back was widest at full-buttock line (6 1/2 " below waist).This shell is fitted as a slim pant. Not tight, but not loose like trousers. If you want to use this shell to make wider legs, add a front trouser pleat, or to make skin-tight jeans, it is possible, but you need to know some basics about moving darts, etc.. There are several good articles in Threads about this.

    1. PendleStitches | | #9

      Thank you so much for this information. I really do appreciate you taking the time to detail this.I've been reading lots of stuff and slowly coming to the conclusion that I need to go right back to the drawing board and your experience definitely confirms this.I sadly don't have much of a butt. Mine is flat which I've almost conquered by taking quite a big amount out of the trouser back.Do you find that now you don't have the problems with trousers slipping down as you wear them? And do you make trousers slightly higher waisted?

      1. cat42 | | #10

        Yes. slacks and trousers no longer slip down in the back. Well, maybe just a tad, but I think that's normal, you know, less than 1/2". Certainly not low enough to bother me.Because of my balloon buttocks, I need quite a long crotch extension on the back, and also the back is 2" wider than the front. so if you have the opposite problem, you probably need less crotch extension, and take some of the width out of the back, from from waist to knee (at least). This is done simply by making a vertical fold between center back and the dart. Then if more width is needed at the waist, you add it at the side seam and/or make darts smaller.I'm attaching a sketch I did of my original fitting gingham, with the draped seam lines imposed on top.

        1. PendleStitches | | #11

          When you see it in graphic form like that it's no wonder that neither RTW or commercial patterns fit!I'm sold. As soon as I can I'm going to give this a go and see what I can come up with.Again, a million thanks for taking the time to share this with me. I really am most grateful.

          1. cat42 | | #12

            You're welcome. I hope it works for you. Let me know how it goes. You can email me directly if you wish, at cmhaug4(at)earthlink.net (note that I disguised the email to protect me from spam).

          2. cat42 | | #13

            I forgot to mention a few things in the draping instructions.1. When you cut your first-fit pattern (the one you fit in gingham) out of muslin, mark the horizontal hip line and knee lines; also mark the vertical crease/grain line on the front from floor to dart area, and the crease/grain line on lower back leg (from floor to knee), then extend as grain line to the hip. If you're using disposable fabric, do this with a marker. If not disposable, mark with yarn or something else you can easily see and later remove. You will need these lines for fine fitting.I used some cheap twill for my 'muslin.' I chose that because its weight was similar to what I planned to use for the slacks. I considered it a disposable fabric, but marked my lines with bright yarn.2. To check verticals, use a plumb line (piece of string as long as from your waist to floor, with something heavy tied at the bottom). If you've got good eyes, you can eyeball the horizontals; otherwise measure to each line from floor at several places.3. when drawing seam lines at junctions, it's important for the seams to meet at a right angle, except for design elements. This is especially important where inseam meets crotch curve. Also important where sideseam meets waist; however I was unable to do that on my pattern because of the steep angle of the waist approaching the sideseam on the back. But I came as close to a right angle as I could.

        2. KharminJ | | #14

          Dear Cat ~

          Beautiful instructions for "starting from scratch" - which may ultimately be easier than fiddling endlessly with commercial patterns. Thank you!!A question about the illustration ~ I see that the front and back crotch points don't seem to line up at the inseam. Is that an artifact of the drawing program? If not, what do you do to accommodate the difference in front and back side lengths?Thanks again, and Bright Blessings! Kharmin

          1. cat42 | | #15

            Well, that not-lining-up is because of a few things:
            - First, the back inseam is at more of a slant than the front inseam, so is actually longer than you think -you know, the hypotenuse of the triangle thing. - Another reason is that between the crotch and the notch that is about half way to the knee, is supposed to be shorter (by about 1/2 inch) than the same space on the front, so that the front is eased into the back. This allows for give in the front when walking.- And perhaps another reason is that the bottom of the back crotch curve is typically 1/2 inch lower than the tip of the front crotch curve; this allows for the back pant to cup under the buttock, avoiding bagginess there. That's a European fitting precept, I believe.And, of course, some of the difference is due to the crudeness of the drawing software that I used.

          2. PendleStitches | | #16

            Thank you again for these detailed instructions. I'm very excited to get going with this. So much so, that I've finally got around to finishing a pair of curtains that have been waiting around for a while, just so I can clear the table to make a start on drafting these trousers.I'm very excited to have a block for trousers so I can make multiple pairs that finally fit, and can have fun playing around with design.

          3. cat42 | | #17

            I've already used my block to make slacks, trousers with front pleat, slim-leg jeans and boot cut jeans. And they all fit great. Next up: stove-pipe leg pant using linen fabric for summer cool.I put all my draping instructions, plus the sketch, in a pdf file. I included info added during this discussion, and also the link to this thread in the Threads discussion forum. so it's all in one place. See attached file. I want to give credit to Donna Brandt, a long-time participant in the Threads discussion, for starting me on my draping journey. She advocates keeping CF and CB on-grain. While my finished pant does not have these perfectly on-grain, I started out with them on-grain and only refined the slant toward the end of the process. I found this was great advice.Edited 11/13 to delete the pdf attachment. A newer version is attached to a later item in this thread: 10226.24 [NOTE: this has been further updated - see below; I plan to delete this interim version.Edited 11/25 to add newer version - see 10226.51Edited 11/13/2009 1:42 pm ET by cat42 <!-- CAT4212 -->Edited 11/13/2009 1:43 pm ET by cat42 <!-- CAT4212 -->

            Edited 11/25/2009 2:45 pm ET by cat42

          4. woggy | | #18

            You are not only a wiz at pants making and fitting but also computers.

            I have printed many discussions from this board and usually have to copy entire thread then past into word document.  How did you manipulate putting your document into the page you did that provided the printer icon, etc. at the top of the page?

            Are you perhaps an engineer by training?

            I have printed your other posts on pants when Donna was helping you a few years ago and have used them many time for my own alterations.  You provide excellent drawings with explicit directions. 

            I have read many posts on other boards that make me scratch my head.  The authors of these posts seem to not review/edit their posts and leave out important information. Your information is terrific.

            Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for all of us struggling to make pants.

            Can I assume that you were able to adjust the width of your pant leg by trial and error to get the size you wanted?  The block you started with is quite large on both pattern pieces but the interior patterns are quite slim.  Is this slimmer width determined by the hem measurement you decided you wanted on the front and back plus the width of the front and back knee?

            Once again, nicely done!


          5. cat42 | | #19

            Thankyou so much for your kind support. I remember your contributions when Donna and I were working though this.Yes, I'm an engineer (telephone), retired. And I have a very logical-thinking mind, I guess. And I love to draw. The last years of my career I was also a technical writer for our IT department.How I did the pdf:
            -- Well, I copied the entire text of my post after it was published, including the header (user names, date and thread number). then pasted into a word processing program like Word. Then I played with the formatting to add the step numbers, etc.
            -- Then as more information was added in subsequent posts, I copied and pasted into the document where appropriate.
            -- For the drawing I used a drawing program like Visio, and saved the file as a tiff. Then I uploaded the tiff file into the document. When I had the document just like I wanted it, I exported it ('print' in Word) as a pdf file.Ok, now for the draping questions:
            Yes, I used trial and error to get the legs just right. I didn't have someone to help me so it was pin, try on, repin, try on, etc. abut 50 times before I got it right.The reason I started out with the legs so wide is because I wanted to be sure I had enough fabric in case my legs draped really weird. I'm severely knock-kneed, with my upper thighs touching from crotch to knee, and then my lower leg angling out sharply. For draping, I needed enough width on the upper leg at the inseam, and enough width on the lower leg at the sideseam. So I just cut those on the grain.Actually, for most draping projects, you start out with a wide rectangle, and end up with a lot of excess fabric after fitting. If you know your body really well, you could trim off some of that excess when you cut the first time, but I highly recommend starting with the rectangles (with the crotch curve cut out of one corner). That way, you don't get any surprises for which you don't have enough fabric.The same is true for the length. Cut both front and back rectangles the same length, the length of the longest vertical measurement on your body, following your curves. You might even add an extra inch at the top, because when you put the elastic around your waist, extra fabric above the elastic will keep it from pulling out from the bottom of the elastic.Yes, the slimmer width of the leg was determined in large part by the desired width at the hem. Farther up the leg, it was determined by desired ease, and also desire to have smooth seamline transitions (from inward to outward curves and straight sections).Another consideration about width is that typically, the back leg is 1" wider than the front leg (1/2" wider on sideseam side, and 1/2" wider on inseam side), from hem to knee. And it continues to be wider all the way up to the hip, tho it may be more or less than 1" wider, depending on your figure. Above the hip, not considering darts, it is also wider than the front. After the darts are made, the front and back should be about the same width at the waist, for most figures (a very large apple would be an exception).

          6. KharminJ | | #20

            Brilliant! Thank you so much for your clear and concise answers ~ to the fitting questions AND the computer questions. I am definitely replacing my "saved-to-a-Word-doc-and-manipulated" copy of this HowTo with yours!Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

          7. PendleStitches | | #21

            Hi CatCan I just say that in a world such as ours where we are surrounded by people who are just wrapped up in their own problems, it is a joy to know that out there are kind, generous and charming people who are happy to share their skills and knowledge with others.Please know that your generosity is appreciated.
            Have a lovely weekend.

          8. woggy | | #22

            Thanks for giving more detail. I don't have a sewing buddy so it is nice to know that you were successful by yourself.I am working on getting the waist to hip depth correct. I have scoliosis and never noticed how much higher my right hip has become. I think all these years of looking at pictures of low rise pants on models made it difficult for me to visualize where my waist really is. It is much higher than thought.Back to the drawing board!Woggy

          9. cat42 | | #23

            Since discussion has continued, I updated the pdf to add the new info. Plus I clarified a few things, and updated the sketch. See new attachment. (I deleted the earlier version of this pdf file).You all are too kind. I enjoy doing this. I would like to hear from those who try this, and what learnings you had along the way.CatEdited 11/13/2009 1:43 pm ET by cat42 <!-- CAT4212 -->
            Edited 11/25/2009: This version of pdf is old and has been deleted. Please see latest version at 10226.51.Edited 11/25/2009 2:48 pm ET by cat42 <!-- CAT4212 -->

            Edited 11/25/2009 2:49 pm ET by cat42

          10. sewelegant | | #24

            I, too, have downloaded and printed the pdf file... I have always wondered about that slanted back seam and hope now I can come up with a better sloper.  Being an engineer has got to have given you lots of insight into covering a round ball.

          11. Gloriasews | | #25

            You & I must be twins - we seem to have the exact same shape - including the knock knees.  About the knock knees, have you ever tried the idea of cutting off the pattern at the knee & moving the lower part sideways 1/2" to follow the leg shape?  You then even off the leg.  I've always found the slim leg style to be more uncomfortable to wear & that it makes my knock knees even more obvious, as well as it makes my torso look even bigger, as my legs are fairly slim, too.  Is this slim legged style more suitable for you?

            Another question:  How are you changing the grain in the bum area to have the angled CB, as the grain is straight up the leg, & you started with a straight grain CB.  It looks in your drawing like the grain in the bum area is now on an angle.

            Thanks so much for the tutorial, which I printed off & will refer to often.


          12. PendleStitches | | #27

            I have slightly knock knees and have used the cutting and sliding at the knee and it does make a difference. I can really recommend it.

          13. Gloriasews | | #30

            Which way did you slide the bottom part of the pattern - to the outside or the inside of the knee?  Cat42 said that she tried it both ways & it didn't work for her.  I have never tried it, but I must try something to get a good fit.  Probably a muslin, trying it both ways, eh?

          14. PendleStitches | | #32

            I moved the lower leg out. Only about 1/4 inch but it does make a difference for me. I'm not very knock kneed but I do pronate slightly (feet pivot inwards) so this is enough to cause problems without the adjustment.A muslin is definitely the way. Whenever I skip the muslin step on any garment it all goes horribly wrong!

          15. Gloriasews | | #36

            Thanks for your comment - so it's outward to move it.  I think I'd probably need a half inch, as mine are very pronounced.  I'll definitely be doing a muslin on this one.


          16. cat42 | | #35

            I just want to clarify: The reason sliding the lower leg of the pattern in/out didn't work for me was because I had a long drag line from my high hip near the waist to the inside of my knee. Sliding the leg did not get rid of the drag line.When I draped the pattern and learned that I have to add vertical length at the middle of the waist (dart area) because of my high hip, that solved the drag line. In other words, the drag line was caused primarily by the high hip, not the knock knee.I bet if I took a commercial pattern, modified the waist for high hip, and then practiced moving the lower leg in/out, I'd find that one of those movements helps. But I don't need to do that because my draped pattern is perfect in the way it fits my knock knee. I'll never use a commercial pattern again, except perhaps to copy its design details. But I'll always use my draped sloper for the basic fit.

          17. Gloriasews | | #39

            I, too, must make an alteration for the high hips.  I'm hoping, as well, that I won't have to use a commercial pants pattern again, once I get my muslin perfected.  It'll take awhile, though, as I don't have a sewing buddy.  Good for you for perfecting your muslin, as obviously, it was worth all the work.


          18. cat42 | | #28

            Knock-knee leg adjustment by cutting pattern at knee:
            Yes, I've tried that. but one source said to slide the lower leg to the outside, and another said to slide it to the inside. I've tried both, but wasn't happy with the result. I now know the reason for my unhappiness in overall fit is because of the unusual curvature of my back pattern at the waist, which I learned from my draping exercise. And, actually, draping got the correct positioning of the leg seams, too, without having to do that sliding thing.My knock knees are actually two problems: my inner thighs are full, and then my lower leg angles outward as a result of the knock-knee. So the upper leg needed to be shifted a bit to the inside, and the lower leg shifted to the outside, compared with a commercial pattern. This is far more exaggerated on the back than on the front for me, because of my big buttocks.Sloping the CB:
            This is kinda tricky. If you are only tilting about 1/4" you can probably just redraw the line and reduce your darting by the amount of the tilt. But if much more than that, you should tilt by pivoting the upper pant so that the distance from CB to side seam is not changed. Pivoting lengthens the back crotch seam, so you may need to remove some of the added length, at waist, crotch extension or both. also remember that bias stretches, so you may want the total crotch length to be shorter than before the tilt, to allow for the stretch.Typically you add tilt when you narrow the leg, such as for jeans. In this case, the narrowing of the leg increases the angle of the crotch extension, putting it more on-bias, so that you need to reduce the length of the extension to allow for the added stretch of the bias.Also note that this pivot method can be reversed to move a tilted CB seam to be on straight grain, but this shortens the back crotch seam so you will need to restore the lost length at waist and crotch extension.I've attached a sketch, if you're having trouble picturing this.

          19. cat42 | | #29

            I forgot to comment on the slim-leg style. A more straight-leg style is more flattering on me than the slim leg. But as a sloper or block, it should be fairly slim, to be most useful for creating other styles. You can easily modify the block from a slim sloper to even slimmer jeans, or from a slim sloper to looser trousers or stovepipe legs. But it's hard to trim down from wider-leg pants to jeans.Jeans have the following differences from the slim sloper:
            -- CB and CF have more of a slant
            -- crotch depth has NO ease (shorter than sloper)
            -- back crotch extension is more on-bias, and shorter
            -- front crotch curve is also more on-bias and shorter
            -- more ease on front inseam below crotch (for ease in walking)
            -- leg is slimmer
            -- waist band is looser, mainly in the back, to allow ease for bending over or sitting.Trousers have the following differences from the slim sloper:
            -- CB and CF are on-grain
            -- crotch depth is lower (more ease)
            -- back crotch extension is more horizontal (but not absolutely horizontal), and longer (more ease)
            -- front crotch curve starts lower, but is still higher than back extension
            -- more ease below waist in front and back; front often has a pleat
            -- entire leg is looser - inseam and sideseam below hip are closer to verticalAs for your question about changing grain when sloping the CB: grain remains the same, from the dart area to hem, approximately bisecting the back of the leg. The CB just has more of an angle relative to the grain (a bit of bias).However, at least for me, the crease line angles above the knee, so that it meets the intersection of CB and waist at the top, and the centered crease/grain line at the knee. (This is indicated on my sketch). I think if I did not have the knock-knees, with the lower leg angling outward, there would be less of an angle to the upper crease line. You know, it's just different for every body. Your draped pattern may look nothing like mine!BTW, when I say "crease line", I mean the crease that is created when the inseam and sideseam for a leg are lined up, from hem to crotch, then continuing at same angle to waist. For me, on the front, this crease line is on grain the entire length. But on the back, it is on-grain only from hem to knee.I don't know if I answered your questions; it's hard for me to understand just what you are asking about the grain. To me, grain follows the warp threads, and does not change on a garment; however, the lines of a garment can change relative to that grain, either paralleling, or angling.

          20. Gloriasews | | #31

            Thanks so much for the added info.  As for the grain angling on the CB, I was referring to your longer tutorial, as it looked like the grain was straight up the leg, which it was, but then angled towards the CB when you adjusted your pattern.  I will review your notes more thoroughly, as you did a slash on your drawing, as well. 

            I'll be making my first pair of jeans (after sewing for 50 years :), & I was considering drafting the pattern from the article in Threads (2007 or 2008) of measuring your body in many different places, marking the measurements with dots on a large sheet of paper, then connecting the dots to make a pattern, which is supposed to fit perfectly.  Of course, I will make a muslin, as I think I also need the fish-eye adjustment at the back of the bottom of the bum.  My pants fronts hang very well, but I do have the wrinkles in the back from the inner knee to the hip.  (I also have the high hip bulge & fairly slim thighs).  Hopefully I'll get good results one way or another :).  Thanks again for your help.


          21. cat42 | | #33

            I took notes when I used my draped sloper to make a jeans pattern. I've been thinking to post those notes, with sketches here. It will take awhile tho - lots of drawings.What do you mean by 'fish eye adjustment?' I've never heard that term before, but I probably need it too - or perhaps already have done it when draping.Cat

          22. Gloriasews | | #37

            The fish-eye adjustment is the elongated oval taken in horizontally right under the bum, used to take out some of the bagginess under the bum.  There is a very good tutorial on it on Google: Debbie's Projects.  I'm sorry, I don't have the printout at hand & it will take me awhile to find it.

            The jeans tutorial would be very helpful, so I would appreciate it if you have the time.  I won't be doing the jeans until after Christmas now, anyway, as I have too many gifts to make in the meantime.


          23. cat42 | | #40

            I found the fisheye link: http://www.cedesign.com/familyphotos/sewing/info/KK_fisheye_dart/index.html
            This is interesting - I've not seen this before. I do have a comment. Her original pant back has extended and sloped CB seam (extended upward at the waist, and also extended at the inseam, for full buttocks. Part of her fisheye adjustment corrects the error created when she extended her CB seam at the waist, without also raising the waist in the high-hip area. This is a common mistake perpetrated by many articles on fitting adjustments to correct for large buttocks (for example, "Add inches where you need them" in Vol 117 of Threads, March 2005, page 50-51). The mistake is that the length at CB is not the only problem; it's also the length in the dart area - right above each buttock. (This is what I found when I draped my pants, and found I needed an oddly upward curved waist seam in the dart area). Or it could be also the length near the side seam cause by a high-hip. Or both.WEDGE
            I also read Debbie's page on the "wedge" alteration (http://www.cedesign.com/familyphotos/sewing/info/pantswedge/index.html), adapted from Sandra Betzina's Fast Fit.A wedge is added below the crotch line, making the inseam longer (and changing it's angle relative to the upper pant). I've tried this with commercial patterns, as a fix for knock-knees. It is very similar to sliding the lower leg outward. However, many with knock-knees also have full inner thigh, which means that the upper inseam needs to be altered, to add more width there.Debbie also adds a second wedge above the hip line, raising the waist at the sideseam (adding sideseam length), for high-hip. (Edited here) These two wedges together accomplish the same end result as the fish-eye alteration, with one important (and better) difference.With the fisheye, the raise at the waist is the same as the wedge above the hip, and the raised crotch curve adds length to the inseam. However, it also shortens the overall crotch length, which could cause problems. Lengthening the inseam by inserting a wedge is a better solution.So I would recommend pinning then measuring the fisheye to determine the needed size of the wedges. The measurement at the sideseam determines the size of the wedge above the hip; the measurement at the inseam determines the size of the wedge below the crotch. But you also need to fold out the height of the fisheye across the leg (as in the fisheye adjustment) so that the sideseam and inseam will still match those on the front (for length). OR lengthen the front leg by the same amount. OR shorten the back leg above the knee.GRAIN LINE
            As Debbie indicates, each of the added wedges alters the grain line, but in such a way that they cancel each other out, so that the final grain line remains mostly unchanged.

            Edited 11/18/2009 9:39 pm ET by cat42

          24. Gloriasews | | #41

            That is a great explanation, Cat!  What a mind you have!  Thanks so much!


          25. cat42 | | #42

            You're welcome. I love solving puzzles.I'll start working on the instructions to make a jeans pattern from the draped sloper tomorrow.Happy Thanksgiving (next week)!Cat

          26. Gloriasews | | #43

            Thank you.  Happy Thanksgiving to you!  We had our Thanksgiving last month (always in October for Canadians) :).


          27. woggy | | #44


            Your explanations of Debbie's tutorials are outstanding.  I am a member of PatternReview.com and Debbie is too.  She has many, many posts on this website regarding fitting and altering pants.

            With regard to the X wedge alteration in the second explanation, Debbie no longer does this alteration.  She now does what is called the Minnott Method.  This is from the Jan Minnott book on pants drafting and making.  Jan's way of altering for the knock knee is to cut the pattern at the knee line and shift it inward.  Where it differs from other alterations is the way the side seam is drawn.  Jan has you draw up from the knee line towards the hip line.  Debbie has this illustration on her blog if you search on the word Minnott.  The inseam is drawn down from the crotch to the knee.  This adds width to the inseam for full thighs and knock knees.  Because the side seam is drawn up from the knee line, it prevents added width in the thigh area and hem line as some other knock knee alterations do.

            Jan's alteration shifts the center of the pants towards the center of your body.  If you have wide hips which I do, this alteration is a good one to use.  By shifting the center of the grain line towards the center of the body, it eliminates the diagonal wrinkles found in the back radiating from the inseam towards the knee.  I think of this alteration as changing the "pitch" of the leg to fit your the center of your body.  I have an old Vogue pants slack pattern which is drafted with the slant of the leg going more towards the inseam.  All my newer patterns from all different companies have the leg straight up and down.  I believe pant patterns have this draft to fit the rectangle shape.  I am a diamond shape so this is one of the reasons why I need to shift the leg inward.

            However, I have found that I have to be careful how I draw the side seam so as not to have a jodpher look right where my thigh hits my torso.  But, I am also dealing with scoliosis which is another whole set of problems for pants fitting.

            Thank you again for your excellent tutorials.  So looking forward to Thanksgiving weekend so I can tackle my pants making.  I have been working on making pants for seven years now - many body changes during these seven years which is why it has taken so long.  Only wish I lived where you do!


          28. cat42 | | #45

            You are welcome.I wish I had a sewing friend with fitting experience, who lived here. Instead, all who sew ONLY do quilting. All the fabric stores are only for quilting, except JoAnns. but even they focus on quilting and only have a few garment fabrics.So I have no one to help me with draping and fitting issues; only my mirror and lots of patience to pin - try on - repin - try on - repin, etc.I'll check out that newer method for knock knees from Debbie's site. Don't know if I'll ever use it, now that I have my fitted sloper, but you never know. Plus I always learn something from others' ideas.Next up for me (after I get my bodice sloper fixed for back & underarm issues), is to practice Karen Howland's instructions on using a sloper to modify a pattern's fit, by finding the pattern's hidden sloper. (https://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4498/the-merits-of-a-basic-fitting-pattern from Threads Vol 79, Oct 1998).I'm almost finished with my instructions on modifying the sloper to make jeans.

          29. cat42 | | #46

            PS How do you do a search on Debbie's site? I don't find a search icon there.Does she have a home page? When I cut the url back to just the domain (http://www.cedesign.com), it goes to a software page for Photo-Paint.On her page of tutorials, I don't see anything with the word 'Minnott' in it, and can't figure out how to search for that word. I'm stumped.Cat

          30. woggy | | #47

            The following is a section from Debbie's Blog. Once you click on this page, scroll down and you will see a diagram of the Minnott method:http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com/search/label/pants?updated-max=2008-06-07T11%3A40%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=20Debbie's blog is stitchesandseams.On the home page, scroll to bottom to see the index of the site. Click on pants - scroll to bottom of this first page and click on older posts. Minnott method found on second page (if above link doesn't work).Enjoy.Woggy

          31. cat42 | | #48

            Thanks, that link worked. Yes, I see how the Minnott method is different from Fast Fit, in that it slims the leg on the sideseam while moving the leg toward the center of the body. I also understand that she does a full inner thigh adjustment (inserts wedge on in seam just below crotch).I'll admit I've not tried the two of these together, so it's worth a try as I have both problems (Full inner thigh and knock knees). That is, if I ever decide to try modifying a commercial pattern now that I have my own sloper....Here's more detailed history on my experimenting with knock-knee adjustment.The first thing I tried was actually the full-inner thigh (FIT) with the wedge. I still had diagonal drag lines from my outer high hip to my knee at the inseam.So next pants I tried sliding the lower leg inward, and as it turns out, I did the Minnott method on the sideseam, because I can see on my body that the legs turn inward as far as the knee, and so need less width at the outseam. This did help with the drag lines somewhat, but then below the knee, I had too much fabric there and it pulled against the outer side of the leg below the knee.So I tried sliding the lower leg outward. That helped with fit in the lower leg but I got my drag lines back.So from this I know I need to do what the sliding inward accomplished and also what the sliding outward accomplished. But the second cancels out the first and I'm back to the original pattern! It's so frustrating.That's exactly why I decided to try draping my sloper in gingham. No more theories, just real, actual draping to fit.But now I'll admit I"m curious to see what would happen with a commercial pattern, if I added the FIT wedge below the crotch for more inner thigh length, and ALSO slid the lower leg. But which way should I slide it? My actual lower leg angles outward, so I'm thinking that's what I should do. But the KK adjustment is to slide it inward. Any ideas?

          32. woggy | | #49

            Cat,I am sending you an email to the address you typed on this post. The subject line will read "From Woggy- Thread Poster 11/22/09.Woggy

          33. cat42 | | #50

            Hi all who are interested in my draping instructions:I've been working on the instructions to draft a jeans pattern from your sloper, and will attach it to this post. In the process, I realized I'd made some errors on the pdf for draping a pant sloper - errors of memory is my excuse.So I'm attaching the latest version of the draping instructions, which also includes info from our continuing discussion, as well as correction of my errors (red text). New text includes a section on draping the darts. {I deleted previously posted instructions in 10226.18 and 10226.24).I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who tries this draping, and/or drafting jeans from a sloper.Regarding the jeans instructions: my back waist curve is quite different from most people, and so I had to do a few extra steps to account for that curve. I hope this is clear in the instructions; I've also added a sketch of what it would look like with a more normal waist line curve. But feel free to ask questions if you don't understand.Edited 11/28: Reordered steps 3 - 8, and redid appropriate drawings to match the reorder. OOPS, I can delete the old version but cannot add the updated version. I'll do that on a later post in this thread (see thread 10226.54).Happy Thanksgiving to all. Here's the files:Edited 11/25/2009 2:49 pm ET by cat42 <!-- CAT4212 -->Edited 11/28/2009 1:38 pm ET by cat42 <!-- CAT4212 -->Edited 11/28/2009 1:42 pm ET by cat42 <!-- CAT4212 -->

            Edited 11/28/2009 1:43 pm ET by cat42

          34. Gloriasews | | #51

            Thanks so much, Cat!  Gad, you were fast with both of these - your poor brain must have been really ticking over, eh?  Pardon my grammar, but I've got to say that these instructions are much more better! :)   I won't be getting to this until after Christmas, as I told you earlier, so you may be getting questions then, but these instructions are incredibly clear, so I shouldn't have any problems.  Thanks again for all your work!


          35. cat42 | | #52

            You're welcome.
            You know how it is when you let something sit for a few days and then come back to it, you find something to change? Well, that happened with the jeans pdf. I decided the first steps were in the wrong order - not wrong, really, but if in a different order it would make more sense.So I reordered steps 3 - 8, and redid the first two drawings to match the reorder. And gave this newer version a slightly different file name. I've attached the newer version to this post and deleted the file from the previous post (10226.51).

          36. Gloriasews | | #53

            Thanks so much for the update.  All of this info will be a huge help when I get to those jeans.  I really appreciate the time & effort you put into this project, so pat yourself on the head for a job well done :).


          37. cat42 | | #34

            PS to Gloria, in reference to grain:I get confused because you use 'grain' for what I call 'crease line.'Grain, meaning the warp of the fabric, is always straight and never angles. My crease line, on the other hand, follows the grain on the back leg from hem to knee. but then it departs from grain as it progresses up from knee to CB. The crease line is a result of lining-up sideseam and inseam when pressing. When these are lined up, the distance from crease to sideseam is equal to the distance from crease to inseam. It may, or may not, be on-grain (follow the warp). But it should always be on-grain from hem to knee. For people who have saddle-bag hips, the crease line will likely follow the grain line from hem to crotch-level, and then diverge from grain to the CB. Because I have slim hips and deep crotch extension, my crease line diverges early, at the knee, in order to keep inseam lined up with the sideseam.Another thing: If you draw a grain line, truly following the warp, and also following the creaseline, from hem to knee, and then extend it without diverting from the warp all the way to the top (in other words, a straight line from hem to waist), it will fall somewhere along the waist between the CB and the first dart for most people. And, if you mark it so you can see it when you try on your pant, it should go down the middle of the buttock, the middle of the thigh and the middle of the lower leg. if it doesn't do that, something is wrong. You want it to do that so that the warp remains perfectly vertical. If it is not vertical, you will get drag lines somewhere.

          38. Gloriasews | | #38

            I was thinking 'grain line' for the warp line, as you were - but I wasn't factoring in the crease line.  I was also thinking that the grain line would have to be straight from the hem to the waist, to eliminate my angular pull lines.  Thanks, again,  for the clarification.  Were be both confused with each other? :):)


          39. Cityoflostsouls | | #54

            This is just in fun but my mind wanders off on tangents-I wondered what someone would think if they didn't know this was a sewing group and had never sewn a stitch before and came across your post?  Just fun to wonder! I'm sure a lot of our posts would cause people to wonder!  Love you all.

          40. Gloriasews | | #55

            Hahaha!  I had to check back to the comment you referred to to see what I'd actually said!  It wasn't too bad :)   I'm sure lots of people come here, either by choice or accidentally, to see what this site is.  Hopefully they learned something while they visited :).

          41. Palady | | #26

            Your effort in posting the apple shape pants fitting is much appreciated.


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