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Men’s trouser crotch alterations

kswolff | Posted in Fitting on

I have had some success making trousers for my husband – there is just one bit that I don’t know how to address… they spin around his body quite a bit as he wears them. This also happens with purchased pants but on the loose-fitting linens he likes so much, this happens even more. I believe the problem has to do with men “dressing to the right or left”. I did several pair for him last summer and enjoyed it greatly, it just really bugs me that they twist around so much and before I do any more, I would like to see if there is a solution.

Does anyone know how to alter a commercial pattern to address this issue? Or could it be something else that causes his trou to travel? I will also take any other tips on fitting men’s trousers since on my previous attempts, I was just winging it.

Thanks in advance.



  1. kayl | | #1

    Where is the front and back grainline on the trouser legs? Are the pants perfectly on grain? That's the first thing I'd check.

    1. kswolff | | #2

      The grainline runs parallel to the center back and center front cutting lines, and the 2 front pleats. I did just see that the stitching line at centre back does angle slightly towards the side seam at the waist. Also, when I was fitting the pants on him, I did have to take them in about an inch which i distributed between centre back and side seams.

  2. Elisabeth | | #3

    If this happens on all his pants, purchased and custom, then I would venture to say that the spinning might be the result of a personal habit such as putting one hand in a particular pocket. Lots of guys use their pockets to park their hands when they talk to someone and maybe your guy only parks one? Or maybe the wallet is weighty or how he pulls his wallet out slightly pulls his pants around each time? Dressing to the left or right probably contributes a little somehow but I'm not sure what at the moment. Didn't tailors cut according to individual preferences or is that a myth?


    1. kswolff | | #4

      I believe that traditional European style tailors do (or did) compensate for dressing left or right in men's trousers and I have been looking for information on that technique. None of the tailoring books give any info about it so I was hoping someone on the list would know.

      As for his habit of putting one hand in a pocket- it's a very good point and I'll watch for that in the next few days. I still think there must be something I should do differently since the problem is much more pronounced on the trousers I make.

      1. MargaretAnn | | #5

        I have a book: Classic Tailoring Techniques, a Construction Guide for Men's Wear, by Roberto Cabrera.  It was printed in 1983, but it might be available used.  The book explains in clear detail how to measure for how men " dress" themselves.  It is also the best book I have ever seen on tailoring for men, now a vanishing art. 


        1. Elisabeth | | #6

          Amazon has it for 48 bucks. I read the one preview page they offered and I immediately put that book on my wish list. What a book! Thanks for the info.


          1. kswolff | | #7

            I have already put in an order for the same book. Thank you so much for the recommendation. When and if anyone gets the book, I would love to know what you all think of it.

          2. MargaretAnn | | #8

            Dear MrsWolff

            I'm glad I could help.  I hope this solves the problem.


          3. kswolff | | #9

            So for those who are intested, I am going to post this message with the instructions for crotch alterations on a man's pant for "dressing left or right".

            Determine which side the man "dresses" on. On that side, add 1/4" to 1/2" to the crotch point graduating from nothing at the centre front waistline, and then graduating to nothing at approximately half way down the inseam. Remember to do this only to the side that needs some extra room. This slight extra will be eased in while sewing to the the other front piece at centre front and while sewing to the inner back leg.

            Hope this helps anyone else who might be interested. When I actually try this technique, I will post another message to tell everyone how it worked.


          4. Bernie1 | | #10

            Please do - I am interested in making slacks for my  DH but I've always been nervous about it - don't know why, I think fitting for women with all our curves is so much harder.

          5. DennisM | | #11

            Oh my! Something else to worry about as I try to make pants for myself and other men. LOL

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