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More Body Space Questions

fearyenot | Posted in Fitting on

Hi To All!

Thanks solosmocker and mem for your responses to my earlier posting regarding lengthening the center back seam using Joyce Murphy’s body space and fitting articles in Threads.  Since my last posting I remeasured my body space using aluminum foil.  It appears to be more accurate than using the flexible curve.  The flexible curve just wasn’t long enough. 

Here’s my latest scenario: when I lay my pattern pieces flat with the right back and right front touching at the crouch point, the crosswise grainlines are perpendicular to the lengthwise grain, etc., should the body space I see be identical what I measured/molded using the aluminum foil?  The space is not!   The length of the center back and center front are what I “need”, however, the shape of each doesn’t match my body space. 

I’m using old bed sheets for now, by the way.

I’m looking forward to your responses.




  1. SewNancy | | #1

    I have been trying to get pants to fit my 55 year old body for quite a while and Joyce Murphy's series of article fit the bill. I have two flexible curves that I put together and layed out, But my impression is that she just used it to show the very different spaces that people need. It is kind of hard to figure out the center line and besides, the Burda patterns that I prefer have a longer back crotch than front anyway. I found that making a pair of pants in muslin, putting in a zipper and waistband ( I used a countour waistband) and following her instructions worked perfectly. I cut really wide sas on the side seams so that I could add there what I took out so that I could get the pants on. I did make a second muslin to make sure that I wasn't going to make an expensive muslin and it really works. Don't forget that any thing you add to the side seams has to be above the knee or it will twist. I bought a bolt of muslin at Jo Ann's with my last 50 off coupon, so I have plenty to work with
    The only problem I had was figuring out how to handle the front crotch, because I needed to lower the back crotch for a dropped rear. To get it to work into the back without a point, I had to flatten the front curve a bit I needed to shorten the front crotch too. This worked well. I also, found that it was better to cut crotch depth a bit too short because I always have it too high and it is easier to sew deeper than it is to take off the waistband and shorten!
    Good luck to you.

    1. woggy | | #9

      "The only problem I had was figuring out how to handle the front crotch, because I needed to lower the back crotch for a dropped rear. To get it to work into the back without a point, I had to flatten the front curve a bit I needed to shorten the front crotch too."

      Nancy - I am trying to understand what you mean about "flattening the front curve."

      I realized when I saw Joyce's article that I too have a drop butt - but I have a sway back plus a round fanny - not to mention a pot belly.  It dawned on me that this was a big problem for me.  I also suspect that I need to shorten the front crotch but add it farther up to go over my belly.

      Any directions you can give me would be appreciated

      1. SewNancy | | #10

        I have adjusted my pattern but not sewn another version. I think that like me you may need more body space in the front. According to Joyce's article you would remove from the center front smoothing it into the curve and add what is removed to the hip area. The flattened front curve did not work out, wrong decision. Joyce's article is good but it is still trial and error.

        1. woggy | | #11

          Thanks so much for responding.  I started to finally read all of the pages from the P/P book on fitting pants for everybody and realized that I have all of the "tough" fitting issues that the authors write about. 

          Many years ago, a designer drafted a pair of pants for me that fit perfectly but that was many pounds ago!

          Will keep trying.


          Edited 8/25/2006 2:21 pm ET by woggy

      2. K1W1 | | #12

        For a split second I thought you were describing me.  Saggy & round derriere, sway back, with the bonus pot belly.  It's so hard to fit pants and have them look good. 

        I'm going to try my 2nd pair. Actually my 3rd, but the 2nd pair were from the same pattern as the first (burda 2545) but the stiffer fabric made them look shudderingly awful.

  2. mem | | #2

    Ok I am not an expert here by any stretch of the imagination. Are you saying that the whole length front and back is correct but its not distributed in the bits where you need it?

    If this is the case I have always used the slash and spread method but I guess that you can hollow out the curve as well so as to create a larger space where you need it. You need to break down the total length into parts and then look at each part in turnand compare it to your body and then see that when they add up they are firstly the sum of the front crotch length and the back length respectively and then that these two are the sum of the total length.

    1. SewNancy | | #3

      For years I used the slash and spread method or extended the crotch point and I ended up with more problems than it solved. In fact all of the problems that Joyce mentioned I have encountered. What I like about her method is that there is no complex measuring just use your hip measurement and follow the instructions. I know it seams a bit odd, but the key is add back at the side seams what you pin out in the center. Getting the waist at the right place has always been a problem as I have a very low front waist and her method addressed this right away. Try it it really works.

      1. Beth | | #4

        When I read Joyce Murphy's article, a light bulb went on. For my last pair of pants, I used flat pattern measurement along with laying a piece of romex cable that closely approximates my crotch shape into the space between the front and back. My space was a little smaller than the pattern (OOP Simplicity). I added on as Joyce instructed. With little adjustment, the pants fit!

      2. mem | | #5

        ok so you are pinning out fabric in the center back and front seam where you need it at specifically chosen points along the seams and the n adding it back into the side seams so as to maintain the circumferencce measurement????? Is there a formula as to hoe much you take out of the cb cf seams to get X chnage in the seam length?

        1. SewNancy | | #6

          you pin until you get the pants to fit without wrinkles. Half the amount gets added to the side seams above the knee. But, the first thng you need to do is fit the waist and crotch depth by pinning horizonatally until the waist and crotch are where you need them. Follow the steps in Joyce's article. There is no formula because we are all different. I have a very flat, low rear and a very short front rise. I have a lot more to adjust than some women and less than others.
          Try it.

          1. mem | | #7

            Thanks I will give it a go When you say 1/2 to the side seam you mean 1/2 on l and r respectively on the front and back depending on where you are taking it off?

          2. SewNancy | | #8

            I mean that you have 2 backs, etc. So when you measure the amount you pinched out, only use the depth of the pinched out material. If it is 1/2 " than you take out a half inch from center back or front, and add back at the side seam. But, again, I stress that this has to stop before you get to the knee, or the leg balance will be off and your pants will twist.

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