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Need a well-designed pant pattern

cynthia2 | Posted in Fitting on

Hi everyone,

I’m new to the group, so thanks in advance for your help.  I’ve been reading recent messages and learning a lot.

I need a pattern for flat-front pants.  I’ll be working in corduroy, so a casual style would be great.  I expect to have to do some fitting, but if I can start with a well-designed pattern, it will undoubtedly help.

I’m an intermediate-level sewer and very comfortable sewing jackets, blouses, and other types of clothing.  It’s been a long time since I tackled pants, though, so I’ll need to brush up on my pant fitting techniques.  Thankfully, there are several great fitting books out there, so I should be fine.

Thanks again.




  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    A pants pattern that is perfectly designed for one body type might be awful for another, so I'd recommend buying one from a company you like for other garments, then checking it against a pair of purchased pants that fit you well.

    Corduroy is thick and drapes differently than other fabrics do, so to get the best fit for your pattern, you should check it against a pair of cords. Although I love corduroy, it is not the easiest fabric to work with, considering its nap and bulkiness around waistbands, zippers, and seams. You might want to make up the pattern in a flat twill or denim first, adjust the fit, and then make the final garment.

    1. cynthia2 | | #2

      Thanks so much for your suggestions.  I've not worked with denim before, so I think I'll take your advice and try a twill or denim first.



  2. woodruff | | #3

    For pants, Burda has the best crotch curve in the business. If you use the measurement chart that's always buried someplace in the pattern, you'll wind up with a remarkably customized fit. Be sure to take the "stride" measurement: That's the one where you tie some elastic around your waist and use a tape measure to get the distance, between your legs, from the front waistline to the back waistline. Then you measure the crotch seamline on the pants pattern you have chosen, comparing that with your measurement. You may find you have to lengthen or shorten a bit.

    I always use one inch seam allowances for the inseams and outseams--kind of a fitting safety net. Same for the waistline--I leave a couple of inches at the top edge of the pants, and when they're finished except for the waistband, I try them on and tie that length of elastic around my waist again. This lets me smooth and fine-tune the pants into shape, allowing for a waistline that may be higher in one place or another, or for raising or lowering the front waist, etc. When the pants hang well under the elastic, I chalk-mark a line at the base of the elastic. That becomes the waist seamline. You can do a lot for the way the pants look with this last step.

    Burda's instructions are famous for being a little sketchy, but since you have sewing experience, you'll probably be able to handle that.

    One last thing; For your first new run at pants-fitting, it might be better to start with a fabric less chunky than corduroy. Making a "muslin" would let you get the fit right before you cut into your good fabric.

    1. cynthia2 | | #4

      Thanks so much.  I'll definitely try the Burda pattern - and a muslin first!


  3. SewNancy | | #5

    I have been trying to get perfect fitting pants for several years. My last foray was to tape copy, as outlined in a recent Threads issue, a pair of pants that I like the fit. I followed the isstructions and low and behold a pair of pants that looks good. If you need instructions for constructing the pants, try palmer and pletsches book on pants fitting. You will also be able to trouble shoot any problems that you have in the fit. Also I would reccomend this book if you are going to fit a commercial pattern.

    1. cynthia2 | | #7

      That's a great idea.  I have that issue of Threads on hand and will take another look at the article.  Many thanks.


      1. DcMcD | | #8

        I agree with Taylormade. The Betzina pattern from Vogue is the easiest to fit. I have a sway back and wear petite plus. Other patterns I ended up making muslin after muslin after muslin, constantly adjusting the pattern. This one I only had to make one muslin and it fit PERFECTLY! It's a great pattern!

        1. cynthia2 | | #9

          Thanks.  I will definitely try that one!


  4. Taylormade | | #6

    Hi Cynthia,

    I saw your request for a flat front pant and I have had great luck with a Sandra Betzina pattern (#V7940).  She designs for the "mature" figure, and although I still have to make adjustments for my flat hip curve and my rounded tummy (just add a bit of height at the front waisline), these pants fit great!  So if you think her patterns are for you (just check out the measurement charts for "Today's Fit in Vogue), then I would definitely recommend them.

  5. mem | | #10

    you know the one I like best is the Palmer Pletch series put out by Mccalls I think.?? They take you through adjusting them to get perfect fit so its a great learning experience . The pattern I am thinking of covers all the styles and leg shapes . I am now onto my 3rd one of it . I dont have the pattern here with me so I cant give you the number

    1. ixs | | #11

      I was told at a seminar I once took that a muslin would be more successful using the same type material you would make the finished pant in, to take into account "turn of the cloth." I agree with Burda and the pants altering book in an earlier message. I've read both their fitting books from cover to cover, and they make a lot of sense.Good luck.

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