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Pant fitting

Mary_Martin | Posted in Fitting on

I am helping someone fit fot pants. Measurements are waist 37, hips 43, front crotch 11 and back crotch 16. What size pattern should she buy, and it looks as if we need to shorten front crotch by about 2″ and lengthen back. I am comfortable with the back adjustment, but a little worried about the 2″ adjustment in front. Please help!


  1. Mary_Martin | | #1

    Elona, to follow up on my pant fitting question. I got a Burda pattern #2858 and I am able to adjust it to my friend's measurements. I feel very confident with this pattern. Oh, I also reviewed Sandra Betzina's video - big help. Thank you again for your suggestions. I have to get accustomed to this new format on Gatherings.


    1. Elona | | #2

      *Mary, Burda 2858, huh? That one looks so good in the photos that I've been seriously tempted to buy it. Tell us how it turns out, would yo

      1. Mary | | #3

        *Elona, Burda 2858 sews up just like it looks. The pants came out fittingly and I now have to make her another pair. I really appreciate your input.

        1. onebean | | #4

          *Can anyone help with a pants fit problem? I have a smaller waist (26.5" or pattern size 12) than hips (28.5" or pattern size 14). I have "saddlebags" or bulk at the thighs more than at the upper hips. Fabric on the seat of the last several pairs of pants I have made seems to bunch in the rear crotch seam making it look like I have a "wedgie." I bought the patterns based on hip measurement and took in at the waist by decreasing the side seams, back darts, and rear center seam. Believing the problem was in the crotch seam, I have tried all kinds of modifications including changing the curve of the crotch, lowering the crotch seam, and letting out a little more room on the back crotch curve at the inseam. But, the crotch seam isn't too tight, and the more length I give it the worse the problem gets. So here's what I think the problem might be. When I take in the waist, it leaves a certain amount of slack across the seat (kind of like the gathers in a curtain). This extra fabric "accumulates" in the crotch seam when I stand. I can't get rid of it because I need that room for sitting. What would you recommend? Should I buy the pants pattern to fit my waist and let it out at the lower hips? How would you do this? Is there a better way to reduce the waist? Should I give up and only make skirts?

          1. lin_hendrix | | #5

            *Hello Onebean, I too have a similar pant fitting problem, small waist-big hips coupled with a little (but growing!) tummy and a petite stature. Most commercial patterns seem to assume that the wearer is long waisted with an imperceptible slope from waist to hip; not so if there's more than ten inches difference between the measurements (like me).I've posted a gif with my own pant alterations to hopefully make my suggestion clear. Most pattern altering texts suggest getting the back crotch length correct by adding to the center back seam near the waist area (between red tick marks). This does nothing for adding extra around the thighs or hips and forces the extra fabric into "poochiness." From your description it sounds like you need to lengthen the back crotch curve near the inseam area, not the top waist area. To get the slope from hip to waist try adding a second dart in the back. This allows you to keep the center back seam and side seams a little straighter which adds room across the hi-hip. Not curving the outside seams makes in-seam pockets lie flat too. You'll notice my pattern has an almost inward crotch curve front and back. This handles my tummy in the front and the abrupt transition from hip to waist in the back. The front crotch curve has been shortened so that more room can be added in the back. Everything matches my pant measurements when done even tho' the pattern shape is quite different. To get the back crotch inseam extension right you'll need to cut a muslin with extra fabric in this area. Baste the seam and take in or let out until you can sit comfortably. Adding fabric here should be imperceptible when standing. Let me know if anything's unclear.--lin

          2. Christine_Dunn | | #6

            *I enjoy sewing but have not sewn for many years because I have been so disappointed with how things fit. I have decided to try making a simple pair of pants with an elastic waist and pockets at the side seams. I measured a pair of ready made pants that fit and discovered that the back crotch seam is longer than the front crotch seam. When I study the patterns and the books about fitting pants, they all say that these two seams should be the same length. I am confused.

          3. lin_hendrix | | #7

            *Hi Christine, The two seams are probably different and probably should be that way. Most people's fronts are shorter than their backs. There are many different ways to fit the crotch area in apair of pants. Bottom line is that the total length of the crotch seam, front + back, must match your total length, front + back + wearing ease. Everything else is personal preference or the pattern designer's design preference. If your well-fitting pants have a longer back crotch seam then you should probably stick with that type of pattern. You didn't say if your ready made pants were an elastic waist style. Traditionally, elastic waist styles have a fairly vertical crotch seam, getting the wearing ease from the depth of crotch. The more tailored the pant is, the more bias-y the crotch seam will be.--lin

          4. Christine_Dunn | | #8

            *Thank you for your comments. After thinking about this some and sleeping on it and trying the ready-made pants on again and reading some more sewing books, I agree with you. I will go with what works. The pants I am attempting to make have elastic all around the waist and pockets in the side seams. They are the simpliest thing in the world. I got the elastic in last night and tried them on again and I am very happy with the way the crotch seam fits. I can sit down and they don't dip down in the back so that is real progress. And you are right the back crotch seam is very vertical with short depth. There seemed to be a lot of fabric in the stomach -- does that mean I should shorten the front seam? It would be so nice if I had a pants pattern I can count on. I hate paying $25 to $40 for pants that are so simple to make.

          5. lin_hendrix | | #9

            *Hi Christine, Well maybe you should shorten the front crotch seam. Make sure you have enough sitting down ease. Try just making the curved part of the seam shallower OR it could be that the distance around the hip (just the front) is too big. If your front hip circumference is smaller than the pattern then you may wish to take some off the side hips. Make sure you re-true the pattern front to back if you do this. BTW although I make most of my own patterns I have had good luck with the Textile Studio's Basic Pant and Loes Hinse' European Pant (both by Loes Hinse). She has some *great* tips for sewing in elastic on these type of pants. Loes' web site, http://www.loeshinsedesign.com/ has her patterns and this site has the Textile Studio patterns, http://www.ezknit.com--lin

          6. marie_bucuvalas | | #10

            *Good advice all. Two thoughts -- I have "saddlebag" issue with which to contend, and I accidentally found out, while confusing myself about which side of the pants was going have the zipper, that fusing a strip of soft interfacing (Touch'o Gold) into the seam allowance from the waistline down past the "bump" helps create a much smoother line. Also, if you're really frustrated about pants fit, consider paying to have a professional create a basic pattern that fits you. Once you have the basic waist, hip, thigh, crotch measurements in the right proportions, with "real garment the way YOU like it" ease, not a no ease sloper, modifying the style is not hard. Out of my original 90 dollar investment, I've made five pairs of pants, with a new waistline idea on the cutting table now. I wish I hadn't waited until I was 42 to stop futzing around with "not quite right".

          7. Elona_Masson | | #11

            *Right on, Marie! After too many years of futzing around trying to fit myself, I had a private pants-fitting session with a wonderful lady at The Sewing Workshop. The monetary investment has saved me many more years of frustration (and made me regret waiting so long to take this step).

          8. Dot_Marshall | | #12

            *This pant fitting business is so frustrating!!! I use a Burda tailored pattern with slanted pockets and a side zipper. I made a pair of pants in a lovely light grey wool and they were superb. So, buoyed up with my success, I attempted another pair in a wool crepe (this fabric not so thick as the grey pair). They fit fine except that the right inner leg seam does not hang straight, but has a bumpy-looking effect - I did not do anything different with these pants so I cannot understand why this has occurred. I was wondering if any of you expert sewers out there can tell me what happened? Dorothy M.

          9. Karla_Kizer | | #13

            *Well, Dorothy, I've been reading your post for several days, hoping that someone would offer you an expert opinion. No one did, so you get my INexpert opinion. I can think of three possibilities: 1) the fabric could have been slightly off-grain when it was cut. This can happen when the fabric is cut double-layer. The top might appear to be perfectly straight, but the bottom layer could have been pulled off-grain a little. Or 2) the fabric could have been stretched or eased while you were stitching the inseam. Perhaps ripping out that seam and stitching it again could fix it. 3) You could have a variation in the size/shape of your hips or thighs - one larger than the other, high hip, etc.- that doesn't cause a problem in a fabric with plenty of body, and shows up only with a drapier fabric. Those are my only suggestions. Hope someone else can come up with some other ideas. -Karla

          10. Jennifer_Murphy | | #14

            *Something interesting that I found out about sewing for 'saddlebag hips' (trousers and skirts) is from a Sandra Betzina (sp?) book ... you press the seams open and then fuse light-medium weight interfacing down the open seam ... this will give it enough body to not conform to the various in's and out's of the figure! I'm trying it on my next skirt.CheersJenniferWestern Australia

          11. petex2000 | | #15

            *I just copied a pair of ready to wear shorts and found the same situ. I compared them to other pants. The rear crotch seam is longer. Pants patterns seam very non-intuitive. I can draft a shirt pattern easily and make adjustments, but once I alter pants patterns they just seam to get worse.

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