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Pants fitting

Efw | Posted in Fitting on

I have made my first pair of jeans using McCalls 9233 View D size 18. I have used the same pattern to make trousers as well. I am reasonably happy with the jeans but there are a couple of fit problems and I would like some advice please. I have a protruding tummy and, I think, a flat seat. The top half of me (above the waist)is still a size 14 and I have reasonable legs – not fat like my tummy.

I have attached some pictures so that you can see what I am talking about because I don’t think my words alone explain the problems.

I think the crotch depth and curve are O.K. but you will see that I have a bit of extra fabric below the tummy in the front and a lot of extra fabric below my bum at the back. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the cause of the problem and also how to fix it.

Do I need to do a “flat seat” alteration? I understand that that alteration goes the full length of the pants. I need the width to go around my tummy and bum so I would need to add to the pattern there – correct? If so, how?

The other problem is the pockets. When I was making the jeans (and the same with trousers) I match the pocket edge with the side seam of the pants. In the photo the pocket obviously pulls the side seam. Does that mean that the pocket edge doesn’t really sit level with the side seam even though all the instructions say that it should. It looks to me like I need to make the pocket a bit wider/longer?? at the side edge or otherwise the pocket side seam should not be level with pants side seam. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  1. woodruff | | #1

    Those zigzaggy folds below the seat make me think you are an excellent candidate for a flat seat alteration. Here are Debbie Cook's very well-thought-out approaches (which, by the way, are quite similar to those of Burda):


    Edited 7/5/2008 1:06 pm by woodruff

    1. Efw | | #2

      Thank you for your reply and the link. I have always thought a flat seat alteration had to be from waist to hem so the "fisheye" dart alteration is a completely new idea. I shall pin out the excess fabric with my jeans and other trousers I have made from the same pattern and see what happens. Thanks very much

      1. woodruff | | #3

        Well, it is a length issue, but in this way:Pants need a certain amount of length to get from your waist to your hem, and a certain amount of extra length is built in to go over the fullness of the average rear end. The same principle applies in bodice fronts, where the fabric has to cover the area from neck to waist, but the front covering must be longer than the back, because the back doesn't have boobs.For those of us with flattish rears, we have to remove some of the length for the fullness we do not have back there. Extra fabric length shows up as loose (not stretched-tight) horizontal or v-shaped wrinkles below the rear.

      2. Pattiann42 | | #7

        I think they will look super - pockets included, once you master the "fish-eye" dart alteration.

        Expecting more pictures! 

        Best wishes.

        1. Efw | | #8

          Thanks for your encouraging email. I have been "fiddling" with pants in my wardrobe and the "fisheye" dart seems to solve the problem in all sorts of pants I have made. I will send photos of the next pair of pants - they will be pull ones I think - but don't hold your breath. I work full time and it takes me weeks to produce something that someone else whips up in an afternoon!!

          1. Josefly | | #10

            My figure is very similar to yours, and so I'm watching your fitting process with interest.I think your jeans look pretty good in the seat. The crotch seems a little bit short, but jeans are often worn very close-fitting in the crotch. It's the back thigh area - under the seat - that seems to have too much fabric. Someone else questioned whether there is too much length in the legs - something I also wondered, but you don't have the same issue in the front. Then I wondered if it's the back crotch point that's the problem - does it extend too far forward, making the back thigh too wide? (I don't know if the fisheye dart, mentioned earlier, is the correction for this, since it seems to remove length, not width?)By the way, fitting issues aside, you've done a very nice job on the jeans. Good luck with your experimentation, and I look forward to hearing your solutions.

          2. woodruff | | #11

            The extra length you observe is exactly that: the rear end does not take up the amount of ease that is built into the pattern for a full posterior, and it shows up as folds of superfluous fabric that hang up between the crotch seam and the hem of the pants.It is possible to get overenthusiastic with the fisheye dart. i would suggest starting by taking out only 3/8" total on a trial pant. 3/8" really is a significant amount.

    2. starzoe | | #6

      I think there are two things that need adjustment: photo #4 with the pulled pocket means that the pants are too tight around the hips - you should be able to have a straight line from waist through hips to the floor.As for the flat backside - there is a simpler way to adjust this, it accomplishes much the same thing. About two inches below the waistline, draw a horizontal line (using a t-square from the straight of the goods marking. Slash on this line from centre back to hip, leaving just the tiniest bit uncut at the hip mark so that you can overlap the cut end the needed amount - about 3/4" does for me.This brings the centre back up and gets rid of the poochiness in the rear end. It also looks like you need a little depth added to the back crotch as it looks very tight there.Do the widening of the pattern first, then the slash and overlap. The crotch depth may ... just may be okay then, if not cut a little depth there.And this next statement may seem a little brutal, but the back pockets and the extra coin pocket do not enhance your form. This style of bluejean is most attractive on slim people who can afford to add extra layers of fabrics. Try to keep the v-back yoke, if it is fitted to your proportions it can look very chic and retain the blue-jean (but more tailored) look for you.

  2. sewchris703 | | #4

    I agree with the others. You have too much fabric in the rear end. But you also need more fabric in the stomach area. That's why the front pockets pull away from the side seam. For a quick check, make a muslin of the pants, using 1" seam allowance in the side seams. Try them on and adjust the side seam.


    1. Efw | | #5

      Thanks for your reply. The pattern does have a large seam allowance to allow for adjustments which I have experimented with but I end up with the same problem on all the pants I make. I think it is something I am doing, or not doing, when I sew the pants. I think because of my protruding tummy I need to allow for the pocket to curve more than it would normally to "go around" my tummy. I think that means that I need to add some length/width? to that part of the pocket which is sewn into the side seam but I am not sure and was hoping someone would say "yes" your logic is correct or "no" you need to do such and such.

  3. Kitch | | #9

    I could not tell from your pictures if the pants were too long?  It almost looks like the jeans are being pushed up on your legs...I am no expert just know that when I buy pants that if they are too long they look like this.

    I had a pattern made for me through Unique source that was at the Puyallup show.  The first one did not work but they made a new pattern after talking to them and it is really great.  They have a truck that is like the ones that go for Bookmobiles or Mammograms would probably be closer.  They do a complete scan of your body then you have about 700 patterns to choose from and they make your pattern per your measurments.  I wish there were many places that you could do this,  I think more people would sew fore themselves if they were sure that what they were making would fit afterward.


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