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Pants Pattern Instructions Issue 134

YungBag | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

I have read through the steps on how to draft a pattern for The Best Fitting Pants–Ever (January 2008 Number 134) and feel something is missing from Step D)  on page 55.  Does anyone else feel the same?




  1. woggy | | #1

    There are three bullet points for section D.

    Do you feel there are directions missing from one of these bullet points and if so which bullet point (top, middle, bottom)?

    1. YungBag | | #3

      What I'm having a problem with is there is no "2a" and "2b" is used when you were not previously directed to label that intersection "2b" as with other steps.  And, also, there is no "8a."



  2. Josefly | | #2

    I'm having some trouble mentally following these illustrations and instructions, too. Since you mentioned it I went back to scrutinize step D. Are you wondering about the measurement used to locate point 8b? Or can you specify what is missing? The part I'm having trouble with is step F. First, the sketch for step F doesn't show the use of point 6b, which was located and used in step E to draw the center front line. Second, the instructions say "...measure 1/4 of your waist circumference plus 1-inch for the dart depth, and draw a gently curved line connecting to point A." Then it says in the next part of step F, "From point A, curve a side seam to the hipline at point 5." But the hipline curve drawn doesn't start at point A. Do you think it means to draw the curved waist line beginning at point 7 (or 7a or 7b, if used) and stop before reaching point A, using the measurement = 1/4 waist circumference plus 1-inch? Then, at that stopping point, draw the curved hip line? Judging from the corresponding instructions on the pants-back, I think that's what is meant, but I'd like some verification.I haven't gone carefully over the pants-back drafting instructions and illustrations, but it appears to me that the center-back seam will be quite off-grain. Or is the grain-line redrawn somehow? Anybody else who can straighten out the way I'm reading this?

    Edited 11/16/2007 3:25 pm ET by Josefly

    1. YungBag | | #4

      First of all, I'm wondering if there is something missing.  I don't know if there is.

      Second, I had a little problem with F) but I think I'll understand it better when I try it.  Also, I haven't read through all of the steps for the back.  I probably won't get around to giving them my full attention until after Thanksgiving.



      1. woggy | | #5

        Wouldn't it be wonderful if the author of this article could answer these questions on this thread?

        1. YungBag | | #7

          Yes, it would.  I tried to send the question to Amber (the Editor), but it sat unread for more than a day so I deleted it.  I guess I didn't do it right.



          1. katina | | #9

            Why don't you try resending your message? Amber has mentioned before that she's often away on shoots, etc.

          2. YungBag | | #10

            Thanks, I will.



          3. AmberE | | #12

            Yes, unfortunately, it's not possible for me to check posts daily. The Gatherings boards are more for the readers to offer support to each other. However, if you have a true technical concern on a story, or you think that there is an error, you should send an email to our very capable admin assistant April Mohr. The address is in the masthead of the magazine. We take technical errors very seriously, but unfortunately do not have the resources to answer them within Gatherings.

            Edited 11/19/2007 5:43 pm ET by AmberE

          4. YungBag | | #13

            Thank You.



      2. Josefly | | #6

        I don't think there is an 8a that is missing - I think it's just a discrepancy in labeling the points. There is also no 2a, but there is a 2b and 2c.Yes, Thanksgiving is about to absorb all my time, too. Have a wonderful holiday!

        Edited 11/17/2007 9:47 am ET by Josefly

  3. Tatsy | | #8

    I'm really interested to hear how this pattern works for others, especially GailAnn if she's on this thread, since we seem to have the same fitting problems. I sat down for an hour or so and read through the directions. By my calculations, the directions would simply bring up the same old shape that is too tight where I need width and too baggy in the legs. Any comments?

    1. lorisews | | #11

      Seems to me this article won't give you the best pattern to START from but you will still need to fix for things like knock knees, flat or protruding seat or abdomen, etc.

  4. WhiteBow | | #14

    I dug out issue #134 (January 2008) for the article on drafting your own pants pattern. I have a terrible problem getting pants to fit so I thought I'd try drafting my own for the first time. I'm not sure this article is a good guide. It doesn't show any darts! How can you have a pants pattern with no darts? The instructions say "measure the length of the dart" based on a fraction of the waist measurement, but they don't say where to place the darts or how wide they should be, and you can't determine the depth of a dart from a horizontal waist measurement anyway. And no darts are shown in the illustration!Was there any follow-up to this article? How do we make darts on this pants pattern?

    1. starzoe | | #15

      Without re-reading the whole article I can tell you this about darts:
      1. Placement of darts depends on the individual body shape
      2. Length of darts depends on body shape. Darts are pointed at and end at the highest point or near highest point, and this varies with the figure shape.
      3. Depth of darts depend on several things: personal preference, the amount that has to be taken in and that depends on what your pattern has allowed and again, the shape of the individual body.
      4. You can have pants without darts, in fact the current style is a flat front, not suitable for most of us. Some people only need darts in the front, some only in the back (flat rear), body shape, again.You may have better luck altering a pattern you have used before and know what is wrong with it. The instructions here seem to be unnecessarily complicated, especially about the waistline/hip area.

      Edited 1/4/2009 2:02 am ET by starzoe

    2. JeanM | | #16

      Ok, I had to dig out this issue also.  They do mention where to place the darts, and what size to make them.  It is the final step with both back and front.  What Starzoe said about darts is correct.  Use what they are saying as a guide.  You can fit the darts to your body once the pants are on you.

      They didn't say it clearly but what they are trying to say is to measure 1/4 of your waist measured from your determined point plus 1 inch which will mark the placement for the center of the dart, not its depth.  They couldn't have meant the waist circumference because that would put it near the side seam; they must mean measure 1/4 of your front waist. (?)

      I just checked issues 135 and 136 and there are no clarifications.  If they are going to make something so complicated, they could at least be clear and correct with their information. 

      I made a copy of this article to put in a special folder but hadn't really read it over until tonight.

      1. WhiteBow | | #18

        Re: Issue #134, "The Best Fitting Pants--Ever"Thanks to everyone for your replies. I do know how to make darts and fit garments--my comment was basically one of frustration with the article because the instructions are so sketchy, and the illustrations don't fill the gap. I can also see by looking that that back crotch seam will never fit my body. I don't think I will bother to cut out and sew this pattern.I also looked in subsequent issues and didn't see any corrections or clarifications. Threads staff: Please make your articles more complete. The article ends by saying, "Perfect the pattern on your body. Correct your pattern from this fitting. And abracadabra, alakazam, you have perfectly fitting pants!!!!" OK, I added that last sentence, but that's how it feels. I suspect that too much was left out of this article in an effort to make it fit the space alloted, rather than taking up the space needed to explain things clearly and completely.I managed to find a pattern drafting book that I thought I had lost. Their instructions are a lot more detailed and require patience to follow, but I think they will yield better results. I'll post the book and notes on my success or failure once I have completed a draft.Happy Sewing!

    3. User avater
      artfulenterprises | | #17

      Starzoe and Jean have given you great direction, but thought I'd just add a note. Since I am primarily a draper rather than a flat pattern drafter, I work a bit more intuitively so my "rules" are a little more conceptual than absolute. When draping a garment, the darts are placed where the roundness of the body dictates, but there are a few general guidelines that help. The first dart (closest to Ctr Back) is approximately 4" from CB, about the distance of the width of your hand at it's widest part across the knuckles. The second dart is placed another hand's width away from the first. Each dart is about 1/2" to 5/8"(max) deep "on the double" as my draping teacher used to say. That means, when opened flat the dart is about 1" to 1 1/4" wide at the waist. Once the dart is pinned in place, any other excess fabric is smoothed out toward the side seam. Then a pinch of fabric about 1/4"-3/8" "on the double" is pulled back into the garment as ease before marking the location of the side seam.One of the easiest ways to establish the darts for your pants pattern is to use a darted straight skirt pattern that fits you well. (Also known as a Basic Block pattern.) Measure down the side seam to the point of the full hip measurement (usually about 7"...but varies from person to person). Draw a line at this point across the pattern, squared from Center Back. Overlay your pants pattern on top of this section of your skirt pattern and trace off the darts and side seam.
      Darts are usually 4 to 6 inches long...again, depends on your body and where you are placing them. As a general rule, if you were to look at your front and back pattern pieces laid side by side, each dart would be slightly longer than the preceding dart starting with the shortest dart near CtrFront and the longest dart near Center Back. But, there are exceptions based on individual body shapes.Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting! Once you've established the preliminary locations of your darts, you need to test in muslin or some other inexpensive fabric to determine the exact best fit. Hope these observations will provide a few visual pictures for you while you are drafting your pattern. Good luck!

      Edited 1/4/2009 3:15 pm by artfulenterprises

      1. Josefly | | #19

        Your post is full of helpful information. I'm going to keep it for future reference. Thank you.

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #20

          You are very welcome...glad you found it valuable!

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