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pants problem

Deeom | Posted in General Discussion on

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From:  Deeom <!—-> <!—->  Jan-21 3:15 pm 
To:  ALL <!—-> <!—->  (1 of 1) 

I am making my umpteenth muslin for a well fitting pair of pants. I’m almost there, but have a problem I can’t figure out.  Well, maybe two.


I am making my umpteenth muslin for a well fitting pair of pants. I’m almost there, but have a problem I can’t figure out.  Well,

I have to take out about an inch on both outer seams.  Do I take this out all the way down to the hem or to the knee.  If I go past the knee do I have to take part out on the inseam as well as the outer seam and change to l/2 inch out on both inseam and outer seam? 

Next question.  What is happening when I get a too snug pull across the upper thigh when I bring my knee up (as if I were climbing stairs).  I thought of  making the back seam a little longer, but then I get the “droops” below my butt.  I would appreciate any help. 


  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    I would do just one thing at a time.

    The outer seam, tapering off just above the knee.

  2. woggy | | #2

    If the width of your pants is too large at the hem for your, then you need to take the same amount in on the inseam and outer seam.  If you only take it out of one seam, the leg will twist.

    If you have a pulling in the thigh area when walking up the stairs or just walking, your crotch seam is not designed properly for your body.

    Do a search on Joyce Murphy's name for articles in past Threads.  She wrote an article about 3 years ago regarding body space.  This is not a new concept but she has pictures explaining how your body has to fit in the space between the front crotch seam and the back crotch seam.  Depending on your figure, you might require more than one alteration to get pants to fit.  The fabric must fit over a 3 dimensional figure - lumps, bumps and all. 

    I have been working on a pants pattern for almost 4 years now.  This past fall, I followed Joyce's directions in this article and made a body mold using a flexible ruler- wrapped the ruler around my crotch, traced it on cardboard, pinned the inseams of pattern together, laid cardboard shape over pattern pieces, outlined my body shape onto pattern, adjusted pattern and sewed my first pair of decent fitting pants.  I lost track of how many muslins I made after number 80.

    Good luck, just know that you are not alone on this journey!


    1. Deeom | | #3

      many thanks for the advice, also the encouragement.  I too have made umpteen muslins and been disappointed in each one.  I will try your advice.  Will be gone for about a week, but I will let you know how it turned out when I can get back to work on it.

      1. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #4

        Deeom, I just sent you a PM with a link to a blog. This blogger, who is an accomplished fiber artist, has athletic front thigh muscles, and as I read your post it sounded exactly like what I remembered her saying about her trouser fitting problem. She alters her pants legs by making a fish eye adjustment in the front thigh area of her pants. She has multi pictures and much instructional material posted. I'd post it for everyone, but I haven't contacted her for her permission to post her material in a public forum. Check your email, and I hope it's helpful.

        1. woggy | | #8

          Would love to review this blog - any chance you could send me the site information.Thanks,Woggy

          1. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #9

            Absolutely. Stand by and check your email shortly.

  3. Josefly | | #5

    On patternreview.com, there's an excellent tutorial for the fisheye dart (FED). If you search on that forum among the pattern reviews, using that term, you should find it. Apparently that type of dart has been used in other patterns besides pants patterns, but look at the results of the search and you'll find some great pants-fitting info. The writer of that tutorial discusses her own fitting problems, and decides that the FED doesn't solve her problems, and she also explains her solution. I think you'll find the articles helpful.

  4. starzoe | | #6

    In the matter of pants fitting, a designer who taught a class had a good point about pants. She said that when being seated we should follow what men do .....what do they do?...they pinch their pants seam above the knee and lift, ever so slightly. What about stairs? No more baggy knees.My take on your problem is that the pants front should be a little larger so that the leg doesn't bind at the thigh. Does your pattern have darts, pleats or tucks in the front? The side seam should fall straight from the hip.

    1. JeanM | | #7

      You have received some good advice here.  If the pants fit elsewhere in the front and the sides do not hang straight as Starzoe said, then try adding some to the front crotch point.  Begin with about 1/4 inch, tapering a few inches down the inseam.  If more is needed add it in 1/4 inch increments.  This should give you more fabric across the thigh.  If the pants are also a little tight above the crotch area, then try increasing the entire front.

      Keep at it.  Fitting pants can take many tries.



  5. Tatsy | | #10


    Good luck with this one! I have terrible problems getting pants to fit. Going through the fitting books produced a list of several problem areas, and more often than not the fix for one cancelled out the fix for another, leaving me with the original mess. In desperation I finally bought several yards of muslin, draped it around my body, and marked my "topography" right on the muslin with a ballpoint pen. Suddenly all the crazy measurements made sense and I could see why pants always twisted up.  If your next effort doesn't give you the results you want, try this and save yourself some gray hairs.


    1. KharminJ | | #11

      Ooh, Tatsy! I really like that idea! Kharmin

  6. ladyinred | | #12

    Hi, I have had so many problems fitting any pants pattern to my body and I finally came up with a solution. I have taken a pair of purchased pants, one that fits really well, and I copied the pieces onto paper to make my own pattern. Basically, this involves turning the pants inside out, smoothing them, pinning them to paper by pushing pins through the pants piece at the seams, through the pattern paper, and into the paper cutting board underneath. Then I take out the pins and make pen marks where the pins punctured the paper. Now I have a pattern piece, minus seams for something that really fits. The only caveat is that if there are pockets of a complicated nature, you might have to skip them, and I haven't figured out how to do this with stretch denim pants...

    1. JeanM | | #13

      Glad this worked for you.  If I could find a pair of pants that fit well, then I wouldn't have to make them.

      1. Josefly | | #14

        I just read on this blog:http://lasewist.blogspot.com/a nice posting about Simplicity 2860, Amazing Fit Pants. It's made me want to try the pattern for the fitting instructions, though I'm not sure about some of the style features, like the contour waistband. I like my pants to fit at the waist, and I'm not sure about these. The blogist is an excellent seamstress, and inspires me.

        1. JeanM | | #16

          I purchased this pattern but have not yet made them.  The reviews seem to be good.  The order of sewing is a little different than we are used to.  The band, seamed at cb is applied first, then the side and back seams are sewn.  A contoured band can be made to fit you (so they tell me).  There are no pockets, but that can be easily changed.  A favorite fly front method can be used instead of the one they show.

          Simplicity makes a big deal of the fact that they are for slim, average, or curvy; yet there is only a 1/2" difference in the hips between each of these.  Heck, I can make that much of a difference by careless cutting and/or sewing.  LOL.  Somehow, I had expected a greater difference.

          We'll be gone for a few days, but I am in a pants sewing mode now, so, hopefully, I'll be able to check these out soon.



        2. User avater
          Sewista | | #20

          Thank you, Josefly, for the lovely comments. I really do like that pattern except for the fly instructions. Betzina's method is so much easier and faster. I actually sent Simplicity an email with my feelings on the pattern. I did ask them to please consider and "amazing fit" pattern for a trouser with a waistband. I have a feeling they will come out with a high waist instead. I did think I might get some sort of response to the email, but nothing. I found that interesting. As was just stated, all you need is just one pants pattern. Keep on trying. You will get there. Just make lots of muslins. Bunny

          1. Josefly | | #21

            Thanks for your encouragement. I will keep trying. I have enjoyed your blog, and your clear and concise tutorials, with helpful photos, immensely. You work beautifully. The pattern companies could benefit enormously from the comments of experienced pattern-users if they would listen. Perhaps something will still come of your suggestions even though they haven't given you the courtesy of a reply. I hope so.

      2. ladyinred | | #15

        All it takes is ONE pair that fits :) and then you can make as many as you want... Good luck finding that one pair.

        Oh, I have actually used a pair that didn't fit anymore (I've gained weight as I've gotten older). I could modify a pattern from that one, taking into account which parts didn't work for me anymore. I found that the crotch shape is really important in making a pair that lookes good;also, for me, the thigh area usually needs to be increased, and the tummy needs the same, while the waist at the back needs to have longish darts to make it fit well. But, if the crotch fits well, the tummy need is accomodated by adding at the sides, tapering to the knee, while the thigh problem is taken care of by adding fabric at the inner thigh. If you can't find a pair at all, at Goodwill or ANYPLACE, maybe you can buy something inexpensive but too big, and then have it tailored to fit you. That would give you a template to work from for your future sewing.


        1. JeanM | | #17

          Stacy, there was a day, a long time ago, where I just took a pattern out of the envelope and sewed it.  They looked good.  Back then we didn't focus so much on the back crotch.  Heaven only knows what that looked like!  I'm getting there---not giving up.

  7. sewelegant | | #18

    Your blog is like "deja vu all over again" !!!

    Even when I was young and had a more average figure I was not very pleased with my pants fit and was on an endless search for the perfect pair.  As I got bigger (and bigger?) it seemed impossible, until I attended a Coni Crawford seminar in San Diego and watched her make a pant draft.  It is not that difficult, but you do need some guideline to go by.  I purchased her patternmaking book and followed the draft directions and came out with my first pair of pants that actually seemed to fit!  It also makes you see the answers to the questions you have when you are putting all your measurements down on the paper draft.  I think you should go to the library or buy a book and do this.  My daughter has a blog where she followed a vintage patternmaking program and her pants look great.

  8. AAC | | #19

    Oh, my gosh,
    and here I am discouraged with only ONE muslin!! Seems I have a ways to go. All these blogs have been most encouraging so I will press on and get back to those pants and all that new fabric from WM. If nothing else, you gals have made me feel better about myself, like how can I be such an idiot, even if I still haven't made that perfect pair of pants. I attempted to copy a well fitting pair of pants but got bogged down when it came to the slant pocket. Since I was "saving" them to resew later I didn't take the fly zipper apart but now I'm going to go through the rest of the de-construction and do that too. While in my angst, and sick of looking at all my homemade patterns all over my dining room table, I went out and bought a new pants pattern (yeah,like I need more patterns). This time I bought one to fit the waist and will do the adjusting for the hips etc. I need to hang out here more often.PS. I waited till they went on sale for $1.99

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