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Pants to augment hips and rear

kai230 | Posted in Patterns on

I got my Dad’s body–straight and no butt, and Mom’s tendency for my stomach to pooch out on my otherwise stringbean self. I’d like some hips and rear, and short of drawstring to rearrange fluffiness, I know there are some patterns out there that accentuate. Once I had some pants w/many seams near the stomach (held it in very comfortably), and somehow the sides made it look like I had curves. (I gave those pants away when I gained weight.) Any ideas for patterns? I haven’t sewed from a pattern in years, and don’t really know where to start. TIA!


  1. sanderson | | #1

    From someone who has always felt like she was in line twice when butts were being handed out....anyway, I'll sort through my stash.  I do remember being shown that a very sexy look is to augment the lower back as in a pant with an exaggerated back yolk.  I'll try to post a link if I can find an example.  (Why aren't you in the kitchen?)

    1. kai230 | | #2

      weep weep my kitchen is broken; I am on an elec burner (nasty) or one or two gas in the kitch if I don't blow it up first, a micro, crock, and toaster oven. No end in sight, so I turn to other endeavors as there are so many great take-out ethnic (read: fresh) foods.

      A peplum treatment is good for me for a top--I googled on balloon pants and harem pants, but neither are what I am looking for.

      IIRC, the pants I loved the most were extremely designed (i.e., lots of seams along the stomach, w/some, dangit, I don't know the word--dart/pleat room to augment in the lower belly area). Made me look flat in the tummy and curved on the sides and back. 

      And when a butt transplant is painfree, I'll take your extra!

      If any of you are thinking that losing weight is a prob (and I've been there, too!), gaining "in the right places" is just as hard. Have I ever gained weight where I wanted it? No, but part of that is genetics, and a big part is not exercising. I am fully culpable re the latter.

    2. kai230 | | #3

      exaggerated back yolk

      Yes, this was part of it.

      1. carolfresia | | #4

        Kai, I don't share your fitting issue (just the opposite!), but there is pattern you might like to look at. It's Vogue 1476 (I think that's the number)--an Issey Miyake design with pants, shirt, and coat. The pants are really cute, and have pleats in the rear rather than darts, so they add just a bit of volume there. I haven't made them myself since added volume in back is not something I'm usually needing, but you probably could wear these funky pants really well. The shirt and coat are marvelous too (although the coat is impossible if you're loading kids or stuff in and out of a car a lot).


        1. kai230 | | #5

          Thanks Carol! I think this is what I'm looking for!

          1. User avater
            ehBeth | | #6

            Have you looked for patterns for Indian/Pakistani pants, normally worn under tunics? They're pleated and gathered under a yoke that starts about 3 inches below the waistband.

          2. kai230 | | #7

            Yes, but not that exact criteria, so I'll try that too, thanks, Beth. One of my searches led me to two Indian/Pakistani clothing sites, neither w/good illustrations of the pants. It is the yolk business and pleats that are so flattering to my non-figure. Ebay has a size 12 for auction (Vogue 1476), but I don't know if my local "seamstress" could rescale for me as all I've ever asked her to do is hem and change buttons.

            The Voguepatterns.com site has been down since I learned of 1476; there's probably a better illustration there.

            The pants I used to have had a ~1/2" x 2" white label vertically on the fly front, w/black lettering (w/the brand name). Of course, I can't recall what it said. It might have been in French.

            edited for grammar

            Edited 4/1/2003 11:18:18 PM ET by kai

          3. User avater
            ehBeth | | #8

            Take a look at http://www.earthguild.com/products/folkwear/folkwear.htm - Jewels of India - you might be able to make the churidar work for your purposes. If the find the right fabric, they should drape perfectly. Good luck!

          4. kai230 | | #10

            Thanks, Beth, that could work!

            Thanks, Carol, I will have to find out when the sales are.

          5. carolfresia | | #9

            Kai, as far as I know, that Vogue 1476 is still in the Vogue catalogue, and last time I looked, at the incredibly LOW price of $10. Miyakes on Ebay go for a lot more, and I've seen people pay much more than $10 for this one--I guess not realizing that they could go to their local chain fabric store when they have Vogues for 75% off and buy it for $2.50!

            I don' t know how the pants in that pattern fit, but I know I made the shirt at least one or two sizes smaller than I actually measure, and then wore it for 9 months as a maternity top. Just to give you an idea of how voluminous it is! The coat, too, is more or less one big size fits all. For the pant, you'd want to check the waist measurement, but I'd be willing to bet that they could be adjusted up or down at the side seams, mostly.

            You've got me thinking...maybe I should dig out my pattern and try the pants in a light linen for summer. Even though they're not ideal for my figure type, they're awfully cute...


          6. hyacinth | | #11

            I think you're talking about zcavaricci pants.  They were popular in the 80's.  Very high waisted, lots of pleats.  Makes the waist look very small.  Here's a pic. of one's off ebay. http://www.skdesigners.com/images/Items/tanzcav1.jpg  I'm not sure what is available in patterns, but I saw some similar in the new Spiegal catalog. 

            Good luck,


          7. Jean | | #12

            I had to laugh at this, Kai.  Nothing would make MY waist look small!!  More's the pity. :-(

          8. kai230 | | #13

            That's them, Jen, thanks!!!

            Jean, let's just say they make my waist look smaller--not small!

  2. barbara1 | | #14


    I have narrow hips and flat butt also biggish bust so am an inverted triangle, although it wasn't noticable when I was young as I carried less weight.  Anyway, I have been looking for a long time, for a pants pattern to fill out my hips a little and recently noticed New Look 6251 for pants, 3/4 pants and shorts.  It has princess seams down centre of front leg, and side back leg.  Pockets are in the hip area going from  centre of front leg to side back of back leg.  The pockets are with and without flaps, and there is a zip front.  The waist is low but when I make them I will raise the waist and change the pattern to an elastic waist (pull on).  These pants look very neat, would suit any age group (I think) and could be made a size or two bigger if a looser fit is wanted, also I don't think there is a  side seam so carefull flat pattern measuring would be a good idea.  I wonder if the side back vertical seam would be slimming or the opposite which is what I need.??  Has anyone tried this pattern.??

    1. ElonaM | | #15

      I have not made this particular pattern, but years ago, Vogue had quite a few of this type, and I made lots of these pants. For some reason, this style is very, very rare in pants patterns, but I can tell you that the fit opportunities are terrific. Those side-front and side-back seams are really just long darts, so a precise fit over front and back is easy. If you are straight-sided (as I am), without a pronounced hip flare, you do not need the side seam itself.

      I don't think the style would make you seem any more curvy, but nothing, outside of one of those padded foundations, is going to. If you're trim in that department (not all that common, btw), why not just tailor well for it? This pattern is perfect for that job.

      Edited 8/28/2003 11:32:52 AM ET by Elona

      1. barbara1 | | #16

        Hi Elona,  glad to hear your opinion on this pant, it's a current one too and I thought perhaps it would at least add bulk around my hips at the side if no shape.  I really like the look of this pattern and I can see your view on fitting it, as front and back alterations would be in the areas I need them, not at the side, like you say we don't need the sides altered.  I see the pockets can be left off too, good for first trial.  I haven't tried New Look pants but recently made pull on pants copied from a commercial pair, not perfect, but I have altered the pattern again and am getting it flat enough over my butt and extra over my full tummy.  Thanks for your reply, I find pattern alterations really interesting.

    2. kai230 | | #17

      Thanks, Barbara. That looks like a pattern that would be flattering to my figure. It's amazing to me sometimes how a bit of fitting, darts, etc. goes SO far to making a body look better. My fave piece of clothing for this is a jacket w/peplum.

    3. carolfresia | | #18

      I agree with Elona. Pants with those kinds of lines are great if you want plenty of places to fine-tune fit. And if you're not dealing with a large difference between hips, waist, and derriere, these should work great. I actually have that pattern and a muslin of the shorts sitting in my sewing room right now. Try either tissue-fitting or a quick muslin to see where the waist falls for you. I happen to have a fuller seat, and consequently find the waist a little low in back, but rather high in front, and have adjusted for that. Remember that there's the no-waistband version, as well as the version with the contour waistband. With the waistband, these should fall somewhere around the navel, I would think.


      1. barbara1 | | #19

        Glad you think the pattern would be flattering to your figure Kai, I dont think peplums would suit me as I have a full tummy, I had pants with pockets similar to these many years ago and they suited my hips.  Should be a little more interesting to make than the one I have been making too, as I traced a pair of reasonably fitting pull-ons then pin fitted the pattern taking in more over the butt and adding to the tummy. 

        Carolfresia, thanks for your input it's really helpful to me.  I will pin fit in tissue for sure and maybe even do a trial in calico leaving off the pockets.  I like the fact I can take in material over my butt without actually taking in the side seams, as there aren't any.  I will convert them to elastic waist, so expect to raise the waist.  I would love to hear how you go with them, they are the first pants to appeal to me in a long time, as most are ho-hum! 

        1. JeanetteR | | #20

          Would these New Look 6251 pants suit a generally large figure with big hips especially in the saddlebaggy thighs, and with a big bust too? I've never successfully made a pants pattern that fitted well, except for an old pattern from Burda 4798 with a lot of front pleats onto a fitted sort of 7/8ths front yoke, with an elastic back. This pattern stopped fitting a long time ago, as it goes up to a 20.

          I may have lost an ounce or two since making effort for Fiona's wedding as a pr of nice 18's are now no longer in danger of splitting!

          1. ElonaM | | #21

            OK, as I said, I haven't made this particular pattern. That said, if the sizing looks right for you, and if you add one-inch, "safety" seam allowances, it could be worth a shot.

            But, as a big fan of Burda pants pattern, may I suggest that you try some of the newer Burda pants? They have the best crotch curve you are likely to run across, plus full multi-sizing (the closest you can get to custom) and thus, you may have fewer fitting problems.

          2. JeanetteR | | #24

            Thanks very much for your suggestions, I will follow them up and take another look at the Burda patterns.

          3. carolfresia | | #22


            I'm giving away something a little early, but in the upcoming issue of Threads (due in US mailboxes any day now) there's a very good article by Barbara Emodi on selecting patterns that will work best for various figure types. It's not about styles to flatter, per se, but rather she argues (smartly, in my opinion), that if you pick patterns that echo your actual body type, you'll need fewer adjustments along the way. This was kind of eye-opening for me, but I've been following her advice on this for the past few months and have been really pleased with the results. It's easier to get a good fit, and since I'm not trying to camouflage my shape as something else, my clothes are generally more flattering.

            Barbara would probably suggest that you look into pants styles that have a slightly dropped waist, with either a faced waistline or contour waistband, and darts to provide shaping. Zipper closures work well, but if you have a round tummy, avoid fly zippers (which never want to take that curve gracefully--thank heavens for invisible side and back zippers!). By dropped waist, she doesn't mean hip-huggers, just an inch or so below the smallest part of your waist. If you think about it, a standard, interfaced waistband that's an inch or more wide really doesn't make a lot of sense around a shapely body--it'll never conform to your curves as well as a shaped waistline can.

            All that said, this New Look 6251 pattern probably would be fine for you, in that it has several seams where you can make adjustments to taper smoothly from your hips to your waist. Keep this in mind: this pattern doesn't have a side seam at all, but rather uses a side panel that wraps a little to the back and a little to the front. One thing you might try is to make an additional, curved dart right over your hip where you would usually have a side seam. I don't think this would spoil the look of the pants, and would provide yet another place to shape them to your waist.

            As much as I like the look of the modified cargo pockets, you probably won't want them  right over the fullest part of your thighs, but otherwise, the vertical seams of the pants are bound to be quite slimming. I like the view with the piped seams as well--but be sure to fit the pants well so those seams are perfectly straight up and down, or else the piping will only emphasize where you curve outward.

            Well, that certainly was a nosebleed! And I'm not quite done yet. I wanted to second Elona's suggestion of giving Burda patterns another chance. I, too, find they fit really well through the derriere and back thighs, where so many patterns can leave you with lots of flapping, drooping fabric. The first time I tried a Burda pant pattern I was dismayed: I thought they were too tight. Then I realized that, in fact, they were just well-fitted in back and felt very comfortable when I was sitting and standing.

            OK, now I'm finished!Carol

          4. barbara1 | | #23

            Wow, Carol your reply is  chock full of interesting information, I am going to print a copy for reference so thank you.  Barbara

          5. JeanetteR | | #25

            Thanks so much for this very detailed reply, it sounds like a really smart idea to basically be able to pick a style of pattern in the first place that will suit your own figure-type, then needing only the most minor adjustments rather than a complete re-make.  Will look forward to this issue in my letter box soon!

          6. carolfresia | | #26

            Jeanette, I had a chance to look through a recent issue of Burda Plus (if you're not familiar with it, it's a German publication that includes maybe 40 patterns, with photos of the garments made up, so it looks more like a fashion magazine than a sewing magazine; it focuses on plus sizes). They interviewed a German designer who specializes in plus sizes, and when asked how she--who has a very slender body type--could design for larger sizes, she said, simply "Follow the figure, don't try to make a new one" (or something to that effect). I loved that--it's both respectful to the person who's going to wear the clothes, and just plain good sense. And it works for all figure types, too.


          7. JeanetteR | | #27


            We seem to get Burda Plus about twice each year now in the newsagents, and I have a few back copies, they go quickly.  Burda do seem to know how to fit patterns for the female form quite well, with a different 'European' cut compared to the usual named patterns.  For most ready-mades from the shops, I seem to need about a 20 for the girth but a 16 for the length, seemingly shorter from navel to where the slope back starts for the depth from front to back, and longish in the back seam. 

            There was an excellent article in Threads quite a few issues back about taking a pattern off a pr of well-fitting trousers, trouble is none of mine seem just exactly so, all are a compromise fit.  I have a pr from the winter just gone here, in  deep purple velvet that are probably meant to be hipsters, but come over the top of my hip bones, and with 4% lycra are just that little bit forgiving in the fit.

            Thanks again for your help!  Jeanette

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