Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

questions about pant fitting

Deeom | Posted in Fitting on

 have been strugglng for years to get the “”perfect” fit in a pair of pants.  I usually get what I think is a pretty good fit, trythem on to show  dh and get the response “Too baggy”.  Take them in around the butt.  So I do and make a whole new set of problems for myself.  Tight enough across the butt and I suddenly have problems elsewhere, including too tight across the upper thigh when I bend myknee.  What, in your opinion, makes the perfect fit in a pair of pants (not jeans).  I have read that the pants should fall straight down from the widest part of the hip, but that usually means too much fabric under the seat.  Any suggestions on what to read or do?  Deeoh


  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    Sandra Betzina recommends shortening the back crotch or lowering the center back waistline. 

    A quick fix for pants already constructed and do not have a center back zipper:

    Turn the pants inside out.

    Place one pant leg inside the other. 

    The center back to front seam is now "U" shaped. 

    Baste a larger seam in the back, tapering out from the waist and back into the seam near the inseam/crotch. 

    When satisfied with the alteration, stitch by machine and trim away the excess seam allowance.


    I strive to learn something new each day.

    Edited 11/9/2008 9:06 am ET by spicegirl1

    1. Deeom | | #6

      I'm starting "from scratch", but will file your information.  Thanks for answering me.

  2. jjgg | | #2

    This is a loaded question, there can be so many things wrong with pants. It could be the length and shape of the crotch curve, both front and /or back. It can be the angle the waist/seat area is to the leg, it can be the width of the leg, etc. Are the problems due to heavy front thighs (athletic legs), large belly, large rear, low rear, saddle bags and the list goes on and on.The best advice I could give you is to either take a class from Joyce Simmons Murphy
    http://www.jsmpatterns.com/PntsDsgnMadeEasy.htmlFind someone who is a certified JSM pants fitter to make you a pattern, she has a list on her website, but it is not all inclusive, if you email her she might have someone in your area.Personally I can't say enough about her pants fitting system, I took her class in May and it was unbelievable. EVERYONE ended up with a perfect fitting pair of pants, I have now altered my basic pattern to several different styles.I think Patti Palmer teaches a pants fitting class and I believe she is on this list (or was it on the yahoo Creative Machine list that I saw her?)

    1. Deeom | | #4

      I've sent an email to Joyce to see if there is anybody in Wyoming who could fit me.  I have my doubts, but it only makes sense to check for sure.  Right?  Thanks for responding  

  3. User avater
    purduemom | | #3

    Do you have access to past copies of Threads magazines:

    #134  has an article about drafting your own pant pattern.  I spent a couple of hours on a Saturday doing this and was quite pleased with the results.  Using this master pattern as comparison, I have found many of Vogue's and BWOF's pants patterns seem to be the closest to my pattern.

    #133  shows how to 'knock off' your favorite RTW pant.  Haven't tried that yet, but just bought the perfect fitting pair of jeans after an exhuasting search and plan to attempt my first jean copy!

    #122 discusses fitting pants using body space measurements.  I found this article quite helpful in making adjustments to a Vogue pattern that resulted in a nice fitting pair of pants.

    If you search the Gatherings' archives, there was a rather thorough discussion about fitting pants.  There is SO much great knowledge and advice available here!  I can't tell you how much help I have gleaned from the talented group of sewing individuals on this site!

    Best of luck in your quest for the perfect fit...Don't get discouraged!  I've been there....the journey was worth it...new sewing knowledge and great fitting pants!  Sue

    1. Deeom | | #5

      Purduemom,  Does that mean you are from Indiana?  Thanks for responding to my question;  I have almost all of the past  issues of Threads and will do my homework (looking up the articles).  What would you say are the criteria for judging the fit on a pair of pants, besides the obvious of "too tight", "too short"?

      1. User avater
        purduemom | | #13

        Personally, I judge the fit by the crotch.  Nothing is worse than the extra fabric at the crotch that results in a "man crotch" (as my daughter and I refer to it) when you sit down...or the fit that pulls across the front of the crotch when you walk (reminds me of my mom's old girdles!). Happy hunting and may you not get sidetracked while searching the past issues!  I usually find something interesting that I had forgotten about and then have to get myself back on the mission at hand.


        1. Deeom | | #14

          I have been away for awhile, but now I'm back and trying again to get that perfect pant fit.  I have tried most of the techniques mentioned in all the pant articles.  Now I have another question.  All the research I have done on pants says that the back leg  of the pant has to be shorter and then stretched to fit the front  leg.  That takes out some of the "bag" under the seat.  When you subtract  the l/4 to l/2" from the back, that makes the whole front leg longer.  Do you try to stretch that shorter seam in the back to the  front  all along the leg, crotch to hem, or stretch  it all in between the knee and crotch?  The extra length in the front inseam also makes the outseam longer.  Do you stretch the back outseam also to account for the extra length of the front?  Everytime I get the answer to one question, another one pops up.  The last muslin gives me hope though.  I find the whole concept of Ease and Stretching to be very confusing.  Hope I have made myself clear. 

          1. JeanM | | #15

            You would stretch the top few inches of the back inseam to match the front inseam.  This in no way affects the side seams.  (The back inseam is lowered the 1/4-1/2", not the entire leg.)

          2. Deeom | | #16

            As I understand it then, you cut 1/4" of the back crotch.  Then do the stretching.  You don't cut the back leg shorter.  Right?  Makes sense as I take another look at it. 

          3. JeanM | | #17

            That is correct, but do  match the two inseams to make certain of the fit (the back would be about 1/4-1/2 shorter than the front at the crotch point.)  Many patterns have this built in the design, but, again, do match, because the pattern companies don't know what fabric you will be using.  Some people do not cut the back inseam shorter if they are using 100% polyester, because it usually doesn't have a lot of stretch.  Try it:  if the fabric won't stretch and you have already cut off the amount, then just take a smaller seam on the back crotch curve at the point so they do match.  Or, you could use your iron and press the back to fit, as I have seen sewing instructors do.

          4. Deeom | | #18

            Thank you for responding.  I'll try it out and let you know what happens.

  4. Josefly | | #7

    There's a nice, though several years old, posting on how pants should fit at this site:http://www.premiere-impression.net/e/newsletter.htmlActually, this is one of my favorite references, and it came from LiseLaure, who used to post on this forum regularly. You can do an advanced search on her name in this forum, and it'll lead you to some great discussions on fit in many areas, and not just from her but others who've had success in fitting themselves.

    1. Deeom | | #8

      Marvelous!!  That is exactly what I was looking for.  Now the long, long process to try to achieve it.   Thank  you.

      1. Josefly | | #9

        Not sure what your husband likes in the way clothes fit, but as for mine, he always thinks I wear clothes too baggy - even now in my sixties! I don't feel comfortable in form-fitting clothes, though. You're right, now comes the hard part. Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

        1. miatamomma | | #10

          Obviously your hubby wants to see your figure if he thinks your clothes are too baggy.  More husbands should be like that and be complimentary to their wives.  Hang on to him.


          1. Josefly | | #11

            I plan to. :>)

  5. Teaf5 | | #12

    One possible problem is that many of us are used to a "jeans fit" that is completely different from a "slacks fit."  Even non-stretch denim has a certain amount of ease in it, so jeans are cut to fit much closer to the body.  Slacks generally have to be cut with much more ease to account for the lack of ease in most other woven fabrics.  Your hubby may prefer the jeans cut, which is comfortable when made from denim, but not from other fabrics.

    I have two different patterns, one for jeans and one for slacks.  For each, I compare the pattern pieces to a pair of ready-mades that fit well (hard to find, but I have at least one!).  A friend once taught me that slacks need to be made out of much lighter fabric than I was choosing; almost blouse-weight, so that the extra ease hangs better and doesn't add such visual bulk.

    And, as another poster mentioned, I always have to raise the center back seam (stitch the waistband lower in center back) almost an inch on both jeans and slacks to account for a flat bottom and to have a smoother line down the whole back and legs.

    Don't give up--perfecting a pants pattern is definitely worth it!

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All