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Tummy Tamer

psc28 | Posted in Fitting on

I came across some “name” pants the other day that had a girdle-like panel across the front to help flatten the tummy. Although they were comfortable I didn’t buy them because they were cut too low for me ( that’s why I’m into sewing pants these days). Anyway, I did some searching online and saw that http://www.sewsassy.com/BraProducts/brafabric.html

has some powernet fabric that might do the trick. Has anyone constructed a power panel in pants yet  and if so what did you use. I just find it so hot to wear a body shaper here in Florida when I need some flatness through my mid-section and I’m hoping this might work. For the time being I just might cut off the top of some shaping panty hose and give it  try.




Edited 8/12/2008 3:42 pm ET by psc28


  1. Malindi | | #1

    Sandra Betzina, in her book "More Power Sewing"(1990) has a good article on incorporating a front stay for pants. She refers to using Lycra (a swim-suit type fabric?) for the panel. The 'girdle fabric' would do the job for heavier pants (e.g. wool crepe), which might be a bit hot for Florida summers. I have used a strong cotton fabric, which controls, if you do not need much control. (Remember to use nude coloured fabric with light coloured fabrics to prevent show-through.)

    Front stay panels can be created for any type of pants. The pants she uses in her article are pleated, with a side pocket. The following instructions may be helpful to you.

    Pin out any darts or pleats on the front pant piece.
    Superimpose the side front piece onto its designated placement position on the pant front.
    After this piece has been superimposed, trace the bottom curve shape of the pocket. Continue across the front of the pants arching slightly as you cross the pant front to 1/4 inch below the zipper opening. A 7 inch zipper, will have depth of 7 1/4 inches. (If you prefer a longer zipper, adjust the depth of the front stay to extend 1/4 inch past the bottom of the zipper.)

    The pant front stay is the same shape as the original pant piece along the side seam, waistline and fly front extension. For additional tummy control interface the entire side front piece from side seam to fly front opening with lycra. Overlock finish the lower edge of the stay.

    As you are 'into' making your own pants, I would recommend Sandra's other book "Power Sewing" (Taunton Press 2002) which has a whole chapter on pants, including how to insert a hidden zip opening in the pocket, instead of a fly front opening. Really much more elegant than a fly front opening, especially if one has 'curves'!

    1. psc28 | | #2

      Thank you for the instructions. I'll have to see if I can get the book from the library or online. I'll try it as soon as I can get some  control fabric. Really think that pants look better if you can flatten out the middle somewhat....especially if you want to tuck in a blouse or shirt- or wear a belt. I am not a big fan of the long,loose tops-reminds me to much of the old maternity tops.

      Anyway,I do happen to have the 2002 book( one of my favorites) and  came across  the hidden zipper not too long ago. Sort of forgot about it. Alot of my golf shorts come that way and it is a very nice way to do a zipper.Intend to try it now.

      Will look into the 1990 book. See how it differs from the 2002 one.

      Used to do alot of sewing way back when and just got back into it 2-3 years ago.This site has been just a great resource and I'm really enoying learning new techniques.


      1. Malindi | | #4

        Sandra's 1990 book is a compilation of her articles which appeared in the "San Francisco Chronicle" every Wednesday, and covers a wide range of topics.

    2. Ralphetta | | #3

      I've used Betzina's fabric insert and really like it. Pants without it often pooch and gap at the sides of the pockets, emphasizing the protruding belly. By using the Betzina method you have a firm band of fabric across the stomach, (under the fashion fabric) that allows the sides/pockets to lay smoothly next to the body and definitely gives a smoother look to the front. There is no strain or pull on the pants front because the panel underneath is doing all the work. Since it has no give at all, it holds you more firmly than a stretchy fabric. I've used that same process to quickly insert a panel on RTW pants. The inside wouldn't win any sewing awards, but the outside gives me a smoother, slimmer look.

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