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Adjusting Pants from Waist to Seat

To fit the crotch area, consider depth and width. Then transfer your adjustment to the side seam.
Threads magazine - 122 – Dec. 2005/Jan. 2006

 Frustrated by the way pants fit? If I were a betting woman, I’d take ten-to-one odds that the crotch area is what causes you grief. It does for most women. The simple fact is that the female form is curvy and women’s lower torsos, in particular, come in an infinite variety of shapes and sizes. Pants truly are the most complicated of garments because they need to fit in many different directions—around the hips, waist, and legs, as well as under the body. Simply put, one pair of pants does not fit all.

I’ve had the opportunity to create and fit pants on thousands of women. I’ve studied these two-legged garments and their patterns from every conceivable angle and eventually developed a way to clearly see and evaluate the space a body takes up in a pant, which I found to be the key to good fit (see facing page). From there, I worked out a foolproof method for making pattern adjustments along the center-back and center-front seams (see pp. 40–41). As you read my explanation on the following pages, all I ask is that you set aside any pre-conceived notions you have about pant fitting. Like the many students and employees I’ve mentored over the years, once you understand my basic theory, pant fitting will finally start to make sense, and you’ll be amazed at how straightforward the adjustments can be.  

The Secret to Fitting Pants is Understanding Body Space

Pants are a challenge to fit because you need to not only fit fabric around the lower torso and legs but also get the right size and shape inside the pants. Most patterns and drafting books refer to this area as “crotch length”; I instead call it “body space” because, as you’ll see…

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Fit and Sew Pants

Fit and Sew Pants

Making your own pants is a great way to get a perfect fit, every time. 

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