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Improve the Bottom Line

Adjust your pants pattern to fit a shapely derrière
Threads magazine - 143 - June/July 2009

For those of us who have a curvy derrière and a relatively small waist, finding a pair of pants that fits can be a frustrating—perhaps even futile—endeavor. What fits at the seat is way off at the waist, and when the waistline feels comfortable, the pants are visibly too tight across the bottom. It’s a lose-lose situation.

This same scenario can occur when you make pants for yourself. Most patterns provide just enough “sitting room” in the center-back seam for an average bottom, but a round bottom requires several inches more for a good fit. This is a win-win situation: With very little effort, a sewer can craft pants that feel comfortable and accommodate her curves with nary an unwanted wrinkle or drag line. 

Small waist versus full hip and seat

The fundamental problem with fitting a fuller seat isn’t the hip/derrière measurement itself, but rather the difference between the hip and waist circumference. Standard ready-to-wear clothes and commercial patterns generally accommodate a difference of up to 10 inches, so even the “classic” 36-24-36-inch figure would have trouble fitting into a pair of purchased slacks. 

For comfort, you might try going up one or two sizes to accommodate your fullest-hip measurement, but you then have to deal with a waistline that’s too large. A larger size may also introduce excess fabric under the seat, where you don’t need it. You’ll end up with a garment that appears crumpled and unnecessarily baggy. Even a wide-legged or full-cut style shouldn’t look “baggy.” 

Or, you can turn to style as a solution, and limit yourself to tunics or other garments long enough to cover the pants’ gaping back waistline. This limits your fashion choices, and it’s a shame to hide your…

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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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Pockets and Closures
Waistbands, Linings, and Hems
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