Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More on the topic of denial and fitting pants

Last night, at 2:00 AM I woke up Dreaming about pant drafts.
Now, I want to tell you, this is serious, when I start dreaming about pattern drafts.

And I couldn't go back to sleep. So I got up, and began searching for all the info I could cobble together regarding the most recent information on pant fitting.

There is a tab for Knowledge Base at the top of every Pattern Review page. Given the number of frequent "how do I?" questions on the message boards on PR, it's fairly evident that many people don't know the knowledge base tab is up there.
Admittedly, the organization of information once you're in a topic leaves a lot to be desired, but since it's just an index of the references available on PR, it's a good place to start.
I clicked on Knowledge Base, then clicked on Fitting - Pants, then started clicking on the various links to articles and message boards and expert chats.

There is some good stuff there. I referenced all the stuff that I think pertains to Me, then organized it all into a WORD doc that I can take downstairs with me to the cutting table to put into use when I make my muslin.
I'd like to share the links and references here.

My WORD doc for fitting pants:

Start with basic pattern.

Fit the hip/crotch

  1. Determine Posture type and Hip type – fig 1 and 2 (from this reference).... I am a "backward tilted hip" <> [diamond] shape
  2. Take measurements per chart- same reference.
  3. Measure crotch width and depth per first set of directions using L squares to determine body space needed (from this reference)
  4. measure crotch curve using curved ruler or foil per Belindas directions/ see Belinda's post below here to establish angle of CB seam. This is from Pg 221 of the Aussie's Down Under chat board on PR, and was posted by Belinda /Sew4Fun -any lightbulbs going on yet?
    Date: 3/15/06 8:00 PM

    Hi Skye,
    I had a look at the photos of your crotch curve versus your pattern.

    Now I haven't read the Threads article but I learnt how to do this a few years ago from an experienced German patternmaker. It was the best thing I ever did and I've never looked back. It's not the total answer to good fitting pants but it's a large part. It was light bulb moment for me. It is useless though unless you do it correctly.

    In your photos you are not lining up the pattern pieces correctly. You must line up the first 10-15cms of the inseams in order to do this correctly. Here is what I mean -

    This diagram is all very rough and not 100% accurate, but it should give you the idea. The one on the left is a flat buttocks. The one on the right is a sway back/ larger buttocks.

    The distance from the your back to the straight line (CB wedge) must match the distance from the straight line to the CB seam on the pants pattern. This determines how slanted your CB seam will be. The flatter your buttocks the straighter the CB seam. The larger the CB wedge (buttocks) the larger the CB slant.

    It does get more complex but this is your starting point for your basic pants block. I won't explain the next step as it will probably confuse you. The important thing to note is you must match the inseams on your pants pattern correctly. Maching just the crotch points isn't correct and it won't give you the right answer.

    HTH, Belinda

    Belinda. Melbourne, Australia

  5. alter for sway back, round butt, tilted waist - my normal alterations anyway.

Fit the legs

  1. referring to Els diagram to alter for full front thighs, alter pants front, Els, from The Sewing Divas has a great diagram on it.
  2. referring to the Minott method photos, alter for diamond shape hip/saddlebags

Make a muslin

Using muslin,

  1. mark grain line full length in the center of each leg front and back
  2. mark horizontal lines at waist, hip, thigh, knee

For fitting muslin refer to these pics for ideas.

The Kenneth King alteration that Beth at TheRustyBobbin did so well is here, scroll down to April 4

Debbie Cook's Wedge alteration
Debbie Cook's Fisheye Dart alteration

Thanks for the commiseration. Admittedly, I should probably only wear full flared pants that hang from the outside hip for pure flattery - but, I live where it's HOT, and humid. Skirts really are my best option, although they're not practical every single day. So, I need some shorts and capri length pants - Trinny and Susannah notwithstanding.

I will get a muslin made up - and go through the process - and publish it.

But today it's time to get back on track with The Great Coat Sewalong,
And, dsd#1 is due into town this afternoon and will be here for 2 days, and she's due for a fitting or two.

Stay tuned.
oh, and if anyone has diagrams or info on how to change the angle of the pant leg so that after it accounts for my bike riding quads (front thighs), they'll also not bunch up over my well developed calves, I'd really appreciate it.
(I know, wide palazzo pants.) ;)
I will


cidell said...

Well, I for one will take a weekend and work on this. There are too many slimmer pants I want to make and have avoided because of this very issue. Thank you for compiling!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post! Especially for those of us who aren't Friends of PR (for whatever reason) and therefore can't access the Knowledge Base...

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are posting on the topic of pants fitting.
You and I seem to have the same fitting issues. I've been working pants fitting for so long, sometimes I'm close, other times, uh, no cigar.

Right now I've decided to concentrate on getting a very basic, elastic waist pants pattern to fit. I'm mainly concentrating on hip fit, thigh fit, abdomen & crotch fitting issues. I'll work on the waist issues after I have the others worked out.

I feel your pain and you are such an accomplished sewer that I know you will get this worked out.

Anonymous said...

Dratted pants fitting! Princess seams in the back are wonderful for fitting the rear end and making room for the calf. I am working on V2921 now and have V2752 done.


Birgitte said...

What a fantastic compilation. You should post this to Knowledge Base.

Like Sewliz, I'm in love the back princess seam after making the BWOF tight pants.

Mardel said...

Oops keep meaning to catch up with all this.

As to prominent back calves, Sandra Betzina does this in her seminars and in her book Fast Fit. I do this all the time. Bascially you measure your calves the fullest part and then take a flat pattern measurement of the front and back calf area. Sandra recommends 2 inches of ease to prevent hang-up and she does it to the inner seam of the back pattern piece. Starting at the bottom of the pants, add about whatever you need, up to 3/4 inch up the back inner leg, tapering to nothing about 1 inch above the knee. If you need more than 3/4 inch you might have to increase both the inner and outer leg seams.

Now I've got to go read all that good info.

a little sewing said...

Excellent post. I will also make use of this to adjust my TNT pants pattern. The link for Els diagram isn't working for me, though.
Drat - I got all into it, then I couldn't look at the picture!

kbenco said...

Marji, what a terrific, helpful post. I was going to mention the Sandra Betzina calf adjustment, but I see that Mardel has done this already. However, when I have made this adjustment for my own bike riding thighs and calves, what I end up with is lovely wide legged pants, which are my favourite (although I don't like pants) and most flattering anyway. Re Trinny and Susannah, it is quite obvious that they live in a temperate climate. After 30 degrees C, only cool and comfortable is stylish IMO.

Anonymous said...

I have the flat seat problem, I was glad to see the diagram for that as well.

LauraLo said...

Wooow, what a wealth of information. I envy your knowledge of fitting! Hope you'll sort out those pants (if anyone can, it is you).

BCN - UNIQUE designer patterns said...

Marji .- good information, thanks. Hugs, Paco

Melinda said...

I have the same issues, pants fit on me just like in your photo's! I have Kenneth Kings "Pants Draft" CD here, and when I have some time I will be drafting my own pattern from that.

I know he talks in it about the bike rider quads and calves fixing too.

Rose said...

Thanks for sharing all your helpful information. Are you working toward Sewing Sainthood? I do believe you are there or getting close.

GailV said...

Thank you so much. I just found your blog while surfing around sewing blogs, and this post is pure gold.

Funny, when you mentioned that you live where it's hot and humid I thought, "Gees, just like here." Then I looked at your "About Me" section and realized we're in the same town.

Stay cool.

GailV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tany said...

Very impressive compilation of useful info, thank you Marji!

angie.a said...

Wow! Thanks Marji! I'm going to go through all of this and hopefully find a solution to my very similar fit issues! We're brave to post our bums on the net. LOL! :D