Thursday, December 26, 2019

Notes on pants fitting...

Hopefully your Christmas was great if you celebrate and if you don't, hopefully you had an awesome day off. And if you worked, hopefully it was calm and quiet :)

A commenter (Chabe!) asked on the NL6644 post if I'd post a pic of my pattern adjustments. I will say, that the addition to the back rise (usually ~1") and back crotch point (usually 3/8" to 1/2") are adjustments I make pretty much every time. Recently, I'd been reading/researching a bit more on pants fit and starting thinking about the idea of back rise vs crotch point additions.

I found a YT video -- which I don't have because I come across SO many bits of info and my brain is like a sponge so I remember the important bit but forget when/where -- where the sewer was discussing putting the fabric where you need it. Now, this is sort of a "duh" moment but I think it's easy to get mixed up on what's needed where. e.g., I spent a lot of time making swayback adjustments (which some are legitimate!) but the issue really is wider hips/large butt. So the fabric can't relax where it needs to and it looks like swayback.

Well, with the crotch fit, I've been adding additional length which yes, it's needed overall and it HAS helped. But that wedge at CB isn't where the majority of my adjustment is needed.

So with the NL6644 pants, I made my normal adjustments and it's okay. Like a lot of my pants patterns come out okay. I did add an adjustment for full front thigh.

lowered front rise, increased front thigh

raised back rise and addition to the crotch point

So, I figured next time, I'll add more for full inner thigh, right?

Then, I had a lightbulb moment. I've been down this path before, theoretically, but never followed through. After studying the pics, I copied my crotch curve and compared it to the pattern.

My front crotch curve fits really well. I did actually compare the stitch line (approximately) to the crotch curve but this is the photo I have. shrug.

And here is where things got super interesting to me...

Initially, I overlapped the front and back piece and it was just (obviously) WAY off. Like I'd have to dip several inches into the pants back. 

Then I compared my round part with the round part of the pattern and a-ha! So my butt also fits the curve of these pants but look at how far my inseam is from the crotch point of the pants!! Now, scroll up and look at my back pic. 

If you could imagine forcing that crotch point above to my center mark, it seems like that accounts for those pull lines, right?? At least that's what I think! :) See THIS post from blogger Joyful Expressions on how she added to the back based on a similar back crotch situation.

So, I have a pair of pants to muslin this week, M7982 and will apply my theory to the muslin straight away. Although, the McCall's pattern has a much longer back crotch length than the New Look does, so perhaps a smaller addition. Also, it is much more angular than round, so I will adjust accordingly. 

In the meantime, I cut out my next project, V9201 and compared my "fishbowl" to the pattern.

Caveat #1: It didn't occur til after that this pattern is also less "rounded" in back. But here you can see I added 2" to the back crotch point tapering down through the thigh.

Caveat #2: this pattern is made up in a ponte so that's going to affect fit a bit, especially from a comparison perspective to the woven NL6644.

At any rate, I basted the inseam and side back seam (there's a side panel and no side seams for the upper half of the leg) and made some tweaks after trying to read the wrinkles. So which fit do you think is "best"?
Oh yes, my fabric is sparkly! I got it on the trip to Ginny's in Rochester

A. Sewn as-is. 5/8" seam allowances, no other changes

B. The seam between the white chalk marks (looks like a smudge) was let out to 3/8".

C. The seam between the white chalk marks AND the inseam through the thigh (about 9-10") was let out to 3/8".

D. The inseam was sewn back at 5/8" and the seam between the white marks at 3/4".
I felt D was better than A, B, and C.

E. Which is taken a different day, has the seam between the white marks and the inseam sewn at 3/4" until about mid-thigh. It also has the crotch "scooped" or rather, made more rounded than angular.

The pants will be sewn up and completed with the adjustments shown on E. I think that the 2" added to the crotch point ended up adding just a bit too much to the inner thigh. I have very full inner thighs and this is also an adjustment I've made before but usually much smaller (3/8" or 1/2"). I am wondering about extending the crotch point just a touch more while also tapering the area through the thigh.

I'm excited to try out this extended crotch point on a pair of woven pants! Will plan to document that process as well.


  1. I'm always interested to see pants fitting thoughts. Thanks for the various photos.

    1. Thanks Ruthie! I came across some of your fitting posts along my journey! :)

  2. I definitely agree with letter E for the win! I have some of the same fit issues, and the extended crotch point has helped me a lot too. Your pants look great!

  3. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I am visual person and as much I as tried to follow the explanation on the previous post, my brain was like, "no, give me a picture!"
    With the pics it's so much clearer :) I am very intimidated by pants, but I will eventually tackle this and follow your example in doing a good muslin, basting, tweaking, til I get it right. I think if I ever do master a pants pattern I will probable sew that one over and over (until my body changes, anyway).
    So much fun and growth reading your blog. Thank you!

  4. You are SO brave! Getting pants to fit, particularly in the back, is quite the quest. I would agree that view E is the winning version. I wonder if it's possible to get pants to fit through the back without wrinkles is possible? I see expensive designer slacks on models that wrinkle across the back, underneath the butt. I'll look forward to your continuing journey. :-)

    1. I think that close fitting pants, including jeans, will have a little extra room back there for movement. I think trousers or wider legs can be wrinkle free!

  5. I'm going to go back and reread this and your other pants fitting posts. I've been having trouble in general getting my brain to understand pants fitting. How did you create your fishbowl, and do you use it on a regular basis?

    1. there's SO much info out there on copying your crotch curve. I have a 2 ft long flexible ruler (which technically isn't long enough but it works for the important bits!). I then traced it (inside the curve as that was the bit closest to my body) onto paper.

  6. thank you for this! i go round and round and round with my pants fitting. its exhausting. i usually end up with view a up there. :-( I'll try more inseam but i get to the point where I'm like "how much freaking inseam can i add, come on!"

    1. I've read so much lately and think that the overall shape of the crotch curve is one puzzle piece, the crotch length and depth another, and the relationship between the crotch and legs is the final (and hardest?!) piece to crack.

  7. This is so interesting! I think better pants fitting is one of those things I really need to work on the new year. I can definitely see how your adjustments are getting to a better fit in the A-E pictures!

    1. Thanks T! It's something that's been on the brain for awhile for me. I have gotten really GOOD fit on pants sometimes and others, crazy diagonal wrinkles. My thoughts about pants were stirred by the Singer book on pant s fitting!!

  8. Thanks for posting your pants fitting process, I am following it with relish :) Just by looking at the pictures it seems the front thigh is pulling everything forward. Have you looked at the front crotch curve as it seems to be standing away from your body. Obviously no one wants the dreaded camel toe but perhaps reshaping the front crotch might also be part of the equation. I remember reading something online many moons ago about protruding vs receding pubis bone. Sorry l can't provide a link but perhaps someone on insta knows about it. Good luck and keep us updated on the outcome.
    P.S. this comment relates to your insta post of S2700. I don't have an account and can't comment there.

    1. Hi Liz! Thank you!! I also came across somethign recently on the pubis bone! It's so interesting how different our body shapes can all be! Eek!

      I agree that the front has some slight issues that I completely missed worrying about the back.

  9. This was interesting! Thank you for sharing the fitting process!


  10. I like A the best.I just like the way it fits the butt best. The folds pulled diagonally like that don't bother me.


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