Saturday, September 22, 2012

Yes!!!!!!!! I think I FINALLY understand Pants Fitting!!!!

Well it's about time!!!! Ok, I'm not a master YET or anything but I think I'm on the right track with fitting pants on me. I've made Jalie 2909 for the 3rd time and the fit is definitely much better. It really pays to not give up or throw in the towel!!!
(Front view--- I made this twice before and didn't have too much problems with the fit of the front)

(It was the back of the pant in which I struggled fitting. My high waist/rear in the back was tricky to fit especially since my waistline is lower in the front. There's a much better rear fit and the legs are less wrinkly on this 3rd attempt. BTW, Pants are fitted inside out so seam is exposed (for fitting purposes) and left leg wrinkles due to straining to take pic).

I can breathe a sigh of relief!!!!!! I've spent ALOT of years really trying to streamline my understanding on how to fit pants properly! It has definitely been a journey! A journey no less complicated by a non-standard figure. By that I mean my body, like most of you, is a bit different from the Big 4 patterns and other patterns out there!!!! I wrote posts about my 1st Jalie 2909 attempt and 2nd Jalie 2909 attempt. I've been honest about my difficulty of trying to fit my short waisted, high-derriere frame. I'd have back leg wrinkles and couldn't get the crotch just right.  True my first couple attempts at pants sewing were decent. Although much study and work went into them and good results were yielded, I still felt a little impaired in my knowledge. You know like I was still missing a few things. I've got tons of resources, all great but I needed something that would just gel everything I've been reading together.

Well yesterday I decided to watch Peggy Sager's Ultimate Pant Fitting webcast from 2 years ago. I've always been aware of her webcasts (and own several of her instructional videos including her pants one) and have been able to watch a few with the intention of watching them all one day. It was her video that sparked my light bulb moment. My biggest sewing epiphany and eureka moment to date!!!! I can understand things SO much clearer. Again I think it's partly due to me studing fitting pants for so long. I've also deconstructed pants (multiple pairs) that fit and analyzed their elements (crotch depth, length, shape, features etc.) I'm a visual learner so seeing Peggy's pants fitting just solidified all of the other info I'd been collecting/ learning. For the Record: I am not a paid or compensated spokesperson for the company (only wish I were that lucky) just passing on helpful info I discovered (wink). Ok, I'll continue.....

We're all at different places in our learning so I'll let you watch the video and be the judge for yourself. She even has a 2nd pants fitting webcast and a bunch more other webcasts that may be helpful to you. This/these may or may not be the resource you need. Or you may pick up one suggestion that will help you improve a bit. I don't know. But I'm sure glad I checked it out......

But this is a summary of the helpful information I picked up.

1. Pick a REALLY good drafted pattern. It's kinda difficult to correct a badly drafted one.
2. Always make a muslin in similar fabric (I always make this my practice).
3. Don't be nervous to pick a pant 1 size bigger if necesary and base pick on body measurement plus ease. You can easily reduce excess circumference later.
4. Make up the muslin and don't sew in darts (I've heard this before. It's easier to drape those in later).
5. Leave off all zippers, etc with the muslin. Despite the closure just sew up the front with proper seam allowance. Try pants on and then pin the seam allowance in the back. If you have any adjustments to make it WILL NOT be from front or back center seams!!!! (I'd never heard that before. I think that makes alot of sense. You should technically make adjustments at the side seam).
6. Once on, make crotch adjustment by pulling up pants to where crotch feels comfortable. Then pin the waist and hip to make pants snug. The pants should be snug and not falling down.If you're fitting by yourself you can then take off pants and sew those adjustments. (I've learned before that to fit you always deal with length, then circumference and then fine tuning).
7. Peggy says that there is no need to scoop out anything in the crotch. (I've been hearing about scooping out crotches and it's mentioned in several books. It may work for some but I can understand why she's against it. It can add length to the crotch and complicate fitting attempts.)
8. Drape in the darts.
9. Then take a look at the crotch. If there's any weird "smiles" or "frowns" then you have a crotch depth issue. This type of adjustment is the main reason why making a muslin is best. Peggy demonstrates how to horizontally pin out excess fabric across the crotch. The opposite is true if in the back there's pulling. You may have to spread the back and in essence create a dart to accomodate a larger rear end. (I'm beginnig to suspect that reducing the crotch depth will always be the case for me. I've noticed a shorter crotch in the RTW pants I have and I had to make the alteration on sewn pants.
10. Once you're satified with the tweeked fit then use elastic to mark where waistband should be.
11. If you've made lots of adjustments it might just be easier for your muslin to become your new pattern. Just remember so sew the crotch changes, etc. in place first. (I have a couple of fabric muslins from my first few attempts at pants sewing I prefer to use the muslin pattern---it's easier).

And much more.....

As you can see I sure did pick up alot and I think it definitely served to "plug some of the holes in my understanding". I used to be so FRUSTRATED trying to sew pants. Now I can say that I feel a whole lot more confident in my technique. I'll finish up this 3rd pair and post pics soon. It's not super perfect but looks lots better. I look forward to whipping out a few in the next month or so.

So if you're struggling with pants I have the following words for you:
Don't EVER give up!!! There may be a sewing technique or fitting issue that you may not be able to conquer now but if you keep at it and try to understand it from different angles you WILL eventually get it!!! Keep at it.

Until next time......Happy Sewing!


  1. I whole heartedly agree. Peggy has taught me sooooo much! congrats on your success!

  2. This is awesome, all your hard work has paid off -- and hello, that back view photo is killer. You deserve pants that fit right!

  3. Glad you have been successful. I really should view her webcasts. I have only attempted making pants perhaps four times in all the years I have been sewing. Never had a great result and I definitely gave up.

  4. Congrats! And I highly agree with the don't give up philosophy. It's the only way to get anywhere.

  5. I too just started watching her pants webcasts and think that I may have a good fitting pair in my repertoire as well. Persistance and determinatin pay off!! Bravo .

  6. Hi Victoria,
    Your muslin looks really great. Such an interesting post. I am interested in the approach you mentioned in points 6 & 7. I'll have to take a look at that approach the next time I am fitting pants.

    Totally unrelated to pants, I think of my mother every time I visit your blog! She enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's books, and when she was in her last weeks, I read that book to her, especially in the hospital, when we had long hours with little to do. It's a good memory. :-)

    1. Awwww Andrea....What a beautiful story. I'm sure your Mom was without a doubt a very wise woman. Thanks for sharing your memories with me *hugs*

  7. Words of inspiration (and video's)! Thank you. I had put pants fitting on the sidelines to focus on trying to improve skills elsewhere - but the pants have always been there niggling away! I'm off to watch the video link :)

  8. Great job Victoria. Pant fitting is a big challenge for me as well. I have issue with the high hip also and I have tried different combinations of fitting. Love your details, I will keep them in mind when making my next pant. Great fit you got, this should be a TNT not just muslin.

  9. Your post is very timely for me as I too have been having an aha moment after watching Peggy Saggers webcasts. I have been fiddling with pants fitting for a few years now and as I am a short,plus size girl it has been difficult to say the least. I feel so much more confident now.

  10. The pants look great! Perseverance certainly does pay off.

  11. Those pants look fabulous. I am about to attempt another pair. I am determined to make a pair that fits well.

  12. thank you. thank you. thank you.

    I am not trying to sew pants right now, but I will bookmark this for future reference. I had a great TNT pattern for years and my body has gradually changed with age and new fitness routines. I need a new TNT and this will helo a lot!

  13. Great videos. I kept waiting for her to address lenthening the back crotch seam and it took until the discussion of grainline for me to see how she'd answer the question. All the examples were of shortening and anyone with a dropped derriere needs the opposite - hence scooping which is in essence the same as adding a dart of length as opposed to eliminating a dart of length. The grainline discussion showed why it might be added to the waist as she'd alluded to in the second video I think. Something to try. I'm all for anything that makes it easier. Thanks for the links.

  14. I''m still on the pants journey, so I very much appreciate your encouragement and tips. I'm off to check out your links. Thanks again!

  15. Those pants really fit you well! Congratulations! This is a great post!

  16. Great fitting pants.
    Last year was my pants year but you've conquered pants fitting in record time in my books.
    Thank you for the pants tips as well.

  17. I too found her podcast very helpful. I still felt the need to scoop on my recent pair of shorts but I will be trying to use her method more closely on my next pair of pants.

  18. What a great feeling this must be to finally have this beast conquered! Progress is good! I need more pants in my life and am encouraged by this post! Nice work!

  19. OMG I have the perfect article for you. How do I contact you? I'd like to email it but I can''t find a contact email or form anywhere. Please message me with your details.

  20. I just printed your list for pants fitting, because I am going to refer to it as I continue my own pants fitting journey. Thanks for the insights!

  21. I must have another go at making pants that fit as I'm yet another aberrant-shaped human! When I was in my twenties, I figured it out & I had to alter the proportion of the side of the pants so that more fabric belonged to the front than the back! I was small & narrow with hips not much different from waist & no "side saddle" bulges. Now I'm older I am very "apple-shaped" from the side (tummy sticks out & bum is virtually invisible!); but still slightly "hourglass" from the front or rear. I'll have to really massacre a pattern that fits my hips, I think, because if I start with the pattern that fits my waist size there is no part of me the rest of it would even touch- hips 90cm, waist 82cm, thighs pretty narrow. Plus I am only 149cm tall with relatively long legs & short waist! It will be a challenge & I must study your points plus watch some videos! Thanks for persisting with pants yourself & showing me it's possible!

  22. article is going to be fresh red-colored


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