Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pants Fitting: What I've Learned About Fitting Pants Thus Far.....

Whoa, can someone tell me where last week went? I sure would like to find it! Sigh. Things have been busy, busy, busy and the next 2 weeks aren't much better. I have to churn out 3 dresses---one for my daughter that's needed by Friday and I although I've done a muslin haven't worked on her dress yet. But more on that later. For now, as promised, I'll sum up what I've learned from fitting pants.

This may be a bit repetitious from what you've read in my previous pants posts from the last 2 months but here's the overall summary of what I've learned from studying pants fitting......

1. Study, study, study. Fit, Fit, Fit. And repeat. I can't tell you how crazy it is that in the middle of all my failed attempts and my re-strategizing that eventually the light bulb came on and I understood how to fit for my figure. You feel like you're getting no where but in actuality you're getting closer to getting it. Every bit of information you gather isn't wasted and if you're persistent you'll begin to make the necessary connections.

2. Start with a GOOD pattern! Make sure it's well drafted. Check other folks reviews. This is ALWAYS a good place to start. This could be the difference between getting stuck doing a bunch of needless alterations (like getting rid of crazy back leg wrinkles), etc and making a nice pair of pants that needs some adjustments and a few tweaks.

3. Pattern alterations should go from big to small.  Trust me a thousand tiny tweaks at first won't make a difference. Save yourself the time. Try to locate the major fit issues with the pattern. Adjust the length and then deal with circumference. Then after I've finished that I analyze the crotch fit. I'm to the point now where I make my major crotch/length changes at the flat pattern stage and then just do minor tweaks in muslin. But that's only because I'm familiar with the alterations needed for my body type.

4. Learn the tricks of the trade. Oftentimes if the back crotch length isn't long enough for me then I can alter the crotch (scoop it out a little bit) and give myself a little more length.

5. Invest in GREAT resources. Pick books/ DVD's etc that are helpful. There are TONS of resources out there. I've blogged about my favorites in several posts. There are even helpful You-Tube videos out there. Keep searching through information until you find something that really sticks with you.
(I have lots of resources. These are my 3 favorite books but I've also relied heavily on videos on the subject as well)

6. The crotch is the trickiest part to fit.  I use my measurements in addition to the aids of a flexible ruler to get my crotch shape and deconstructed pants of the same style to make alterations. Remember when working on tricky areas you've got to work smarter not necessarily harder!!!!

7. Be open to changing the crotch curve shape. There is NO STANDARD shape. Based on our figures and posture the crotch cure shape may need some tweaking. For this I look to deconstructed RTW pants of the same style.

8. Changes in crotch length and crotch depth can potentially affect each other. When making changes keep that in mind.

9. Remember the crotch shape, lengths isn't the same for every style of pants. So know you may have to make slightly different adjustments for every style just like you would if you were using different fabrics.

10. Practice pants fitting with a pair of less complicated pants. Believe it or not, I learned alot from fitting a pair of leggings. For others doing crotch alterations on a pair of  elastic waist pants may be simplest. Trust me there's always time to learn to sew a fly front and add a waistband.

11. Get in tune with your body. Know what kind of pants fit your figure well. I'd NEVER sew a pair of high-waisted pants since I'm short-waisted. If you're not comfortable in fitted paints then maybe a trouser style is better for you. "To thy own body be true" LOL!

12. Once you get great pants that fit you can re-use them and even change them up to create different styles. If you'd like to preserve a great pants pattern just iron on interfacing to the tissue.

13. Keep at it and try to have fun! I know it can be a bit distressing and upsetting when you can't perfect the fit right away. But that's in part to just not knowing what to do. The more you work at it the more you will begin to understand and gain the info you need that will help you get the fit you want.

To read about all of my past pants fitting experiences and adventures feel free to type "pants" in the search box on the right side, midway down my blog!

For those of you still working hard to get a good fitting pant I wish you well. I know you can do it! Just hang in there!!!! If I can do it I know you can as well!!!!


  1. Great round up of what you've learned after all your pants/trouser projects.
    Your finished projects really show off all that you have learned.

  2. Thanks for taking the time again, to write about your experience on pants fitting. These are some really good tips, especially the curved ruler, I need to get one to add to my tools

  3. great tips, thanks! especially going big to small.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to write all these tips - great advice!

  5. Hi Victoria, thanks for these great posts on pants fitting - I will be going back to pants later this year, so will be popping over for some hints. Meanwhile, I am developing some of my own (one a little unorthodox).


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