2012JSM: Fitting Progress – Waistband

originally published 3/30/12


Often I see the new sewist concerned about wrinkles that indicate fit issues but before those issues are ready to be fixed.  I was told and firmly believe that you have to fit your garments from the point they hang and then work downwards.  It’s similar to tissue fitting.  First you make sure that the tissue landmarks align with the body landmarks from top to bottom. Then you worry about width. There is a good reason for this and you can prove it with any top and a hanger.  Hang the garment on a hanger but don’t like the fabric touch the hanger. Use clothes pins only.  Interesting fit? Try hanging the garment with one shoulder on and one off the hanger. Hmmm strange wrinkles.  Try again with both shoulders on the hanger, but unevenly spaced.  Different wrinkles, yes?  Yet again have the shoulders evenly spaced on the hanger, but pull one edge of the hem and pin it to the boob area. Whoa, different wrinkles again.  To fit the garment you have to start from point it hangs on the body and work downwards.


So I’m sharing the fitting of the current pair of pants in a slightly OCD manner  The previous posts shows the garment sewn from the tissue without further alterations. After that previous post, I fit the waistband and pants waist twice before taking the next pictures.  I have the side and in seams serged at the very edges; the zipper permanently stitched in place and the hems interfaced, turned up and fused into place.  Should I need to do so, I can unfuse and change the hem.  I’m using a long stitch 4 or 4.5 to add darts and attach the waistband to the pants waist.  My intent is to be able to easily rip, if I don’t have the waist correctly fitted.  To that end, I wore the pants for 30 minutes after each fitting I have to wear my garments for awhile before I can be really sure that they will fit me and be comfortable.


The waistband fits. No question, although I didn’t get a good enough pic to share.  It does not cinch me in, yet it is constricting enough to hold my pants into place without a belt.  WAISTBAND DONE.


The next thing I look at, on pants, is how is the side seam hang.


I even traced the side seam with disappearing ink so that it would stand out better.  I think I’m seeing a slow angle from waist front to back of ankle.  It’s not a big angle. But would explain why the front half looks wider than the back at the waistband, while at the ankle the back half is clearly the less wide.  I do consider my posture and angle of the camera. They look OK to me.


I really felt and still do fell, that I’m swimming in fabric below the waistband, yet the back of my pants says something different:

I took in each side seam 1/8″ total of 1/2″. Suddenly, there is not enough room for the butt and I have diagonal lines radiating from center hip to outside hip just below the waistband.  I’ll not look any further down, because that will all change depending upon what I decide to do about the side seam. It would be like trying to get rid of the wrinkles on a bodice with only one shoulder on the hanger.  However when I turn to the front…


….I’d swear these pants are 1-2 sizes too big.

For the next fit, I want to correct the angle of the side seam and return the ease I removed across my rear.  What I will do is take out those 1/8″ SA’s that I added.  I need to very carefully check where the side seam is on my waistband.  I aligned the side seams by guess.  I need to be definite that these are in the right place.  I think I have designated the side seams too far forward. That one act would create all but one of my criticisms.  I also need to mark this on my waistband so that I don’t make the same mistake in the future.