A Pants Fitting Template

originally published3/2/12


Oh sorry, this isn’t going to help you exactly as written.  You’ll need to read my previous post and think your way through your own issues.


What I think will be happening for me is a a template/check list  of items to review to be sure pants will fit.  It will be in this format

  • Symptom
    • Cause
      • Correction
        • How_to


  • Either my pants hurt at the waist and limit physical movment; or they creep upwards making the crotch uncomfortable and giving the appearance and feeling that the crotch is too short.
    • My waistline is 2 or more inches larger than the pattern is designed for.
      • My pants waistline must finish at 34″
        • Create separate straight and curved waistbands  which finish at the center front stitching lines a full 34″
  • On some pants the side-seams  form a curve starting at the high hip and traversing towards the back,  ending at the waistline
    • The back is not wide enough at the waistline
      • Measure the back at the waistline to ensure it measures 9.75 ”
        • either eliminate darts or slash and spread the pattern adding the necessary width
        • Check the front.  It may need more darting, deeper tucks or slash and overlaping to compensate for the back correction BUT often fixing the the back makes the waistline of the pants work with the waistband and my larger than standard waistline.
  • Often I experience a  pulling down in the center back and an extra bubble of fabric in the front. Sometimes these symptoms occur together; sometimes seperately
    • I have a tilted waistline. It is visible in a side view of myself in balerina-tights and when making a crotch measurement or diagram wherein the “special place” is marked.
      • ensure that the front crotch should measure 11″  and back crotch should measure 15.75
        • slash and spread or slash and overlap the amounts needed
  • I often experience a “bu!thole vortex”
    • I am nearly as deep as I am wide and extra length is needed in the back extension  (Take this into consideration with the previous Symptom)
      • Ensure the back has at least a 3″ extension

        • slash and spreading is a good technique, also consider a crotch gusset

  • Horizontal wrinkles on both front and back of my leg. Diagonal wrinkles occuring from knee to bu!t-cheek which no alteration to date (flat-bu!t, dropped bu!t, knock-knee) has cured.
    • I am 3″ shorter than the than the “average” figure for which the pattern cutters design. Therefore shaping often occurs at the wrong spot and all garments are too long
      • Remove the 3″ difference in increments through the length of the garments to bring the shaping up where it should be
        • Remove 1″ above the waist – moves up waistline and hip shaping  for tops
        • Remove ___” from above knee
        • Remove ___” from below the knee
    • Additionally my Knee area is a long cylinder starting 1.5″ above and ending 2.5″ below Mid Knee (may be cause of diagonal wrinkles) approximately the size of a can of beans. The average the cutters design for seems to be about 1.5-2″ more like a can of tuna.
      • The place to remove length must be selected so that 16″ of width is available between 21 and 24 inches (the knee cylinder) from the waist–my waist.
  • Sometimes I look like a big ant-hill.
    • I’m short and plump. Even without the plumpness, I possess the classic Pear Shape. Proportions are very important.
      • Limit hem circumferences to (note fabric characteristics definitely modulate this rule)
        • Boot cut 20″
        • Straight cut 18″
        • Tapered cut 16″

I do wish to admit that the measures specified above are subject to change. In fact, I could modify the whole dang list.  I’d really like to be able to make 2 adjustments and have pants fit–just like I do with tops. For years I made at least 4 alterations to every blouse or top–somtimes it was 6 or 7. Until I discovered the Narrow Shoulder adjustment.  Now, I make 2 adjustments to top: the back-waist length and narrow-shoulder adjustments.  I’m hoping that by carefully measuring and delibertly selecting alterations to pants, I can end up with a much smaller number of alterations.   That’s quite a laundry list of alterations for pants.  I’m truly hoping that I will discover the magic alteration that will make pants easy to fit.  I promise to share when I find it.