JSM: Side Seams

originally published3/31/12


Yes I had to return to fitting the side seams.  I really should take my own advice about fitting from top to bottom., although the time spent fixing the angle of the side seams was not a loss.  The backside from waist through crotch and to the top of the thigh looks fine and I really don’t want to affect it at all.




I knew that I had too much ease across the front abdomen and have fitted this area twice.  I ripped the side seam even further, it’s now open from about 1″ below the waist to the mid thigh.  I want to transfer these changes to the pattern, so I’m carefully measuring where and how much is being changed.  Since the back seems to look good, I’m shifting the seam allowances so the back SA remains the same, but the front is now 5/8″ larger.  I’m not sure that words can adequately describe the process.  What happens is that the pant is still right sides together for sewing but the side seam edges are offset by varying amounts. In effect, I’m taking  in only the front. Which is what I want to do through the abdomen. I may not be able to take out as much as I want. For one thing, off setting the seams can produce wrinkles and could have to be undone.  I’d rather have a little extra ease than a garment which hangs poorly.  Secondly, my hips are not one smooth curve from waist to knee. I have a distinctive divot about 3 inches from the waist and again at the hip socket. I think it’s more attractive to allow additional fabric in these areas to smooth my figure.


I think I’m going to call the abdominal area “fitted”.  I’m pleased to find that the side seam still hangs fairly straight. I mean, if the side seam is slanted, I can’t tell it.

I do see the horizontal wrinkles on the side rear. I think this is due to the way I’m standing and how the pant is adjusted on me.  I had an issue with the camera and batteries and rather hurriedly shot the pictures.  When you have a fitting helper, they can adjust the hang of the garment, point out that you’ve locked your knees and smooth out the wrinkles.  When you’re on your own, well, I don’t always get all that done.  I also know that my clothing will never look in public like it does for these photos.  For these fitting photos, I have the place marked where the camera goes; the place marked for me to stand; and then during the 10 second delay before the flash, I adjust the garment, my posture and smooth the wrinkles.  In public, I rarely stand still for 10 seconds. Anytime I move, the garment is going to have wrinkles that aren’t in these fitting photos. But that’s OK. I know that happens.  And sometimes during the fitting photos, I just say “Whoops. Better luck with the next set” and go on about my business. So yes I see those wrinkles, but I’m in the “whoops” mode. I think those will go away especially since they haven’t been there in the 3 previous photo sets.


I’m mostly concerned with one particular wrinkle in the front.

It’s above the knee, and if you tell me you can’t see it, I will be so happy.  There are times I’d swear that the camera adds things.  There is a ripple or a roll in the fabric across the abdomen.  It is vrertical and about 2″ to the right (as I’m looking at it ) of the zipper. It’s been there every time.  From the position, I almost think it would be better to remove it by altering the tissue between the center front and the zipper flap. This is another one of those cases where you need to add/remove the ease where it is needed or occurring. Already, the front is greatly improved from the first fitting:



That was a sack!  I’ve removed most of the ease in this abdominal area, but the roll stubbornly remains.  The good and perplexing news, is that it is not visible in the mirror only in the photos. So I’m calling this good and




What’s next?  I’ve always wished to remove a little more ease from the back thigh. I don’t know if it’s possible. Besides in a trouser, that extra ease is expected. I also would like to trim the legs just a bit. My preference is no more than a 20″ hem circumference.  In a trouser 18″ is my preference.  These have a 19″ circumference.  But I don’t want to work on these two areas now. With this pair of pants.  I’ve made a lot of changes.


  • Tissue:
    • Knee and hem lengths adjusted to my own
    • Plus size hip added to both patterns
    • 3/8″ added to front side seam
    • 3/8″ added to back side seam
    • 1″ added to center back seam
    • 3/8″ added across top of both front and back
  • Fabric:
    • 1/2″ removed from length of waistband
    • Side seams marked
    • 2 darts added to front
    • 2 darts added to back
    • Varying amounts removed from top at waist
      • 1/4 center front
      • 1/2″ sides
      • 1″ back
    • 5/8 removed from side seams
    • back crotch scooped 1/2″



I’m not even sure I’ve got all the changes listed. What I want to do now, is finish these; hang them in my closet and wear with pride.  Then transfer the changes back to the pattern AND make another pair. I’ve got lots of aqua green that needs to be used up.