Contemplating Pants Fitting: The Questions

originally published 2/6/12


So here are my questions

Are all my pant-fitting problems solved because of the fish hook curve? If so why? I need a narrow should alteratons because the Industry drafts a 5 inch shoulder when I have only 4 inches up there. It’s infallible. Outside of a string, I need to narrow the shoulder. What is the specific cause that I need the fish hook curve?


Does the 2 piece pant back provide fitting assistance?


Is there something else included in the draft which I’m not seeing, but also contributes to the terrific fit I get from TJ906?


Is it the combination of my two alterations (crotch length and extension length) creating the problems with the common J crotch.


What can I do to understand what is happening with both my alterations and the fish hook crotch curve?



I’ve already done a lot of experimenting.


And I did find at least one cause and effect: pants are drafted for the 5’6″ person.  I’m 3″ shorter.  I take 1 inch out above my waist.  That’s enough for blouses and tops. For fuller pants I take 2″ out of the leg just about anywhere.  But if the pant is more fitted, I take 1″ out above the knee and 1″ out below the knee.  This makes the legs the right length.  But maybe I need to remove more above the knee??


I do find that scooping the crotch differently changes the fit. In some patterns I scooped the bottom of the crotch, the shallow curve. If the pant was already constructed, the scooped also traversed into the front crotch. I’ve found that I can scoop the back of the crotch which eliminates the need to slash and spread the bottom of the crotch curve, but it does mean I need to add additional width at the sides.


I worked a little bit with SewRusty’s “Clown Butt Alteration” it has promise which I didn’t follow up on at the time. Maybe I need to return to the idea of dropping the crotch down an inch instead of adding a slash which then affects the side shaping, the crotch slope and adds more volume to the pant.


In my first versions of Jalie 2908 (the wonderful stretch jean), I did not get all the notches correctly marked.  This resulted in adding about 3/8″ to the side seam.  I corrected this in later versions, but get this, those first versions had a little extra butt room because that 3/8″ was eased into the side seam. I in fact added a horizontal dart right about cheek level, just where those of us who have butts need a little more ease. Oddly, I did not have to increase the crotch length in those first versions, but in later versions added about 1/4″ (Lycra can perform miracles).  I think my experience jives with SewRusty in that those of us with bigger buts need more length down those cheeks.


I add to my 2012 Goals drafting a pant pattern from scratch. I was hoping that would help me understand how the measurements and proportions work. But the drafting instructions I have, I’m pretty sure will give me a basic J shaped crotch that still needs to be altered. I’m not sure making the same old alterations to a newly drawn classic pant helps at all.



So I’m beginning the Pants Fitting Quest in 2012. I’m examining what I’ve experienced and trying to turn it into cause and effect relations. Something concrete so I can look at any pattern and say that will work if I… Like I do with blouses. This blouse will work if I shorten the back waist length and narrow the shoulder to equal my own. I will be concentrating on non-stretch fabrics. Stretch is a whole different wrinkle.