PBA- Protruding B utt Alteration, PP113


I have things to share, but finding the loss of my pen-tablet functions to be severely hampering. I’m excited enough about my 2nd go at PBA2 to persist through the frustration. That and having finally decided which tablet I want, finding out it won’t be here until about June 4th. I like ordering from Amazon. I do wish that estimated delivery times were stated by non-Amazon warehouses. Had I known it would be nearly 2 weeks, I might have bought something else or hied myself to a big city. So onto PBA 2

My fabric is a cotton/rayon blend in a summery yellow color. I was concerned it would not be heavy enough for pants.  I need light weight pants for summer. I burn easily and there are cooler days and places where a bit more coverage is desirable. But I don’t want to expose my underwear either as a visible panty line from a too tight cut or as a shadow beneath the outer layer. I’m happy to say this fabric is perfect. Its rayon content provides a wonderful drape.  It might have been perfect for even a fuller-cut leg like the One-Seams of old.

Indeed, this side view shows how much ease is in the medium-size of Pamerla’s Patterns Style 113.  I’m rather happy with PP113 and in particular, this version. Because of the protruding b utt alteration, I have not added any width to the hemline. It is 20″ as the designer drafted.

What’s very different about this PP113 version, and excites me, is the placement of the PBA.

Red=PBA1; Green=PBA2


On the first version of the PBA (Red lines), I split my back pattern piece the red lines.The lines disected the crotch and waist lines leaving hinges at side seam and hem. The pattern was spread along the lines.  I felt this was a qualified success. PBA1 also did not add ease at the hem, but did add between crotch and knee.  I might have left it alone except I don’t really want billows of fabric over my back thigh. Rather than trousers, I want slacks. I want something that instead of concealing the body beneath, hints at curves and shape.

So I attempted the PBA a second time. As shown with the green lines, the back leg is again disected vertically along the grain. The waist is bisected and opens as much as needed but that split stops just below the tush.  The horizontal split was placed 1″ below the darts because that is where my b utt sticks out the furtherest. OK my b utt is not really a point. From that point and  about an inch my b utt is the same large width. I decided since  that’s the first point at which I start needing the maximum width, that would be the point to start adding extra width. To my delight, the vertical split did not need to descend as far into the leg.  I spread the vertical slash apart 3/4″ (instead of the 1″ last time) and secured it with a little tape. I did the same with the horizontal slash and then smoothed all the flapping pieces, persuading them to lie flat. The back crotch opened up over an inch effectively adding length to the back crotch.  The first fitting was heavenly–almost. The pant felt truly wonderful. Granted the fabric has a lot to do with that but I’ve noticed everytime I really improve the fit of my garments, they feel remarkably more comfortable. My first fitting however showed that the back crotch was now too long. I’m using the same front piece as fit with PBA1. For PBA1  I needed to shorten the front crotch length by about the same amount as I  now removed from the back.  I think that the PBA could be the “magical” alteration I’ve been looking for.

Before I share the back view, let me say that I had the same camera problems as always and…

my right pant leg got hung up around the high hip. Another step forward, a shifting of the weight, even a quick tug and smooth and my right leg would have looked as good as my left.

I won’t be altering the fit of this pant pattern further (unless I change shapes again).  I will be converting to magic pants and pull-ons; adding pockets other details AND most importantly slimming the leg. This 20″ hem circumference is the widest that I like to wear.  Any larger and the pant looks like it is wearing me instead of the other way around.  It is the same width as flared style jeans drafted by Jalie or Trudy Jansens (TJ906).  In the past, I’ve successfully narrowed the leg between knee and hem as much as 3″. I’m also still concerned about the amount of ease over the back thigh.  I am wondering if I I can shorten the back fork.  It’s something I might work with in the future.  My concern as always is avoiding the Big X wrinkles that develop between knee and b utt.


Shorts for Summer 6PAC

Apologies for crappy photo. I know the shorts look better on my matronly body. But the temps are still cool. I simply wasn’t going to model these at 58 degrees.

The fabric is 100% cotton; a remnant from the rose Brown pants made a few weeks ago.  I used Louise cuttings MSS pants shortened to just above the knee.  Oddly, shorts never develop any of the wrinkles that long pants do on me. Well, I think it’s odd. This is the pattern that I folded out 1″ ease from the front and add 2″ ease to the back. These pants are therefore 1″ wider at the hem and over the thigh/leg than the designer intended. I like the full leg on shorts. It’s breezy. Lots of air circulation.  Air circulation is good during the summer.

Usually when I want shorts, I fold up the legs of the last pattern fitted. I made so many of these last year that I traced a separate pattern just for shorts and altered the leg to my preferred length.  This pair of shorts was incredibly easy and fast.  Those last 4 rows of stitch along the elastic get boring. But then it so satisfying to see the elastic draw up and assume the proper shape as I pass the steam iron over the finished pant. Easy. Quick. Fits. TNT’s are worth the effort.

PBA- Protruding B utt Alteration, PP113


ETA: It’s not de ja vue. You could have read this post before! This post went public before I intended.  It really needed this last edit and maybe one more. 

I’ve noticed that the fitting books all read “if you have this problem, do this” or something to that effect.  So when I tell people I have lived 6+ decades and have a mass of fabric beneath my tush, they look a the “this problem” and  promptly advise  a “do this”  of flat-butt alteration.  However, I don’t think I have a flat butt.

That’ s my b utt. I earned that b utt.  It’s a left over from my childhood when running was my favorite activity; high school when I played the Field Hockey Right Wing; and years of walking as a method of solitude, meditation and exercise.  Now that I’m retired, 2 flights of stairs taken many times daily, keep my b utt high.  When i saw the picture above, I decided I needed a FBA (full-bust alteration) for my b utt. I started looking through my library;  searched the internet but found nothing. (Warning do not search the internet for b utt alterations. You will not believe the finds.)  The general attitude seems to be buy a pattern big enough to go around and your pants will fit.  P&P even suggest that I might want the extra fullness over my back-thighs to fill in and disguise how much I stick out back there.

I gave up and went about my sewing. Until the day I was looking in my books for something else… when I delved into Lynda MacIntyre’s “Easy Guide to Sewing Pants“. This book is not just about sewing pants. It includes lots of fitting information including the elusive PBA Prominent Butt Alteration”.  Although I had planned a quick and easy pair of pants, I had to try this alteration.

I traced both front and full-back pattern pieces of PP113, size medium.  It’s possible I didn’t need to trace the front at all. But I’m unsure of exactly what alterations I’d made. I decided to start from scratch and document the changes like I’d  have alzheimer’s today. I’ll spare you the details of the changes I made (which are normal for me) and jump right to the PBA.   The PBA consists of two slashes one horizontal along the HBL starting at the back crotch going to to but not through the side seam. The 2nd  vertically bisects the first along the grain line. It would look like a big cross. The vertical does not cut through either the waist or hems.  Then the PBA is spread apart, taped into place  and the back crotch line trued.

The first question I asked was how much do I spread the PBA. I’m always trying to add 1 inch ease. On the MSS and Eureka pants patterns, I folded out 1″ of ease from the front, then split the back along the grain line and spread the back 1″ (effectively adding 2″ ease to the back hip.)  Other patterns, I’ve tried to create wedges and curves to add 1″ or more at the side seam.  Believe it or not, the PBA slashing and spreading is a better way of adding ease. I spread the vertical grain line apart  1″.I didn’t want to create a bubble at the crotch seam, so I pulled the slash towards the side seam to open it.  I slipped some tissue paper beneath and tacked the spread in place. I worked from the vertical slash towards the side seam and then again from vertical slash towards the crotch allowing the tissue to fall into place. Surprising to me, the slash along  HBL  also opened 1″ at the back crotch.  It wanted to. It just sort of spread open as I was working towards the side seam and settled into place. Frankly I wasn’t sure of what I was doing and decided to trust the paper.

Once all was secured with tape, I cut fabric.  My fabric was purchased about 3 years ago in Rapid City SD. I think I was at Hancocks. I make it a habit to look for good pant fabrics anytime I’m in a real fabric store.   This particular time Hancocks had splurged and added a few colorful denims.  I purchased two, well I purchased 4 fabrics that day, but 2 were in unusual colors, a light rose-pink jacquard and a periwinkle denim. Both with 2% Lycra. I used the rose pick jacquard today.  It tested with 15% stretch which I reluctantly didn’t take advantage. I mean, I didn’t want to stretch this pair of pants to fit.  I wanted to alter the pattern to fit.  I put the darts and zipper in permanently. Skipped the pockets; serge finished all the edges and then using water soluble thread, stitched the pants together for the first try on.

Heavenly, just heavenly. The front crotch was too long –the same complaint I made about the pants Pam fitted on the DVD. Interestingly the first pair of PP113’s I used the 1″ SA on the back to cover my rear. With the PBA, both front and back side seams are an even 1″ — I’m not using the side seam insurance to fit my backside.  I feel like  the PBA creates  less distortion of the design line.   I’m excited that there is less excess ease over the back thigh and the hem circumference has not increased by my attempt to add more b utt ease.

I ripped out the waistband and reset it  3/4″ lower in front; 5/8 lower on the side narrowing to 0 (or no change) at the center back seam line. Perfect. I transferred the change to the pattern by overlappinig and taping the sides along the side stitching line; slashing across front and sides to the center back stitching line and over lapping the pattern pieces; and finally taping the alteration in place.

I finished the pants by narrowing the lower leg between bottom of knee and hem; 1/2″ each side total 2″ per leg. I also scooped the back crotch just slightly because the first pics showed the back crotch creeping between my cheeks. I’ve not transferred the last 2 changes to the pattern.


The front looks a little large to me. I’d like that ease for trousers, but slacks are a different animal.

This is very close to how I want my slacks to look. I want slacks that hint at shape and fall smoothly from my waist.

I am pretty happy with this pair of pants  I do think they are just slightly large for slacks. They’ve been worn for 3 fittings and about 30 minutes before taking pictures. I plan to take in the side seams another 1/4″ and call this version done.

BUT I’m not 100% satisfied with the PBA.  I wasn’t sure where to place the PBA and chose the HBL.  The fullest part of my butt is about 1″ below the bottom of the darts which is 2″ higher than the HBL marked on PP113. When I think back it makes more sense to place the cross over the largest point instead of 2″ below. The split would then  come back together about 2″ above my knee and not be as wide over my thighs. I’m always complaining about the excess fabric in that area — (it is that symptom that causes people to say make a flat-butt alteration)– when in truth when I’m trying to add ease across my b utt, the area over my thighs is also getting more ease.  I also think that a full one- inch spread could be too much. I see that in the length of the back crotch as well as the over all ease in the back.

Oh yes, there will be another version…..