Knee Slide

I have two pants patterns that fit really well. My jean pattern TJ906 and my trouser pattern PP113.  I’ve been trying to slim the leg of PP113. It’s fine for a trouser. I don’t want a jegging. I just want a little less fabric floating over my back thigh and a narrower hem (16″ instead of 20″). When I try to slim the leg, I start getting the X wrinkles.  I’ve had several pants patterns that fit nicely as long as I was content with a 20-24″ hem circumference. So while I was hoping for success with PP113, I wasn’t surprised when the last pair that was slimmed by a mere 1/4″ starting showing the X wrinkles.

Recently there was discussion on SG about Jill Stearns Knock Knee Alteration. So I clicked the link (which I’ve now lost) and read with interest.  She uses the typical Knock Knee Alteration of slicing horizontally at the knee, moving the lower portion of the pattern towards the inseam and then truing  the seams. When truing, some fabric is added between crotch and knee along the inseams and the same amount is removed from the side seam. Sort of like this:

I’ve done this before. Lena at IconicPatterns has an excellent tutorial which I followed. I moved the leg 1/2″ as recommended.   It did nothing. If anything, the X wrinkles looked worse.  I discard the alteration as not the solution for me. Until Jill Stearns blog post discussed needing to more the leg a full 1.5″ for a particular customer. I thought, maybe I needed to slide the knee more than 1/2″.  So I did. I thought about making the move incrementally 1/2″ at a time but decided I wanted to see the full effect immediately.

I’m using a stretch twill. It has 40% stretch. It takes 30% before I can even see the twill moving.  I removed a 1/8″ tuck from the front and back when I made the black pants (stretch denim) shown above. . Oh and I’m making shorts. Shorts won’t show the full effect of the alteration, but there should be some indication.

I was just stunned when this fabric with more stretch than the previous, looked so much tighter across my bum. But I’m seeing a reduced amount of ease over the back thigh (yeah).


My side view shows the same tightness and angles toward the back  at my hip-joint but the reduced fullness over the thigh itself looks close to what I’m wanting.

It is the front view which blew my mind

As well as being too tight, there are wads of fabric between my legs. Uncomfortable wads.

I made three more alterations changing the side seams to the minimum possible (1/4″)  While offsetting the front and back inseam trying to remove the excess fabric between my front legs without effecting the back.

The nice thing about shorts, I’m usually working with remnants. After 3 alterations I could not add enough ease to erase the VPL and had only slightly reduced the frontal wads. I tossed it in the garbage. I’m not sure if I’m onto something because the back did look nicer or “barking up the wrong tree” because the front was so hideous. Also, I can’t ignore the fact that this fabric with more ease was tighter on my body than the previous. The lack of ease is itself causing issues.

Now here’s my problem, my knees don’t actually rotate inward or at least noticeably.  No one ever looks at me and says “you’re knock kneed”.  What I have is a pad of fat on the inner knee mostly situated towards the back.  It (the fat) does give an appearance of the thigh angling towards center front especially since my thighs never touch. Yes I have thigh gap at my weight. Thigh gap is not an indication of thinness. I keep trying different alterations because nowhere have I seen my exact issue.  I see something close and then attempt the correction that was made for them… and I document them all on this blog.  Just like today’s mistake.


4 thoughts on “Knee Slide”

  1. Instead of the knee slide, try pinching fabric at the crotch on the outseam enough so that the knock knee problems disappear. If this works for you, you’ll need to redraw the grainline/fold lines. This worked for me and I’m very knock kneed.

  2. I forgot, instead of taking a big tuck at crotch level, you may want to divide the amount needed and place a second tuck (wedge) about midway between crotch and waist. That’s what one fitter did on me. I think both work and you can test without having to make a new mockup.

    1. Patti
      Did she make the chanage to the inseam or side seam? Usually the knock knee change is made to the inseam which never seems to help me. I’ve not tried to make the dart/tuck/wedge to the side seam and would be willing especially if you’ve had success.


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