CrotchLength/Hip/Waist, DraftingFitting, My Bowl

5682B: Return to Pants Fitting

Despite leaving pants alone for 3 days, I really didn’t have any new ideas. So I turned to an old idea on which I had not yet followed through:  My BOWL.

The first thing I did was trace my original tissue.

I added a 3/8″ seam allowance and then trimmed the excess tissue.  I thought adding the seam allowances as on my pattern tissue might make it easier  to match up the two.

Then I retrieved 5682B tissue pieces.  Marked 3/8″ on either side of the inseam crotch then pinned the crotches together as they would be stitched.

Note I folded the fly out of the way to eliminate that distraction and added the yoke for a more accurate idea of the pattern crotch length.  The waistband is floating above the back. I want to remember that the pant had 1.25″ added to both front and back at the top of the pant via the waistband.

I placed My Bowl tracing on top of the pinned together pant tissue aligning inseam and top of pant + yoke. Do note that My Bowl does not extend at all over or into the waistband which I thought was essential to total crotch length!

I had a deja vu moment.  I am sure I must have done something like this years and years ago.  My first thought is that My Bowl has little resemblance to the pant crotch. My understanding is that I should now reshape the crotch adding/removing length as needed and hollowing out the body space.  Hollowing out the body space will mean that I don’t have enough fabric to cover my body (this is true of nearly everybody, not just me.) What you have to do, is add whatever was removed from the inseam to the corresponding side seam. WOW I’m going to be moving around inches. Can you imagine what that is going to do to the hip side seam shape?  Plus, I know that is wrong. I absolutely remember sometime in the last 10 years having adding extra to the side seams and then curving back to the leg side seams. When I put those pants on, I had Mickey Mouse ease along both side seams and not enough fabric covering my butt. Why didn’t the fabric just move over where it was needed?  Peggy Sagers says circumference is circumference and the fabric will adapt. Didn’t happen with my fabric.

Recently a commentator suggested I was placing my vertical and horizontal guide lines incorrectly. Correcting them means taking my clothes off and a repeat measuring/tracing of My Bowl. South Dakota is in an interesting time of the year where it is cool/cold in the morning; sweating in the afternoon. I hate turning on the heat because I know I will be fanning myself a few hours later (and probably standing in front of the air conditioner). In a few more weeks, the weather will be more even. I’ll have the heat on and won’t mind removing a few items of clothing in private. But for now, I just estimated where my ‘water spout’ would be and rotated the bowl slightly to put it on the inseam.

In this position, the comparison makes a little more sense to me. Yet I hesitate to carve out the interior of the pattern. One thing, I’m very suspicious of the crotch height. 1-1/4″ will be added to each when I add the waistband. In the pic just above, it does not appear the extra length is needed. But the individual and total crotch length (13/16/29) was measured on My BOWL and the pattern merely adapted. Further, the pant muslin was adapted for what I was seeing in pics of the muslin i.e. adapting for the particular fabric. I don’t think the muslin crotch looked too long. Apparently, I have a disconnect with the crotch length which  I can’t explain.

Now that I am thinking about it, I also don’t think that simply copying the Bowl shape to the pant works. A very simple explanation for that is BIAS.  The entire crotch and inseam is cut on some angle of bias. Bias is wonderfully flexible and adaptive but it can also change the garment into something hideous.  I never had the big urge to work with lots of bias because I remember my aunts and cousins bemoaning that they had let a garment hang for days, weeks even before hemming. During the first actual wear the dress completely changed shaped. They were embarrassed by quitting time by the lopsided hanging of their hem as well as various bubbles that appeared. Doesn’t everyone out there have memory of denim pants which fit in the morning but would have been appropriate for a Big Friendly Giant in the evening? Bias is tricky. At least, that’s what I learned.

Then there is another consideration. What I take from inside the crotch may or may not be evenly added to the side seam. That’s because I’m taking from body space/hollow at the crotch but the side seam is total circumference that is usually divided by 4 (or total number of seams).

So I am sitting here looking at these 4 pics and wondering what’s the next step.



4 thoughts on “5682B: Return to Pants Fitting”

  1. Hi sdbev,
    This is looking better. I also have taken my flexible ruler to draw my “bowl.” I finally learned how to use my “bowl” with patterns when I took a fitting class in Utah. I went to Conselle’s Fit Retreat. I think I mentioned the book to you in a previous comment. The book also shows how to “walk” the seam lines of your “bowl” with your pattern. Your “bowl” is almost identical to mine. I added maybe 2 inches to the back extension. Again, I am not looking for skintight clothing. I like relaxed slacks. Consider measuring your waist when you stand and again when you sit. When you sit, your rib cage expands/compresses and that area grows as do the hips. Linda Lee told me when we had her for a program that “A waistband should be at least 1” larger than your waist measurement. The pants should be 1” larger than the waistband.” Joyce Murphy also makes the pant top larger for easing into the waistband. I finally understood because my upper hip (3″) below the waist is almost my hip measurement. I need room for the “fluff” and the easing in of the 1+ inch of fabric makes a better looking, more comfortable pair of pants.
    I understand your frustration with pants/patterns. I can sew and fit my pants. I cannot do my torso for blouses and jackets. I put more effort into the pants and now I am working on tops.
    Rose Marie

    1. Our pant figures are near copies. I often point out that my butt is not as low as they draft. So max ease is somewhere below my own. This is true even after I make the back wasit length adjustment for being My seat is higher. (BTW my figure shorteness occurs between rib cage and waist.)

      Thanks for taking the time ans making me feel better. Especially about the amount I add to the extension. Ive been to several seminars where the experts have told me I am doing something wrong because nobody needs as much as I add. I started taking the experts advice with a grain of salt. They all have THE answer and you are wrong, just wrong. If Im wrong how is that What I do works? But Im glad they helped you and.I have gotten some help from several. Sometimes its just nice to have fresh eyes looking at the issue. Sometimes they see what you cannot.


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