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Men's leggings - add crotch volume?
Changes vs womens & mens crotch curves
squirrellypoo
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Date: 4/26/13 7:15 AM

I've been drafting leggings for a few ladies in my running group, with great results, and now several men want me to sew for them, too.

Do I need to make any adjustments to the crotch curve to account for the, err, extra male anatomy? Is there a standard change in the crotch volume for men's tight-fitting clothing?

All I can find on the matter is at PatternSchool.com, but his blocks are all swimwear with the centres on the fold rather than with the traditional CF and CB seams, so I can't really translate what he's saying into my standard legging draft.

Any advice?

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Andi
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In reply to squirrellypoo <<


Date: 4/26/13 7:36 AM

The close fitting mens clothes I have made do not have the CF/CB seam, but a panel that runs from CF to CB. Have you asked one of these fellows for a pair of his tights to look at? I would think you may not need to fiddle with the crotch too much since I assume you are using super stretchy fabric. I also do not know if there is any male sensitivity to "show thru", and I guess it depends on what/if he is wearing something underneath. BTW, I have followed your blog, and your tights are really great!Makes running that much more fun!

squirrellypoo
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In reply to Andi <<


Date: 4/26/13 9:38 AM

Quote: Andi
The close fitting mens clothes I have made do not have the CF/CB seam, but a panel that runs from CF to CB. Have you asked one of these fellows for a pair of his tights to look at? I would think you may not need to fiddle with the crotch too much since I assume you are using super stretchy fabric. I also do not know if there is any male sensitivity to "show thru", and I guess it depends on what/if he is wearing something underneath. BTW, I have followed your blog, and your tights are really great!Makes running that much more fun!

Ah, very good things to consider! By "panel", do you mean like a crotch gusset? Or something that runs fully up to the waistband like boxer shorts without the fly?

I think borrowing a pair from a friend might be a good idea! I use stretchy lycra, but my basic draft is at 10% negative ease for a very close fit. The guys I know who run seems to fall into one of three camps, either they a) don't care if anyone sees their lump, b) wear longer shirts/vests, or c) wear shorts over top of their leggings.

And thanks very much for your kind words! :)

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Elona
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Date: 4/26/13 10:03 AM

My dh used to make wetsuits for himself and his friends. Without any formal instruction in patternmaking, he got to be quite good at fitting things--on men. But once, a girlfriend of one of the guys asked for a suit, too. dh got the chest just right (princess seams and he was married to me by then), but the crotch? Oh, dear. He said the poor girl could have carried a small lunch down there.

You might want to take a look at some commercial mens' exercise patterns just to get some ideas about comparisons. I have used Kwik Sew and Burda for my guys, and they are indeed a little different from similar womens' patterns. Check out
this Kwik Sew, for example.
-- Edited on 4/26/13 10:27 AM --

squirrellypoo
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Subject: Mens leggings - add crotch volume? Date: 4/26/13 11:23 AM

Ah, I was hoping to avoid paying for a pattern, since KwikSew, Burda, & Jalie are at least 10 once you figure in shipping (~$15), just to look at the pieces and not even sew the thing!

Another thing to consider though is that neoprene isn't very stretchy, so would require a lot more room down there to be comfortable than lycra, which is a lot more forgiving. So I'll probably look at some RTW leggings from my guy friends first... thanks!
-- Edited on 4/26/13 11:23 AM --

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PattiAnnJ
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Subject: Mens leggings - add crotch volume? Date: 4/26/13 11:40 AM

Start with a muslin, just like you would when sewing for yourself.

Many years ago, Lucille Rivers had a sewing show on TV (US) and one series was about sewing men's trousers. Her advise was to make one leg a little roomier than the other. At that time a man would not be caught dead in a pair of leggings! It was pre-Joe Namath pantyhose.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Elona
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<
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Date: 4/26/13 1:08 PM

Quote: PattiAnnJ

...Many years ago, Lucille Rivers had a sewing show on TV (US) and one series was about sewing men's trousers. Her advise was to make one leg a little roomier than the other...

With guys, there is an asymmetry. Statistically, the equipment tends to be at rest slightly to the left of center, so in fine tailoring, the left side of the pants would be cut a bit larger to accommodate this difference. It is called Dressing left, though "dressing right" would be an option.

However, in lycra garments it probably isn't as important as just having a bit of extra room in the region.
diane s
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Subject: Mens leggings - add crotch volume? Date: 4/26/13 1:28 PM

This brought back an old memory of my dance instructor Tony. He would wear womens leotards backwards, because they perfect that way. (according to him, anyways)

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Date: 4/27/13 10:18 AM

Looking at the design lines on your base pattern (line sketch on your blog), it would be very easy to add the 10% ease back in along the front crotch curve. Without going into detail, the "mechanics" suggest that it would be more comfortable to have your "junk" out of the hinge area of the running movement instead of dressing left or right like tailored slacks allow.

You can add a little more front to back crotch width in the front only by extending the front crotch length at the inseam 1/4" and blend to -0- a could of inches down the inseam. 1/4" isn't much in other fabrics but a significant fit amount in the lycra. Another way to build in dimensional depth would be to deepen the "J" curve along the front crotch curve (almost like a front bum curve).

Depending on your comfort level, the best research would be to ask other male runners. Anytime I've worked on developing patterns for men, most have been flattered to be asked and honest in their opinions / assessments once I explained the project. There is no "taboo" subject or region as a patternmaker, in my opinion...

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Date: 4/28/13 5:11 PM

My DH's running tights have the center panel another poster mentioned, like these. The panel is much narrower in the front than in the back, as you can see in the photo. It looks like it's not a standard feature of men's tights ('cause I just went through a gazillion photos looking for that one!), but it serves an important function and DH really likes it. He discovered swiftly that there is a HUGE difference if they're accidentally put on backward (which, being tights, is easier to do than you'd think)

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