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Tips & Techniques > Custom Fitting Pants

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Posted by: CTBarb
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Posted on: 11/29/09 5:02 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 16 people   
I have just posted a review of my TNT Pants click here that my sister drafted for me after we used the method outlined in Threads #122, December 2004/January 2005. Here is a link to a summary of the article and the back issue can be ordered from Taunton Press on this same site for $6.99. click here Several commenters have asked to see the pattern pieces compared to the original Burda pants pattern. Unfortunately my test garment and original pattern is in Arizona at my sister�s. And rather than have her dig it out (we did this back in March of 2005) I thought I would write a review comparing my pattern to a Burda, a Simplicity and a Vogue pattern that I had in my stash. I am afraid they are probably all OOP but since the major pattern companies have not changed their standardized sizing since these were drafted, I believe they are representative.

I cannot stress enough that although this comparison is instructive, you cannot know how your perfect fit will compare to mine and so there is no substitute for sewing a test pair of pants and then following the Threads article to adjust the fit to your specific body.

Burda pattern number 8242: Size range 18 to 34. A fitted pant that is supposed to ride just above the hips. This is important because I find that these patterns have already decreased the crotch LENGTH somewhat so they fit my short crotch better in the front and the �waist� is larger than normal since it is supposed to ride just above the hip. These pants have a contoured waistband.

Vogue pattern 2631: Size range 18-22. Fitted straight-legged pant with contour waistband designed to sit below the natural waist.

Simplicity pattern 5463: Size range 20W to 28W. Elastic waist straight-legged pant that should sit at the natural waist.

I refer you to the very instructive �Pants Fitting Tips� in the Pattern Review Knowledgebase. click here It talks about crotch WIDTH, LENGTH, and SHAPE. This is important since we are all shaped differently. The Threads article also talks about this. The idea is that if you looked at your abdomen in cross section you would see a U-shaped space between the back crotch seam and the front crotch seam where your abdomen fills out the pants. This U-shaped space is probably never a perfect U, but rather based on our bellies and butts, skewed in one direction or another, with different widths and different length arms. The picture on the Knowledgebase illustrates this. One �aha� I had from the Threads article was that when I take in my crotch seam by sewing a deeper seam allowance, I actually make the crotch seam longer, which I then need to correct somehow.

So the pictures I am going to show of my TNT pattern versus the commercial patterns all show both front and back pieces meeting at the inseam to show you my body space.

Also I need to talk about the differences in SHAPE of the crotch seam between Burda and the other pattern makers. It seems that Burda includes more of a scoop in the back crotch which gives more room for a larger tush such as mine. Therefore, out of the envelope their patterns fit me better. I had discovered this before my sister and I decided to fit a pants pattern for me, so I used a Burda pants pattern for the test garment.

Next I need to talk about sizing. My hips measure 51 inches making me a US size 26. So I sewed a size 26 for the test garment. But you will see from the photos that the Burda size 34 back crotch fits me almost perfectly under the tush but then I transition to the size 18 for the vertical crotch seam! And the side seam matches size 18. The front crotch shape seems to be fit by the size 34 line as well and the side seam seems to match size 24. The size 24 Simplicity elastic waist pants seem to fit my TNT front piece pretty well but are much too big on the back piece again looking like maybe a size 18 at the side seam. And of course the Vogue top size of 22 is too small. However even in the Vogue pattern, my TNT pants back piece seems to match size 20 at the side seam.

Another �aha� I had was that I needed to nip the side seam in under my tush to prevent the sagging fabric that so many other reviewers have talked about.

I also do not like cutting the elastic casing in with the pants front and back. Because my waist dips so dramatically from back to front, this requires little pleats in the folded over edge. Therefore I made a straight not contoured waistband and use it as the casing for my elastic.

So here are the photos and commentary:

Burda 8242: click here Of the three patterns, this one is closest to my TNT. Since it is intended to have a waistband, you can compare directly between it and my TNT. The front piece looks pretty good but the crotch LENGHTH and in fact the side seam LENGTH too needs to be shortened about 2 inches and the crotch SHAPE matches the 34 size. The side seam runs at size 24 at the waist but then nips in as I mentioned above at the top of the thigh. The back piece shows that the size 34 crotch fits really well under my tush, I just need to change its SHAPE by scooping it out just a bit more at the angle�shown by the red line. But then on the vertical part of the back crotch seem, my TNT seems to match size 18. The size 24 side seam also seems to match pretty well except that it needs to be shortened by the same 2 inches that the front was shortened and I have nipped in at the top of the thigh as I mentioned above. Remember that this pattern is intended to sit at the hip �..But once I change it to my TNT pattern it will sit at my waist.

Vogue 2631: click here The top size is 22 for this pattern and this pant has a waistband so you can compare it directly to my TNT. The back piece shows that I need significantly more crotch LENGTH under my tush and more LENGTH at the top. This could be accomplished by scooping more which then changes the SHAPE. This would result in needing to add width�since the size 22 is too narrow for my hips. Or you could draft additional LENGTH and add it to the end of the crotch seam at the inseam (the �point� that is missing) changing the SHAPE. This would leave the side seam at about the size 22. The front piece shows that the 20-22 crotch LENGTH is still too long by about 2 inches. And the side seam needs to be shortened by more than that and the width must be increased.

Simplicity 5463: click here These are elastic waist with a turned down casing so you need to remember that the pieces should be 1.25� taller than my TNT at the waist�the waist position is indicated on the pattern at the upper left. Even taking this into consideration, the front LENGTH would need to be shortened by 4 inches but the crotch SHAPE seems to match well. What is strange is that the side seam on the back does not seem to be the same length as the side seam on the front �.drafting error on Simplicity�s part? The back crotch SHAPE seems to be pretty good but the LENGTH needs to be extended at the inseam and the side seam needs to be shortened.

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3 Comments
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j222b said...
Wow! You did a lot of work here. I'll have to read several times. Thanks for this.
11/29/09 6:04 PM
Janie Viers said...
THANK YOU.
11/29/09 9:22 PM
mssewcrazy said...
I just love all this information. I was able to find the burda pattern online and ordered it. I always read your reviews as I think I am your body double. This is so helpful. Thank you so very very much.
11/30/09 8:44 AM
 
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