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Forum > Fitting Woes > Help with shorts/pants fitting for a newbie ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Help with shorts/pants fitting for a newbie
perfectpines
perfectpines
Advanced Beginner
Member since 4/3/09
Posts: 10
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Date: 4/6/09 4:48 PM

I am returning to garment sewing after a LONG hiatus. I sewed for my daughter some 15 years ago--which was a breeze--no real fitting issues, etc.

So now I am trying to sew for myself, and fitting is a big issue. I am quite short, at just under 5 feet, and on the curvy size with a belly, etc. My waist is 35" and my hip 40".

So, I started back with a pair of pajama shorts. I sewed the medium, from New Look 6859. They stitched together easily and will be great for what I wanted them for--around the house, but I did want to address a fitting issue--for future shorts/pants sewing.

All that to say--I have a bunch of extra fabric in the front and very little extra in the back. Even in these VERY loose fitting jammie shorts, I get "plummer pants" when I bend over. Similarly, the waist in the front could probably--yep, I checked it--can actually be pulled up to just under my bra! I know that I could have made an adjustment to fold up an inch or two, which would bring the crotch up as well--something I have done before, but having finished these, if I had done that, I clearly wouldn't have had enough "coverage" in the back. I would have sewn myself one heck of a wedgie! :)

I have only sewn a few pairs of elastic waist pants in the past and haven't been thrilled with the results...so I started again with pajama shorts for practice. I figured this would keep the cost of the "learning curve" down.

I hope I am explaining clearly enough so that someone can tell me what the problem is and what adjustment I need to make. I REALLY want to learn how to make patterns fit--it's my reason for returning to sewing. With my height and shape--it's just VERY hard to buy clothes that fit--and that are affordable when I am lucky enough to find something that does fit.

chloeE
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chloeE
Advanced Beginner
Missouri USA
Member since 6/5/06
Posts: 257
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Date: 4/6/09 4:55 PM

if you try on the pants with the front as the back and the back as the front, does the fit improve?

hard to say what to do, can you provide pics?

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We are stardust.


perfectpines
perfectpines
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Member since 4/3/09
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In reply to chloeE


Date: 4/6/09 5:09 PM

Chloe,

I tried them on backwards, and I wouldn't say the fit improves. The front "pouf" turns into a saggy crotch and the backside looks very flat.

These shorts may just be too big all over. There is a LOT of ease in this pattern, and normally a medium would be fine--but I may just have too much extra fabric in this pair.

I need to learn how to upload photos tonight. That is my goal after quilting class! I will try to upload a photo as soon as I can.

This is a GREAT site. I live in a rural area and it's SO hard to find any sewing help or classes here. Thanks for your quick response.

chloeE
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chloeE
Advanced Beginner
Missouri USA
Member since 6/5/06
Posts: 257
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In reply to perfectpines


Date: 4/6/09 5:16 PM

you are welcome. pics really help. just keep asking questions, help will arrive.

------
We are stardust.


perfectpines
perfectpines
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Member since 4/3/09
Posts: 10
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In reply to chloeE


Date: 4/10/09 2:14 PM

Hi Chloe,

Just wanted to post a quick update. I asked my quilting teacher about fitting, and sure enough--she sews clothing as well. She had some helpful ideas. I took the shorts I made to quilting class and everyone was helpful.

Turns out that I should have made the small--something I had thought after I finished them! I am working now on making the small size a better fit. I have used some tips from here to alter the pattern so that the back fits better--my crotch depth measurement is 11" in front and 15" in back and I think that throws some things off. I made a muslin with some cheap cotton yesterday and was much more pleased with the result. I made a slight adjustment based on that practice pair, and today I will sew a pair in another inexpensive cotton and see what I think. I sure hope that I can figure out how to post a picture when I'm done.

Thanks again for your help!

LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
California USA
Member since 7/10/06
Posts: 2176
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Date: 4/10/09 4:02 PM

I was going to say that you should measure the crotch depth and the front and back crotch length and compare it to the pattern, and make adjustments if necessary. Like you, my back crotch length tends to be longer than the pattern and the front shorter (although I'm a lot bigger than you!) which leads to the extra fabric hanging in the front and pulling over the butt in the back. With PJ pants, since they're elastic waisted, you can just cut off the excess on the front before you turn down the waistband casing. But there's no easy way to add length to the back once you've cut them out.

My vintage copy of the Reader's Digest sewing book has a good section on making these measurements and how to alter pants patterns to match, so if you have access to that take a look. But it's pretty easy, esp. for a loose fitting pant; I usually use the wedge method, where you draw a line perpendicular to the grainline above the crotchline, cut from the crotch seam to just before the side seam (leave a bit connected so the pattern stays together) and then either spread apart to lengthen or overlap to shorten the crotch length.

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Bobolots
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Bobolots
Intermediate
New York USA
Member since 2/27/03
Posts: 30
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Date: 4/19/09 1:02 PM

I don't know if this is going to work, but from what you're describing it sounds like we have really similar body shapes. I find that pants patterns for me look very unlike what we are used to seeing. Here's a pic of what my patterns usually look like:


-- Edited on 4/19/09 1:03 PM --

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