For many sewists, sewing pants that fit seems out of reach. How exactly do you sew a pair of trousers that doesn’t gap in the back, bag out under the bum, or dig into your delicate parts? Sewing pants feels like one of the riskiest garments a sewist can take on.
Sewing pants used to scare me, too. That’s why I took a pants-fitting workshop with Cynthia Guffey, a well-known sewing educator.
I turned my notes and course materials from the workshop into a three-part blog series, because I want other sewists to get over their fear of sewing pants, too!
Guffey’s pants-fitting method calls for:
- Measuring your body
- Comparing body measurements to the measurements of flat pattern pieces
- Altering flat pattern pieces to reflect body measurements
The three-part Sewing Pants series covers Guffey’s measurement and alternation technique and ends with a pair of trousers I sewed using the method. Here’s a preview of each installment.
Sewing Pants, Part 1: The Measurements You Need for Success
Sewing pants that fit starts with recording body dimensions — and a lot of them! Learn which horizontal and vertical measurements must be captured. The post also covers how to take measurements if hips are uneven. If you’ve ever been confused about crotch curves, depth, and length, this post clear up those terms.
>> Read Sewing Pants, Part 1: The Measurements You Need for Success.
Sewing Pants, Part 2: Altering Pants Pattern Pieces
After you take a ton of measurements, you’ve got to do something with them! This post shows how to compare body measurements to flat pattern measurements — and how to adjust flat pattern pieces accordingly. Perhaps most useful in Part 2 is how to adjust the crotch curve for a flat(er) or round(er) derriere.
>> Read Sewing Pants, Part 2: Altering Pants Pattern Pieces.
Sewing Pants, Part 3: A Completed Pair of Hampshire Trousers
Pants-fitting theory is all fine and good… but only if it works! This post reveals the pants I sewed using Guffey’s fitting method, the Hampshire trousers from Cali Faye Collection. I cover which alterations I made and the step I think you can omit from the pants-fitting technique.
>> Read Sewing Pants, Part 3: A Completed Pair of Hampshire Trousers.
Please note that the Sewing Pants series doesn’t diagnose pants-fit issues. The idea is that when you use this technique, you have minor (or zero!) tweaks to make. That’s because the flat pattern pieces are adjusted to your unique measurements.
When you use this technique to sew pants that fit, you understand how your body varies from a pattern block. Plus, if you like your alterations, you can use your adjusted pattern to fine tune future pants.
Sewing pants that fit requires a thorough measurement and alteration process. If you have time and patience, sewing pants that fit is within your grasp!