As we head towards our final theme month – All butts welcome – I have been reflecting on the various fitting issues that come with our lower halves.
I personally have two main fitting challenges for pants and other lower garments.
The first is that my waist measurement puts me in a size two sizes larger than my hip measurement. This leads to lots of pants that are cut out for waist measurement, graded in the hips, and still don’t fit. They just end up way too big, even in the waist… I think there is something in some pants construction that relies on your hips to hold the pants up and maybe a certain ratio of waist to hip which is throwing me off and I don’t know how to address it.
My second issue is a flat seat. I suspect this exacerbates issue one. I routinely have lots of fabric swimming around the hips and lower bum and just taking from the side seam doesn’t work unless it’s a relatively small amount. This issue also makes pants with flat front and back elastic look particularly terrible.
I will finally confess that I have very little pant fitting experience. I see lots of discussions about “adjusting the rise” and while I know what the rise is, I have zero clue why or when I would adjust it…so hopefully I might learn that!
My aim for this theme month is to try and nail a really well fitting woven pant (or block). Hopefully then I can use that to compare to all the gorgeous pants patterns out there and learn how to adjust them before I cut them out!
What about you? What’s your pain in the butt of fitting and what do you hope to tackle in the theme month?
Let us know in the comments below!
I echo your issues…flat butt, large waist/belly…ever since I was a teenager…it has happened that wearing slacks backwards, I had a better fit…
Well that never occurred to me! What a great idea
I’ve had that same experience!😁
My body is different but this has been a completely mysterious area for me too. I recently discovered a mini vlog series on YouTube by Lifting Pins and Needles – “Lets Sew Easy Pants” from last summer. I have watched a lot of tutorials, but she really explained fitting issues in a way that made more sense to me. Starting in the 3rd one she makes a series of muslins and shows different problems and how to fix them, working from the top of the pants down. Now I’m looking forward to trying – again – to fit my butt!
Awesome – I am going to check that vlog out! Thank you 👍
I have the opposite issue, way too much butt and thighs to waist size and now with weight gain and menopause the lovely rounded menobelly. The joys of “rounding out my personality” and “expanding my horizons”.
I wonder if anyone has written about fitting changes post menopause. I feel like we had a contributor who did ages ago, will see if I can dig that out!
Yes, the menobelly! Someone please give us directions for how to correctly alter a pattern to accommodate. For the young among us, after menopause one’s body does a shape shift, and even if you are active, weight seems to accumulate as a stomach pooch.
Someone must know about this – will see what we can find!
There’s this post (dated 26 April 2019) – lots of useful stuff in the comments https://thesewcialists.com/2019/04/26/what-are-your-tips-for-clothing-during-menopause/
I am aged 58 and have exactly the same issues – waist 2 sizes larger than hip, flat bum, fat belly issues, and totally agree that whilst the waist is fairly easy to grade out to larger, this is fine while sitting down but pants tend to slip down when standing up and walking. I recently did some crotch measuring and found that on the pattern I was using (Helen’s closet Arden pants) the total crotch length on the pattern for my size was the same as mine, but my back crotch is only 2 inches longer than the front crotch, whereas the pattern piece was 4 inches longer, so I removed 1 inch from the back and added it to the front. This helped but the style is loose fitting so may not be appropriate for other pants. I made some of these pants for my daughter and her measurements fit exactly with the pattern size. From the other comments I think you may have plenty of older readers!
This sort of crotch measuring is what it never occurs to me to do. I can see here that you took length from the back and put it on the front – am going to try and remember that as an option!
Wedgies… Trying to make the Jutland men’s pants for my husband…and still no success even on the 2nd muslin. Nor can I find advice for men’s fittings on this particular problem on line!
That’s a good point – I suspect there are fewer resources for fitting men’s pants. I am currently cursing because I have a men’s pants fitting book but it’s packed away while we renovate!
Although my waist to hip ratio is pretty standard (waist is usually one size smaller) I always seem to have problems fitting my back crotch curve (I get “wedgie” problems) and my chunky inner thighs. I’ve read about people making “tin foil crotch” replicas so may try that next in case it sheds any light on the situation. Also going to look up the vlog Lifting Pins And Needles previous commenter Julie recommended. I’m determined to make my next pair of dungarees fit better!
It is usually a good idea to cut to your hip size in pants and grade up to the waist. Do a flat seat adjustment (a fish eye dart) which takes out fabric exactly where it gathers below the buttocks. If you can get one of those rulers which curves you can get a good sense of your crotch curve and depth. None of these are complicated on their own.
Oh, YES! my fitting issues are EXACTLY like yours. Now that I am an “older” lady, my waist seems to have disappeared but my hip measurement is nearly the same as when I was young and my butt has flattened alarmingly. I have been quite unable to find a pattern size that works for me (waist is now 29ins and hips 36). I tried the waist measurement idea too and both waist and hip ended up way too big, just like yours did. What is going on there??? Choosing by hip measurement and grading out the waist sort of works but not very well.
Trying to fit a big heart shaped butt and large hanging belly is not easy. About four years ago, after about six months of persistent trial and error, I was able to create a great pants sloper. Got away from sewing due to household changes. Now I am ready to return to sewing. Lost about forty pounds–yes!! But my perfect sloper no longer fits. Back to the drawing board.
Many years ago I took a pants fitting class that has served me well. Make a “muslin” using a 1 inch check fabric based on your hip size. Use large seam allowances and add a couple inches to the top at the waist band. Designate a couple of grain lines and cross grain lines on each piece. Tie a piece of elastic at your waist and begin by pulling the pants up to the elastic in a comfortable position and mark that using pins and/or a marker. Then pin fit by letting out or pinning in, folding excess fabric so that your grain lines and cross grain lines are straight with out major drag lines. Also make sure the side seams remain in a straight line. I sometimes use a stapler to pin my backside seam. Transfer pin markings on the fabric with a marker, then transfer these to your pattern. My figure is such that the commercial pattern does not much resemble the muslin after my changes so I trace a clean pattern to use off the one with all my changes.. You can then make a new waist band pattern based on the new pattern.
There are some good fitting videos on Craftsy.
Also I have found that my basic shape does not change much with weight gain or loss, it just gets smaller or larger.
Also in one of Sandra Betzini’s books, she suggests for the flat behind to make a size smaller in the back and blend to match. I think that is also good if the situation is reversed – a bigger size for a bigger booty and a smaller one for the front.
The one inch check muslin idea is excellent! I am going to grab some check fabric next time I see some!
Pants/trouser fitting was the whole reason I learned to sew in the first place, and it’s an ongoing quest. Every time I get somewhere, my body changes and I’m back to square two, if not square one! Practice, and going on courses does seem to help, and I’m learning that the same things come up again and again, whatever size I start with: flat bottom, looong bottom, large thighs, long back crotch curve, shaping the back crotch curve – and then, when I get somewhere close to a good fit, puzzling out how to match up a back inseam that’s way, way longer than the front inseam!
It’s a good rule of thumb to choose you size based on you hip measuement & grade/alter the waist as needed. Because waist adjustments are way easier than hip adjustments, since hip adjustments often end up impacting the crotch fit. My hip measurement always puts me in smaller size than my waist does, & a full tummy adjustment usually covers the difference. On my body, I find pants-fitting infinitely easier than bodice-fitting. I’m super-busty & small-shouldered, it’s a whole thing.
I’m in the “waist two sizes bigger than hips” club, although not flat in the rear. It’s funny, as I gained some weight in my late twenties and early 30s I seemed to be on a trajectory towards a more conventional shape, but in the last few years the waist has caught up again. I definitely have more luck cutting pants for my hip size and adjusting the waist. Lately one of my daughters has been into altering old men’s jeans to fit her and it’s been remarkably informative fit-wise!