When we think about clothing for butts, we tend to think about trousers, as they are the trickiest garment to accommodate a variety of butts, but they’re not the only garments that need to fit that part of the body! Right up front, let’s be clear that I’m talking about all butts: big, small, protruding, flat, and everything in between. There are as many different butt shapes as there are people, so I’ve been looking for patterns and designers who have gone the extra mile in helping us accommodate our individual differences in the derrière department, beyond the scope of trousers/pants!
I’ve tried to find patterns that are customized at the most personal level, to fit any body and any butt. The list isn’t exhaustive by any means, but you may find it a useful starting point. These are patterns where you put in your measurements and a personalised pattern is generated which should, in theory, fit you perfectly. Some of the pattern generators also include fabric type options in order to take stretch into account.
I’d like to talk about Apostrophe Patterns first up, as they have a couple of patterns that fit the ‘brief’ (pun intended!) outlined in the title of this post.
The My Fit Leggings use a pattern generator, based on your specific inputs. You simply put in your measurements, the type of fabric you’re going to use, and any sewing preferences, and a (hopefully) perfectly fitted pattern is generated automatically. I’ve seen photos of these leggings on many different people and the fit is great. The pattern is also gender neutral. Here are the details from the website:
- Fabric: knit
- Sewing Level: beginner, with intermediate options
- Sizes: all of them!
- Fits: Snug, Relaxed, and Relaxed with Straight Leg
- Optional front panel (male gusset)
- Waistband styles: Elastic, Yoga, Contour, Semi-Contour with Rear Pocket – all with maternity options
- Pants, Capris, Shorts, and Custom Inseam
- Seamless leg, Side Seam, Side Panel, Ruched Panel, Geometric Panel
- Side panel pocket
- Optional gusset for athletic wear
- Hemmed legs or cuffs/bands
- Seam allowance: you get to choose!
- Paper size: letter, A4, A0, tabloid, legal, projector
The same company has underwear, which is created the same way, and which has the following coverage options: complete, full, mid, cheeky, super cheeky, and thong. They can also be made from knit and woven fabric, which is quite useful.
Freesewing.org has a similar way of generating patterns, and I’ve made many pairs of the Bruce boxer briefs and the fit has been absolutely perfect. The inclusion of a back rise option means that various sized backsides can be accommodated.
The Shin swim trunks are also completely customisable depending on preferences. Although they are designed for men, they are essentially gender neutral due to the different pattern options.
All Freesewing patterns are free under a Creative Commons license, but there is an option to make a donation, which is a nice thing to do if the patterns work for you. (Note: Founder Joost was one of the original Sewcialists, along with Gillian and other friends!)
Sewhere.com has a Floozie Doozie undie pattern and drafting guide, which is less of a pattern generator and more a lesson in creating your own pattern. From their website:
The Floozy doozy Undie Pattern and Drafting Guide takes you through the process of measuring and drafting a 4 panel high-waisted, low legged pair of bottoms for yourself or anyone whose measurements you can get your hands on! Once you have a pair of high-waisted, low legged bottoms, there are an infinite number of possibilities for customization. Raise the leg, lower the waist, even play around with using woven fabrics on the front and back panels.
There are two views, one with front volume and one with a flat front. Your are the master of your genitalia, so play around with different shapes and materials to get the support and silhouette you desire. The construction technique outlined in the instructions results in a lined front and back panel and completely enclosed seams — or you can choose to make an un-lined pair of bottoms. Finish the bottoms with elastic, fabric bands, or try them on and feel like they’re so comfy that you’ll never take them off!
Online Sewing Pattern Designer
There are several sites that allow the sewist to draft their own clothes, enabling them to fit almost anyone. Another one is The Online Sewing Pattern Designer which has skirts and lingerie patterns as well as trouser patterns. The patterns are paid for with “sew coins” which you buy.
There are a huge number of skirt designs, very reasonably priced, which have customized size measurements for women, men and children from 4XS to 9XL.
Speaking of skirts…
I managed to find myself down a rabbit hole on the history of skirts for men, and found it absolutely fascinating. Peter from Male Pattern Boldness has a lovely post on skirt designs which are on trend and could be manipulated to fit most figure types. He also links to an interesting article on Alternatives to the Standard Men’s Suit, which is worth reading.
Morgan Connell of Man Sewing has tutorial for a great wrap skirt with a belt that would fit anyone.
The Pattern Lab
The other way to create a garment that fits your body perfectly is to create a body block. The Pattern Lab is a one-stop-shop for designing, customising and printing full-scale, bespoke basic blocks that accurately fit based on individual measurements. If you’ve always wanted to create a pattern block, this might be the site for you. There are patterns for leggings and a body glove, which, although designed for women, could be customisable to fit any body.
Lekala.co is another pattern company who are promoting this customisable approach to pattern making and they make their patterns affordable to a wide range of individual sewists. Lekala has patterns for every taste, and they are copyright free so can be used for sewing clients as well as personal use.
I’ve had a lot of fun exploring these custom-generated pattern options for All Butts Welcome! It’s fascinating to see just how many custom patterns are out there, and how many permutations are possible, to fit every need. Of course, although pattern generators can theoretically draft for any set of measurements, they aren’t necessarily tested on every size and shape of body, and sometimes the computer coding is less reliable at sizes farther out from whatever the designer’s starting point was. Some people may find that these custom computer-generated patterns are a good place to start, and are happy experimenting and tweaking. Others may find that they’d rather buy patterns that are expertly drafted by human designers, specifically for their body shape, even if that means they’ll need to grade between sizes.
Are you sewing something other than pants/trousers for All Butts Welcome? Have you had any triumphs (or teachable moments) using pattern generators like the ones discussed here? Let us know in the comments!
Sue lives in beautiful Western Australia where the weather is most conducive to making easy to wear garments. She is retired (so has lots of time) and blogs at Fadanista.com and is on Instagram @suestoney.
This was such a great read!! I’m really looking forward to checking out the many different companies and resources you listed, thank you and great work on all the research!! And so cool that so many of these are non/all-gendered.
Thank you Susie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It was fun finding all these patterns and it is nice that we are finding patterns that are gender neutral.