It can be daunting to work out which adjustments to make on patterns to best suit your body shape, especially if your shape is very different to the one for which the pattern was drafted. Making adjustments can also be super time consuming as you try things, work out whether they help or not, try something else, and so on. The advice is usually to try one adjustment a time, which can be super tedious – I don’t even like to make one muslin, let alone multiple!
A number of pattern companies have started to offer built-in adjustments. This has been more common for bodice patterns, with different cup sizes, or simple things like having a “tall” version and a regular height draft. I have recently come across a few patterns for the lower half which have similar adjustments built in and wanted to detail them here in case they help anyone.
Companies with adjustments in the base draft / block
Patterns are usually based on a block that is used again and again to develop the patterns. This is why we find that patterns from a particular company will often fit us way better than from others, or how we know to always do a certain adjustment when making a pattern from a particular company. I am jealous of those people who find “their” pattern company – the magical mix of the style they like and a block that fits them well with minimal adjustment.
As many companies are expanding their size ranges, it’s common to see them discussing the introduction of a different base block for the expanded range. This is super useful, because it leads into explicit discussion of how that block differs from their existing one, giving us good intelligence on where patterns might suit us well. An example of this would be someone like Megan Nielsen who has a separate curve range – this is drafted for D cup and a more curvy figure than the standard range, which is B cup drafted. Seamwork have a similar approach and have quite detailed information on their drafting available.
Other companies are up front that their drafting and sizing is focused on a particular shape – so Muna and Broad patterns have a full tummy adjustment built-in, which can be a super useful shortcut for making pants (I know our theme month is #AllButtsWelcome, but on the other side of the body to the butt…is our belly overhang). They also don’t draft up and down from one block in the mid size range – they redraft every few sizes to avoid scaling errors.
Other companies we have come across are SBCC, who draft for petite and petite plus – this could cut out a LOT of time if you are making pants and under 5’4 height, and also Sewaholic, who don’t seem to be actively producing patterns anymore and who drafted for a pear shape – a larger difference between waist and hip (warning: very limited size range).
It’s definitely worth checking the website or pattern information to see what you can find out about the drafting as a shortcut to great fit!
Specific patterns with adjustments
This is where a company might have a usual size range/approach available, but then have particular patterns which offer an alternative for that pattern only.
The example of this for me, is Style Arc’s Flat Bottom Flo pant, which comes with a flat seat adjustment built in. As the proud owner of a flat seat, I am looking forward to trying this one out. “No wrinkles under butt” is always a key selling point!
There aren’t any other pants or bottom half patterns I can think of that are specifically adjusted like this – if you know of others, let us know in the comments!
Offering options for different adjustments as part of a pattern
This is the most exciting category for me – because it gives us the most choice. Just as patterns for the top half come more often with different cup sizes as standard, so some companies are giving us different bottom half options – without having to buy a whole differently drafted pattern or a special one-off.
First up is Cashmerette with their different pelvis options. Their Ames jeans, Ellis Skirt and Calder pants/shorts all come with two pelvis options and a sizing guide to help you choose which is for you. The apple fit is described as dartless, with a lower waist to hip ratio and often a flatter seat (hello me!!). The pear is for people who have a higher waist to hip ratio, might find pants gape at the back and have a pronounced hip curve. I think this is genius – because you are getting a bunch of adjustments built into the pattern as a starting point.
Another pattern I found with a somewhat similar approach was the Forget Me Not patterns Sabrina – the perfect fit pencil skirt. This comes with three variations – based on different waist to hip ratios. This is currently their only pattern which offers these three options of fit, but they look to be working on expanding their sizing.
Finally, a “coming soon” from Jennifer Lauren Handmade. She is working on a (very cool) jumpsuit pattern which has two “back leg” options – one which has much more room for the bum, and the other which has the standard amount for her patterns. We will come back and update this page when that one is released – probably in early August.
So that’s a bit of a whip around of patterns for your butt with adjustments already built in. Doubtless I have missed a heap, but hopefully this is helpful if you are looking for an easier way to progress your #AllButtsWelcome projects.
What patterns with great options or built-in adjustments did I miss for #AllButtsWelcome? Let us know in the comments!