This is a tale of my search for fit and adjustment to panties in order to make a pair that fit me, and in the process discovering the neglect of variation in the shape of the bony pelvic girdle, and how this affects pantie fit (or lack thereof).
Ready-to-wear (RTW) panties ride up my butt, and the leg elastic sits on my labia. As a result they are extremely uncomfortable, and like the men who are always shifting their nuts to get comfortable, I am always pulling my panties out of my crotch. When I finally solved the fitting riddle, I told my daughter of my joy in having panties to wear that were comfortable and they fit right so I was not constantly aware of them. I was astounded when she told me that she just gets rid of any panties that are uncomfortable, as I all the panties I had ever bought had ridden up to give me constant wedgies.
I started searching online for how to fit the gusset or crotch, but came up empty. Timelace Studio’s 2016 post on ‘How to draft a basic panty pattern’ was typical of what I found, in that it worked off the assumption that all panties have same gusset length and width. Like most guides I found, her pattern was drafted off only four measurements, while others use five.
The measurements required were:
- Waist circumference;
- Hip circumference;
- Waist to hip at side seam; and,
- Seat height.
- Crotch length – included in some instructions
Measurement that were specified as staying the same through all sizes were:
- Gusset length = 14 cm (The gusset length stays the same trough all sizes)
- Front gusset width = 8 cm (This measurement stays the same through all sizes)
- Back gusset width = 11 cm (This measurement stays the same through all sizes)
As I suspected my fitting issues were with the gusset, instructions that assumed all gussets had the same width and length were problematic. Equally problematic were pantie drafting instructions that said: copy a pair of well-fitting panties. If I had a well-fitting pair of panties I would not have bothered making them. One of the problems I had was that no one could suggest a starting point for measuring or adjusting a pantie pattern for better fit in the gusset.
Many blogs recommended Beverly Johnson’s Craftsy Class ‘Sewing Panties: Construction & Fit’ as the best place to learn about fitting panties, so I signed up. Beverley Johnson includes pantie drafting instructions in her class, but the gusset length was specified as a fixed ratio to hip circumference, and the gusset width as the same 8 cm for all sizes. Beverley had no advice other than trial and error in response to my question about gusset fitting, so I finally jumped in to try a pattern.
In early 2019 I decided to try House Morrighan’s recently released Clover Boybrief (HM-CBB). When I was fitting the HM-CBB measuring the gusset width with a tape measure didn’t work, as it is a dynamic space, changing shape as you move. A flat ruler won’t work either, as the fabric in the gusset has to wrap around the labia. As I expected to have fitting issues, I began with a muslin based on my waist and hip measurements, in size 6 graded to size 8 at waist of the high cut briefs in a horrible green mesh (with horizontal stretch only). It had all the fitting issues of my RTW panties, but I could pin out a tuck to reduce gusset length, and measured as best I could how much too narrow the gusset was. I made second muslin with shortened extra-wide gusset. The gusset had enough width for me to (carefully) mark the crease between my leg and pelvic floor with pins, take them off and measure how wide a gusset I needed. The adjustments were substantial, I had to reduce gusset length by 5/8” and increase width by 1¼”. Figure 3 shows the alterations I made to the pattern in red, and figure 4 shows the finished fit.
One of my problems in searching for information and in describing my fitting issues was the lack of a suitable terminology. I needed information about crotch fit — the length and width of the pelvic floor area between my legs. But when I searched crotch length I got results for the length from front waist through the legs to back waist, the measurement described as ‘crotch length’ in Figure 2. Figure 5 illustrates the physiological landmarks that provide stable reference points for measuring the adjustments I needed. The pubic bone marks the front of the gusset, the coccyx (or tailbone) marks the back, and the leg creases mark the sides. To distinguish the crotch measurement from the meaning of the standard sewing use of ‘crotch length’, I decided to describe the gap between the front and back bony landmarks as ‘crotch depth’. The gap between the fleshy landmarks created by the crease between the legs and the pelvic floor area I describe as ‘crotch width’, as it does not conflict with any existing sewing terms.
This terminology is consistent with standard terminology for 3-D objects, where the x-axis is referred to as ‘width’, the y-axis as ‘height’, and the z-axis as ‘depth’.
When I started this fitting journey, undie design seemed to assume a standard ratio between hip circumference, hip height, and crotch depth and width. I started thinking about how I could need such a substantial variation from standard sizing, and the simplest explanation was that my pelvis was wide relative to depth, which called into question the assumption of one size fits all for pantie gusset design.
To illustrate how the same circumference can be based on different width/depth ratios, I took photos of exactly the same loop of string stretched into a wide flat oval, a slightly rounded oval, and a very round oval (top photos in Figure 7, from left to right). For illustrative purposes, I then overlaid these ovals with identical size legs, and marked the crotch dimension. The bottom row of Figure 7 shows wide shallow crotch left (pink dashes), slight (average depth) crotch centre (red dashes), narrow deep crotch right (blue dashes). I then overlaid these crotch/gusset shapes on top of each other in Figure 7, bottom far right. Each pelvis has identical hip circumference, but very different crotch/gusset shape and dimensions. When designers assume one size fits all, only the centre oval gets fitted properly.
Figure 8 is a diagram demonstrating initial proof of concept, with a gusset that is too long and narrow relative to pelvic floor dimensions. The leg seems to sit uncomfortably on the labia, and gusset is pulled up between buttocks in wedgie, which is exactly what I experience, as can be seen in Figure 9.
Failing to find information about crotch dimensions and fitting in the sewing community, I went looking for alternative sources of information about pelvic shape. It occurred to me that childbirth may have something to do with it, which sent me into the obstetrics literature, but what I found was that while childbirth widens the pelvis it doesn’t flatten it, and if that were the cause of my fitting problems, more women would report it as an issue. However, whereas the sewing community was silent on the issue of crotch variation, the obstetrics and midwifery professions took such variation as a given. When I started this fitting journey two and a half years ago, most of the obstetrics and midwifery literature I found based their identification of four types of pelvic shapes on 1933 research by Caldwell & Moloy. I have included Physiopedia’s ‘Pelvic Floor Anatomy’ in Figure 10 because it is a useful creative commons image that does not require permission to use, as long as you include (CC-BY_2.0) and source, but the article does not reflect the findings of much greater pelvic diversity in more recent research. Betti (2017 – figure 9) uses Moloy’s original 1938 figure (she said I could use it as far as she could determine, it was out of copyright), and the diagram is useful because it emphasises the variation in width of the pelvic girdle.
Betti links the distribution of maximum diversity in pelvis shape to population migrations, with those who’ve travelled least from our origins in Africa having the most variation, as each migrating population carries restricted genetic diversity compared to origin populations. She found tall thin people of African descent more likely to have narrow and deep pelvic girdles, and short stocky populations in cold climates had wide and shallow pelvic girdles. While Fischer & Mitteroecker (2015) also link height to pelvic shape, they describe pelvic girdle shape as a compromise between conflicting evolutionary selection pressures for a shape optimised for upright bipedal walking on the one hand, and a very different shape required to reduce risk of maternal mortality giving birth to large headed babies on the other. Short women are more likely to have wide pelvic girdles so babies can fit through them, not necessarily because of population migration and genetic constriction, but because of evolutionary pressure due to selective maternal survival of some shapes more than others.
Figure 12 ‘Pelvic types’ from Gail Tully@Spinning Babies midwifery information site is the other image I found early on in my search for information. Once I got this far in my experimentation and research, I started to post my pantie makes and my thoughts, along with figure 11, and a rougher draft version of figure 6, on various FB sewing groups. I’m short, with a wide shallow pelvis, which according to these sources put me in the 5% minority of women who have Platypelloid pelvic cradles. This would make it not surprising it hasn’t been catered for by pantie designers. However, FB brings together thousands of sewers interested in the same thing, enough for quite a few to find it relevant to them.
In August 2019 Greenstyle Creation’s No Show Brief (GS-NSB) was released, and I made and adjusted a few pairs during Sharon Aguilar’s sew along, as it has minimal sewing, turned out to be super comfortable, and I could get two pairs out of a 1/4m of swim fabric – figure 14 shows the result. I’m including the gusset adjustments I made in figure 13, because it is a quite different block to standard pantie patterns. Having sorted out my fit adjustments on the HM-CBB, however, I was able to transfer them to these panties without difficulties. I shortened the gusset and increased the gusset width, adjusting the back leg seam to match the gusset width.
When I contacted Gail Tully@Spinning Babies in preparation for writing this blogpost, as well as kindly giving me permission to use ‘Pelvic types’ image in figure 12, she also drew my attention to recent research that rejects the idea ‘there are four distinct types of female pelvis’. Just as midwives need to be aware that pelvic shapes are distributed in a continuum, with many components that can vary in dimension independently from one another (Kuliukas et.al. 2019). Rather than being seen as distinct categories, one of which everyone will fall into, the four pelvic shape diagrams should be seen as ideal types — mental images that help us organise information, not reflections of reality (Harrison 2013) .
More recent research that makes distinction of pelvis types less clear cut, and which finds proportions of types vary across populations, makes it impossible to make generic claims about proportions of pelvic type. However, it is possible to say that most standard panties are designed for the 14% – 18% of women with a Gynecoid pelvis (Delprete 2017), which at best suits a minority of the population. The standard pantie may also suit the 51% – 59% of women with an Android pelvis, in which case they would fit up to ¾ of the population. However, the 20% – 23% of women with the deep narrow Anthropoid pelvis, and the 10% – 14% with the Platypelloid pelvis are left out in the cold.
While there seem to be far more complaints online and on FB about gussets that are too short and wide, than there are about gussets too long and narrow, this still means 30% – 57% of women have trouble with pantie gusset fit. In figure 7, I only altered one variable – pelvic width, while keeping other variables – hip and circumference and leg size, the same. In actual people, all these variables can change independently. This is why figure 5 suggests some ways of measuring key crotch dimensions to get a good gusset fit. What is needed are easy ways of measuring our crotch width and length so we can readily compare with and adjust the pattern. In March 2020 I raised this with Jennifer Fairbanks, @Porcelynne, on her FB group, and at that time she was in the process of editing her Bare Essentials underwear book, and she planned on incorporating the issues associated with gusset fit in the new edition.
Apparently the average adult person is between 2” and 3” in crotch width. In response to my post about this, someone on the Porcelynne FB group suggested measuring gusset width using fingers, as in Figure 12. Four fingers gives me 3”, but is not wide enough, I need to add a fifth finger from my other hand to reach across the width of my pelvic floor. This is potentially a simple way of determining width that gets the gusset width close to enough. If you cut your first muslin out with a slightly wider gusset, you can use pins to mark the leg crease more accurately. There is further progress in this space, as in mid-2020 Apostrophe released their custom draft MyFit Underwear, so it will be interesting to see how well their drafting algorithm works for all shapes of pelvis.
If someone else has already figured it out, let me know. Hopefully this tale will remind both designers of the fact that there are multiple dimensions in which pelvic girdle, and hence crotch shape can vary, and it will provide some tools to help pantie sewers of all shapes get a better fit.
Karey Harrison, feminist philosopher of science and linguistics, environmentalist, retired academic, home baker, sewist, gardener.
This was madly fascinating, thank you! And also deepened my certainty that bodies should come with clear, well-labelled manuals. 😀
Yes, it would have been great if I’d known all this stuff decades ago 🤪🤣
Thank you so much for this. It is amazingly detailed and a fascinating subject!
Thank you so much for this wonderfully researched article. I have experienced many of the problems that you have mentioned, but just knowing that others are working on creating better fitting crotch patterns, gives me hope that I can someday arrive at perfectly fitting panties. Such an aspiration!😁
Hopefully my article gives you some ideas for adjusting your pantie pattern for a better fit. People on Greenstyle Creations FB group who followed my suggestions for adjusting the No Show Brief found it helpful.
Thank you so much for this article – very informative!
This was a really cool read, thank you for the depth of your research!
Wow, you conveyed info seldom considered and never by me. “My Fit Underwear” illustrations did not inspire confidence in their patterns where the back leg openings did not always cup under the buttocks, which is where comfort lies. IMO.
I like my underwear to cup under the buttocks too. But lots of people seam to like a higher leg line. Apostrophe Patterns let’s you choose which you want. On their FB group there are lots of examples of full buttocks coverage. In their measurements charts you do waist and hip circumference, high leg diameter, and specify crotch width. While that does not control quite all the parameters, as the algorithm makes some assumptions, the designers are very responsive, and help you tweak your measurements to get the fit you want. If any of their assumptions are causing problems they are adjusting them with feedback. It is an interesting development in pattern customisation.
Thanks for a really interesting article. When thought about logically, it makes sense that the gussets of pants should be different shapes. Every other bit of our bodies are certainly different so why should our pelvic area be the same? I especially liked your explicit language which left no doubt in my mind exactly what you are talking about. Like most articles on underpants fitting that I read, it seems it’s definitely hard to get a good fit which is also complicated by our preferences like Loracstada highlighted in her comment. Lots of food for thought and I’ll just go and self drafted undies pattern out now and have another look at that gusset!
Glad you found it interesting. Explicit language was essential, illustrating it without being indecent was the tricky part 😁😅
What a great article! I’ve always had a hard time finding or making underwear that’s comfortable and it makes so much more sense now. Super excited to play around with gusset width & length on my next pair
Please let us know how it goes here. Love to hear how people are using my ideas.
Amazing research! Thank you. I have some indie brand babe arq panties and gusset is too wide and actually irritates my skin (red welts) at the back gusset seam because the gusset is too wide. It never occurred to me that I needed a narrower but LONGER gusset because my pelvis from anterior to posterior is deep (long?) though the actual width of my pubic area (leg crease areas) is narrower than most panties. Hmmmmmm? I’m suddenly inspired to make my own panties! Thank you so much.
Glad it is helpful. Depending on the local population, from 20% – 40% of women need deep narrow gusset like you do. Only 10% – 20% need shallow wide gusset like me. Still, that means in some populations standard pantie gusset drafting may ill-serve more than 50% of women.
Without tools to think about it, and a vocabulary to talk about it though, it is hard to solve problems. Hopefully my article contributes to solving pantie fit issues. I’m more than happy for people to use my diagrams (the ones not attributed to anyone else) in the service of this end, as long as they have CC-BY information included.
I feel certain that this information will also help draft a better fitting crotch curve for trousers. Noted for later, once I finish figuring out armscye curves that aren’t “trace one that fits you well.” (None. None fit me well.)
I’ve been thinking that too. I was just thinking about making paper mache lower body molds with the three shapes to test the fit implications for pants. I have short rise because I am shallow through the crotch, but I have to extend the hook at the leg to reach across the width of my crotch. None of the pant fitting tutorials mention crotch width vs depth as an issue.
Right?! There are so many things in pattern drafting tutorials that are just … unexplained. It drives me nuts. *Why* do you use that number, why that spacing, why that ratio. Nobody explains it. I suspect none of them actually know why.
Someone after my own heart. I always want to know why 😅🤩
I always assumed that this area of underwear needed more personalization for people, but your breakdown of how was so great. I was always working on crotches that at least needed more width for functional purposes, people I know who do pole dancing for exercise and need the width for modesty that RTW is seriously lacking for this purpose. Great to think about how much more individualized attention we can bring to this.
Definitely. I think one of the reasons it’s been ignored has been selection bias in pattern making and clothing manufacturers. I think they mostly use fit models that match the standard sizes on their pattern block. Indie companies are drawing on a wider range of body shapes in their pattern testing, but the time and expense means they are still limited in the number of people testing patterns before release. Indie pattern companies with a dedicated FB sewing group is a game changer. Greenstyle Creations FB group has over 40,000 members. When the No Show Brief was released and I posted an earlier version of my thoughts and fitting experiments, there was a much larger pool of people trying to get a good fit and asking for help than any pre-release testing could do. Enough found my post useful for designers to notice. I’ll be feeding this blogpost back to them to draw their attention to it again.
great post – and so informative – any underwear I have made for myself fits better than store bought but I still have to figure a better fit overall especially for back – your gusset diagrams at the beginning are super helpful. thank you so much
fascinating, interesting and so many fun (and helpful) facts, thank you
Utterly fascinating – great in-depth research, which answers so many of the ‘whys?’ (I love/need detail too.)
I’d always assumed my fat backside was the reason for the difficulty I have finding pants (even non high cut) that do not give me a wedgie, but your illustrations and photos clearly show it’s fundamental shape, not size, that is the problem/solution. Thank you!
Let us know if this helps you improve the fit
Glad they help
Wow, this is amazing information. Another consideration is that our bodies change as we age so the crotch area changes as well. I have always felt that underwear should provide space for air movement but I have not figured out how to accommodate that except, by your information, crotch length and width. As soon as I can get back to my sewing machine I am going to try some adjustments. Personally, I have found that the leg elastic is so irritating that I have to make sure it is covered or not use elastic at all. Very good discussion, I really appreciate it.
For ventilation I immediately thought of French knickers. Interestingly, this recreation of vintage ones relies on measurement of crotch depth
I’ve been scratching my head trying to work out how on earth to alter an underwear pattern for ages! Thank you for giving me food for through and some ideas of where to start.
Thank you for a really deep dive into this subject! I have not tried making my own panties yet, but will now of course. Your research certainly illustration the fact that we are all different. Everywhere!! I suspect I have a need for a wider gusset as well. Those hated wedgies and too-narrow gussets are maddening. And for me, boy-short style panties. I love the idea, but they just feel awful.
I am currently trying to make myself panties so your article hits close to home. Thanks for the fitting suggestions as I am struggling with fit. Sewing panties is supposed to be easy. But there is a lot of geometry going on down there maybe not that different from pants except they don’t have any ease. Thanks again.
Excellent post – well written with academic references! The illustrations really help drive home the differences in hip shape and crotch shape. I just had this discussion with a someone who is developing a pattern block for manufacturing with different options.
Hi Lily, you subsequently wrote a post about this issue, with additional research and insights. Can you post the link here? Thanks
Karen, thank you so much for this. I’m an obgyn and have been aware of all the variation. I began sewing a few years ago mainly because I have a pickle shaped body and nothing fits the way I want it too. Your explanations here are terrific, and I will use them to modify patterns for underwear and bathing suits which always leave my lateral labia exposed if my pannus isn’t draping! So helpful! PS I’ve been married to a philosophy professor for almost thirty years. He keeps things logical for me.
Karey, not Karen. Dang auto correct.
I used to warn my students about the marks they would lose if they cited Ardent instead of Arendt because of autocorrect. 🤪🤣 it hadn’t occurred to me that all the people who reply to me as Karen were suffering from the same thing as my devices know my name so don’t do it to me 🤣🤣
This was very helpful. I’ve got several pairs of undies that do fit me well from SUAT patterns, but I tried one from Sinclair patterns recently and although I love the waist finish the crotch is too narrow; things were escaping overnight which isn’t helpful. I think I’m going to have to mash the two together to get something approaching my ideal undie. I think I’m also a 5 finger crotch width, though I like a longer gusset, I find most RTW ones start too far back.
Wonderful information!! I make cloth menstrual pads and I find that most of the women I sew for prefer a 2 1/2 inch gusset width. Some obviously prefer less wide and some more wide. Thank you for this thorough guide!
When measuring with the fingers for width, what position is the body in? Sitting with legs slightly apart? Standing with feet hip width apart? Obviously leg position is going to matter.
Hi Michelle. That’s a great question. As someone with a wide crotch, I want the gusset wide enough not to pull into my labia when my legs are opening the space up to its maximum. The fact that the width changes in different positions is part of what makes measuring and fitting difficult.
Legs spread wider than hips in slight squatting position creates maximum spread for me that matches the width I found comfortable. If you are making panties to hold period pads I imagine you’d have to subtract the thickness of the pad x 2 from the gusset width, to give the pad room to wrap around the pantie gusset. However, pads make the gusset stiffer, so it might need a slightly different fit. You’d have a better idea than me.
So fascinating. Thank you for putting this together. This also reminds me of an article I read a few years ago about fitting bicycle seats for women and how it matters whether your lady parts are an “innie” or “outie.” https://speedandcomfort.com/blogs/comfort-issues/innie-or-outie
Love the bicycle article. As a cyclist seat comfort is dear to my heart.
Thank you for covering this information. Because of the conversation we had in my pattern group, I added information for fitting panties in the second edition of Bare Essentials: Underwear – Panties and Knickers. This post covers more of the reasons why one may need to alter fit than I covered in the book, but I appreciate you bringing these specific issues to me in the first place.
Thanks for confirming that you incorporated individual fit adjustments for the gusset in your design book. I love that you’re all about designing for our diverse shapes.
This was such a fascinating read, possibly one of my favourite posts on this blog. Thank you so much for all the research and effort into compiling this post. So many things I hadn’t considered but seem so obvious when pointed out. . . Why is there a “standard” sized gusset when there’s natural variation in pelvic shapes? So much food for thought!
Thankyou. Glad you found it useful.
Thank you so much, this has been very enlightening and also why we all aren’t the same ratio, this shows up in all sorts of pattern drafting and this is why you are very much appreciated for the in-depth thinking for us to all achieve a great fit.
Fascinating many many thanks have shared it on.my page with the Facebook link thingy, as it was there I presumed it was OK but now I think I should have asked. Will be looking again when I do a new personal knicker draft
It is better to link to blogpost. That way people outside the group can access it. This is the link:
Woah! This was a really interesting read. I am embarrassed to say that although I am educated about pelvic types and shapes, I never considered their effect on underwear fit! Now I’m off to figure out exactly where the gusset is supposed to cover … I’m quite certain the gusset on every pair of underwear that I own is not in an ideal position ….
Glad it was useful. Let us know how you go.
Thank you for this fantastic blog post. I’ve always found the gussets of RTW underwear too short in front to cover everything (and just a little too wide), it’s one of the reasons I make my own. None of the patterns I have tried have been long enough either, but it’s an easy adjustment. I always assumed it couldn’t be just me, it’s so nice to see it isn’t!
I was also happy to read that Primrose Dawn patterns have a longer gusset, so I assume she had the same experience. Haven’t tried her patterns yet though.
Perhaps this would be a good topic for the Bra Sewing Bee next year. There was a class this year on having a cylindrical torso and adjusting your bra band pattern. Kind of a similar thing, I wonder if there’s a relation there.
A deep narrow crotch is much more common than a wide shallow crotch, and when I started to look for information on crotch fitting complaints about panties being too short and wide were quite common.
I looked at Primrose Dawn and she says the ‘gusset is longer in front’. This doesn’t necessarily mean the pantie is designed for a longer crotch, but may just mean the crotch covers what would be front pantie on other patterns. It would be interesting to get people’s feedback on this.
Where has this information been all my life! I’ve spent years battling wedgies from poorly fitting panties. I’m 5’4″ with 41″ hips and a 31″ waist, so I have a lot of the characteristics named in this excellent and informative post as characteristics of someone with a nonstandard pelvis. I knew I needed to widen my gussets, but I never thought about length.
Glad it was helpful. Let us know the results of your experiments.
Thanks for inspiring me to try making my own undies!
Gussets on me tend to run from anus to the top/front of my vaginal opening (I don’t know if I have a pronounced pelvic tilt, but I do havbe plenty of junk in the trunk (which is somewhat irrelevant due to my preference for thongs)), so unless whatever’s coming out (lots of white/clear the days it’s not gushing red) goes straight down (and to the right, because who’s symmetrical??), it channels up to well beyond the gusset. They always seem to be too narrow as well, so any sudden movements and the carefully placed frontal coverage turns into a one-sided labi-wedgie; plus, the lucky times discharge goes straight down, it unluckily tends to find its way to my thigh and then pants.
I cannot stand panty lines, so I end up with thongs which invariably have a narrower-than-normal crotch, exacerbating the issue. The few times I’ve tried shorts, I had the same gusset problem (or there was no gusset, increasing the walking-in-a-swimming-pool feeling) and the legs just rolled up, which is a bigger comfort issue than the gusset thing. (The only bike/exercise shorts I’ve found for wearing under skirts that don’t roll up on me go nearly all the way down to my knees; I’m not sure undies like that exist for anyone with a vulva (vs those requiring way more frontal space).)
I’m not well-practiced in stretchy fabrics and very-close-fitting patterns, but OMG i want to try now. The thought of a gusset large enough in all directions sounds absolutely heavenly!!
Good luck. Let us know how you go. Unless you’ve never experienced it, the bliss of properly fitting panties so comfortable you are not aware of them cannot be appreciated.
Bike shorts and bike seat makers could do with considering pelvic sizes too.
My next project is making bike shorts with customised pad 😁
Hi Karey, I always had problems concealing my ‘curlies’, when in swimwear; though I haven’t gone into the depths that you have plumbed, I Have used two patterns for my wide pudendum. One is the SUAT patterns that call for a 1/2″ seam allowance.. I have always used 1/4″ S.A. This has given me the required width for the crotch, but I still needed to lower and shape the leg line, to match.
The other pattern, comes from Waves n Wild. I have learnt to increase the width in the crotch. So in actual fact, cut a medium panty with an xl crotch piece, tapering the leg line to match. I am 166cm tall, short in the torso, but long from crotch to waist. I have not needed to shorten the crotch, and had assumed this was something one did for shorter women. Which I did for a friend who is 5.1″, I shortened by about 1/8″. She really liked the fit. Both of these patterns I used cotton lycra bands on the legs and waistband. This means that the pattern would fit with more accuracy, as there is more room for ‘error’, and would fit a better range of body shapes. Widening the leg band, could offer better butt coverage for the WnW pattern. I hope this is helpful for someone.
As for making a mold of your body, you could use plastic wrap and duct tape around your body to make a model of your shape. Hep would be required to do it.
Your experience confirms that there needs to be much more recognition and pattern adjustment information for pantie fitting. I’m 5’2″ and definitely have a short torso, but that is addressed by shortening from waist to hip. It would be interesting to see if short gusset correlated at all with height, but my suspicion is it is an independent variable.
A duct tape mold is a good idea. I’ve seen them made for bodice and trouser dummies. A pantie form would require a different fit, but would definitely improve measurements.
Fascinating and informative! Thank you for this incredibly detailed and educational post.