Sunday, September 12, 2010


Aren't all pants pullon? LOL.

TNT pair? Tried and true. Are these the elusive well-fitting pants I've been stalking for years?

These are not the way I would have wanted my pants to fit years ago. About thirty years ago a middle-aged friend of mine told me that pants should hang straight down in the back from the fullest part. I thought Hey, that's for old people and I'm not old. I want some definition in the back!

Well, I had my definition and probably many fit wrinkles. At that time I don't think I checked for wrinkling; I checked for fit.

Time has passed. I have made my pattern larger over the years for three reasons: 1) I have expanded 2) pants got looser fitting (although slim again in the last few years) 3) I have aged--I have aged?!--and want a little more ease, especially to hide the "bumps".

numbered this pattern 92508, the day I made them. I'm guessing it is a poly linen blend, possibly with some silk. It was part of a stack of fabric purchased from someone. Between that date and now I did make: one of the few muslins I have ever made; two more pairs but in dark colors which won't photo well, and a second left leg for these. I used someone else's iron (don't ask) which melted some of the fabric on the left leg. Since I had plenty of fabric left, I ripped out the entire left pant leg and made another one.

This last pic is to show typical pants on me. This pair, made December, 1990, from poly rayon gabardine aren't this bad. I adjusted them for the pic so they looked more like pants from the past fit because the worst pairs are gone; plus the others were in darker colors so would not show all the wrinkles.
This pair is pattern 4383 (April 3, 1983) which is the day I said, "I got it; I got it!" I used 4383 for years, every few years adding a tad here and there to the pattern, or scooping out somewhere.
I made a slew of underlays; overlays; yokes, front and back; pockets of all types; pleats; variations of leg widths; cuffs; various closures; design details (tabs, belt loops, etc). This way I could just pick this piece and that piece and have totally different looking pants. Some of these pieces, though made for 4383, are still usable; others need some adjusting.
Over the years there have been a few pattern numbers and revisions, but most were based on 4383.
For almost every commercial pattern: if they fit well in front are way too small in the back; if they fit well in the back, they are quite baggy in the front.
To fit pants I have to allow for:
--tilted pelvis ("tucked under")
--swayback, slight
--large-ish, low fanny (a "shelf")
--large front thighs, slight
--large high abdomen
--stance: twisted legs
--stance: hip and leg bone structure
--one back side slightly larger than other (just noticed)
I have a trousers pattern so what's left is to get an updated TNT pattern for slacks, combining the fit of these pullons with ones which have good upper abdoman and waist fit.
I will then be set with basic patterns for pullon pants, slacks, and trousers. No jeans--I don't wear them.
Fitting pants is easy. It took me only about thirty years; about ten patterns, morphed several times; and about a thousand try-ons.
Note: the little bump in the back of the side view pic is a doorknob, which I am certain is not attached to me.
Note: I didn't mention short stature as a fitting issue. I do height adjustments so automatically that I don't even consider them to be a fitting issue.