Last year I made a 4 black pants. I am satisfied with the fit in the back, waist and the width of the legs. The side seam from the knee to the heel tends to curve to the left. Three inches below the waist the front of the pants has from 2-4 inches of fullness.
I’ve tried several methods of pants alterations and the result was always the same. I read a few of my sewing books and l still the answer eluded me.
I went to the mall and bought a pant after I tried it on and notice that the front was not baggy. I bought the pant, took it home and took it apart. The front of this pants 3 inches smaller in the abdominal area ( 3inches below the waist). I corrected my pattern made a muslin and I lost my sewing mojo. So it sat on my sewing.
Last December on PBS sewing with Nancy featured “Pattern Fitting with Confidence”. Nancy explained the reason why the pant leg does not hang straight and how to alter a pant pattern without affecting the grain line. I bought the book and read it; this book was a revised version of Fitting Finesse that was published 10-year ago. Yep I owned Fitting Finesse too. The following were the results of reading Pattern Fitting with Confidence:
1- The pivot & slide method works well as long as you remember the pivot points; also it helps to have appropriate drafting tools especially when you are dealing with curves.
2 - Pattern preparation was the standard. Marking all the key points (waist, hip, knee, and crotch), seam allowance, measuring the pattern and comparing those measurements to my measurement. What I found interesting was the pattern side curve. This measurement goes from your waist to the crotch line; this measurement keeps the pant leg side seam and the grain line straight. Also the measurement was important because my hips are wide.
3- The original pattern and the grain line were copied onto a large piece of paper (first worksheet); length alterations were done on this worksheet. Once the length alterations were completed, I recopied the first worksheet including the grain line onto a second worksheet. Width alterations were done on the second worksheet and this was the final pattern. I kept the first worksheet just in case I gain or loose weight, then I will only have to do width adjustments.
According to Nancy Zieman in order to maintain the grain line you must add or subtract the same amount from the four pattern sides. For example, if you need to increase your waist measurement by 1 inch, you add ¼ inch to the center front, front side seam, center back and back side seam at the waistline. This keeps the grain line straight. This concept was new to me.
4- I’ve made 2 pants muslin, the first muslin the front was baggy, the crotch area was uncomfortable, and the back darts needed to be corrected. I corrected the pattern by measuring 3 inches below the waistline and removing 1 ½ inches from that area and re-drafted the center front, re-adjusted the back darts and I lengthen the crotch. The second muslin the fit was much better. I need to tweak the crotch area a little more.
I am going to continue working this pants pattern until I am satisfied with it and it becomes a TNT pattern. Will post a picture of the pant on my next post.