Recently there have been several discussions at PatternReview.com concerning pant fitting. Here’s one that starts out with a discussion of sizing and crotch curves and by page 10 has a side topic of flat and wide lower torso fitting.

Several years ago I was trying the Land’s End virtual model (I tried to find a link, but it seems to be inactivated at this time) and noticed that the model was much thicker through the lower torso than my body when viewed from the side. On the other hand, the model looked slimmer through the lower torso when viewed from the front or the back. It has taken many years to figure this out, but finally it has become clearer where my shape varies from the ‘norm’ and standard patterns and ready-to-wear.

Back in my teens and twenties I would sew patterns directly from the envelope with only three easy alterations: lowering the bust point by 1.5″ and adding 1 or 1.5″ to each side seam (for a total of 4 to 6 inch hip increase) and lengthening pant legs and skirt lengths substantially. Occasionally I would scoop out some fabric from the back waist to get a skirt to hang straight. Or would use a larger size neckline to make the collar more comfortable. Or would lengthen the rise on a pair of pants back when the waist was at the ‘real’ waist. lol. I knew that many people made much more complicated alterations to get a good pants fit, and I figured it had to do with age and general body shape changes.

About 10 years ago I made several pairs of no-side-seam pants using a Burda World of Fashion pattern. They fit very well with no changes at all except lengthening the leg length. I no longer have that pattern, so last year I traced a new BWOF pattern and also traced a Burda yoga pant pattern. I chose the size by my hip measurement. The BWOF magazine pattern fits better than the envelope pattern, even though they are very close to the same style. I also sewed a pair of pants with a KWIK SEW pattern. All three of these were sewn with Siltex 100% cotton fleece. I’ve lost about 10 lbs since last fall and the back of all these pants just keeps getting baggier and baggier…

So I’m inspired to go back to my old method of starting with a smaller size and adding the extra space I need to the side seams.

I’m also going to try the inseam changes suggested in the PR thread linked above for making shorts that don’t work their way north as I walk. I’d nearly given up wearing shorts because they generally aren’t flattering on my wide, short thighs and I hate tugging on the bottoms of the legs every time I move around.

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