Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crotch Problems

The hardest part about making this pants pattern was the crotch. So I thought I'd share with you what I know I should have done in the first place.

First, whether you are making your own pattern, using a commercial pattern, or knocking off a pair of your pants, this is what the top of the patterns will look like:

Don't worry about all those seemingly meaningless lines, they helped me out when I was making a sample of these pants and aren't relevant just yet.

I was quite confident in my pattern making skills, so I just used this exact pattern and sewed my first sample pants. The problem I had with them was that the crotch was way too low. Almost 1 1/2". To fix a low sitting crotch, you have to actually add fabric. I didn't have enough, because my seam allowance was only 1/2" . I wanted these things to almost fit like jeans in the crotch, really snug. What I should have done before I cut out my sample fabric was this:

Taped on some extra paper around the curve of both front and back crotch seams:

Then add 1" from the edge of the pattern to the curves to give me a lot of room to take the crotch up:

You don't have to go all the way up to the waistline seam, just high enough to have some extra fabric to work with around the crotch.

Then use this pattern to cut out your sample pants. Since I didn't do this, I had to go back and add this extra seam allowance to my pattern, then cut another pair of sample pants. Pants take up a lot of fabric, so I actually just made shorts for my second sample (I didn't need to fit the legs again), hence those extra lines below the crotch seam.

When I finally got the crotch where I wanted it to fit, it had required several trials to do so, but with all that extra fabric to work with, it was easy. I would just stitch around the crotch, try them on, make adjustments, remark a new stitch line in the seam allowances, resew on the new stitch line, and try them on again until I got them where I wanted them. Then I just transferred the final stitch line on my pants back to my pattern pieces.

This is how the my first and last patterns compared. The old patterns are laid on top of the new ones:

You don't have to make a whole new pattern for that little adjustment, just use the one you taped up. I made a new pattern because I had made several other adjustments in other places, and I didn't want to be pinning through a bunch of tape.

So before you sew, learn from my mistake, and add that little extra fabric just in case. It might just save you some time and fabric.


Unknown said...

Love the title. Just had to read because of the suspense...lol

Caitlin said...

Wow! This post is really helpful. I've steered clear of drafting pants because of the whole crotch issue. I've been wanting to make shorts since last year and now I think I'll give it a go!

Anne said...

Thank you for sharing this!! It was a total lightbulb moment for me!

I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip:


KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Excellent tip. Found you via Craft Gossip. One of the reasons I refrain from making pants is precisely this reason.

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Excellent tip. Found you via Craft Gossip. One of the reasons I refrain from making pants is precisely this reason.

Anonymous said...

So glad I found this. I could never figure out if I need more or less fabric to raise the crotch. Now I know! I have never been more frustrated in my life than trying to make pants that fit. Thanks.