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Pant Alteration Philosophy: Something to Ponder

Posted by Betsy C on

Pant Philosophy

It’s getting cooler around the US and bare legs are no longer de rigeur due to practical purposes. Instead we squeeze into tights or leggings or insert our legs in to tubes that cover the legs, otherwise know as pants. With that in mind, I am no exception as I hate the cold and am selecting winter weight pants fabrics for many Manhattan Trousers. With all the pants sewing going on I have a lot of time to philosophize and ponder why pants are so daunting and can only come to one conclusion: Alterations.

Pant alterations are never an easy task, but if you are not sure where to start then it can be even more daunting. There are tons of very specific how-to’s out there and I can bore you with my renditions blog post by blog post, but instead, let me offer some words of inspiration and truths that I have discovered along my pants journey which I recently came up with for a sewing friend of mine. Honestly, the best way to learn is to experiment on your own and find what works for you, so here is some food for thought-

* Modifications made for tops and blouses can be much more extreme than pants. Pant revisions are always less than what you think they should be. Make only subtle changes- an 1/8″ here a 1/4″ there and give it another go. Pants fitting needs to be gently nudged rather than pushed. If it takes a couple of muslins to get it right then so be it. A well-fitting pant is worth the time investment.

* Don’t mess around with the crotch shape too much- your asking for trouble.  Only 1/8″ or a 1/4″, nothing extreme. If you think you need more extreme alterations go with larger size and then slim down from the side seams.

* Don’t take fullness around the waist from the CF or CB seam as this will change the angle of the rise and will create new problems.

* The back crotch paradox- when you think you should be scooping out you should actually be filling in and extending the back saddle. Scooping out actually makes hips and thighs tighter.

* For a slim fit that is smoother under the bum the back rise curve should be very subtle. The more U-shaped and angular the rises the more fullness you will have below the bum (traditional trouser fit).

* The domino effect- generally speaking,one change will create new considerations or problems. Alterations are very seldom a single step process.

These are just the tip of the iceberg so please feel free to chime in with your own philosophies or words of wisdom and we can create a pants support post together.

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