THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

May 6, 2006

The joy of 90 degrees

Filed under: Fit/Pattern Alterations,Pattern Reviews — Gorgeous Things @ 9:21 am

by Diva Ann, GorgeousThings 

The other day I completed a pair of pants from HotPatterns. On some sites I frequent, there has been considerable discussion about crotch drafts used by different companies. I fondly remember the days when Vogue pants patterns fit me with no re-shaping of the butt-to-front. It was great. But times change and apparently so did I, so they just don’t fit me right.

Let me just say this before we go any further. Please don’t send me pictures of how your nether parts are shaped. Keep that to yourself. It’s vital information for you to have, but I really don’t need or want to see it.

Okay, back on topic. I made this pattern as a test in a stretch wool from my stash (insert shameless plug here) – thank you Kashi at Metro Textile at 237 West 35th Street in New York – and the butt and front fit perfectly. Out of the gate. I do need to adjust the hips; mine aren’t as curved. I also need to go down a size in the legs so they don’t bag out too much. But the area where I sit is PERFECT – all day long, no riding, no discomfort of any kind. I had read comments on another sewing site in which people, several of whom have never tried, or even seen the pattern, went on and on about why this won’t work, and how the fit can’t be right and how the pattern designer and the software s/he used must be off, etc. I thought this was unfair, especially the ones who hadn’t looked at the pattern. So I decided to make it up. Lo and behold, it’s just like being back in my twenties, and I’m a happy camper. If you look at the curve (and I use that term loosely) on the back of the pants:

you’ll notice that the crotch seam has a very slight curve which then turns sharply toward the back waist. Not quite 90 degrees, but certainly not a gentle curve from the center of the inseams to the back waist. I like it because, as I said, it hugs where it should without riding up, and it causes the pants legs to fall straight down toward the ground, giving a clean line to the pants:

Now, this pattern works for me. It may not work for you. My point in this post is, test for yourself. This pant draft fits me great. For my shape, it’s brilliant. Will it be for you? I don’t know. To find out, you need to make a muslin (you will find that this, along with pressing properly, are points I will revisit over and over), and see how a pattern draft fits YOU. Let me stand taller on my soapbox for a moment. No pattern will fit everyone out of the envelope. That’s unrealistic, and I think that the general sewing public is smart enough to realize that. As you get more skilled in your sewing techniques, you should start thinking about how to work the patterns to fit your body type. Patterns are not panacaea, they are tools, And only a poor workman blames his tools. Now get out there and sew!


BTW, Sorry for the rumpled look in the photo. I wore these pants when I finished them and managed to spill fig compote on the front. Sigh… So I don’t want to press them again until I have them cleaned. At that point, I’ll also post a picture of the front of the pants.


  1. Ann, your derriere looks divine in these pants!

    Comment by Gigi — May 6, 2006 @ 6:41 am

  2. Wow! Another great blog to visit!
    Your pants look great. Why do you think they work so well. Is it the sharp angle or the straight back. Either way, I know I must try these.
    When you say you went down a size in the leg, how did you do that? Did it affect the length of the crotch curve at the inner seam. I am saving this tip to use when I get my pattern.
    Thank you for the blog link. I can’ wait to read more!

    Comment by Linda — May 6, 2006 @ 6:51 am

  3. Awesome – can’t wait to see these in person!

    Comment by Phyllis — May 6, 2006 @ 7:05 am

  4. Ann, I can see why you love these pants — even with fig compote on them. I see that you rewrote your review and I must say that I’m sorry there was a small firestorm over your earlier choice of words. As “one of those” people, I really appreciated that there was a pattern out there that compensated for my unfortunate anatomy!

    Comment by Pbrommel — May 6, 2006 @ 7:44 am

  5. Your picture is an excellent illustration of the “razor sharp” aspect of the pant. Thanks so much for sharing your work. The pants look wonderful on you.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 6, 2006 @ 7:55 am

  6. Ann, I love your pants! And, thanks for the pictures. They fit great! I can’t wait to try this pattern.

    Comment by jemgirlca — May 6, 2006 @ 8:36 am

  7. The backview doesn’t get much better than that.

    Carolyn aka Irina aka collettema

    Comment by collettema — May 6, 2006 @ 11:20 am

  8. Great sharp pants indeed and the back fit is superb.

    Comment by Els — May 7, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

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