THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

July 29, 2008

Pants pattern alteration

Filed under: Fit/Pattern Alterations,Tutorials — Els @ 1:22 pm

Alterations pants pattern for athletic or full ( aka heavy) thighs front side only.

Since a lot of women develop heavy front thighs due to sport activities like swimming, running etc. which cause the front pants legs to be too snug at the upper thighs.

 Adding wide to the front pants pattern can help to achieve a better fit.

 Measure your thighs at 2 inches below the crotch, next measure the pants pattern front and back at the same height 2 inches below the crotch the total width of your pattern must be your thighs width + 2-3 inches ( 5-7,5 cm)

For example, if your patternwidth is 1 inch short in width you can add that amount at the front pattern.
If your pants pattern has a crease line you can start from there , if your pattern doesn’t  have a crease line, draw one see step 1 at the diagram.



Draw a horizontal line at the front pattern, 1 inch below the crotch line from side seam to inner leg seam.
Measure the space between this new line till knee height and divide this in 2 and draw a horizontal line halfway.

Cut the front crease line from the waistline towards the knee and cut open the 3 new horizontal lines. See step 2

Add a piece of paper under the slashed pattern and spread the pattern parts like the example diagram see Step 3
Draw a new crease line from the knee up to the waist, add at both sides of the new crease line ½ inch at upper thigh .The side seams inner and outer leg are now spread for about 1/8 -1/4 inch. You can ease in those inches (1/8 till ¼ inch) so the front side seam fits the backside seam again.

If your front pattern needs more than 1 inch then I would suggest to use a larger size pattern because otherwise the space at inseam and side seam lines are increasing too much and easing in will not be possible anymore.



  1. Excellent tutorial, Els!

    Comment by Gigi — July 29, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

  2. Thank you Els!
    I have a different problem with pants – too much fulness in the backunder the seat to approximately the knee. How would you advise on making this alteration?

    Comment by Adriana — July 29, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

  3. Dang, MIss J wishes she kept up her sewing! MAking her own pants would probably be easier than finding a pair that fits her big ol’ thoighs!

    Comment by Miss Janey — July 29, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

  4. Great tutorial!! This “figure issue” applies to me so I will be sure to remember and refer to this article when I attempt pants (other than jammy pants.)

    Comment by robin — July 29, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  5. Hey, I love the pattern pieces being that neon yellow, very easy to see. Nicely done, and well written, Ms Els.

    Comment by Mary Beth — July 29, 2008 @ 6:03 pm

  6. Excellent tutorial!! Thank you, Els!

    Comment by Zinnia — July 29, 2008 @ 6:36 pm

  7. Els, thank you so much for putting this up here.
    Great tutorial, and yes, it applies to me. It’s those bike riding/swimming quadriceps. Your knowledge and willingness to publish it and share it here is much appreciated.

    Comment by Marji — July 29, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

  8. Wonderful explanation and tutorial Els, thank you!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — July 29, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

  9. Ok. Getting bookmarked. I’ve been meaning to man up and try this alteration for a very long time, but I haven’t had the guts to do it!

    Comment by cidell — July 30, 2008 @ 4:53 am

  10. Els .- thanks for explanations. It really is very interesting and instructive for the settlement of trousers. This technique also serves to arms? I suppose it does, right?. thanks. Hugs and see you soon, Paco

    Comment by paco peralta — July 30, 2008 @ 7:45 am

  11. Yes, I am familiar with this alteration as one with those type of thighs! The tutorial and pictures are clear and easy to follow as always. Thanks, Els!

    Comment by Summerset — July 30, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

  12. I know you’ve given us this explanation before, Els, but this version is very clear and will be easy to find when we need to refer to it. In addition to providing a little more front thigh room, the alteration also has the effect of slanting the center front seam just a bit, and figures with full thighs seem to need that slight angle for a smoother, more figure-skimming fit in front. Thanks for taking the time to post this!

    Comment by Karla — July 31, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

  13. Interesting method. I’ve used the method of adding to the inseam, but this looks more “accurate.” Thanks

    Comment by Nancy — August 1, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  14. Can you do a tutorial on how to make a simple toddler/infant pair of flaired/wide-legged pants….maybe with a ruffel on the hem????

    kristin Benton
    We don’t do a tutorial on demand, there are a lot of nice patterns for children like this one
    Which could be helpful for your purpose. Good luck sewing a nice flared infant pants.

    Comment by kristin Benton — September 29, 2008 @ 7:13 am

  15. Fantastic! I can use this. Thanks! Rose

    Comment by Rose — October 23, 2008 @ 10:42 pm

  16. My tummy is larger than the pattern (any ) How can I make it fit better. Thank you

    Comment by Donna Haynes — October 30, 2008 @ 4:32 am

  17. […] Do you have a hard time getting a perfect pants fit due to fuller thighs?  I know I do.  Check out the tutorial by The Sewing Divas that explains how how to alter a pants pattern to accommodate a fuller (or athletic) front thigh. […]

    Pingback by Tutorial: Alter a pants pattern for full thighs · Sewing @ CraftGossip — January 23, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  18. Thank you so much. I’ve had this problem forever. Now I have a way to solve it. I also get bagging below the seat. Can you suggest a solution? THanks again, Nancy

    Comment by ndbauer — June 17, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  19. […] muslins to get the fit right; one straight out of  the envelope and the second with a front thigh adjustment using Els’ method (which is definitive BTW.)   Trudy’s crotch curve does everything people […]

    Pingback by Take Me to Marrakesh | CoudreMODE — April 20, 2010 @ 8:19 am

  20. […] How to alter pant’s patterns @ Sew Mama Sew and The Sewing Divas […]

    Pingback by make your own pants tutorial round up | — June 10, 2010 @ 9:04 am

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