What I Found Out About Altering Pant Patterns

So I made those jeans for Mr. S. I made a muslin beforehand for those too, just to see about fitting issues I might have. I did have some. Surprise, I know.

Just for fun, let’s break pants into two sections. The pant legs and the pant torso. The pant legs are the section that fit the legs and the pant torso is the section that fits the lower half of the torso. I only ended up making alterations to the pant torso. On the muslin the pants were too short in both sections, the pant torso and the pant leg. I thought if I just added more length to the pant torso, that would in turn add more length to the pant leg. As you probably know by now, otherwise I would not be writing a post about this, that is wrong thinking. Here’s why, or why I think it’s wrong:

Now that I have the pants made for Mr. S, I see what really happened when I lengthened the pant torso. By the way, I lengthened the front and the back pant torso 1 inch. Do you know what that did? By lengthening the pant torso, the waistline went up (the crotch stayed in the same place), but the pant leg stayed the same. Now that’s pretty interesting, I mean at least it is to me. What I’m really saying is this is a very very good point to keep in mind when you need to do this alteration to the pattern itself.

What I’m also saying is that you should think of these sections, the pant torso and the pant leg as two separate sections. What I should have done is alter the pant torso less and added a little to the pant leg. You know what’s kind of funny? The pattern will tell you to do this itself  indirectly as there is an alteration cutting line on the pant torso and the pant leg. Pretty fun huh?

So that’s what I learned about altering pant patterns. Maybe something you already figured out or knew, but just in case you didn’t, well, there you go.

  • Belly - I love learning those things through trial, it’s so gratifying when you realize you’ve finally worked out all those little quirks, isn’t it?
    Thanks for sharing, I’m no expert on pants, and every piece of info helps.
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  • Rachel - I have only just tuned into the making of the jeans, but I think they look fabulous! They hug him in all the right places – he looks hot!!
    I am making my first pair of pants now – will be sure to post any learnings I have (there have already been a few :-).
    You are so clever!
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  • Tasia - Thanks for sharing! I was thinking about your jeans later, and wondered if you made a muslin or a test pair. Did you have to do a lot of altering or just adding to the length? The jeans for my guy are on the backburner right now, but I did buy the pattern and some test fabric so I’m ready :)
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Tasia
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