Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fitting Pants from the Rear

Today I came across Leena's website at with a great tutorial for drafting your own pant pattern using the Scandinavian drafting method. She's done a very good job of organizing the procedure with charts for measurements and ease.  Drafting a standard pant from measurements is about the same, no matter what method you use. Everything is added, divided up, and placed on paper using our curved and straight rulers.

The problem comes in when our bodies are not so evenly divided. Even with drafting, we still use a standard way of laying it on paper. In my experience, drafting can get us only so far, and by no means eliminates the need for fine tuning.

There must be literally millions of blog pages full of fitting woes and solutions, but these last few weeks I've been working with a private client and this week and I did her pant fitting. I thought I'd share my observations with you.

My drawing below is a similar shape to what the pattern pieces look like, with the black being the front pattern and the red being the back. Pants can be drafted side by side, or the front is drafted first, and the back built off it. Either way, the center back crotch is tipped outward to make room for our rear. How much it should tip depends upon how much rear we have. If your rear is more flat than the standard then your pattern should tip less. If your rear is larger, then your pattern should be tipped more to make enough space. The green lines roughly represent those differences.

 When dividing up the crotch space, the back gets more than the front, but for someone with a large rear, the crotch should have an even deeper scoop and longer length than the standard shape.
 And the pattern shape for a flat rear will have less curve and length to it.
 The standard pattern change is to take in or let out using a horizontal dart cut from center back, creating the same shape as described.  Understanding the relationship of the figure to the shape of the patten can go a long way with the fit before we ever get started, and can hopefully save us hours upon hours of fitting changes and muslin making. Cheers to all us fat/flat bottom girls!


  1. Thank you for the flat rear tip. If I start with a standard pattern, is there a formula to determine how much less cerve and length is required, or is it just trial and error?
    Pants fitting is a big challenge for me but a challenge I would like to master. This area is where I have the most frustration.
    Just started reading your blog and find it very informational.
    Thank you!

    1. Through geometry we can calculate that angle, but I am not a whiz at math. Maybe you know someone who is? These calculations would come from your own figure, then translated to the paper. Another generalization I can make in choosing a pattern is that someone with a shapely rear cannot make a pant without a dart and expect it to fit well. The flattest rear needs no dart, but the fuller the bum, the larger the darts must be to fit around that curve. Choosing your base pattern in this way will help ensure less trouble down the road.

  2. Common problem simply explained and illustrated. Thanks for taking the time.


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