Making Pants That Fit

Image from Pattern Patter
Image from Pattern Patter

On a Saturday while the kids were helping feed the homeless, (the homeless can wait, I’ve got pants to make) I made a plan to make pants. I made pants all day long. Here’s the result of my labors.


This is from a OOP Butterrick 4998 pattern that I getting to almost perfection. The fabric is a green something I got in a discount bin. Nice for muslin. Works better than muslin actually. See the wrinkles at the bottom, I can’t tell if that’s just the way I was standing, the fabric or what. Plus, the fabric IS kind of wrinkly.

green pants
The alterations I made:

  • Took up the back and front crotch by 1″.
  • Lowered the waistband by a 1/2″
  • Used a contoured waistband treatment.

Here is the same pants in a linen. This linen is has heavy as duck cloth. Not the summery linen I was planning on. Oh well. Will be great for fall.

Black pants

Changes made:

  • Instead of a front fly zipper, I’ve put the zipper on the side (I haven’t put in the zip yet, as you can see I’m pinching the side closed.)
  • Widened the leg
  • Might crop them, not sure.
  • Removed pocket detailing, but might add the back pockets in.
  • Unfortunately, you can’t really see any details, but the crotch is looking great (which sounds really weird. )

7062This is Burda 7062. Very close fitting pant in a cotton stretch (2% spandex). These feel great although the back is a bit low and will change that on the next pair. This is a wearable muslin.  But, do you think there should be an adjustment where there are the wrinkles? Flat seat? Hmm. Not sure. The print fabric makes it hard to see.

color pants 3

I can’t tell if there is a problem here or my perfection raising its ugly head. Suggestions? It’s weird it’s only on one side.

Color pants 2
Changes for next time:

  • raise the crotch depth in front and back (which might remove those wrinkles)
  • Raise the waist band by an inch or 2.

Drafting Pants from RTW

This probably took the most time. Love these pants! The muslin turned out okay, but it needs fine tuning. The waist and stomach area is really tight, like I forgot to put in ease or something. Or maybe the wool fabric has more give? Would it make that much difference from the cotton muslin? 

  • I found an exact copy of these pants in a thrift store but one size larger
  • Ripped them out.
  • Made patterns from each section
  • stitched them up in a muslin
  •  These are definitely for fall, so I’m happy with stopping here until my thoughts turn to fall and winter wear.

Muslin Pants 1

And, that is it! Crazy Saturday afternoon of making pants. Yea! What are your suggestions, tips for making pants that fit? 


The image at the top of the post is from Pattern Patter. Click on it (or here) to read a fun post on pant styles.

The books that I use over and over again are:

Easy Guide To Sewing Pants – Taunton Press


Singer Sewing Pants That Fit 



  1. I think it’s an amazing amount of work for an afternoon. I’ve used Peggy Sagers’ methods for fitting and found them very helpful. What I don’t have great luck with is fitting myself, so I was thrilled when a couple of my friends stepped up and helped me recently. You’re doing a great job and are on the way to being able to make beautifully fitting pants for yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice! I think they all fit pretty well, but they’re all different styles so it’s hard to compare. I think this is the alteration you want to take some of the extra out the the back thigh: But I don’t think yours look bad, most RTW looks worse on me.

    The lopsided issue with the Burda pattern is weird… Since it only happens on that one side, I’m inclined to think that maybe it has something to do with the zipper? Maybe the outside seam just got shifted a bit vertically or pulled weird when you were putting in the zipper. Who knows!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t think of the zipper pulling. I think I’ll do one more fitting with a crotch adjustment and see what that does. But, they’re still pretty wearable considering it was right out of the pattern envelope kind of job.


  3. The light green pair looks like it fits you perfectly! And the paint splatter print pair just needs a little adjustment on the one leg. Pants are so complicated I won’t even attempt them myself. Great work Jill!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve spent the last year doing the hard work of creating the basic silhouette pieces for your body. That is so great. You will be able to recognize the shape of the pattern that you need in future pieces. Great starting blocks and great pieces on their own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ya! And then I can learn to add all sorts of details. So I have the tighter, cigarette style pants and trousers style. I have really no desire to make jeans at this point so I’m not even going there. Boom!


  5. Very cool! The fit of your first pair (light green) looks spot on. The others are harder to tell. Do they all have similar crotch lines? I’m looking forward to doing something similar myself!


    • It was hard trying to get a good photo. But the crotch area fit great in the black, not so great in the Burda. The green ones really were a good fit. Such a process!


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