Monday, 31 January 2011

Problems in the trouser department

I made up a toile for my simplicity 3688 trousers yesterday and was very happy to find that they only took about 2 1/2 hours start to finish - these trousers are REALLY easy to make.
Granted, I haven't hemmed them, and the zip and waistband are pretty crude, but it makes me hope that I can make and line these for real in around 4 hours, which is pretty damned good for trousers.


I'm not sure I like the fit in the back. The front and sides look fine to me (creases in the front are just from sitting down in the linen!), but the back has 2 issues;
1 (yellow arrows) - bagging in the lower back. I think this is what is meant by a sway back, and I've found some adjustments in books and online for that - but am I right in what the problem is here?
2 (red arrow) - very 'shapely' in the curvy part of the bum. Basically, although they're not too tight here, they're a little bit more figure hugging than I like my trousers. How do I correct this? What's the problem called?

These are minor problems but I feel like if I can get them sorted, I probably should!
All help gratefully received!


  1. Hi Lauren!

    I'm just finishing up a trouser sewalong via my blog and have now come to terms with many pant fitting problems. I believe that the two problems you are facing have to do with the darts, the back crotch length and a full derriere. I would unpick the darts, try on the pants and pin out the darts that fit your body so they don't "pool" at the bottom of the dart. You can also curve the dart in the shape of your back to help make them "pool" less. As for the back crotch length, I think you'll find the problem solved by letting out the back thigh just a bit. I did a fitting post on just that problem here:

    If that doesn't fix the problem all the way, try deepening the derriere. I have a post on this as well here:

    Hopefully this helps a bit.

  2. I agree, it's a fab pattern. They're looking great, but as you say, if you can get them absolutely perfect, then why not? Here's a link to a post on The Cupcake Goddess's sewalong about a similar problem, it may shed some light?

  3. My first comment must have crossed with Sunni's but at least we were both thinking along the same lines! x

  4. I left my comment on Sew Retro but now that I've seen them from the front, I don't know that the waist is the issue for the derriere puckers. I do think it will require a full derriere adjustment (whatever that entails in addition to the crotch depth and length suggestions I made at SR). I think the answer might lie in reworking or removing some of the darts and giving a bit of extra fabric at the hips.

  5. I was going to suggest checking out Sunni's sewalong but she got there before I could! Good luck with them, I hope her posts help.

  6. I keep planning to make these. Made a muslin last year and realised I needed to drop the crotch a good couple of inches as they are right up my bum too. If you find an answer let me know!

  7. As you say, they fit fine at the front so I wouldn't drop the crotch as a whole, or you will make it too long at the front and you'll get a little "pooch" at your groin - very nasty!

    I would make a small "full rear alteration". This will put the fullness of the fabric where you need it (and stop all that pulling). Go here: and search for "Special Alterations for Pants" and you will find everything you need. A general search for "alteration" or "pattern alteration" there will give you lots of very helpful pdfs.

    You should do do the full rear adjustment before you do the swayback in my opinion because that just looks like pulling because the back length is too short. Full rear plus sorting out the darts should do it. But some people do need both swayback and full rear adjustments - that just moves a triangular wedge of fabric from about 3" below your waste to about 9" below it. As Kenneth King has explained - that moves the fullness to where you want it.