Drafting the Pants Block
The written instructions below in this section are suitable only for standard figures. I have make a series of 5 videos on https://dresspatternmaking Pants for Non-Standard Figures, you can find them in the Pants Block Instructions Menu, or through the Videos Menu.
In the videos I draft the Pants Block for 4 different figures: The Standard (Hourglass) Figure, a Triangle Figure (small waist, large bottom/hips, smaller high hip, smaller than average thighs (for the hips size) and protruding and drop bottom. (Me, my figure!). I will also be walking through https://dresspatternmaking a block for a squarer figure (called Jane: Slender, but smaller hips for her waist than a standard figure, smaller thighs than average (for her hips) and a drop bottom. The fourth figure is Anne who has an apple shaped figure; the widest part of the body is the upper hips (stomach), smaller than average thighs and a flat bottom.
I will not be putting up free written instructions that contain the information from these videos on this website. I will be selling a EPUB booklet to accompany the Pants Video which may be more useful when https://dresspatternmaking the pants. So you can swipe a page, follow one step, swipe the page, etc., rather than having to pause and rewind a video.
While all of content that is on my website at this moment (1 January 2021) will remain here free of charge, and while I will be providing all of the future content that I create on Blocks, Principles, Elements an Patterns in video format free of charge, I will be selling the accompanying booklets for a small fee.
If you have a standard figure, the instructions in the videos may be ‘too much’ for you; you may get just as a good a result using the instructions below using less measurements, and without having to listen to all the explanations that relate to non-standard figures. I draft the Standard Figure in the video for comparison purposes.
Instructions: Standard Figures
This is one of the pages with preliminary information for creating the Pants Block, with an example of the finished pants block. See the menu for other preliminary pages and for the link to the step-by-step instructions.
The Pants Front has one dart and the Pants Back has two darts.
The placement and length of the darts are a starting point. You need to make a toile and adjust the dart placements and lengths to suit your body.
The Pants Block has 2 inches ease in the hip, and 1-inch ease in the waist.
The hip ease is distributed unevenly; one-third of the two inches is allocated to the front hip arc and two-thirds allocated to the back hip arc.
Example – Finished Pants Block
This first image on the page is what the block looks like at the end of the step-by-step instructions, using the measurements specified on the Preliminary Tab. The shape of yours may end up looking quite different.
The measurements used are ‘standard’ measurements.
Comparison – My Pants Blocks
The first image is what my block, using my personal measurements, looks like using these standard instructions. This is to show you that if the shape of your block may end up looking quite different to the one I am making.
These pants, drafted with the standard instructions, do not fit me at all. See the second image below for the pants that do fit me; these are drafted with my instructions found on my YouTube videos and the booklets available for sale from my Ko-Fi shop and Google Play.
U are just awesome. Really waiting for the trouser pattern
Hi there (Guest)
Thank you for your kind words.
I’m really sorry, but I am very behind on all the articles I have been meaning to write for my website. At the moment, (for a week or two), I have no access to Illustrator, the software I use to create graphics, due to computer issues.
I have a few other things to do before I get back to writing the new Pants Block Instructions, when I do get my computer back.
One of the things on my list is to set up an email subscription list, so I can send out an email (to anyone interested) when I have added new content. In that (weekly/fortnightly) email I will also have a list of upcoming articles. Anyone subscribed to the list can let me know if there is anything in particular they are interested in… on the list or not on the list… and I will take that into account. (E.g. If a few people are interested in something that’s way down on the list, I’ll bump it up).
Hello Maria. Hooe you are fine. I check this page almost everyday waiting for the updated pants block instructions. I trust your blocks so much that I’ve refused to draft or make a trouser. Please please will it be OK to ask when the the instructions will be ready. Thanks so much
I’m really sorry about the delay. I would love to work on my website full-time, but I don’t have that luxury (yet?)… If in future I can earn some money from my website, then I can spend a lot more time on it and get a lot more content up.
At the moment I am spending all the time I do have available on the Pants Block instructions. It has been really challenging trying to work out clear and linear instructions that will cover all body types. In the end I’ve decided that I have to make a few videos to supplement the written instructions. I have just purchased the camcorder and am in the process of sewing up numerous toiles to use in the explanations. I am going to start the filming next week, but I am sure I will have to do a lot of film editing, and that will take time…. I also have to finish writing the step-by-step instructions with graphics.
Bottom line is I can’t tell you exactly how long this is all going to take. I will definitely let you know when it’s all up…..
Can I ask you for some information?
1) Have you tried other block making instructions for pants in the past?
2) What problems did you have and do you know why? (e.g. You have a fitting issue that is obvious, like a large or flat bottom OR it fitted badly but you just couldn’t figure out why).
Thanks soo much for your prompt response. I really appreciate all I have learnt from your website. I understand how challenging it must be for you.
I have tried winifred aldrich classic pant pattern and it doesn’t work for all body types. My sister has large thighs and her thighs couldn’t just pass thru. It worked for other body types though.
I haven’t tried the one you have on this website yet becausse I was waiting for the update. I may just give it a try soon and let you know the outcome. Thanks again[b][/b]
Hello again Charlie
I had a look at Aldrich Classic Tailored Trouser Block (5th Edition) and compared it to the current instructions that are on my website for a standard figure, looking at the amount of room at the thigh. (The top of the thigh is at the crotch depth).
The system on my website will give you a bit more room in the thigh. To give an example: If you drafted a block for a person with a hip of 100cm using:
– Aldrich’s system, and
– the system on my website for standard figures
that person with 100cm hip would have 2.5cm more room in the thigh using the instructions on my website. (I don’t say ‘My System’ because it’s a generic system. The system I am working on at the moment will be My System).
(To give specifics: Aldrich: For hip of 100cm, Front Extension = 6.75cm Back Extension = 10.125cm. Total = 16.875cm. With the current system on my website it would be 6.375cm Front Extension and 12.75cm Back Extension. Total = 19.125. The difference is 2.25cm more in the thigh area.)
BUT…if your sister has thighs that are disproportionately large for her hips, this still may not be enough for her.
If you could get your sister to measure around the top of the thigh – i.e. right at the crotch area, and send me that measurement AS WELL AS her hip measurement (whatever you are using as the width of the block), I will tell you whether the current instructions on my website will work for her or not. Well … at least as far as the thigh is concerned. (There may be other issues!).
Hi Maria. Many thanks indeed for these video classes.
I have a little problem with my trouser block. My high hip is the widest. For me, Point ‘r’ crosses my paper to the other side and indeed the pattern looks like jodhpurs when I try to draw the curve. Very buldgy at the high hip and tapering too much towards Point ‘M’. There is a 10″ difference between my smallest waist and my high hip while the low hip is 1 1/2 smaller than the high hip. I must be doing something wrong.
I was kinda waiting for a response from you concerning my problematic pants pattern. I have not progressed beyond that point and I don’t know how to shape them like yours with my wider high hip.
I did responded on your comment on the video page about a week ago. It seems you didn’t get the email that is sent out saying I responded to your comment.
Basically I just don’t haven’t had the time to make Part 3 of the Pants Video yet. I haven’t had a chance to do any work on my website for about 3 months now. I am getting back to it soon, but I can’t give a definite timeframe. Life gets in the way.
How would I go about drawing the side seam here? I tried both methods described in your videos (Jane and Anne) but one seam will always end up looking weird.
I think you missed this request (“can you include some kind of measurement guide – e.g. draw a square and note that dimensions of that square.)
In the absence of that, I used/assumed that your 1/2 inch dart was exactly half an inch.
Have a look at this suggestion…. As you haven’t uploaded the image with the original crotch curve that was not round enough, I am unsure if this is sufficient or not….
(See second image uploaded below).
Here’s a 2nd suggestion. As I don’t know your body, I am making guesses based on your measurements.
Hi Vanessa, I’ve just realised there was a mistake in your intial drafting.
Your CF line is not in the right place. C to I = Hip measurement (plus ease), but your is over to the right, which would make the front crotch curve much steeper.
Maybe go back and draft from that point onwards.
I started this one from scratch because I got confused by my old one. The high hip measurement is supposed to be 84 cm (not 89). But I will go from your other comment and double check the center front. I’ll get back to you
I have an extremely non-standard body and your instructions and videos have given me the confidence to try drafting a pant pattern that will actually fit me! The time, effort and attention you’ve put into this website and video series is amazing and so appreciated.
Can you offer any suggestions on starting the pant block from a well fitting skirt block? I had to make many adjustments on the skirt block before it fit well and I’d love to use that as my partial foundation. However I’m unsure how the crotch curve would be added exactly. Any suggestions welcome!
If you are wanting to use my method, and are not wanting to assume your thigh measurement, you can use your skirt foundation shape when drafting the foundation part of your pants as follows:
Draft the Pants as per the instructions in my Videos up to where you have the ‘skeleton’ drafted (Look at Video 2 @ 5:45 minutes; by ‘the skeleton’ I mean all the points are plotted for both the foundation and the legs).
Then use your Skirt Front to draw the foundation for the Pants Front – by this I mean… put your Skirt Block on top of the pants draft – matching it up at the hip, and trace the Skirt Front foundation shape from the Skirt Block onto your Pants Draft. You then follow the instructions for drawing in the curve. You will have to check the Front Crotch Length, then if it’s not long enough, do the cut and spreading that I show in the non-Standard Figure examples.
The same thing goes for the back; Once you’ve drawn the skeleton of the back, put your Skirt Back on top of the ‘skeleton’, and draw your Skirt Foundation Shape on top of the Pants Skeleton. Again, you’ll draw the curve as I show, measure it and then do the cut and spread if necessary to get extra length.
I’m eagerly awaiting your ePub on pants drafting for non-standard bodies. I am using valuable ideas form four fo the five videos so it will be great to have all of the info in one place.
Yes, I’m sorry it’s late. I’m working on it and hopefully it won’t be too much longer!
I have the booklet on making the pants block and have watched the video a couple of times (both are excellent!). I don’t see mention of using the front back “arc” in the drafting instructions. Though in this article you say:
“The hip ease is distributed unevenly; one-third of the two inches is allocated to the front hip arc and two-thirds allocated to the back hip arc.”
I know I am different front and back at hip so would it be better to make that distribution in the block itself. Or in your other instructions do you save that adjustment for the toile?
Please let me know if I’ve missed something in your ePub or in the video.
I am really looking forward to trying your method – I’ve tried so many others that didn’t work.
Thanks so much!
That was just a mistake – I should have just said ‘the front and the back’, rather than mentioned the arcs.
I hope you are successful; I do have many people who struggled with other systems telling me they got a good result, but I cannot promise that everyone will get a perfect fit.