Learn How to Make the Basic Pants Block, Part 2 (Drafting A)

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Video Transcript

00:00:00:23 – 00:00:27:00

Hello, this is Maria from Dresspatternmaking.com In this video, I’m going to walk you through how to draft the pants block. I’ll be drafting the pets front first as the front is used to help draft the back. This is part two of three videos on drafting the Pants

00:00:27:00 – 00:00:42:20

Block. In these videos I go through drafting the pants for four different figure shapes as shown below. The step-by-step instructions are the same for all figure types up to a certain point. But when we get to shaping the waist and getting the crotch length right, it’s where I bring in the other figure types and show how to make the necessary adjustments.

00:00:43:24 – 00:01:03:03

Part 1 of these three videos is the introduction and covers measurements. The details about the figure shapes shown below, and what I mean by ‘standard’ is covered in Part 1. If you have tried other pant making instructions in the past and a puzzled why you don’t get a good fit, Part 1 also explains the assumptions that are built into most block making instructions which assume a ‘Standard Figure’.

00:01:04:02 – 00:01:28:23

The second half of Part 1 covers the measurements you will need to draft pants using my instructions. In Part 2 – in this video – we start drafting the pants. I’ll first drafting the pants or the ‘Standard Figure;. Then show a different way of shaping the waist for a figure that has a proportionally small waist and upper hips, as in the triangular figure, I will then draft the Pants Bcak for the standard figure, then cover getting the extra crotch length needed for the triangular figure.

00:01:28:23 – 00:01:49:06

In Part 3, I will go through shaping the waist – the front and the back – for the other two figure types; the Jane and Anne – the square and apples shape figures. Now, I’m not covering every single figure type and every single permutation, but if you watch all the examples, you should get a basic understanding of how to approach solving the problems related to your particular figure.

00:01:49:06 – 00:02:07:19

Okay, now let’s start drafting the block. Using your waist to ankle measurement – taken down the side of your body – not the front or the back. Draw a vertical line down the middle of your paper from A to B. At right angles to the A to B line, draw horizontal guidelines across the paper, at the waist level and at the ankle level.

00:02:07:19 – 00:02:35:02

Make sure these lines are at right angles to the A to B line. Measure down from point A for your high hip placement – that’s four or five inches depending on your height – and mark the high hip placement. Draw a guideline across the paper – make sure that it is at right angles to the vertical line. Using your waist to low hip measurement, measure down from point A and mark the low hip placement. Draw a guideline across the paper at right angles to the vertical line.

00:02:35:16 – 00:02:51:18

Now a lot of block making instructions define the low hip as ‘the widest part of your body’. For some people, the widest part of their body is at their high hip or at their crotch level. So as I’ve covered in the measurement section of Part 1 of the video, the low hio measurement needs to be a measurement between your high hip and your crotch level.

00:02:53:01 – 00:03:13:12

Now measure down from A using your crotch depth measurement and draw a crotch depth guideline at right angles to the vertical line. Just use your actual crotch depth; we will add the ease to the crotch depth within the process of drafting the block. Measure down from (point) A using your waist to knee measurement and draw a knee guideline at right angles to the vertical line.

00:03:14:07 – 00:03:31:14

Take your upper thigh measurement – that is your upper thigh at your crotch level, as high as you can get – and divide it by 2 and then add 3/8 of an inch ease. Using the total of that calculation, draw a line from C to D on the crotch depth guideline – with the A to B line at the center of that measurement.

00:03:31:21 – 00:03:52:09

Mark the points C and D. Now, if you wondering why we adding so little ease, given that we want to end up with between 2 and 1/4 and 2 1/2 inches ease in the thigh, it is because we will add most of the ease to the back thigh. Take your knee circumference measurement, divide it by 2, then add 5/8 of an inch ease.

00:03:52:23 – 00:04:14:10

Measure that amount on the knee line with the A to B line at the cente. Mark points E and F as shown. Now, remember that the knee circumference measurement should be taken with the knee completely bent, as in when you are sitting down. If you are worried that’s not enough ease, note that the back leg is wider than the front, so we will end up with just over two inches ease when we’ve finished.

00:04:14:10 – 00:04:37:10

Take the measurement E to F on the knee line and minus two inches. Using that total, measure that amount on the ankle line with point B at the centre. Mark points G and H. Now take your low hip measurement and add 1-inch ease, then divide it by by 4. Using that value on the crotch-depth line, measure from point C and mark point I.

00:04:37:23 – 00:05:01:13

Now there is an exception here that applies only to those whose widest part of the hip is right at the crotch level. For those people, use that widest measurement, add 1 inch ease and then divided by 4 don’t use the actual measurement of the low hip above your crotch level that I asked you in the measurement section to use as your low hip.

00:05:01:13 – 00:05:29:13

Now draw a line straight up from point I, at right angles to the C to D line, until it touches the waist. Mark point J where it crosses the low hip line, mark point K where it crosses the high hip line and mark point L where it touches the waist. Draw a line up from point C to meet the waistline, Mark point M where it crosses the low hip line, mark point M where it crosses the high hip line and mark point O where it touches the waistline.

00:05:30:03 – 00:05:50:16

Draw straight lines from the knee to the ankle, both the out-seam from E to G (shown in pink) and the in-seam F to H (shown in green). Draw straight lines from point C to E shown in pink and from points D to F shown in green. These are just guidelines, as we will of course want curved lines down from the torso to the knee.

00:05:50:22 – 00:06:10:02

We will finish off the curving of the leg line after we have finished the foundation. And just reminding you of the two terms; foundation, which is shaded in yellow and the leg line which is shaded in green. We have up to here so far, the skeleton of the structure, the leg line is mainly finished and we just need to draw in the curve from the knee to the thigh.

00:06:10:07 – 00:06:26:17

The main work that still needs to be done is in the foundation, where we will shape the waist and draw the crotch curve. Now, so far, I’ve been drafting the Standard Figure, as in, I’ve been using the measurements for the Standard Figure while I’ve been plotting these points. So what you see here is the skeleton of the Standard Figure.

00:06:27:02 – 00:06:46:00

But from now on, whenever I show the block for the Standard Figure, the structure or the block outline will be in blue. Now, here, I’m showing you my block drafted up to that same point. Whenever I show you my figure, the structure or the block outline will be in orange. In this figure, Jane’s measurements were used in all future images

00:06:46:00 – 00:07:06:09

when I’m drafting for Jane, the structure or the block outline will be in green. And finally Anne… In this figure, the block has been drafted with Anne’s measurements. In all future images, when I’m drafting for Anne, the structure or the block outline will be in purple. So this is the Standard Figure again. You can tell that because of the blue guidelines. I’m going to start shaping the waist

00:07:06:10 – 00:07:26:07

but while I’m concentrating on the foundation, it’s enlarged at 200% of what it was before when we were seeing the whole pant leg. So you won’t see the leg line while we’re working on the foundation. Actually, we have one more thing to do before we start shaping the waist. And this relates to all figure types. Yes. So just something I forgot to do as part of the leg line.

00:07:26:15 – 00:07:44:14

We’re going to lower the crotch point before we start shaping the waist. From point D measure down 5/8 of an inch at right angles to the C-to-D-line. We are lowering the crotch point for some ease. Mark the crotch point with a dot, although I have indicated mine in the image with a green star. That’s just to make sure that you can see it.

00:07:44:16 – 00:08:03:24

The center of that Green Star is my crotch point. Okay, so we need to do some calculations to work out how much excess we have in the waist so we can do our waist shaping. And the calculations need to be done by everyone. Remember that the width of the foundation – from M to J – is our hip measurement. It’s shown by the black arrow.

00:08:04:17 – 00:08:27:20

Currently the waist from O to L, is the same as the hip measurement. So the hip measurement for this block is 42 and 1/2 inches, the waist is 10 inches less than the hip. That’s one of the definitions of the Standard Figure. Therefore, the waist is 32 and 1/2 inches. We need to add 1-inch ease – wearing ease- to the waist, therefore our total is 33 and 1/2 inches for the whole pant block.

00:08:28:14 – 00:08:48:08

Divide that by 4 and we get 8 and 3/8 of an inch for this waist. We will need to put a dart in there as well. So we’ll start shaping from the next slide. O the waist line, from Point L, measure in 1/2 inch and mark point P. Draw a line from point P on the waist to point J on the low hip.

00:08:48:23 – 00:09:18:18

This is part of our center front line. From point P, measure across on the waistline towards point O for the waist measurement that we calculated previously, plus 1/2 inch for a dart. Mark point Q. Take your body high hip measurement and add 1-inch ease, then divided by 4. Using this total, on the high hip line measure from where the P-to-J line crosses the high hip line and mark point R. Using a French curve,

00:09:18:18 – 00:09:39:06

you can draw the side seam – from point Q at the waist through point R at the high hip – to touch point M on the low hip. Don’t draw down to the crotch line yet as that will be blended down to the leg line later. Using a French curve again, draw in the crotch curve from point J to the crotch point, which in my image is indicated by a star.

00:09:40:05 – 00:09:59:14

A more specific guide to help you draw that curve – continue the L-K-J line until it reaches the level of the crotch point. Draw a horizontal line at right angles to that line to touch the crotch point. The place where those two points meet is marked with an X. From X draw a line at 45 degree angle.

00:10:00:09 – 00:10:17:24

The length of that line is 1 and 1/8 of an inch for smaller sizes, up to 1 and 3/8 of an inch for larger sizes. Now, this is just a guide. It’s more important to get a smooth curve than hit an exact point. So maybe draw that curve, measure it and see if it’s within that parameters, those parameters.

00:10:18:09 – 00:10:38:13

And if it is, then yes, you’re good to go. Draw the waist dart centered on point A at the waistline. Make that dart 1/2 inch wide and 3 and 1/2 inches long. On the outseam, draw a curve from point M on the hip to pass a 1/4 of an inch in from point C, so you’ll be shaving off a bit off of the thigh.

00:10:39:16 – 00:11:01:03

You’ll have to flip the French curve over in order to then draw a curve to blend in to point E at the knee. You currently have a straight line from the crotch point to the knee. We want to draw an inseam curve that goes in about 3/8 of an inch at about the midpoint of that guideline. You can cut out the block as we will use it to draft the (pants) back after you cut it out,

00:11:01:03 – 00:11:20:15

notch the block as shown at the high hip, low hip, crotch and knee, on both sides – indicated on my image by the little pink notch marks. Now you may ask why we didn’t check the crotch length. The reason is that with a Standard Figure, the crotch length usually ends up correct. I’m assuming that’s the case and I’ll be covering how to make adjustments for crotch length with the other figure types.

00:11:22:00 – 00:11:37:07

So back to where we were before we started shaping the waist. This time, instead of using the block in the measurements of the Standard Figure, we use my block and my measurements. Now you may ask why we just follow the same instructions we did for the standard figure. Well, if I did, this is the shape I would get.

00:11:37:11 – 00:11:56:23

Now there are two things that are wrong. The side seam curve is not ideal, it’s just too much of a curve. And actually, when I first tried to draw my block more than ten years ago, when my waist was quite a bit smaller, but my hips were the same then it was seriously extreme. It was just ridiculous. The second thing is I ended up with about a half an inch of excess ease in the high hip,

00:11:56:23 – 00:12:18:23

so that’s on top of the ease that I’ve already put in there. So across the whole block, that’s 2-inches of excess ease at the high level. So some people might think, well, just widen the dart that’s there and put in an extra dart. So I’ve done that here. And you’ll notice that while it solves the side seam curve problem, it doesn’t solve the excess fabric at the high hip.

00:12:19:03 – 00:12:39:18

In fact, it increases the amount of ease at the high hip level. It might seem that the answer is to increase the length of the dart – that way some of the ease is taken out at the high hip level But if I do that, I still haven’t taken out enough is at the high hip. The second thing is I don’t like those long darts, particularly in those places, because of other issues with my body.

00:12:40:13 – 00:13:00:19

So for me, this doesn’t really work either. Now, here I’m showing you the three places that you can take out the excess, not just the side sde and the dart or darts. You can also take out some excess at the center front. So instead of just moving in half an inch from L at the waist line, you move in more. It could be three quarters of an inch, one inch or even more.

00:13:01:13 – 00:13:21:10

The reason for taking it from the center front is that you can take out more lower down like you can at the side seam. Now this portion taken out at the center front shown in yellow in this image, it’s a dart equivalent. It’s putting the dart into a seam line. That’s what princess seams do. Rather than having an actual dark, you place the dart value into a seam line.

00:13:21:16 – 00:13:51:04

Generally, it’s more flattering and it does away with dart points. So if you figure has this triangular shape, it works better. It’s more flattering to take more off the center front and the side seam, rather than have long darts. Now I actually watched if you toil on pants with a tutor said that the sign of good pants pattern is where the center front is on a vertical line – like example A – rather than tilted over – like example B. The tutor was saying that there are a lot of patterns using the tilted B but she was suggesting it was poor pattern making.

00:13:51:10 – 00:14:10:04

I’d like to vehemently disagree. The tilt does not show poor pattern making. It shows the shape of the figure that the garment has been designed for. In the process of trying to get pants to fit and look good on me. I took apart quite a few pants, in particular those ones that most suited me and looked good on me and suited my figure and fit –

00:14:10:04 – 00:14:34:05

to some extent. They all had that tilt. The only possible problem with that tilt is because it’s no longer on the straight of grain – like in figure A – that when you put a zip in, it could be a bit bias-y. To solve that problem, you just make sure that you stabilize that seam. So this is my block and I have come in an inch and 1/2, from center front – from L to P – and that works well for me.

00:14:34:05 – 00:14:55:14

I tried lots of variations, spreading it out between the center front, the side same and a dart in the middle. And this is what works well for me. Now, another point on this, although this amount, 1 and 1/2 inches – and the tilt that results from that 1 and 1/2 inches – may seem extreme, if we compare it to the standard block and I’ve laid the standard block on top of mine, the standard block is blue, mine’s the orange.

00:14:56:08 – 00:15:21:00

The angle of that line isn’t that extreme. It’s only a half an inch in more than the standard block. It’s my short crotch length that’s making the angle of the center front look more extreme when it’s by itself. And when I’m talking about the angle, I’m talking about it in context of the the grain line on the pants and how bias-y that angle will be, given that in most cases the zip is put in the front.

00:15:21:13 – 00:15:41:23

Now, just a couple of final things on that angle of the center front line for the triangular figure. In case you’re thinking it’s a bit too much on an angle. If the straight-of-grain is at 90 degrees, the slope line on the standard block is actually 92 degrees and mine is 96 degrees. Given that the bias is on 135 degrees, the slope of my block is really not an issue.

00:15:42:04 – 00:15:59:13

Remember also that you often put zips in the back and that is always on an angle unless you have a completely flat backside. I just want to point out something about the shaping of my block, which might seem odd. Somebody might notice. In taking out that huge dart, as it were, at the center front, I’ve gone right down and cut into the lower hip.

00:15:59:13 – 00:16:20:13

So I’ve taken off some of my hip low hip measurement, but I have put it on the other side, at the side seam. Now if you do use the center front as a dart value for the triangular figure, note that the line from P to J is a straight line. It starts curving after J after the hip line. It needs to curve after the hip, obviously, to go between your legs and join the back.

00:16:21:04 – 00:16:38:01

But the line from P to J needs to be straight so you can put a zip in there. And obviously, as I said before, stabilize that seam line, stabilize it before you put the zip in, so there’s not going to be a problem if it’s a little bit bias-y. So I have shaped my waist and now I will measure the crotch length from D to P.

00:16:38:01 – 00:16:56:02

The measurement from D to P is longer than my body front crotch length, so I will measure up from point D and stop when I reach my measurement. So then I’ve reshaped the waist line curve from O down to that point. Now usually the front crotch length on ready-to-wear pants and commercial patterns is far too long for me.

00:16:56:05 – 00:17:16:05

The reason I only had a small amount to shave off the top is that I have drafted the pants to my thigh measurement. If I had drafted it with the crotch extension that it’s calculated on the width of the hip, I would have 1 and 5/8 of an inch more as shown. The pant front I’ve been drafting for the Standard Figure has the same hip measurement as I do, but the front crotch length is this much wider.

00:17:16:05 – 00:17:36:08

This 1 and 5/8 inch. The dotted blue line shown in the image, is the crotch front of the standard block. I would then do the leg shaping as I showed you for the standard block. I won’t repeat that because that is actually the same process. So this is my final pant front with the waist curve redone and I’ve also done the leg line shaping, but you can’t see the whole leg at this point.

00:17:37:09 – 00:17:57:04

So now we move on to drafting the Pants Back. These steps will apply to all figures, but you do need to have your front drafted before doing your back. I’ll be using Standard Figure measurements to start with. As we will have to flip the front block over, you’ll need to notch the key points so that when it’s upside down (flipped over) you can see where the upper hip line is, where the hip line is, where the knee line is.

00:17:57:15 – 00:18:24:19

So the notch lines are shown here on the Front Block. You will need all the same basic guidelines as for the pants front. I won’t repeat all of that again with the step-by-step detail I did for the front. To summarize, draw a vertical line down the middle of the paper and mark A and B, then measure down and draw all the placement guidelines for the waist, the high hip, the low hip, the crotch depth, the knee and the ankle.

00:18:24:19 – 00:18:46:10

So draw a line on the crotch depth thigh line, from C to D, centered on A to B line. The length of that line will be your upper thigh measurement divided by2, plus 3 and 1/8 of an inch. Now, somebody paying attention might immediately say, “but I thought we were supposed to have 2 and 1/2 inches ease maximum for the slack…

00:18:46:17 – 00:19:05:10

…we added 5/8 to the front, so this will make the 3 and 3/4 inches, not 2 and 1/2. “
It will work out. I’ll show you briefly in the next slide to set your mind at ease. If you look at the pink lines, they are the measurements we’re working with – our thigh measurement plus ease – but the green lines show where the final thigh measurements would be measured.

00:19:05:20 – 00:19:46:15

I’ve got some yellow highlighting to show you the bits that we’ll lose from this original ‘thigh plus 3 and 3/8 of an inch’, and we’ll end up with something like 2 and 1/4 or 2 and 1/2 inches is in the actual upper thigh. Using the front block knee-width measurement ,plus 1-inch, mark points E and F on the knee line, with the A to B line at the center. The pant back is 1-inch wider than the pant front from the knee down. Using the front-block-ankle-width measurement, plus 1-inch, mark points G and H on the ankle guideline with the A to B line at the center. Using your low-hip measurement

00:19:46:15 – 00:20:10:11

plus 1-inch ease divided by 4, measure from D towards C and mark point I. From I to C is your back extension. Draw a vertical line up from point I, at right angles to the C to D line. Mark point J where the line crosses the low0hip line. Mark point K where it crosses the high-hip line and mark point L where it touches the waist.

00:20:10:11 – 00:20:30:15

Now draw a vertical line up from point D. Mark point M where it crosses the low-hip line. Mark point N, where it crosses the high-hip line and mark point O , where it touches the waist. Draw straight lines from the knee to the ankle from knee point E to ankle point G and from knee point F to ankle point H.

00:20:31:02 – 00:20:55:21

Draw a short guideline about two inches long, down from point C, at right angles to the C to D line. Take your front block and turn it upside down (over). Match the inseam knee point of the front with the knee line at the pants back. Then rotate the front block until the crotch point touches the guideline that comes down from point C. Trace that front inner leg curve from the crotch point down to the knee.

00:20:56:07 – 00:21:35:02

Of course your block won’t be semi-transparent like mine. I’m using transparency to make it easier for you to see what’s going on. Setting aside the pant front for a minute, on the pant back measure in from point D for a 1/4 inch and point D2. So bring the front block back again and flip it over so you can match up the side-seams. Match the knee line of the front block with the knee line of the back block at point F. Rotate the front block so that it passes through point D2 and touches the low-hip at point M. Trace that front block from point F to point M. And now rotate the front block

00:21:35:02 – 00:22:04:12

so that the crotch, low, hip, high hip and waistlines match up and the front is exactly on top of the back at those key points. Trace the front side seam line from the low point M to the waist and label point P. We need to use the same waist measurement as we did for the pants front. That is, the waist plus 1-inch ease, divided by 4. Measure across from point P for that waist measurement plus 3/4 of an inch for the back dart and mock point

00:22:04:12 – 00:22:26:04

Q. Measure up from point Q for 3/4 of an inch and mark point R. Make sure that when you measure up, it’s at right angles to the horizontal line. Draw the waist line from point P to point R. Now continue that line down from L on the waist line. That’s that L-K-J-I line. Continue it down below the crotch for a few inches.

00:22:26:17 – 00:22:48:18

Draw a horizontal line at right angles to that line you’ve just drawn, that touches the crotch point. I have marked the intersection of those two lines with an X. My point S is halfway between point L on the waist and the crotch-depth upper-thigh line. Draw a straight line from R at the waist to pass through point S and touch the low-hip guideline.

00:22:49:05 – 00:23:11:00

It should touch the low-hip guideline a little to the left of point J. Then draw a curve from the crotch point to meet that point. To check that curve – if you draw a line from point X at 45 degrees to the horizontal and vertical lines, it should be between 1 and 11/16 inches long for smaller sizes and 2-inches long for larger sizes.

00:23:11:09 – 00:23:30:21

If it’s between those two lengths and it’s a smooth curve, then it’s okay. In the center of the back waistline, create a dart that’s 3/4 of an inch wide and 4 and 1/2 inches long before cutting out the back block. You’ll need to double check the side seams and the inseam length. If the back side claims the touch longer than the front, you can equalize the difference.

00:23:31:13 – 00:23:53:04

Again, I haven’t checked the crotch length of the back for this Standard Figure. I will be showing you how to increase or decrease the crotch length when drafting my block. The final thing you need to do is check the flow through of the crotch curve from front to back. You may want to create clean copies of your block, especially if you’ve drafted them onto paper and want to now create a more durable cardboard copy.

00:23:53:16 – 00:24:17:19

Having said that, you may want to first test your block by making a toile and waiting until you’ve perfected it to create a final cardboard copy. Don’t forget to notch and label your block. I will now continue with drafting my back block. So I’m starting with my pant back guidelines and my pant front. So from here I’ll be repeating the same steps as I did for the standard block until we get to shaping the waist.

00:24:18:09 – 00:24:54:01

So I’ll just briefly cover them. I will draw the lines from the knees to the ankle. Using the front block, I will trace the inseam after having drawn a guideline down from point C and at right angles to the C tp D line. I will line up the front block on the knee line and pivot until the crotch touches point D2, which is a quarter of an inch in from point D. Then trace the front side seam up to the hip point M. I’ll move the front block to line up the horizontal lines, the hip line, the low hip, high hip, etc., and trace the front block from point M at the hip up to the waist

00:24:54:01 – 00:25:24:06

line and mark point P. I will measure across from point P for my waist measurement plus a 3/4 inch dart. That waist measurement is the body waist plus an inch ease, divided by 4, the same as the pant front before the dart value was added for the pants front. The back waist will end up being a 1/4 inch more in total than the front, as the front has 1/2 inch dart and the back has a 3/4 inch that I will measure across from the side seam on the high hip line for the same height measurement used on the front,

00:25:24:06 – 00:25:43:24

and mark point S. That measurement is the body hip, high-hip plus an inch ease, divided by 4. Now, I’m not actually going to use this (um) point to draft the back crotch line, but it’s there to show me how much extra ease is there. If there’s any extra ease, I might be able to take it off the side seam.

00:25:43:24 – 00:26:05:18

If there is, I might not. This is just purely for interest to see whether I do end up with too much ease there. I’m continuing the line from L at the waist that goes down through K and J and I – I’m continuing that line further down for a few inches, then drawing another line at right angles to that line to touch the crotch point. I’ve marked the intersection with an X.

00:26:06:07 – 00:26:26:23

I have drawn a straight line from point R above the waist to point J on the low-.hip Using a French curve, I have then drawn a curve from the crotch point to meet that line. After drawing the curve, I have measured the full crotch length line from point R to the crotch point. Mine is far too short, so I will have to increase the length by cutting and spreading.

00:26:27:13 – 00:26:46:15

If you are increasing the length of your crotch or actually if you are decreasing it also, you need to cut the paper. If you’re increasing it, you’ll need other paper to put underneath. If you’re decreasing it, you won’t need that extra paper. Cut along the crotch depth line from the edge of the paper to point D2. Cut to D2, but not through that point.

00:26:47:02 – 00:27:06:16

Then cut from the other side of the paper to intersect at the J point at the low-hip-line and through up to the D2 point. Don’t cut through completely. Leave a small hinge. It’s better if you draw a straight line with the ruler and then cut along that line. Now place another piece of paper underneath and spread to get the extra length you need.

00:27:06:23 – 00:27:28:21

You may have to spread it, measure it, adjust, re-measure. You may need to test it a few times before you get your correct length. You can also decrease your crotch length by overlapping instead of opening. I’ll do just a slight detour from my block to cover that. For a flat bottom, pivot and overlap the paper to shorten the length of the crotch. For a flatter bottom, you can scoop out the curve.

00:27:29:01 – 00:27:48:09

This will result in less fabric in the pant, but notice that it does increase the length of the crotch. So you may have to overlap a bit more if scooping it out has lengthened it too much. If you have a completely flat bottom, no bottom at all, you can decrease the length of the crotch further by reducing the slope of the center back seam.

00:27:48:17 – 00:28:14:01

So I’ve pushed it out to the left and made it straighter instead of being on the angle that it was before. Now, if you do make this kind of adjustment, then you’ve increased your waist. So from the purple line to the dashed red line, that extra amount in the waist, which you’ll need to account for some way. So either put in a dart to that value in the pant or take it off the side seam.

00:28:15:13 – 00:28:35:13

Getting back to my figure – or a large bottom that needs lengthening in the back crotch – I’ll let you know that I will not actually be using point R, which is 3/4 of an inch above the waist – to draw my back seam. I’m actually going to draw it from point Q, which was the original straight waistline. I’ll show you what difference that makes.

00:28:36:02 – 00:28:55:19

So in this example, I have drawn my back sean from point R which is not what I’m going to do for my block, but I want to show you what happens if I do use the R point. I want you to look at two things. Firstly, to the right. I have put the two part legs together and matched up the back seam for the portion that it is straight from the waist to the hip.

00:28:56:04 – 00:29:16:01

And I want you to notice the first thing is the straight line on the waist. It’s completely parallel. Secondly, look at the amount that I have inserted it down in the seat of the pants on the left hand side, shown by the teal green wedge. So just look at that green teal wedge as the next slide appears. So you can see in this one that the wedge portion has increased.

00:29:16:01 – 00:29:46:15

So I’ve actually put more of that length down in the seat of the pants and I’m not putting it up above the waist. And on the right hand side you can see the yellow pant, which is this one, how it’s got a curve to the waist. The crotch length is actually exactly the same. But I just prefer this option. On this toile – which is on my dressmaker’s dummy made from a cast of my body – I’ve colored in the amount that has been added in – the extra crotch length that I’ve gained in making the adjustment I’ve just showed you.

00:29:46:20 – 00:30:03:00

So compared to the standard figure, I need this much more length in the back of my pant. Now, just in case you do notice that it’s not sitting really at my waist, it’s sitting a bit below – it’s because I’ve put on weight in my waistline since this cast was made. So in real life, this does actually sit right up at my waist.

00:30:03:03 – 00:30:25:05

So on the right are the two shapes compared. The yellow one is the one that I use where I draw my back curve from the lower point and the blue one is drawing it from the higher point. So I have to finish off my waist by drawing the waist line from P to Q rather than to R, and I have to put in my dart, which isn’t in the middle, like the standard directions

00:30:25:05 – 00:30:45:08

say … Mine is actually a bit longer also than the standard directions, given the shape of my body. That placement is a personal thing, depending on your body and your preference. I will also have to smooth out the side seen. So here’s my pants front and pants back once I’ve finished. So here’s a comparison of the standard block and my block, both of them made with the same hip measurement.

00:30:45:24 – 00:31:05:11

And I still have to finish the video of drafting Jane and Anne’s blocks. I will do that as soon as I can. One final thing before finishing this video, I want to say something about expectation and beginnings. A lot of people seem to think that getting rid of all the baginess in the back thigh is essential. But for some people with a certain figure, it’s a fool’s errand.

00:31:05:11 – 00:31:25:08

Trying to achieve this in the basic pants block that is just the 2-pattern-pieces and in woven fabric. Now if you have the standard figure with a smallish bottom, you might get a really well-fitting block with no bagging in the upper thigh. If you have the kind of figure with a small upper thigh in proportion to your hips, and especially if you’ve got an overhanging bottom, you will have problems.

00:31:25:08 – 00:31:51:06

Now think about it. The length you need for pant when you’re standing up is different to the length you need when you’re sitting down and moving. Now in the image with the blue arrows, when this body sits down, the length she needs is a lot longer than the length she needs standing up. If you have bagginess in your upper thigh, try this measure the length from your waist to the floor standing up, then measure your length while sitting down and see how much more length you need.

00:31:51:13 – 00:32:18:08

I need something like four inches and that’s no exaggeration. I say this because if you have my type of figure, you could take a fisheye dart out and get rid of all the baginess while standing, but when you sit down the pants will ride halfway up your calf and it’s not a good look. Ifyou want to get rid of baginess, sewing with stretch fabric and putting vertical design lines where you can take out some of the width rather than the length is a better option.

00:32:18:08 – 00:32:49:17

So that’s the end of this video. This is Maria from Dresspatternmaking, chao.
Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me
Starlight and dew drops are waiting for thee
Sounds of the rude world heard in the day
Lulled by the moonlight have all passed away…

12 Responses

  1. Thanks for this video, very helpful. Just found your website today, and I’m so impressed with the wealth of information here. There is soooo much to read and apply.

    Thanks again. I can’t begin to imagine how much work it was creating this wonderful resource, and how much time you’ve spent. It’s so appreciated.

    Very best wishes,

  2. Hi Maria. Many thanks for your great work.

    Unfortunately, I can’t find part 3 of the pants video. Now using your instructions, trying to connect Point O through R to M, I find there is too much bulge making the pants look like jodhpurs. I’m wondering if I should extend the arc to Point C instead to get a gentler slope.
    Er…, am I doing something wrong?
    My high hip is larger than the low hip by about 2″ . My waist is 10″ smaller than high hip. What should I do?

    Many, many thanks.

  3. Hello Abimbola

    Unfortunately I just haven’t had time to make Part 3 of Pants. I actually haven’t had time to do anything on my website for at least 3 months now. I hope to get back to it soon, but it won’t be for a few weeks yet.

    I hope to publish a few booklets soon because I need to start to at least cover the costs of my website. If eventually I can earn an income from it I can write content more regularly, but at the moment I just can’t find the time.

    Just today it is taking me 2 hours or so to answer comments and emails sent through my Contact Page. That’s as much time as I have this week.

    In regards to your problems with drafting the pants, Part 3 of the video is probably what you need, but as I said, that video won’t be available for a few weeks. I will send you an email when it is (finally) published…


  4. Dear Maria,

    I’m awfully sorry to just be getting this response this late, in spite of checking daily for the last week or so.

    Many thanks indeed for your detailed response. I am sorry to hear how little time you have for yourself between replies and reading content. I do hope you can get a little time off. We would all totally understand because your work is so so detailed, it’s like having a personal tutor.

    Please take your time and rest up. I will totally wait till you can make the time. In the meantime, I’d be happy to buy any textbook or Instruction Manual or Videos you put out .

    Do have a happy Holiday and well done for the superb work.



  5. Dear Maria I have recently come across your you tube videos and I can’t thank you enough for sharing this wonderful information with sew sisters all over the world. You are a delightful human being giving up the time and making the effort to impart your knowledge to others.I sincerely hope the Saying “ spread your crumbs and they will come back in loaves “ applies to you in your life.
    Kind regards Jacquie.

  6. Hi Jacquie

    Thanks for your kind words. Generally I think myself very lucky and am extremely grateful for what the opportunities I have had in my life, where I live and the people in my life. . Although I believe that we have some control over our lives, I do believe that a lot of things boil down to pure luck. I have been enormously lucky in my life. I try to pay it forward.

  7. Fantastic website. I have made a pants block and toile and for the first time ever have a pair of pants that fit! Thank you so much

  8. Finally! I found the instructions how to draft pants using the upper thigh measurement to calculate the crotch points. Thin legs, round abdomen and derrière. Video 5 Anne worked great for me. Thank you so much ?

  9. Hi,

    I am changing a woven block for a size 8 woman to a stretch woven – which has around 18%-25% stretch along the selvedge. I need to remove the crotch ease (1 1/8 inch?) but assume I do not remove any length from hip to waist. Is this correct?

  10. By the way,

    I have been surfing the internet for quite some time and have found your site to be the best so far – easy and simple to understand and implement, so thank you.

  11. Hello Helen

    Thank you for your kind words and the time you’ve taken to leave a comment. Happy patternmaking! Cheers, Maria.

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