book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

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I'm fed up with poorly fitting trousers/pants & currently I have the
time to devote to learning how to make a (ladies) trouser pattern.  Also
have some Christmas money & book tokens to use!  Sooooo I'm looking for
advice about a method or system that works.  I've looked at some library
books but they have confused me.... each seems to have a slightly
different slant on the 'correct' method.  Has anyone found a book that
actually works?

best
Anne Higham in England





Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers
On 22/01/2011 11:37, ath wrote:
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Have you looked at David Page Coffin's trouser book?  I haven't, but I
gather that it is similar in style and thoroughness to his Shirtmaking
book.  If so, it'll be well worth getting.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

| On 22/01/2011 11:37, ath wrote:
| > I'm fed up with poorly fitting trousers/pants&  currently I have the
| > time to devote to learning how to make a (ladies) trouser pattern.
| > Anne Higham in England
________________________________________________________________
| Have you looked at David Page Coffin's trouser book?  I haven't, but I
| gather that it is similar in style and thoroughness to his Shirtmaking
| book.  If so, it'll be well worth getting.
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
_______________________________________________________________

Many thanks for this suggestion - no, I haven't seen this book.

I'll get a copy from the library prior to committing my vouchers!

best
Anne H.





Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

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If you are going for 'Making Trousers for Men & Women' - a German review on
Amazon says that it doesn't teach you how to make a pattern, it just teaches
the fine tuning. Amazon, greed... I mean helpful as ever, turned out a
couple of other books that looked like they might be something:

http://www.amazon.de/Pants-Any-Body-Pati-Palmer/dp/0935278087/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1
http://www.amazon.de/Pants-Real-People-Fit-Body/dp/0935278575/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_4
http://www.amazon.de/Make-Your-Patterns-Step-Step/dp/1845374568/ref=pd_sim_eb_1
http://www.amazon.de/Fit-Real-People-Clothes-Pattern/dp/0935278656/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_3

Perhaps others here can say more about it?

U.


Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers
I haven't seen David Page Coffin's book.  I have had the Pants for Anybody
by Pati Palmer for several years.  It is fine for me, but a friend of mine
swears by Pants for Real People, also by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto.

Maybe a trip to the library to look at the different books would be the best
way to see which one is best for the individual?

Emily



Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

|I haven't seen David Page Coffin's book.  I have had the Pants for
Anybody
| by Pati Palmer for several years.  It is fine for me, but a friend of
mine
| swears by Pants for Real People, also by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto.
|
| Maybe a trip to the library to look at the different books would be
the best
| way to see which one is best for the individual?
| | Emily


Emily ~ thank you for responding.

I have already been down the library route, which I why I need help!
There are a number of books covering this very subject but I became
confused by the variety of techniques offered.  I am hoping that someone
has used a system/author and has had success - I won't throw a hissy if
it doesn't pan out for me, but it seems better to go down a proven route
than flounder, which is what I'm likely to do without guidance.  The
Pati Palmer books are not available through my library system here in
the UK.... great pity.

best
Anne H.




Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

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Well, it seems that Emily gave you a very good hint with her post, and the
fact that the books are not available shouldn't scare you off. If it was my
quest - and, come to think of it, it is in a way, since I'd like a decent
trousers pattern, too - I would ask Emily why she prefers the one book and
why her friend prefers the other. The fact that people who do some sewing
can produce (I suppose more than just barely acceptable) results with either
of these books seems a clear evidence for both of them being worth their
money. If you have perhaps followed discussions in this newsgroup, you might
remember Kate and her swimsuit. She tried to make it following the
instructions of the Burda pattern and would have failed miserably if she
hadn't had some prior experience with sewing Lycra and other elastics.

Another thing that often happens to me when I'm under pressure time-wise is
that I can't seem to get the meaning of what I read.  So you need perhaps to
free yourself from any imaginary pressure and remember that books are paper
with words and pictures on it, nothing  more, nothing less. If you don't
understand a particular word, there will be some dictionary that has a
translation for it. If you take your time, most pictures and graphics can be
deciphered.

And if you have the lead that for example the two books mentioned previously
are both good, you might be able to look at only those two at a real-world
bookshop and compare them with each other. Perhaps, if you think about it,
you'll be able to make a list of what you want exactly from the book (more
than 'I want to make a pants pattern').

Just my 2 cents, but I'd be grateful to Emily if she would answer my
question about why she prefers one book and her friend the other. ;-)

U.


Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

|
| >
| > |I haven't seen David Page Coffin's book.  I have had the Pants for
| > Anybody
| > | by Pati Palmer for several years.  It is fine for me, but a friend
of
| > mine
| > | swears by Pants for Real People, also by Pati Palmer and Marta
Alto.
| > |
| > | Maybe a trip to the library to look at the different books would
be
| > the best
| > | way to see which one is best for the individual?
| > | | Emily
| >
| >
| > Emily ~ thank you for responding.
| >
| > I have already been down the library route, which I why I need help!
| > There are a number of books covering this very subject but I became
| > confused by the variety of techniques offered.  I am hoping that
someone
| > has used a system/author and has had success - I won't throw a hissy
if
| > it doesn't pan out for me, but it seems better to go down a proven
route
| > than flounder, which is what I'm likely to do without guidance.  The
| > Pati Palmer books are not available through my library system here
in
| > the UK.... great pity.
| >
| > best
| > Anne H.
|
|
| Another thing that often happens to me when I'm under pressure
time-wise is
| that I can't seem to get the meaning of what I read.  So you need
perhaps to
| free yourself from any imaginary pressure and remember that books are
paper
| with words and pictures on it, nothing  more, nothing less. If you
don't
| understand a particular word, there will be some dictionary that has a
| translation for it. If you take your time, most pictures and graphics
can be
| deciphered.

Ursula ~ thanks for your observations.
I'm happy to follow & execute instructions - my problem is that I want
to be reassured that my time and effort is rewarded with a pattern that
is somewhere (anywhere!) near to a fit for me.  Thus I'd aimed to get a
recommendation of a book/system that has already been successfully used.

best
Anne H.



Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers
Perhaps you don't really need a particular book;  Kay wrote just about the
perfect  explanation.  When you start measuring the crotch, you probable
have a pair of pants that fit well and you can use them as a guide for the
area.  Once, you get your toile done & fitted, just try it on with the shoes
you intend to wear with them and then its easy to measure the hem.

The fact I like one Pati Palmer book and my friend prefers the other is
probably nothing more than I received mine for Christmas/Birthday the year
it was written and used it with lots of success.  My friend saw hers on
sale, bought it, tried it and liked the fit she got.
We are totally different in our size and body shapes, which also might have
something to do with it, though I doubt it.

Please note that the author of both books is Pati Palmer with Marta Alto as
co-author of the one my friend has; so I would expect them to be similar in
many aspects.  
Pati is one of my favorite sewing authors and often Marta co-writes with
her.  

Emily



Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

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Hmm, I didn't read that one properly, but did so now. You are right, I
guess, but I'll have to ask what the second important measurement exactly
is. Chair depth?

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I doubt that, too. I guess, once you know a little about sewing, you may
just pick any better book on a given topic, work with it, and get good
results which makes you henceforth swear by that method, book or whatever
although the other one might be just as good. A matter of habit maybe.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think the biggest problem with pants for me is my body. When I was away
this weekend, I stayed in a hotel with a huge bathroom mirror and
mercilessly bright lights. So I took a good look. Bad idea, very bad idea. I
think I need to lose some weight. Soon. And build up some muscle. My stomach
is protruding far too far. I'll leave it at that and spare you the gross
details. No need to go for the Twiggy look but some 40 or so pounds might
help a lot. 'Nuff said. Thanks for answering!

U.
 


Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

| Perhaps you don't really need a particular book;  Kay wrote just about
the
| perfect  explanation.  When you start measuring the crotch, you
probable
| have a pair of pants that fit well and you can use them as a guide for
the
| area.  Once, you get your toile done & fitted, just try it on with the
shoes
| you intend to wear with them and then its easy to measure the hem.
|
| The fact I like one Pati Palmer book and my friend prefers the other
is
| probably nothing more than I received mine for Christmas/Birthday the
year
| it was written and used it with lots of success.  My friend saw hers
on
| sale, bought it, tried it and liked the fit she got.
| We are totally different in our size and body shapes, which also might
have
| something to do with it, though I doubt it.
|
| Please note that the author of both books is Pati Palmer with Marta
Alto as
| co-author of the one my friend has; so I would expect them to be
similar in
| many aspects.
| Pati is one of my favorite sewing authors and often Marta co-writes
with
| her.
|
| Emily

Emily ~ your remarks about a toile are well timed... just the other day
I went to a local(ish) street market and bought some fabric that'll be
ideal for this purpose and so cheap, just 1 per metre.  Pity I can't
get there more often!  Now I feel that nothing is lost if I really make
a hash of things.  My current plan is to approach my library with
inter-lending requests and see where that gets me.

Many thanks for all your help.

best
Anne H.  in England



Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

|
| If you are going for 'Making Trousers for Men & Women' - a German
review on
| Amazon says that it doesn't teach you how to make a pattern, it just
teaches
| the fine tuning. Amazon, greed... I mean helpful as ever, turned out a
| couple of other books that looked like they might be something:
|
|
http://www.amazon.de/Pants-Any-Body-Pati-Palmer/dp/0935278087/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1
|
http://www.amazon.de/Pants-Real-People-Fit-Body/dp/0935278575/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_4
|
http://www.amazon.de/Make-Your-Patterns-Step-Step/dp/1845374568/ref=pd_sim_eb_1
|
http://www.amazon.de/Fit-Real-People-Clothes-Pattern/dp/0935278656/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_3


Ursula ~ thank you for the headsup about this book.... and for the
Amazon listing.  Two of these I've already seen via my local library -
unfortunately the Pati Palmer books are not available through that
source.  Having seen a number of books via the library - that is what
prompted me to ask if anyone has found a book/system that works!  I
suppose what I'm hoping for is personal recommendation rather than me
taking pot luck.  Thanks for your imput - much appreciated.

best
Anne H.





Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers
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It takes me about 45 minutes to custom draft a basic pants pattern that
only needs fine-tuning with Connie Crawford's methods, which is what I'd
suggest if you were here, but her books are hard to come by in the UK,
and the DVD is in US format only, I think (but drop her a note and see if
it can be put in UK format: snipped-for-privacy@fashionpatterns.com ).  Otherwise, I
suspect Aldrich's books are available in Europe more easily -- and they
use the metric system, but she doesn't explicitly balance the patterns,
at least not in the volumes I've checked.  

The other thing I like about Crawford's draft is that she has
a plus size draft that works well for women who are rounder than most,
which is many of us with, um, mature bodies.  The shift in proportions
usually takes place about 50" hip circumference.

Do you have a straight skirt pattern that fits you?  Grain lines are
straight across at midabdomen and across the backside?  Waistline is
tilted for those of us (many, many!) who have waists that are higher
in back than front?  That can be a useful tool to look at when you start
to draft -- the top of the skirt and the top of the pants are the same;
then you need to add crotch extensions to form the leg, and shape the
legging.  

There are two major crotch measurements you need to get right...
total crotch length, CF waist to CB waist through the legs; crotch
depth or chair depth and side seam/waist intersection to a flat chair
seat as you're sitting.  And the crotch shape has to look like you...
younger women tend to have more backside than front, older women, the reverse,
so the curve shape has to reflect that.

Kay



Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers


| >
| > I'm fed up with poorly fitting trousers/pants & currently I have the
| > time to devote to learning how to make a (ladies) trouser pattern.
Also

|
| It takes me about 45 minutes to custom draft a basic pants pattern
that
| only needs fine-tuning with Connie Crawford's methods, which is what
I'd
| suggest if you were here, but her books are hard to come by in the UK,
| and the DVD is in US format only, I think (but drop her a note and see
if
| it can be put in UK format: snipped-for-privacy@fashionpatterns.com ).

45 minutes? I can but dream!
I've emailed as you suggested and am awaiting response.
The Pant DVD and Pant Book Special is currently on special offer on her
website which is good news. The book is also available on eBay but
pricey. The book is not available via my library service.

Otherwise, I
| suspect Aldrich's books are available in Europe more easily -- and
they
| use the metric system, but she doesn't explicitly balance the
patterns,
| at least not in the volumes I've checked.

I've seen a couple of Ruth Aldrich's books but, of course, I'd no idea
if they would provide me with the good fit I want, which is why I was
looking to the knowledgeable folk here for leads to good systems/books.

| The other thing I like about Crawford's draft is that she has
| a plus size draft that works well for women who are rounder than most,
| which is many of us with, um, mature bodies. The shift in proportions
| usually takes place about 50" hip circumference.

This hits to nail on the head. Having piled on the poundage due to medic
treatments I wanted to get my head around trouser patterns once and for
all..... in the hope that when I lose this weight it won't cost a small
fortune in new trews.

| Do you have a straight skirt pattern that fits you? Grain lines are
| straight across at midabdomen and across the backside? Waistline is
| tilted for those of us (many, many!) who have waists that are higher
| in back than front? That can be a useful tool to look at when you
start
| to draft -- the top of the skirt and the top of the pants are the
same;
| then you need to add crotch extensions to form the leg, and shape the
| legging.

Unfortunately no, I've never been a skirt user or maker.

| There are two major crotch measurements you need to get right...
| total crotch length, CF waist to CB waist through the legs; crotch
| depth or chair depth and side seam/waist intersection to a flat chair
| seat as you're sitting. And the crotch shape has to look like you...
| younger women tend to have more backside than front, older women, the
reverse,
| so the curve shape has to reflect that.

| Kay

Kay ~ really grateful for the info., I've also scouted around Youtube
and Connie Crawford is featured a number of times. Once I hear from the
service dept I'll have a better idea of where I'm headed. At the moment
I have the enthusiam and time to get to grips with drafting trousers so
should strike while the iron's hot!!

Thanks
Anne H. In England






Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers
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Something that's useful to look at:
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2706906070049590158sRJJHI

These are from the book, Every Sewer's Guide to Perfect Fit... and they
show representative samples of basic pants from most pattern companies
at that time.

Look at the center top row... can you see that the U of the crotch
shape is very shallow -- the woman that was designed for had almost
no thickness from front to back.  That too-narrow crotch is what
produces what is delicately termed "camel toe" or else a wad of fabric in
the abdomen.  Here's how it does its evil:
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/anatomy_of_a_camel_toe_pt1 /
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/anatomy_of_a_camel_toe_pt2 /
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/how_to_fix_a_camel_toe /

And here's a way to fix the problem after the fact:
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/adding-a-gusset-to-pants-pt1 /
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/adding-a-gusset-to-pants-pt2 /

In fact, if you've got a pair of pants that go around but the crotch
fits funny, try opening the inseam from midthigh to crotch point on
the inseam of both legs, then hitching up the pants till the
grainlines are correct on your body.  The crotch seam opens and shows
you the extra fabric you need to fit your body depth.

The other pants fitting evil that generally afflicts those of us who
are older and rounder is that our waistlines usually slant down.
If you tie a string around your middle where you want the waistband
to sit, and then someone measures from center back/waistline to floor
and CF waistline to floor, the front distance is usually shorter.
Your waistline slants down in front.  But the pants are cut to expect
a waistline level with the floor.  For someone with much of a slanted
waist, this can translate to the front waist of the pants up around the
bra band.  Or a big pooch of fabric in the abdomen. Or the pants feel
tight in the upper thighs when you walk because the side seams have been
pushed to the back (and you've got extra fabric in the back of the
thigh, too, it seems).  The real cure is probably better posture, but
if you're going to work with the body at hand, the patternmaking cure
is to make the pants with a slanted waist.  (That's another thing you
can experiment with on a pair of pants that's about to give up the
ghost).

Going back to the photos of the pants patterns at
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2706906070049590158sRJJHI
I wouldn't consider any of the patterns in the top row as anything but
wastebasket liner.  The Vogue are going to look like you've got a pillow
on your back thighs, or worse, like sails flapping after you when you
walk.  The Simplicity will have similar problems, but to a lesser extent.
The Style pattern will work for someone with a heavy leg if you
balance the leg, and the Burda is the best of the bunch, especially for
someone with normal legs, but the inseam still needs to be balanced.

I won't say learning to draft pants was the easiest thing I've ever done,
but after a few hours of headscratching and some wadded up pattern
paper, things became much more clear, and I could see where the various
measurements went in pants, and why.  After a few more patterns, then
I could pick up speed.

Kay



Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

| >
| > I've seen a couple of Ruth Aldrich's books but, of course, I'd no
idea
| > if they would provide me with the good fit I want, which is why I
was

____________________________________________________________

| Something that's useful to look at:
| http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2706906070049590158sRJJHI
|
| These are from the book, Every Sewer's Guide to Perfect Fit... and
they
| show representative samples of basic pants from most pattern companies
| at that time.

______________________snip____________________________

Kay ~  you've covered just about every problem I've had with shop-bought
trousers... camel toe, wads etc. Wonderfully descriptive names!  I'm
even more determined now to get my head around this pattern making.

Getting the crotch shape right seems to be the key for me... although
other things like slanting waistlines and thigh size are going to be
influential in getting the fit I'd like.  I've bookmarked those webpages
& I'm sure I'll be returning time and again.

Another thing ~ the big differences in patterns from the various
companies is an eye-opener... I had no idea.

I'm really grateful for the time and trouble you've taken with my
query.....
best
Anne H.   in England






Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers
Last few fitting tips for you, Anne:

1) Hand baste. with contrasting thread, the grainlines on
the center front and center back of the legs, and
across the widest part of the abdomen and backside, so you can make sure the
grainlines are straight when you fit.  

If the grainlines are twisted at all on your body, you're going to make
things worse, not better, by attempting to alter.

2) Cut the pattern meticulously; make double extra sure the grainlines of the
pattern match the grainlines of the fabric.  Again, a grainline that's off
can lead you down the primrose path to Pattern Alteration Hell.

3)  To find the nominal knee line of the pattern, fold the pattern's legging
in half widthwise, bringing the hemline to the level of the crotch extension.
Mark it.  The Rules:

a) Above the knee line, you can alter the pants on the inseam or
outseam or both, as needed, as long as the grain line remains centered on your
leg.  Take the same amount from the front and back of the pants on these
alterations (assuming you started with a balanced pattern).  

b) Below the knee line, you must take equal amounts from the inseam and
outseam, both front and back. e.g.: say you want to reduce the hem
circumference by 1".... take 1/4" out of the front inseam, front outseam,
back inseam, back outseam to do this.  Otherwise, the pants will twist
as you walk.

4) Don't overfit.  It's a common tendency to want technically perfect pants,
but usually when you start taking out too much ease, the pants become
perfect only for one purpose, like standing or sitting -- and rarely for
walking.  A skim fit it much more flattering than paper on the wall, anyhow.

Kay


Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

| Last few fitting tips for you, Anne:
|
| 1) Hand baste. with contrasting thread, the grainlines on
| the center front and center back of the legs, and
| across the widest part of the abdomen and backside, so you can make
sure the
|
| 4) Don't overfit.  It's a common tendency to want technically perfect
pants,
| but usually when you start taking out too much ease, the pants become
| perfect only for one purpose, like standing or sitting -- and rarely
for
| walking.  A skim fit it much more flattering than paper on the wall,
anyhow.
|
| Kay

Kay ~ many thanks for this.

The folk on this newsgroup have provided so much useful and encouraging
info, so  I've compiled a file of all the salient details.

It's a number of years since I last made clothes of any sort... my only
sewing being free-motion embroidery as relaxation. It's coming back to
me how much I once enjoyed clothes sewing!

I'm indebted to you & everyone else who responded.

best
Anne H.  in England




Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers
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Ursula, the chair depth measurement in Crawford's system is done by
sitting in a flat-seated chair (I usually get people to sit on a coffee table
for this one), and measuring from the intersection of the side seam position
with the desired waistband position, down the person to the full hip, then
straight down to the chair seat.  This is essentially the "rise" of the
body of the pants, but it's measured at the side seam rather than the
usual way of measuring at center front to crotch.  Because this draft
automagically produces the slanted waist from the measurements taken, the
side seam to chair seat measurement is a good measurement to draft from.

Also: when you change sizes and want a new pattern... a good crotch curve
that actually fits you will hold constant for at least a size up and down
from the one it was drafted for... and often it will hold for two sizes up or
down.  So to change a too-small pattern, all you have to do is cut the
original up the center of the leg, from hem to waist, and then open or
close the pattern on that cut line 1/4 of the desired amount.  Rejigger the
darts to suit your new body and reshape the leg and you're in business.

Kay


Kay


Re: book or article(s) about making patterns for trousers

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All methods are correct -- the problem is finding one that's correct
for you.  

And if you thoroughly understand one method, you'll find that most of
the others are that same method seen from a different angle.  

If you get Don McCunn's "How to Make Sewing Patterns" you can join a
mailing list and get advice from other people who are using the book,
and from the author himself:
snipped-for-privacy@yahoogroups.com

He also offers on-line sewing courses, but I don't think the
pants-sloper course is currently active.  You can enroll anyhow, and
study the material while waiting for the other students to show up.  

--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net
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