I present to you…

A pants draft:


Do you hear angels singing? Because I did when I was done. Well, I’m not quite done. On Thursday, we are going to blend, true and equalize. Next week, we trace it off and make the pattern. Then, I will sew it up myself and see how they fit.

Interesting things of note:

12 inch difference between my waist and hip (well, my big a%% thighs as much as my actual hip). That means two darts in the front and back. Back darts have 1.25 intake and front darts are a 5/8 inch intake.

The Questions:

Will this draft account for my swayback? Or is that a fitting issue? I think it’s a fitting issue. Feel free to dissuade me.

Will this draft account for my large / muscular front thigh? Yes, I think so, right?

Will I ever draft a pair of pants again once I get this sloper done? Absolutely not.

Now, the room. You guys ROCK!! Ok. So, I’ve mentioned this before. I really need to move my sewing room to the basement. It’s hidden. It has more room, and a good 1/3 of my sewing supplies are down there anyway.


But, I think I need a pro or a neat freak to help design that space. And, I think I have GOT to put in cabinets. So, it’s a summer project. But, I’m going to get some boxes and start moving things. I need to peace of mind! Maybe a staycation come June.


  1. Congratulations on the pant draft! If you get an incredible fit on the pants, you may change your mind about drafting them in the future. Hope they turn out perfectly.

  2. You must be so excited to be doing such things. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to take a drafting class too. Meanwhile I’ll continue to gleam as much from your information as usual. Thank you!

  3. Um, hate to put a damper on your enthusiasm…but drafting according to formulas rarely accommodates fitting issues like swayback and well-developed thighs. BTW are you sure it’s swayback? or is it generous fanny, ie proportionately more of your hip measurement is toward the rear? and what method did you use to draft? Will your instructor help with the fitting?

    That said, once you have it fitted, you may very well find yourself drafting pants. It’s not that hard to graft relevant details onto a basic pants pattern, and depending on how much you need to alter a commercial pattern, could be less time consuming.

    And thanks for the nice comment on my blog – you made my day! Cheers!

    • TEARS!! No!! Sigh. Yeah. I suspected that with the back because it didn’t look like my patterns when I alter them. I definitely have a swayback and a big tucas. The thigh issue I’ve just been ignoring and sewing wide leg pants.

      She is willing to help us with fit. But, we have to come in during the lab time on the wknd to do so. Machts nichts! I’m going to have a pants sloper that fits if it kills me!

  4. I agree with luckylibbet. having drafted a pair of pants with Kenneth Kings instructions, I still had a lot of fitting. But, at least you have a professional you can consult. Good luck!
    It really helped that I had my dd helping me when I organized my sewing room. It helps to have someone who has no attachment to any of your stuff, telling you ‘out!’ and who can look with a fresh eye. If you are going to get some cabinets take a look at Ikea. They have a room planner on their site if I remember correctly that you can use to plan your room.

  5. Well done with the pants. I really need to do this, my pants never fit well. As for the sewing room, my experience has been that no matter how well I plan (and I’m anal, I use graph paper and draw to scale) I really have to live in the space. I recently ditched the work table I was using and replaced it with a big old desk full of drawers, thinking how it would be more practical. Well, I’ve shuffled the drawer contents several times and moved things from left to right and it’s still not right. I use plastic storage bins for my fabric as they stack well inside the cupboards and are easy to move about. It’s also relatively easy to see through them. I use rectangular cake tin size plastic containers for each job. When I cut a garment I put the fabric, notions and pattern in it and put the lid on. They stack on my desk and are easy to grab when I want to sew something. I’ve also found that as I do a lot of tracing upstairs, I’ve left a duplicate of all my scissors, pins, wheels etc in my tv room so I don’t have to keep running up and down stairs. Pattern storage is a hassle, but I found a chest of drawers (op shop $40) that fits them perfectly. Except for those big Vogue ones, which I have in plastic tubs. Just last night I put all my BWOFs into plastic sleeves in lever arch binders. I put all the traced off patterns in more plastic sleeves and labelled them in big writing, then put them inside expanding files. Don’t know how this will work and if you have a better suggestion, I’d love to hear it. If I think of anything else I’ll email you!

  6. I was going to make some comments about the pants draft, but luckylibbet (how cute a handle is that!?) beat me to it. I will say, however, that in drafting blocks significant fitting and altering of the block is pretty typical, since blocks are meant to be as close an exact replica of you in 2-D. There’s a lot you can’t draft in/take into account when doing the initial draft. Don’t be discouraged, it’s normal!

    And instead of making not want to draft pants ever again, I hope that, infact, the reverse will be true! Once your block is properly fitted and adjusted just for you, you’ll always have the *perfect* base from which to start when drafting any pants – way less fitting issues in future!

    p.s. “staycation” – I love it!!!

  7. For your sewing room, all I can say is CONTAINER STORE! That is my happy place! And you can find everything you need to make it a sweet space!

  8. I am in the process of drafting a pants sloper and have the same issues as you describe- swayback and a large thigh. To deal with the thigh in the fall ’08 issue of Sewing Today they suggest extending the crotch point on the front and back. But they don’t say how to determine the amount you need to extend it. I tried it today and it give more room in the thigh but I still need to extend it more. If you try this and it works I will be curious to know.

  9. I remember that I had to make a few adjustments when I drafted my pants block, but I had a great teacher who helped me and the block pattern turned out great. Having a great block is so worth all the time, cause you’ll hardly have to worry about fit no more, you just have to come up with great styles that the block can be turned into!
    Good luck with everything, I really enjoy your blog!

  10. Cidell, it’s a fitting issue. With a bit more drafting experience you should be able to draft your patterns with all those considerations in mind. BUT, this is a good place to start and you are not so far from obtaining a perfect fit.
    A thrilling process!

  11. A standardized pants draft is the beginning. You’ve got a good start. It would be so lovely to have professional help with the further tweaking that you probably will have to do.

    I have a commercial sewing center in the same house as my personal sewing and that’s a lot of clutter! It helps to have white walls and things with no patterning so that your eyes can easily see those little things like *the seam ripper*, the scissors, the right color of thread, etc. Decorating the room is nice but doesn’t work for me when I’m trying to rush through a project and need to find things.

    It also helps to set up “centers” where the tools are stored in the center in which they’ll be used. And lots of work center lighting, even cheap lamps. I favor floor lamps that can be swiveled from work area to work area. Standard overhead lighting is so unreliable for color matching even with true spectrum fluorescent or Reveal bulbs. Direct sunlight is the best way to be sure.

  12. Make the move. You’ll love it. I took over my son’s bedroom when he went to college and got his own place. I repainted, new window dressing and moved in. I now have a room just for me and my stuff with a door that I can close on the mess.
    Don’t get cabinets, just get a lot of shelves that way you can see all your cool fabrics and notions. The best thing that I did was take an old table and place a 4′ x 8′ piece of plywood on top. This plywood has white formica on both sides. Makes a huge cutting table/sewing table with room for storage of totes underneath. The plywood was only 30 bucks at Home Depot. Make friends with someone with a pickup truck and strong back.
    Enjoy your blog. It’s a must read the minute I get to work.

  13. I would love to draft pants for my daughter. She’s 5′ 10″ and thin with a full high round rump. It’s so hard to fit her. I realized from your blog, she needs a sway back adjustment. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for everything. I attached my daughters (not the one that’s 5′ 10″) website. I’m going to guest blog on it soon. Kind of scary.

  14. Looks like you are moving right along in your class, that is awesome. I have my sewing room in the basement, and let me forwarn you, even though the majority of my basement is finished and warm, I am in the back with the laundry area and I freeze my a$& off in the winter, like now. I keep a heater and my dogs with me when I’m down there, the more body heat the better.

  15. I haven’t worn pants since August 1983. I believe my a$$ makes those pants look fat. But your comment about the 12″ differential between waist and hip necessitating 2 darts explains why I’ve always had trouble fitting (I used to have a 14″ difference, but it’s down to 11″ in recent years).

    As far as your sewing area goes, don’t buy cabinets! You forget about things if they’re hidden. Build shelves or buy those bookcases they have at all the office supply stores, which at least have a smooth finish on the shelves, and neatly stack your fabric and large supplies on those. Staples has clear plastic drawer units in which you can put small items, and you can sort of see into them so you maintain an idea of what’s inside. I find that if you can’t see it, you forget about it. Now, if you want to have a nice surprise for yourself every so often, maybe the cabinets are in order…..As for Kim’s comment about the basement being cold, you can lay a couple of sheets of plywood on the floor, topped by a bit of carpet pad and a remnant of carpet, and that will warm it up considerably. A basement won’t be too cold or too warm, but the concrete floor will radiate more cold than your wonderful wooden floors upstairs.

  16. You are making great progress, you have so much experience with
    commercial patterns that I think you’ll do great and have no problems with any fitting issues that you may have with your drafted pattern.

  17. This major. MAYJAH!! Congrats, and about the sewing space we’ve all been there I’m sure. Well at least I have.

  18. I came across one of your archived posts, & just wanted to give a suggestion. To keep jersey, or any knit, from sagging at the shoulders, sew in a strip of sturdy woven fabric, like seam binding, into the shoulder seams.

  19. Heather (luckyLibbet) is right, but you are learning so much and I sincerely hope that your instructor gets you the rest of the way to personal fit.
    It’s so exciting, No?

  20. Hi,

    Always enjoy reading your blog. About your pants draft… I have the same front thigh issue, and the last time I was working with a commercial pattern had a brainstorm! Have you ever done a large bicep or full upper arm adjustment? I do that on most of my top patterns, and it occurred to me while standing in front of the mirror in my muslin that it just might work for these pants.. I tried it, and it did. Just adding at the inseam doesn’t correct for the tightness at the upper part of the crotch curve just below the zipper… and just adding at that seam sometimes gives too much room at the inner thigh… and that isn’t where your thigh fullness it – it’s in the front and often a little higher that that inseam. Anyway – try it if you like!! Worked for me!

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