Diagnosis: Trouser

These pants don’t fit!


People, these pants don’t fit!

Obviously nobody is delighted when a project flops, but I’m actually excited to write this post, and it’s mostly down to my new acquisition – Singer’s Sewing Pants that Fit. This book was recommended on the Pattern Review forum when I asked a pants question, and its clear diagrams and jewel-toned eighties style madness do NOT disappoint. Also, there’s so much experience and generosity on the PR forum, it’s amazing!

My eventual goal is to sew a trouser-fit or carrot-leg pair of jeans. I couldn’t find an ideal pattern but I remembered Made by Meg’s jean-style Lazos, and decided THOSE, I want those! So I bought the Lazo trousers PDF and got to hackin’. Arguably too much hackin’ all at once. But now that I look back on my inspiration pair, also signally failin’ to add a yoke as Meg did. Oops.

My wearable muslin, which I’m talking about today, is not a success, but that means it’s time to read…those…wrinkles!! Eventually!

Anyway, this is going to be a long one.

Chapter 1 – What I Did

I started from a size 16. I’d recently removed the tucks from MN Flints as per the tutorial, as a learning exercise, so I thought I could apply that technique to remove the pleats from the Lazos. However, the tuck lines on the Lazos are parallel, not convergent. I decided to mark a line roughly at the knee and then treat them as though they would converge there, following the MN directions.

Chart 1

Okay, done.

Meg reduced the width of her waistband by half and kept the lower half. I wanted to reduce it by half but keep the top. So, ideally, the upper edge of the waistband would stay on my waist, while I would increase the rise of the pants. I did this after removing the pleats!

Chart 2

I blended the lower half of the waistband into the pants legs. On the front I needed to increase the fly extension to match; happily I prefer a wide extension. Instead of extending the pocket bag pattern pieces, I scooted them up and maintained the same opening and angle, as shown above. Apart from merging it with the lower half of the waistband, I didn’t make any other changes to the back legs. Yet!

Chapter 2 – What Went Wrong

Immediately and obviously, the back didn’t fit (SURPRISE!). According to Morgan at Thread Theory, the back darts are integrated into the center back seam of the Lazo trousers. It’s also designed for flat bottoms, I think. Since I raised the waist by 2 1/8” on my draft, and have lotsa bottom, I could have stored a bushel of acorns in the gape.

I’d already stitched on the pockets so I unprofessionally bunged a couple of darts back there, terminating under the edge of the patch pocket. The pocket openings would no longer sit flat, but at this point I already knew these wouldn’t be wearable. I still wanted to get them a) close and b) done so I could read the fit more accurately for next time.

Standing, these pants are reasonably cute and comfortable.


Sitting, they’re punishing.


The front waistband digs into my gut (not an issue with other high rise jeans) and the back waistband dips far too low, hence the bodysuit for these photos.


When standing up, my side seams are vertical and my waistband is level. That says to me – the crotch length is probably okay, except at center back. The crotch depth is #!!@*%!!ed.

Chapter 3 – What Next?

First, when I talk about ‘fit problems’ I am NOT saying my body is the problem! The problem lies in the interaction of my body and the garment, and adjustments are always undertaken on the garment, not on my fine self. When using my book’s terms like ‘large hips’, it’s just a way of defining where the pattern diverges from my body, and not a judgment on whether hips are good or bad.

Okay, from front to back:


I’m seeing some space between the waistband and me: small waist. Also, the pocket bags are popping open: large hips. And that little triangular pucker between my upper thighs: protruding front thighs!


So far none of these changes affect the crotch curve, except the poppin’ front thigh adjustment, which adds a little depth. But so far so good! Now let’s mosey on around to the back.


Look at those wrinkles, then at this guide:


Protruding seat, as clear as day! It’s me!! This will add depth AND height, right where I need it.

Here’s an image that combines adjustments for many, though not all, of my issues, plus one I don’t have:


I’ll definitely reference this during my redraft-a-rama!

I’d like a yoke instead of darts, as mentioned earlier, but that’s more of a style tweak than a fitting one. This particular pair of trousers might not work on me, but I feel like my brain is learning to touch its toes. There’s a clear and achievable path to another draft and I’m feeling energized to walk it!

And that’s the end of this meaty post! Speaking of, we first tried pictures of my bum straight-on when attempting to photograph the dreaded back dip. Professor Boyfriend showed me some and I said ‘Oh no! It just looks like a blimp! It needs context!’. He took more, but it turns out it wasn’t really the photos’ angle that was responsible, so I present to you this voyage of the Heinie-burg.


Or maybe the Hinden-butt?

The end!!


Pattern: Thread Theory Lazo trousers

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 16 with extensive edits

Supplies: 2 yards of denim, $8.00, Sewfisticated; zipper, $1.38, Sewfisticated

Total time: 6.25 hours

Total cost: $9.38

4 thoughts on “Diagnosis: Trouser

  1. You know I really haven’t even recovered from the shorts post yet. This one just about did me in. When I get up off the floor I’m going to dig up my copy of Singer’s Sewing Pants that Fit because I do remember it being incredibly detailed and helpful.


    1. It’s AMAZING! Their pleats all fall straight to the floor like a bunch of dang fashion Amazons. It’s the first fit book I purchased before I even returned the library copy – I needed continuous coverage!


  2. These look good! Have you tried sewing the back crotch curve deeper to ease the pain in the …er… butt?


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