Class · Review · Sewing

Sundays with Sandra: Finalizing and Balancing Your Pattern

This winter I’m sewing along with Sandra Betzina. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I have joined up to learn pant fitting techniques using Sanda Betzina’s Pant Fitting Techniques class on Craftsy. Here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.



I’m back for yet another week of pants fitting class – only this week I’m finally trying on the pants.  Well, not in the actual class – there we focused on walking the seams, correcting the grain lines, and creating a final pattern.  But, before I go through that effort, I want to hear from all of you first.  Is my pattern ready for finalizing?  Having only ever made two pairs of jeans (here and here) before starting this class, I went into it without much knowledge of what my fitting issues might be.  I made alterations based on my measurements, but I’d love to hear from you about things you see that I might not have considered. If you can, toss aside the fact that these pants are made from a stiff muslin and that the seam allowances being on the outside are great for tweaking things but more distracting when trying to take in overall fit.  I want to make these as my February MSN project out of some classic black wool crepe, so I need to get sewing fairly soon.  Thankfully, there’s only one more class left on preserving the pattern, so getting the fit right this week is all that’s keeping me from cutting into my wool.

As a reminder, I received this class for free from Craftsy in return for an honest review.  If you’re interested in taking this class yourself, follow this link for 40% off Sandra Betzina’s Pant Fitting Techniques.

20 thoughts on “Sundays with Sandra: Finalizing and Balancing Your Pattern

  1. Amy I signed up for the class as well but haven’t had the time to start yet. Thanks for giving us all a heads-up on what to expect. Looking at your muslin, I see just one area that I think you should adjust – directly in the middle of your bum it seems to be pulling. Always told that where you see radiating, star-like creases it means you need to let out the seam a bit. And you don’t have the waistband on these pants yet – right? Why is that?

    1. The waistband is there. I even added a bit of stay tape to the top, which is what Sandra recommends for keeping the waist from stretching out. I guess the muslin does look a little lower in the waist than I’d imagined it would. I wonder if I am long in that area? Maybe that explains the tight fit? I hadn’t adjusted the crotch since I wanted to see how the “European crotch” would fit. It seems I need more room!

  2. I also see your calves straining against the fabric. And the seams don’t appear to be centered on your calves. It looks like the back seams need to be moved outward. There are also a lot of drag lines on the inner back thighs, which might be related to what’s going on in the bum area.
    Good work so far, just tweaking to do now!

    1. I noticed the calves, too, when posting these photos, but I wanted to hold off on my own critiques until I heard from you guys. I think I’ll go back to her class on calves and do a bit more tweaking! I wanted a cigarette pant look, so I’d been a little reserved in my calf alterations, but I should have known better. My running has given me fairly large calves!

  3. Pants fitting is so tricky and I’ve also got the course and am looking forward to actually getting in there and trying it out. I see the same issues that ReAnn and Dixie mentioned with your muslin but still think it is looking good. Crotch length is one of my problem areas along with one leg being substantially wider than the other!! (oh dear… what am I starting!! LOL) Thanks for sharing… it’s so nice to see what can be achieved.

    1. Thanks! And, good luck with the class. It’s fun to know a lot more about what fabric goes where in pants. Now to fix the backs of these…

  4. The front looks great. I personally like the wider waist band and the fact they the pant sits below the tummy button. The inner leg on the back is pulling but this could be related to the crouch area. This Craftsy class is next on my list, I really want to make a good pant – do you think the pant can be made without the seams down the front and back?

    1. Sandra covers calves in an earlier video lesson. I went back and watched it last night, and it was helpful to see how she took advantage of the princess seam to give muscular calves more room. I’ve taken advantage of fitting books from the library, but I haven’t actually committed to one. I’ll take a serious look at your suggestion!

  5. Hi Amy, it’s not the calves. The calves are just the recipient of all the stuff going on up above. Take a look at the back view image at the side seam waistband intersection. Do you see the tight drag lines coming from the high buttocks pointing directly towards the side waist band? You need more fabric here to release that tension. Add fabric at that point to the back pant leg side seam only (no change to crotch seam) (its a wedge insert hinging at the inner back crotch seam) and then take out the exact same amount that you added above at the side seam (no change to inner leg seam) (again a wedge collapsing and hinging at the inner leg seam) about 3″ below crotch line. That should solve a few problems including the baggies under the butt. Add the teensiest bit more seam allowance to the back lower crotch seam (about 1/4″) and flatten out the front crotch curve seam by about 1/4″. These changes should produce really good results.

    1. Okay… I think I understand what you are suggesting. I wish comments came with graphics sometimes! I went back and watcher the crotch and calves class last night and then altered my muslin accordingly. You are right in that it didn’t solve all of my problems. my guess was to let out the side seams, but again no luck. I’ll try this next. It’s also been too long since I’ve watched the earlier videos on fitting the bum, so I’ll go back to them with these directions in hand to try to piece together what I need. Thanks!

      1. I’d be happy to send you a graphic. I can make a mini flat pattern example, scan and email it to you. Are you able to see my email address? LMK

  6. Wow!! Pants are so tough!! Holy Moly!
    I think the fronts look pretty darn perfect, I noticed some of the same issues with the backs that other people have already pointed out – and it seems like they’ve all got WAY more experience with pants fitting than I do!
    Let us know what adjustments you end up making, I’m so curious! And I can’t wait to hear what you end up thinking of the class as a whole.

    1. I’m definitely keeping track of what modifications I’m making. I wish I’d made a muslin earlier in the process! I’m now having to go back and rewatch many of the videos again! Thankfully the sections are well titled so I can just watch what I need (or think I need!).

  7. i’m just starting my first pair of trousers now, but from sunni’s excellent tutorials i would agree you need a bit more room around the bum – the centre back lines and the break under your bum/ top of thigh both point to that. maybe crotch length as you suggest – is it tight under the crotch at the front? it looks like it might be.

    1. I’m already thinking I’ll add a quarter inch to the front crotch. I’ve tried it out in my toile, and it added a lot to my comfort and not fiddling with where the front waistband hits on me. I’ve yet to rewatch Sandra’s videos on fitting the bum, but it’s up next on my to-do list! I’ll have to give a look to Sunni’s tutorials – she has such a wonderful way of explaining things!

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