Class · Review · Sewing

Sundays with Sandra: Preserving the 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. This post marks my completion of the class.


Well, friends, I’ve finally reached the end of the class.  In this final lesson Sandra focused mostly on how she preserves her patterns.  I am going to take the liberty to summarize what she does since I think it’s pretty brilliant and since I also think it epitomizes the type of information and experience she presents over and over in this class.  Once she finishes fitting the pattern and transferring all of her changes to the pattern, she retraces the pattern, irons it to some woven fusible interfacing to give it lasting power, and then rolls it on to a tube to keep it from wrinkling and creasing.  I’d just love to have a sewing room with an old barrel of some sort in the corner with a bunch of colorful tubes sticking out of it every which way, each of which had a different TNT (tried ‘n true) pattern wrapped around it.  I’d know I could grab a tube and get to work! The remainder of the lesson quickly covered how to go through a similar pant fitting process with a knit pant and with a one-seam pant.

I have to admit that I’ve yet to preserve my pattern, but I do think I have this pant pattern fitting pretty well right now.  I rewatched the videos for crotch and calf alterations and rear and thigh alterations, and I discovered that a small tweak to the front crotch seam that I pulled from the crotch and calf alterations lesson had the front falling really nicely (many of you recommended just such a tweak in last week’s comments).   But, while I tried a bunch of different changes in the back, I couldn’t really tell if any of them made things better.  One issue was how to properly evaluate the fit from the back.  I resorted to setting my camera on a tripod, tweaking a seam, and then running over to the camera to take a photo.  I had half a mind to make a collage of the many, many (awful!) photos that resulted from these shenanigans, but I ended up deciding my time and effort were better spent focusing on the pants.

Enter Christine from stage right.  I have to give her a huge thank you.  I could see the promise in her comment last week, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around all of it.  She kindly offered to send me a diagram, which I have reproduced for you below (with her permission, of course!).

CRM Pant Alteration 1

This little change made a world of difference.  I still needed a bit of tweaking to the back crotch seam and a sway back adjustment (what?!  That one was news to me!), which I pulled from Sandra’s lessons, but I don’t think I would have gotten a great fit so quickly without making the above adjustment.  I highly recommend trying it out if you notice the same drag lines as I had in my fitting photos from last week.

I also have to send a thank you to The Perfect Nose for the tips and tricks she sent me about fitting pants this past week after a plea I made on Twitter.  It’s been quite a week absorbing advice from so many sources.  It takes a village, right?!

I don’t have any photos of me in my current toile because it looks like a crazy mess after all of the markings and changes I tried this past week.  I’m going to save the big reveal for whenever I finish the final pants.

This post marks my final review of this class.  In general, I’m incredibly glad I took the class, even though I wouldn’t have gotten perfectly fitting pants without help from all of you.  I learned so much about how to fit patterns in general that it was more than worth it.  Making pants is intimidating, but I now feel much more confident tackling other pants patterns (I have my eye on you, Thurlows, and I promise you will fit my rectangular figure despite your pear shaping!).  If you want to conquer pants but have fitting issues that make you nervous, check out this class.

If you’re coming in late and want to read all of my past weekly reviews of the Pant Fitting Techniques class, which go in depth into each lesson, here they are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Pant Fit and Patterns
  3. Taking Measurements
  4. Tummy and Waist Alterations
  5. Rear and Thigh Alterations
  6. Crotch and Calf Alterations
  7. Testing Your Pattern
  8. Finalizing and Balancing Your Pattern
  9. Preserving the Pattern

Happy sewing!

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.

6 thoughts on “Sundays with Sandra: Preserving the Pattern

  1. Great tip! I still need to master pants fitting. I had problems where the muslin fit but when made in the fashion fabric it was to big. I can not wait till reveal the finished results

  2. Thanks for the kind remarks Amy. I enjoy watching you sew and appreciate the tremendous extra effort it takes to blog about it. Glad I could help.

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