How to draft a pants pattern like a pro 111


How to make a pants pattern

Mastering the art of the basic pants pattern stands as a fundamental milestone when embarking on the journey of flat pattern drafting. Whether you’re a dedicated home sewist or an aspiring clothing designer, understanding this skill brings invaluable benefits.

Dealing with a multitude of numbers and meticulous steps might initially seem daunting, provoking frustration.

However, fear not; the seemingly complex task can be a seamless and easy process. Crafting the basic pant sloper is essentially a journey of methodically connecting dots in a way that follows your measurements.

And you really should learn how to do it. The reason is – it will make your designing efforts easier, not harder. And if you sew only for yourself, you can craft the perfect pattern for your shape and then just modify it to get a different look.

What is the basic pants/trousers flat pattern making?

This is the process of building up an actual sewing pattern that fits certain body measurements. The basic pants sloper is usually used for woven fabrics and has a classic silhouette.

Although you can use this pattern to create garments from knitted fabrics as well, I find it easier to draft the pants pattern for knitted fabrics using a different approach.

Ways to approach drafting the pattern.

There are different approaches to drafting the pattern – some chose to build the front panel first. Then, on top of it to build up the back panel. I prefer to use a method according to which both the front and back panels of the pants pattern are drafted simultaneously. This way the pattern is much easier to modify once it is drafted.

You might find another technique more appealing, so feel free to use the one that works best for you. There is no right and wrong here. Also, this is a tutorial on the basics of drafting the pattern. If you would like to get deeper into the subject and follow up with muslin adjustments and refining the fit, there are additional steps involved.

Taking the body measurements for a pants pattern

Taking body measurements is the first step in the process. It is very important to take accurate measurements. If
they are not accurate, it might influence the final result significantly.

Measurements and calculations for drafting a flat pants pattern:

  • ¼ Waist

Measure the waist at the smallest. Or, if you prefer the pants standing lower on the hips, measure that circumference. Divide it by 4, because we are going to work with 1/4 of the pants details.

  • ¼ Hips

Measure at the widest part of the hips. Again, divide this number by 4.

  • Crotch depth/rise

You can get this measurement by sitting on a chair and holding a ruler next to your hips. Measure from the chair up to where you want those pants to stand.

  • Hip depth

This is the distance between the waist and the hips you just measured.

  • The magic formula. To draw the crotch curve, we will need to know how far we should extend it on both the front and the back pattern detail. There is a simple formula to help us with that.

Front crotch extension formula:              Back crotch extension formula:

15% of ¼ hip                                       45% of ¼ hip

Or, once you’ve calculated the front crotch using the formula above, just multiply it by 3 to get the back crotch.

  • Length

Measure the overall length of the pants on the outer leg. Start from the waist (or a bit lower if you prefer lower-rise) and measure down as long as you want the pants to be.

2. Building the pants/trousers sloper.

2.1. Outline the pants pattern.

The first step to take when drafting the pattern is to outline it. We are going to do that by drafting a rectangle as follows:

  • From point A to B, use half of the hips measurement (or 2 times 1/4 hips). From B to C and from A to D, use the overall length.
  • Divide the rectangle in half so that you get two 1/4 hip-wide panels. Mark the points that cross the horizontal lines as 1 and 2.

We work with a quarter hip because we are going to draft a front and a back panel. We use each of them twice to cut two fronts and two back pieces of the pants (FIGURE 1). That gives us a total of four details to work with.

  • The next step would be to apply the hip depth. Starting from A and B, apply the hip depth and mark points E and F. Connect them with a dotted line. Mark point 3 where the new line crosses the vertical line in the middle.
  • Again, starting from A and B down, apply the rise and mark points G and H. Connect them with a dotted line. Mark point 4 where the new line crosses the vertical line in the middle.
  • Start from the bottom line and apply the knee level, marking points I and J. Mark point 5 where the new line crosses the vertical line in the middle.

Now that we have the pattern outlined, let’s start

How to draft a pants pattern tutorial

2.2. Drafting the front panel of the pants pattern.

The last thing we need to do here is to make the lines more natural and smooth as we are used to seeing them on patterns.

  • Start with measuring 1 inch (2.5 cm) down from point A to point D and mark point K.
  • From point K, measure an inch (2.5 cm) towards the middle and mark it as point L.
  • From point L, apply 1/4 waist measurement and draw a line that connects with the horizontal line of the rectangle. Mark point M.
  • Connect M with 3, and 3 with 4.
  • From point G, extend the line as long as we calculated the front crotch (using the formula above) and mark it as point N.
  • From point G, draw a ⅗ inch (1.5 cm) long line at a 45-degree angle and mark point O.
  • Connect points N and L, passing through the new points O and E to create the crotch curve.
  • Measure 1.2 inches (3 cm) from points 5 and 2 in (on both knee and hemline) and mark points P and Q.
  • Connect NID and 4PQ to form the leg shape.
  • Connect D and Q to finish the front panel at the hemline.

The last thing we need to do here is to make the lines more natural and smooth as we are used to seeing them on patterns.

We are going to do this in the final step. For now, let’s begin

A tutorial on how to make a pants pattern - step by step.

2.3. Drafting the back panel of the pants pattern

  • Start by measuring 1 inch (2.5 cm) from B towards A and mark point R. From point R, measure another inch (2.5 cm) straight up and mark point S.
  • From point S, apply 1/4 waist measurement plus 1 inch (for the dart) and draw a line that connects with the horizontal line of the rectangle. Mark point T. We are going to draft the dart later. Connect T with 3, and 3 with 4.
  • From point H, extend the line as long as we calculated the back crotch and mark it as point V.
  • Starting at point H, draw a  1 ¾ inch long line (4.5 cm) at a 45-degree angle.
  • From point F towards B, measure an inch (2.5 cm) and mark point U.
  • Connect points S and V, passing through the end of the 45-degree angle line and the new point U to create the back crotch curve.
  • Extend from point J out  ¾ inches (2 cm) and mark point W.
  • Do the same from point C out and mark point X.
  • Starting at points 5 and 2, measure 1/2 inch (1 cm) in and mark points Y and Z.
  • Connect VWX and 4YZ to form the leg.
  • Connect Z and X to finish the back panel at the hemline.
Lean how to draft a pants pattern like a pro by yourself with this step by step tutorial

3.3. Final adjustments to the pants pattern

  • When we drafted the back panel of the pants sloper, we left an inch (2.5 cm) for a dart. To make it, measure and mark the middle between points T and S. Apply half an inch in both directions. Draw a 2-inch (5 cm) long perpendicular line. Connect the end of that line with both sides of the dart. This will result in a dart that is 1 inch deep.
  • Now, let’s make the curves of the pattern a bit more natural. Draw a perpendicular line 1/5 inch (0.5 cm) right in the middle of lines M3 and T3. Redraw those lines, making a small curve that passes through the end of that 1/5 inch (0.5 cm)- long line.
  • Do the same with the inner leg lines N-I and V-W. Instead of drawing the curves out, draw them inwards to make the curves.
  • Make sure that the inner leg of the front pattern piece matches the back’s inner leg. If there is a slight difference, just move point V accordingly up or down a little and redraw the back crotch curve.
  • Draw the grainline as a line perpendicular to the knee line.

These were the final steps in drafting a pants/trouser pattern. Please, have in mind that this is a very basic sloper that can be modified in various ways.

To use it as a pattern, you also need to add seam and hem allowance. According to your fabric choice, you also need to add wearing ease to the sloper.

Free DIY trouser pattern tutorial with step by step instructions

You can modify the length and width of the legs, add a zipper fly and pockets, change the depth of the darts, etc. Also, you can tailor it once you’ve drafted it.

For example, you can remove wrinkles on the crotch or bottom, lengthen or shorten it in the hip area, etc. Here is a post on how to further fit the basic pants pattern.

You can also use it as a base for modifications like knitted fabric pants, leggings, or harem pants patterns.

Daniela at Sewing For A Living

Hi sewing friends, Daniela here! As a passionate sewist and pattern maker, I love to empower fellow creators to sew their dream wardrobe. Join me on a fun journey where we unlock our creativity, stitch by stitch.

If this tutorial has helped you, please consider supporting the blog with a small donation. This way I can keep it up and continue sharing for free.

It is always greatly appreciated!

I hope you enjoyed this pattern making lesson. Happy sewing!

Related posts:

  1. How to make a skirt pattern like an expert
  2. How to fit pants – pattern adjustments
  3. 3 Easy Ways To Draft a Harem Pants Pattern
  4. How to draft a circle skirt pattern
  5. Draft and sew a collar and a collar stand

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111 thoughts on “How to draft a pants pattern like a pro

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Ladies,
      The instructions here are intended for drafting the very basic pants pattern that fits the body measurements and can be used as a block/sloper. The amount of ease you are about to add depends on many factors, including the fabric choice, the fit you aim to achieve, and the design you have in mind.
      Of course, you can add ease to the body measurements before drafting if you prefer. It’s easier to draft but harder to make adjustments regarding fit and design later (at least in my opinion).
      I’ve written a little something on adding ease here: https://sewingforaliving.com/sewing-ease-how-to-add-it-to-patterns/
      As for the seam allowance, it is an additional step in finishing the pattern. I like to add 1 cm awollances, others prefer to sew with wider allowances. Hem allowances are usually wider. Please note that even some industrial patterns come without the seam allowance included.
      I’ve noted that ease and seam allowances are to be added in the instructions, I apologize if it doesn’t become very clear.
      This is not the only “right” way to draft a pants sloper. If you prefer, you can draft the pants pattern using a different method. Some instructors show how to build the pattern front and back pieces on top of each other instead of next to each other like here. There are many ways to approach drafting the pants pattern and most of them achieve a decent fit.
      With that said, fitting the pants’ pattern is another common issue. There are many body curves and angles to be covered with the pants and unfortunately there often are additional steps to achieve the perfect fit. Here I’ve tried to explain the most common fitting issues when it comes to pants: https://sewingforaliving.com/how-to-fit-pants-pattern-adjustments/
      I agree that there’s more to be learned on pants pattern drafting than what is covered here. Yet, I hope it is a good start.

  • Viv

    Hi! Sorry for commenting on a five-year-old post, but I just came across this and am fascinated! Re the front and back crotch extension, am I right in thinking the front is smaller than the back because it’s assumed people have more “volume” at the rear than at the front? I have a large belly (comparatively) and a very flat bum, so I fear using the formula provided wouldn’t work for me.

    Also, thanks for your fabulous posts!

    • Iswat

      In this case you extend the front crotch line outwards a bit at the waist area and taper it down like normal downwards.
      Try this out and see where adjustments will be needed.

  • Ellen Meijer

    Hi Daniela, thanks a lot for your tutorial. It is very clear.
    What if your hip width at 20 cm below the waistline is 94 cm and the real hip width is 101 cm at 26 cm below waistline.
    If one uses the real largest hip width, which is so close to the rise, it probably distorts the pattern?
    What is your advice?

  • Joan Ballett

    please can you be specific as to where you add the ease to the draft pattern? Side seams, crotch, inner leg, outer leg etc?
    How do you divide up the amount of ease you want?
    When checking that the inner leg of the back and front pattern piece match, I presume you have to cut at least one side out.
    How then do you add ease? Do you cut out your pattern pieces before you add seam allowances? Drawing the back and front in a single block makes all these issues difficult. Surely drafting a separate front and back would make all this doable?
    Also, you don’t mention anything about truing up the back dart.
    I find all this information is lacking for a tutorial om sewing pants like a pro.
    Thank you,

    • Lee Zee

      Agreed, those were my thoughts exactly. The instructions are clear, but they are lacking crucial information that will make the pants too tight.

  • Ella

    Hi,

    Thanks for the tutorial, it was very useful, but I ended up having to completely remove the dart in order to fit the waistline in before the 1 on the back trouser leg? I then acted as if U was in the same place as F as that’s what I thought I needed to do based on the comments. Will this be right? If it helps, my quarter hip is 25cm and my quarter waist is 21cm. Point T was going to be on the otherside of point one with the extra 2.5cm, I tried reducing the dart but it didn’t seem to fix the issue until the dart got to about 0.5cm- which I felt would be nearly impossible to draft accurately at the later stage- let alone sew.

    Was this right- or do I need to adjust the pattern?

  • Tsagi

    Hi Daniela,
    Greeting from Mongolia. I just found your web Yesterday. Thank you so much for all of these patterns with excellent explanation. I was trying to make clothes using my old clothes not understanding about real pattern. These steps are so helpful and easy to follow as a second language learner. Then I read all of the answers and questions. Now I stopped sewing and making a pattern on the paper by your lesson. Because I made a few pants and summer dresses followings on youtube and pinterest. Then It is hard to find exactly size and fit me and my kids. Kids clothes are a bit easier than adults. But my waist and armpit parts are terrible. I just want to say you have one Mongolian person who loves to sew clothes have no experience about clothes. Please keep using simplest words for some people like me non native speakers. Thank you.

  • Pnina

    I like the professional tutorial. As a pattern maker for more then 37 years,I like it very much. Now I’m retired , your article brought me back to my real love. Thank you very much!

    • Patricia George-Lezama

      Pnina, you took the words from my mouth. I am a pattern maker also for more than 30 years but have not done much within the last 20 or so years. Daniela’s post brought me back home.

    • Esther

      Thank you for this tutorial, it bless me… Please I want to ask, how do I apply my HIP measurement on d hip line… And again how do I no the measure for my crochet on d paper?

  • Eileen Strom

    How do you convert a pull-on style pant pattern to a fall front style pattern?
    I am used to making most of my own patterns as the men I sew for do not fall into the normal sized ready made patterns.
    I am making a 6XL pair of pants for a Santa Claus, and while those are ok, I also need to make him a set of knee breeches. I was hoping to use the same pattern as the pants as the leg diameters and waist, etc, are already what I need. How do I convert the front center so that it has a button fall front to it?
    Any help would be great!!

  • MaryJune

    This is such a great explanation for drafting the pattern. I am so grateful. Kindly consider posting a bodice pattern drafting for woven fabrics too.
    Regards..

  • Hollie

    This was tremendous! I have no experience pattern drafting, and your instructions were both clear enough and detailed enough that my sloper came out really well. Thanks so much!

  • Ryan Wills

    I found this very helpful. One of the only drafting tutorials that seemed to make sense to me. I had to make an adjustment to the back panel (widen it) but I am glad to report it all worked out and I am super satisfied with the first time fit. Definitely a good foundation to build on. THANK YOU 🙂

  • Grace Hiemstra

    Thank you so much! I have sewn for many years, tried purchased patterns, other tutorials and this is the first one that worked for me. Hardly no tweaking.

  • Shannon

    Thank you for your very plain and straightforward English when it comes to describing the steps. I make clothing for 70cm dolls, and unfortunately a lot of doll-oriented tutorials seem to disappear (people would rather sell their finished products than help others learn, which is fine), so I’ve had to use human-sized patterns scaled down by about a third. The math isn’t a problem for me, and I LOVE connect-the-dot type processes because it’s just so fun seeing the patterns emerge. But, as opposed to bodice and blouse slopers, the sloper instructions I’ve found for pants tend to be really opaque…”rise” would be mentioned, for example, with no explanation as to what it means or where to measure. From the seat! Of course! Or the hip/crotch drop is inadequately explained or illustrated, which has led to a lot of tears. Or darts aren’t even mentioned except as an afterthought at the end. Or, much, much worse, the math is very clumsily explained. This is the first time I’ve seen the proper percentages for the crotch, versus a lot of “stand on a hill during a waxing gibbous moon and subtract .00046377 from pi before multiplying by 3 on the next solar cycle while floating over the exact geographic center of the Marianas Trench”. I made one sloper from a long-gone tutorial which is just beyond help – although the things I’ve made with it are passable – but this one with its clear instruction makes me very excited to try. I’m sure I’ll make something fantastic…and maybe I’ll even venture into making something for myself, for once! lol Thank you!

    • Patricia George-Lezama

      Shannon, thanks for making me laugh. “stand on a hill during a waxing gibbous moon and subtract .00046377 from pi before multiplying by 3 on the next solar cycle while floating over the exact geographic center of the Marianas Trench” I will remember this for years.

    • Shannon

      Update: Made the sloper for my 70cm doll in one go, and no alterations needed to be made! It’s perfect, thank you again for the great tutorial! 😀

  • Natalie Kidd

    I’m amazed. I needed to get a base short pattern to adapt for a project and this fits so well. The mockup fits so well. Thank you so much for this pattern making tutorial.

  • Carolyn

    This tutorial is wonderful. I have never in my life drafted anything because the instructions have always seemed SOOOOO complicated. This is the first time I have not been terrified of having a go. I could understand every one of the instructions and follow them even though I was only reading them through. Thank you for all your help (and the reminder to add in the ease). I now look forward to receiving my newsletters too.

  • Melinda

    Hi, I finished making the pattern but now there is so much fabric in the back that I cannot line up the front & back inseams so I can sew it together. My hips are 11.50 which includes ease. 15% x 11.50 is 1.725 for front & 45% x 11.50 is 5.175 for back. The back crotch point was about 1″ too high so have lowered. I’m not sure about the crotch lengths because I have a belly and flat in the back & I have never had such a short crotch point on the front.
    When I put the patterns together & line up from the knee to the hem, then I have to walk the front pattern up from the knee to the crotch line which is more like a V on the inseams because the back crotch point is 3″ longer that the front.
    Do you think I have made some error in the measurements?

  • Lisa

    Could you give some typical example measurements? For example what is a typical size 2? I think my measurements were off but I’m not quite sure where / how. Would also be useful to have example sizes – measurements for making pants for others.
    Thanks!

  • Cathy

    Thank you for posting this tutorial! I’ve drafted my pattern and want to use stretch denim as my fabric. Any guidelines on how much ease to add or subtract for stretch denim with approx 2% spandex?

    • Daniela Post author

      Depends on the fit you want to get. For wovens, I would not add much negative ease even if there is spandex into the fabric. I prefer to adjust on muslin or when making the first fitting.

  • Luke

    Hi Daniela, I’ve been looking at a number of posts & videos about drafting basic slopers and something I’m finding is that each person has a pretty different method and quite varied results with the end pattern shape. I’m keen to know if there’s an important or stylistic reason for the different block shapes, or is it just personal preference, schools of practice or regional differences among drafters?

    For example your pattern has quite an inward angle to the fly (L – E) and a sloped front waistband. Many other patterns I’ve seen have a much more vertical fly, and often a horizontal front waistband. I recently traced a pattern from some trousers which much more closely resembles your pattern and I’ve been wanting to know why it’s different from most other patterns I find.

    Thanks!

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Luke,
      I understand your confusion. I don’t pretend that I am able to give the most accurate answer here, but here is my interpretation.
      Let me start by saying that I haven’t been to a fashion design school. Some years ago, I used to work as a sells manager in one of the biggest apparel factories in my country. We exported to the whole world and worked for many international companies like H&M and other big European brands. In most cases, our design department would draft the patterns from scratch. The patterns were to be approved with fitting samples by the clients before we were to start manufacturing.
      There were 4 designers that worked there and each of them had their own approach to building up the pattern.
      I was taught pattern making by one of them. I followed her approach for years as I used to draft and sew only for myself and her blocks would work perfectly for my body type. The steps followed in this post, by the way, are hers.
      Then, my mother and I started a small clothing shop where we also offered sewing services. We started sewing for clients with various body shapes and sizes and I had to upgrade my pattern making skills. I started reading every pattern making book I could get my hands on. And I also borrowed the textbooks for the fashion design school in our city from a friend.
      I expected that I was going to get a clear understanding of the matter that is going to help me improve my skills. But, I kid you not, there were NO two pattern making books that would follow the same steps and math formulas!
      I tried different options and experimented what would work and what won’t. The steps for drafting the pants sloper I follow are the ones that proved to work fine in my practice. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s better, or the only right way. I know that according to other techniques, the inward angle at the fly is a big no-no and you are supposed to check for straight angles when you true the pattern. I tried it as well and it worked just fine. But again, I think I get slightly better shaping the way I explained here.
      As for the sloped front waistband, I like to intentionally do that on both woven and knit patterns and for the many years and clients I’ve worked with, it gives a better fit.
      Anyway, here is the best explanation for pattern making I found, which helped me get a deeper understanding of the matter. Pattern making is the process of turning a 3D model (the human body) into a 2D drawing (the pattern). There could be a different approach and formulas to do that and as we see different final results. I suggest you try a couple of different options and see what works for you and which you like best.
      Well, these are my two cents and I hope it helps!

      • Luke Twyman

        Hi Daniela,
        wow thanks so much for the detailed answer! And it’s very interesting to understand your background and how you arrived at this. I think at first I was a bit worried by not understanding why approaches were so different, but I think now I actually find it comforting to know there’s no single right way. I will definitely continue experimenting, thanks again!

        • Patricia George-Lezama

          Luke I think she answered your question very well. Pattern drafting really does come in different forms as is the human individual.

  • Coralie Young

    Hello Daniela,
    There is no straight grain marked on this pattern nor is it mentioned????????? Is it halfway between the basic rectangle? What if I want to get rid of dart at back? You do not mention that modification. Your help will be much appreciated. Other wise, thanks very much. It’s been a long time since I drafted anything and the patterns you buy in store are hopeless now. All the patterns I buy DON’T fit.
    Many thanks again.

    Coralie

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Coralie,
      great point about the straight grain. It should be parallel to the basic rectangle.
      As for the back dart…It gives some shaping at the back side. In my experience, it is needed in most cases. But, I’ve removed it on a couple occasions with clients that have a really flat behind and more in the waist area. If this is your case, I would take in at the side seam and/or the center back seam if needed when fitting the pattern.
      In any case, this is something to be corrected when fitting the pattern. There also might be some other issues that you are going to find during the fit. That’s why I would suggest making a muslin first. I still don’t have written anything about fitting the pants pattern, but you can check my Pinterest board on Fitting Patterns. There I’ve collected a lot of pants fitting advise.
      Hope this helps!
      Daniela

  • Lucy

    Hello!

    Very very cool explanation, thank you so much for this tutorial! I’ve completed my very first trousers truly adjusted to my measures thanks to you 🙂

  • alfredo

    By far the best explanation of how to draft a pattern. Would this also work on men’s pants also could you show how to make a waist coat pattern

  • Paulina

    Thank you for this tutorial, it is very clear and easy to follow. I have a question, I was drafting this for my toddler, do you still go down a full inch for points K and L? I did so and when I marked point M it went further than point 1, the middle of my front pattern. Thanks!

  • Loverne George

    Thank you so much for this detailed explanation. I will draft my first pants pattern using this and then I will let you know how it turns out.

  • MJT

    First of all thanks for the guide! This has been a big help in drafting my first pattern! Question:

    I’m a bit confused with the final part where the front and back piece inner leg curves are made to match. Isn’t it impossible to make the curves match 100% as long as the horizontal distance from N->I and from V->W are different (I don’t see how moving V up fixes this)? And since the back crotch extension is 3 times of the front crotch extension, the horizontal V->W distance is always longer (at least with adult waist sizes). Is a small difference between the curves ok?

    The distances could be made the same if you shift the Y, W, Z and X points to the right (https://i.imgur.com/qXi4gx1.png here’s a quick figure about what I mean). In this figure, the green lines would be the modified ones, and would make the front and back inner leg crotch curves identical. Do you think this kind of tweak would work? Or would the side seam of the back piece mess up something else in the pants?

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi there!
      In most cases, I-N and W-V would pretty much match, because point W is extended as well. You need to make the adjustment to the V point only if they don’t. The reason for that is if they don’t match, you are going to have a hard time sewing the front and back piece together later. Usually, the joining seams turn out to be ugly.
      If you shift the leg as shown on the image in the link, the leg seams are going to twist and pull the fabric when you wear the pants. This can be uncomfortable and doesn’t look very nice as well. It can’t be seen on the pattern or even on the fabric when cut, but it will show later when you fit the pants.

  • Jeannie Waters

    Thank you so much for your tutorial. It is very helpful. I am having one problem though, that I hope you can help me with. Unfortunately, I have a rather large protruding stomach along with very small hips. Therefore when I try to connect L to M, M extends beyond the center line into the back portion of the block. Do you know how I would adjust for this problem? Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. If you could help me get rid of my protruding stomach that would be even more appreciated. 😀😀😀

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Jeannie! In that case, you can outline the rectangles for the front and back separately instead of next to each other so that you have enough room to build up your block. Most probably, the first block would require some additional fine tunes when fitting the pattern. So, I would go for some muslin fabric first.
      The stomach issues are something I seem to have less success with compared to pattern draftings. If you find a solution, please share 😀

  • Jeannie Waters

    Hi,
    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have a problem that I’m hoping you can help me with. Unfortunately, I have quite a protruding tummy accompanied with very small hips. Therefore, when I attempt to join point L to M, it extends beyond the center line into the back portion of the block. How would I adjust for this? Any help you can give will be very much appreciated.

  • Asma

    Just had to tell you that this is an amazing tutorial. I’ve been through dozens of videos and tutorials which explain the details of drafting a simple pants pattern…None are nearly as simple and thorough as yours are.

    Those I went through were either too complicated for beginners, or the geometry wasn’t explained well enough for beginners (the calculations were made for veteran dressmakers to understand), or the tutorial-maker was a foreigner so it wasn’t in clear English, or the illustrations did not match the text, and so on!

    Your tutorial is to the point and the illustrations match the instructions exactly.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. God bless you.

  • Nuz

    Hello,
    This is a good tutorial. Thanks!
    I have a question – do we measure the knee length? or is there a formula for it What is the knee length – from the knee to the floor – sitting or standing?

    Regards,
    Shereen

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Shereen, I like to measure standing, from waist to middle knee cap. But I think you can do it as it is most comfortable to you – sitting or standing, from the floor up or from the waist down.

  • Zakiah

    I am completely confused when I go to angle the waist. My waist is 27.5″ and my hips are 28.5″. So, I drew a rectangle with a width of 14.25″ as instructed. When I go to draw the angle at the top waist of the front panel of the pattern, there is simply *not enough room* to do so without overlapping into the other panel. Same for the back panel of the pants as well. Frustrating.

    • Daniela Post author

      In that case, you can outline the rectangles for the front and back separately instead of next to each other so that you have enough room to build up your block.

  • Elle Bowes

    I have two problems with these instructions,

    If the 2×1” darts are not accounted for when taking the waist measurement, how can the waist measure be correct once the darts are done? Isn’t the waist going to be 2” too small?

    According to the directions, A – 1, and, M – O, are the same measure exactly, yet the illustration clearly shows otherwise. The very same is true for, 1 – B, and, T – S, directions specify both measure 1/4 of waist measure, but illustration indicates they are not the same length at all!

    Can anyone offer advice or explanation?

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi, Elle! In the example I give here, there is no dart added to the front so I don’t include an inch to the waist measurement when drafting the front. When drafting the back, the instructions say that “From point S, apply 1/4 waist measurement plus 1 inch (for the dart) and draw a line that connects with the horizontal line of the rectangle.”
      Since darts are very customizable, you can choose to make them bigger or smaller, as well as add some to the front, make 2 instead of one or skip them all together. This depends on your body structure and preferences. I prefer to draft my basic sloper like this – with one back dart only, but again, this is up to you.
      A-1 and 1-B are for 1/4 hip measurements, and T-S and M-L are for 1/4 waist measurement, that’s why they don’t match.
      Hope this helps!

  • Roro

    Very well presented, easy to follow directions! Thank you so much! I do have some questions, and have presented them in a video, about how to alter this for plus size. My hip depth is 8″, but my rise is 13″, so quite a difference. I have read about making adjustments for a tummy and drop the crotch in the back, but no clear directions like yours, so I just kinda guessed how to do those.
    https://youtu.be/657UgiK8UoQ

  • Nina

    Hi, thanks a lot for your tutorial, it’s quite easy to follow. However, I’m trying to make “low rise” pants because that kind better suits my body shape. I have a bit of a belly… So 1/4 of the “waist” is 23.5 cm and 1/4 of the hip is 24.75 cm… Hence my M point goes over the middle line and since I’m super new at this I don’t know what to do… How to I connect M to 3 and 4? Any help would be great. Thanks in advance, Nina

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Nina, you connect M to 3 and 4 the same way as if you had a bigger difference between hips and waist. I would suggest you cut a fitting pair first to see if some adjustments are needed and then go for your nice fabric.

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Debbie,
      wearing ease is a broad topic that might take another article by itself. Generally, for woven fabrics, the industry standard is 1″ at the waist and 3″ at the hips, which you have to divide and distribute between the 4 details of the pants.
      If you are working with knits, usually you need to subtract some inches which is referred to as a negative ease. On top of that, you need to add some seam allowance to the basic sloper as well.
      UPDATE: I made a post on sewing ease and how to add it to patterns. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/2LUXsDp

  • Maddy

    The largest part of me nowadays is around my belly, not a around the largest part of my buttocks ! Do I use the largest measurement as hip measurement and would that affect the hip depth ?

    • Daniela Post author

      You use the waist measurement for the waist, but instead of taking in, extend points M and T out. You might want to make the front and back sloper on separate pieces of paper so that they don’t overlap.
      If you use the waist measurement for the hips the pants are going to be too baggy at the hips. If the waist greatly oversizes the hips, you might want to enlarge the hips a bit as well to keep the shapes natural. When the waist is bigger than the hips, I skip the darts as well. Another thing I like to do when sewing pants for that body shape is to add elastic to the center back or sides of the waistband. This way the pants are going to stay in place when you are wearing them. If you are not sure in the results, fit the pattern with a cheap fabric first. Once you make adjustments and approve it, you can make dozens of fitting pants. I hope this helps.

      • COCO

        Hi, thank you so much for the tutorial, it’s been super helpful. I have a similar problem to Maddy’s, in that my belly is the largest part of me, there is still a difference between my waist measurement and my hip measurement but the location of the fullness is the belly, not the actual hip (and most certainly not in the rear, I’m as flat as a pancake!). With your reply to Maddy and some of what I have already looked at on other tutorials I think I’ve got that business figured out but another issue that I have is that my hips are almost straight from the top of my hip down. I am almost entirely square. Also, short waisted but with a high-rise. I have issues.

        Okay, here’s what I need to know, the hip depth is the part of the hip that is WIDEST, yes? So since the widest part of me is much higher in the hip, regardless of the belly, my hip depth would only be about 2-3 inches. Does that sound ludicrous? If it helps, on any pants that I have ever found that actually fit me in the waist, I have what I call wings, where most women have hips, I generally just have a bunch of loose fabric. A BUNCH of loose fabric. No joke, I have purchased men’s jeans and had to take them in at the hip. My body is ridiculous.

        Yeah, so if you have any insights, I would greatly appreciate the help. Regardless, this has been very informative and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. Thanks!

        • Daniela Post author

          Hi, pants are a pain to fit, especially if you deal with a body shape that is out of the standards. Even when you draft the pattern by measurements there usually would be some fitting and refining afterwords.
          From what I can understand, you most probably need a “full tummy adjustment”. Don’t move the hip depth, put it approximately where your joints bend (where the largest part of the hips usually is). Otherwise, it will kind of distort the pattern shape at the crotch.
          When you draft it, make a muslin and try it on to see where fitting and changes are needed. If the side seams move towards the front and the fabric pulls and stretches at the belly, you need to make the full tummy adjustment. It’s hard for me to explain it in the comments, that’s why you inspired me to write a blog post with instructions on how to do it.
          Hope this helps!

  • Rhonda

    Thank you for the pants pattern tutorial. M y only issue is im trying to sew the pants. In the crotch area how do i go by sewing that correctly? On the front Pants you said to use 15% of 1/4 hip measurement and 45% of 1/4 hip measurement in the back. How would I go by sewing that if the 2 crotch measurements arent the same? The seams arent matching because its 2 different measurments.

    Thanks!

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi, when sewing the pants, you should follow the following technology:
      1.Sew the crotch curve on two back pieces together(make the center back seam).
      2. Sew the two front pieces together at the crotch and add the zipper if there is one.
      3. Make the side seams.
      4. Make the center seam between the legs. The inner leg should match exactly on front and back. If there is a difference between the inner leg of the front and the inner leg of the back you would find it hard to match the details. That’s why you need to adjust the inner leg’s length while working on the pattern as shown in the last “final adjustments” step. Let me know if this helps.
      P.S. You may join the facebook group that we started recently so that I could get back too you sooner. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1902313386750375/

  • Nailah parvez

    Hi, fab tutorial many thanks. Just one point i needed help is can i leave out the darts to have it a little roomy or will it affect the rest of the pattern?
    Many thanks

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi Erin, this is the basic flat pattern. Everything that comes on top of it, you need to add. That would be seam and hem allowance, zipper fly, etc. I would try with some muslin fabric until I am satisfied with the fit and then move on to more expensive ones. You might also consider if the fabric stretches, how high the waist should be, etc.

  • Karin

    Nice tutorial.

    I really appreciate that the measurements were given in both inches AND cm, most tutorials I have found are only given in inches (which is not the standard of my country and therefore makes it more complicated for me to use).

    The figures are clear and well marked and well connected to the text. I will definitly try this tutorial to make my first sloper.

    However, I do not appreciate that you write about it being boring in the begining. That nearly had me turning around. This is a skill I want to learn and one which I find intersting both from a crafting perspective and from a mathematical perspective, so I wished you would stop whining and telling me how I should feel about it and just cut to the point of the tutorial.

    • Daniela Post author

      Hey Karin,
      I am glad you appreciate the tutorial. I really give my all to write comprehensive and easy to follow lessons and I usually spend quite some time drawing the figures. So, if I’ve done a good job with that, I’m a happy camper 🙂
      As for the whining part… My heart is in design and I find everything about it fascinating. Even math and the geometrical relations in the human figure.
      However, when I share those “How to draft” lessons with others, I often get the first reaction of frustration about all the numbers and steps involved. The exact words students use are “monotonous” and “boring”. I hear that often, especially from younger folks, who want to skip the drafting part and transform their fashion drawing into a piece of clothing by magic. 🙂
      The words in the intro that bother you are me trying to get pass through that frustration. So, if you would excuse my writing efforts and give the tutorial a try despite it, great!

      • Karin

        This was a very nice tutorial. Glad I tried it before the bodice tutorial I found on another page, having done this made it ieasier to understand the other one too.

  • Gina

    Hi. Thank you for your tutorial it has really helped me gain a better understanding of drafting. Clearly I’m new to this and ran into a problem which I hope you could help me with. I drafted the front pant leg and it came out great but once I started the back I ran out of room. The one forth waist plus the inch runs into the front block. Im not sure what Im doing wrong. If you have any insight it would help so much. Not sure if you need the specs but low rise waist quartered is 12.25 and quarter hip is 12.75. Clearly the numbers are close and even without a dart I cant curve out the hip properly. Again any help would be amazing.

    • Daniela Post author

      Hi, Gina. You might make the dart a bit smaller in order to fit into the panel. But in your case, it is a very small difference and it won’t really matter. If you go over the hip width on the waist, the hip would change the natural line inappropriately. So, I would add the dart to the centre back seam instead of the outer seam. Start from point U up, without going an inch inwards. Then, follow the steps in the tutorial. I hope this helps.

      • June

        Hi Daniela,

        Thank you for the tutorial, it is easy to follow. I have the same problem with Gina, that is when I started “• From point S, apply 1/4 waist measurement plus 1 inch (for the dart) and draw a line that connects with the horizontal line of the rectangle. Mark point T”, this line run into the front panel.

        My 1/4 waist line is 23.50cm.

        Are you saying that don’t add 2.5 cm to the 1/4 waistline when calculating point T? Where do I add t his 2.5cm?

        Sorry, this is first pattern so I am a bit confuse.
        Many thank you for your help.

        • Daniela Post author

          Hi June,
          Add 2.5 cm to 23.5 and mark point T. Gina’s problem was that the back panel runs into the front due to a very small difference between waist and hips. If you have the same issue, try drafting the front and back separately (drawing 2 separate outlining rectangles) so that you have enough room to build up the back.
          Hope this helps.