Choices, choices

Before I did my balance adjustment I had a choice to make.

Which skirt draft to use as a base for my adjustment? Is there really a difference between the drafts? And if there is, how significant is it?
What a perfect time to do a quick comparison between Muller and Aldrich skirt block draft.

Aldrich is in red

For this experiment I used size 14 standard measurements ( from “Metric pattern cutting” ).
Both blocks are quite similar, but the there are some differences none the less.

I have discovered that Aldrich skirt block is better suited  for a rounder bum.


Well, see it for yourself.

The results of the experiment

First of all Aldrich skirt has more ease. It is 1.6 cm wider around hips.

Second, the side seams are moved towards the front. Some pattern drafting books insist you move the seams towards the front in every draft, but more often you have to do it if the back side needs extra width.

The Aldrich skirt’s front is 0.7 cm narrower than Muller and back side is 1.3 cm wider.

Aldrich skirt has two back darts instead of Muller’s one. Two darts will give a smoother curve over the bottom.

Aldrich skirt has 13 cm total waist suppression and Muller has 12 cm.

I guess in Muller’s days women preferred more structured, tailored, close-fitting clothes!

Before you ask, I went with Muller’s draft this time.


Aldrich pants – the final

I have finally fitted the Aldrich pants. A few more things had to be done to achieve the fit I was after. At my last fitting I was still unhappy with the large diagonal fold at the back. I have referred to my ease reference tables ( I love them to bits, so many times they have saved me ) and discovered that there was too much ease at the thigh level. In fact, 4cm too much. The back crotch extension was just too long ( also called “fork” in tailoring ).

The diagonal fold pinned

Then I adjusted the back inseams by making a horizontal tuck taking in 0.5cm at inseam and tapering to nothing at the side seam. This removed the horizontal folds at the knee level at the back.

Inseam adjustment



And here it is, the final pattern. The trousers toile fits well, ready to be used as a base

The final pattern

Aldrich pants evaluation: Problems and solutions.

Alright ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to present my finding on the Aldrich trousers. As you remember I have drafted and cut a pair f trousers in standard size 14 by Aldrich book. I made no adjustments or changes to the draft. and this is what I saw when I tried them on.

First slide please!

Ok what do we have here? First of all, the waistline straining. The tension lines are obvious. The closure is wrinkled because of the pins, so I won’t pay much attention to it at this stage. The front is bulging out and there is extra fabric in the crotch area. Also the pants are too long ( they were supposed to be floor length ).


Moving on to the back view. Next slide please!


Hmmmmm….. There is alot of excess fabric around bottom and on the inside of the leg. Also, the pants are too long. But we already knew that.



From this picture it is  pretty obvious that my pants have ears. See that excess wrinkling up on the side seam? It is them. The ears.

Also the excess in front is glaring at me. Top of the side seam is straining.

Now to the solutions

First of all I have to increase the waistline so I could breathe again. I could do it by decreasing dart widths or adding at seams, or both. Then I need to do something about that length. Once the length is correct, some of the wrinkles will be gone. Then I have to straighten that hip curve to get rid of butt ears.

After that I have compared my measurements to the standard and discovered that body rise in the Aldrich book is 2cm longer than mine. AHA! That would explain all that bulging in front. I have to fold 2cm on the pattern to address that.

See you at the next fitting!

Fitting Aldrich pants

Fitting pants is a difficult job, especially if every fitting flaw shouts at you. I can’t help it, I always assess how clothes fit everywhere I see it – in shop windows, on models, on unsuspecting people on the street… It is a practice in a way – I see the flaw and imagine where it is on the pattern and how I would rectify it.  And when it comes to making a pair of pants for myself or my client I have to set myself limit on the number fittings and tweaks or it might never end.

For a long time “Metric pattern cutting” by Aldrich was my go-to book. The drafts are pretty simple, using standard measurements and all is very clearly explained.

Metric pattern cutting book cover

I have tried almost every pattern draft in this book and some of them are more successful than others. I find skirts and bodices fitting very well and pattern draft for stretch materials is excellent. On the sleeve pattern draft page I have a bright red “Do not use” sticker, I really don’t like that sleeve. and trousers, surprisingly, I have not tried until now.

So I have decided to draft a standard size 14 trousers by Aldrich ( the closest to my measurements ) without any alterations and see how they fit and what I would change to make them perfect.

So, are you ready? Here is my toile Fitting #1

Fitting #1 Front
Critique is welcome, please tell me if you see any problem areas, where they are  and what do you think should be done to rectify them.