Trouser pattern adjustment for forward tilted hips

Late last year I was contacted by Barb. Barb had a trouser fit problem no alteration seemed to get rid of – the trousers sagged at the back. The same problem seemed to appear every time and stayed no matter what. A very annoying situation.

Here is Barb’s starting point, if I remember correctly it is Burda pattern


I added some red lines to bring out the problem. And the problem is all that fabric below the seat, soft folds at the back.This points to the balance problem – these (or all previous trousers) had a wrong balance for Barb’s figure and now we needed to find out how wrong  they actually were.
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Pleats and plaids

A while ago I was trying to make up my mind about what trousers I shall make out of my lovely stretch suiting. The shorts I made are lovely, and fit very well, but I was not sure about the pleated front, as I had some not-so-pretty pleated fronts before.

So, after long deliberation and search I found what I was looking for – a very smart pair of trousers (spotted on Victoria’s Secrets website) without pleats. I think my fabric looks exactly as the one pictured, it should be a satisfying project!

On top of this I am busy deconstructing my woollen jacket.
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That puzzling distance at the knee


Linda asked me about that distance K K’ on trouser draft ( now shown in green ) I displayed in my knock knee alteration post.

This draft is taken from a book on menswear tailoring, and I have not seen this straight distance on any other draft before or after this book. It only confirms that there are as many ways to draft a pair of trousers as there are people willing to do it :)

The book says :

… find a knee level by dividing distance between seat line and hem line by two. Then mark a point 6 cm above the knee line and mark it K’. If the trouser pattern you require is not of a classic cut, then don’t mark point K’ and proceed usual..

This is it, no further information is offered on the subject,  barely enough to satisfy our curiousity!

Trouser pocket tutorial

I have not posted any sewing tutorials so far and I’d like to rectify this. You might find them interesting, I know I always look through tutorials on your sewing blogs and sometimes I find very interesting and original variations of the same old techniques.

Today’s tutorial is about sewing a front trouser pocket. Click the pictures for a better look and instructions.

I begin with laying the facings on top of the trouser pocket. The pocket is cut as a single piece to avoid unnecessary seams. I try to reduce bulk whenever possible.

Muller vs Fish eye dart (the full cream version)

Linda asked me why would one choose Muller’s flat seat adjustment over Fish eye dart and vice versa?

I thought it was a very interesting question, so I  decided to have a thorough look into both of these adjustment and pinpoint their strong points and weaknesses.
I took three identical trouser back patterns ( in half-size ) and performed Muller’s adjustment on one of them (in green), Fish eye dart on another ( white ) and left the third one unchanged as control ( red ).

I have reduced the waist dart by half in both cases and taken in the same amount ( half the waist dart width ) at CB in Fish eye adjustment.

The comparison

Fish eye takes more off the back trouser length than Muller’s adjustment ( about 2 times more )

it makes CB seam straighter and shorter. It also changes the shape of CB ( makes the curve tighter ) thus it is a very significant adjustment that produces dramatic results.

Unchanged original pattern is in red
Fish eye: Impact on CB seam

Muller’s adjustment is targeted mostly at the area most of us complain about – under the bum.  It removes length there and leaves everything else pretty much intact.

Muller’s adjustment compared to control

If amount of alteration required leaves you with no back dart whatsoever ( I mean Muller’s case ), then it also narrows the back of the trouser and alters the shape of the side seam, so you must be careful if the side seam was previously meticulously fitted. It borrows from side seams.

Fish eye’s main point of attack is CB. It borrows from side seam and it really robs you at CB length. So unless you are absolutely confident that flat seat is your problem, I’d leave this heavy artillery for later.

BUT if  Muller’s side seam distortion is unacceptable, then proceed with caution with the fish eye, re-check your CB and add to it if necessary.

The findings

Muller’s adjustment produces following changes:

Reduction of the back waist dart by half ( back dart is usually 3.5-4cm wide ) resulted in approximately 1 cm reduction in trouser back length.
Side seam and waistline became more curved,  CB seam became more slanted by approximately 0.5 cm. The length of the CB seam is unchanged. It means that Muller’s adjustment is pin pointed on the area of interest – back of trousers.

Fish eye dart produces following changes:

Reduction in trouser back length is about two times more than one in Muller’s alteration.
Waist at side seam is reduced by double of the Muller’s amount.
CB  is shortened by 1.5 cm, straightened.
Grain line has shifted towards the side seam, hip line tilted to the back.
CB became more scooped.

And here are the pictures worth thousand words

In all, it was an eye-opener and a trouser shortener :)


Aldrich pants: Second fitting

I have made the alterations to the original pattern and came up with this pair of pants. The 2 cm fold has certainly solved a few fit problems such as bulging front and excess at the back. The trousers also fit closer to body and feel  “secure”. Please disregard the terrible lump on my right hip – there is a fat seam there and it is sticking out like a sore thumb. Look away!

Ok the waist is comfortable now and the strain is gone


The butt ears have been removed



And here is the back view. The back seam really is comfortable and not cutting in ( it looks like it does though ). I still have a slight problem with the fit though. Those diagonal wrinkles bother me, and there seems to be too much fabric at the back. I think it might have something to do with the back inseam being too long for my type of figure. I might pin that wrinkle and see if I like the result.