Pants! Crotch experiment part 1.

As quite a few of us know, getting the crotch curve right on pants is quite tricky, with lots of  T & E (trial and error) along the way.  For those of you who have followed my blog this year, you know I am also struggling with this issue!  For those of you who are new, don't worry, I'm going to have lots of fitting mishaps yet : ).

We all have different figures so I guess it is hardly surprising that one pattern doesn't work for all of us - it works for the statistically average figure.  Now, I have actually had to study statistics (groan)  and average doesn't mean everybody, by and stretch of the imagination.

I have an angular body type and am slim.  I have a flat bottom and none existent hips, and a very low waist to hip ratio.  I gather that I need to use patterns that are size 8 for the hip area, and just add extra for my waist and tummy area. I always get saggy seats and wrinkles down the back leg - this is apparently quite common for flat bottoms.

I have a photoguide to fitting which I shall use with the two  muslins I am currently working with. Its likely I will have to alter them.  I am also waiting for Sandra Betzina's book "Fast Fitting" (that sounds like what I want to do!) and I gather that she says in this book somewhere that flat bottoms need a horseshoe shaped crotch.

Well, living here in Antipodean down under land, I am a little impatient - I won't get the book for two more weeks.  And, if there are right ways to do things, and creative ways to do things, well, I take the creative route.  You explore more, and have a little more fun.  Hopefully I'll make you laugh as well.

So, I decided that as bodies are three dimensional forms (yes, I did sculpture as one of my elective subjects in my undergraduate degree) and that as some people drape trousers (I tried that, but it was a little tricky and pin prickly - BUT - the crotch curve came out just the same as my flexible curve ruler template - photo's following!  So I may just have a useful shape concept to play around with when I next tackle the pants  muslins.

Okay, here is the concept:

Flexible curve ruler
Take a flexible curve ruler (I found mine at Lincraft (Australia)  in quilting equipment.  You can probably get one at your local fabric store/craft shop or online.  Great for measuring curves. 

Hold the ruler at both ends
I decided that if the flexible curve ruler was good for measuring curves, it may also be good to determine the rough shape of a curve. 

Determining crotch shape
So, I decided to test the theory.  I placed the flexible curve ruler through crotch area - not too tight at the bottom of the crotch, and curved it around.

Determining crotch shape
Carefully lower the flexible curve ruler without distorting the crotch curve shape.

Drawing the crotch curve
Carefully place the flexible curve ruler down on paper (I pre-placed the paper of course) without distorting the shape.  Draw around it. 

Crotch curve shape
Mark front and back, and about where the inner leg seams will go (yes I discretely measured this but I'm not showing you - I do  have some vestiges of pride, even though I have a  degree majoring in Drama  (yes, and a psychology degree as well, just to balance me out again)  and don't mind looking daft to some extent!

And, guess what - just as Sandra Betzina says (I am assuming, I only read this in a review of her book "Fast Fitting") flat bottoms need a horseshoe shaped crotch.  Just like the shape I established on my own body using a flexible curve ruler.

Looks like I'll be able to check the crotch shapes of my muslins quite easily now. 

More on this as I tackle the muslins.

I do hope you enjoyed this post and I hope it added a little humour to your day.

Well, where ever you are in the world, I wish you a happy and healthy week - and some sunshine in the colder climes.

Sarah Liz :)


  1. Very smart to use a flexible ruler to get the crotch form! And it's fun to see as well, haha! Keep this up and you won't be needing the book ;)

    1. Yes, I'm glad you enjoyed my demonstration! I probably won't need the book, but I always think there is something to learn from each book.

  2. Very entertaining! Can't wait to see how this comes along!

  3. I like how you did this. I have this same ruler and really need to try this.

  4. Yes,your post always adds a smile to my day. You have a really good book coming. I have found it to be very helpful.

    1. Hi Lisa, I too like Sandra Betzina's books - always informative and simply presented. I'm glad my post adds a smile to your day.

  5. Hi Sarah Liz
    Thanks for your comment as now I 'know' another blogger reasonably close by!
    I haven't seen your blog before. I like this idea too - I've seen these rulers at the uni bookshop and always think it would be good to get your exact crotch curve. I'll be looking in now! Thanks.

  6. Hi, its always lovely to meet a "local" - you're just up the road! I didn't know you could get flexible curve rulers at Unibooks - I guess it depends what subjects are taught on the campus. More likely, if you are not looking for one, you are not likely to see it!

  7. I tried this method as well... it was not working so good but maybe I was already then looking my patience for the muslin pants... I have to try again :-)

    1. Hi Beata - I think you have to combine it with all sorts of methods - some people say to take apart or use a pair of well fitting RTW pants and work from that.


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