Back Blogging - Grey Lisette Pants and A Skirt and a bit of Fitting Trivia.

Today I want to bring my blog up to date - I have two unblogged garments. They are both quite simple garments, and the pants and skirt are both using patterns I have tried before.

The pants were made from Butterick 6331.

 I have already written a post about the making of these trousers, which you can find here., so I shan't talk more about this here.

What I do want to talk about is the dreaded issue of fitting pants.  Some people have bottoms that seem to be the right shape for whatever pattern it is that has been chosen.

I am not one of those people, and I suspect many of you are not in the pants patterns fit me category either.

I think most patterns are drafted for more generous bottoms than I have.  Perhaps with slighter larger and curvier bottoms, hips and thighs.  Incidentally, I just read the other day that standard measurements were set years ago using a small sample (25,000) of white, lower middle class women.  I am not sure what country, but am assuming this was the U.S. This is hardly a representative sample statistically (and I am not going to go into the rules that govern what a representative sample is, but take it from me, this cannot be a generalisable sample, so it is not really an accurate model for all female shapes globally).

Now, I do not come from that group (family history, so I am probably not even an outlier in this group. So I can take it that these standards are not going to work for me.  Take a look at my rear end in these trousers. Strangely, these turned out not to fit as well as my earlier pair - it may have been the different fabric:

But this is nowhere near as bad as a RTW pants usually are on me:

Now, I think you would agree, that really is a sad look!   The moral here of course, is that if you are having trouble with the fit of your pants, especially in the area of self criticism, a more balanced perspective may be needed.

Anyway, what I am gradually learning is that I have a small tail, and I don't think anyone really designs for those.  These pants were an Australian brand, again, catering to the more pear shaped figure.

The French, though, in some RTW brands I have browsed, do have two styles of pants or skirt - those that are more like the dimensions of the Big 4 patterns (bigger hip to waist ratio) and some designed for the straighter waist to hip ratio and flatter thighs and bottom.  


I had enough fabric leftover (well, I made sure of it, I got cunning and did contrast waistbands in the on both pants and skirt, and could just about eke out the two garments....).

There isn't much to say about this skirt, except that it is the skirt shape that has evolved and morphed over time.  I used to have just as much trouble with straight skirts as I did with pants, but I seem to have mastered a reasonable okay fit with this straight skirt.  I added side pockets - this is a simple thing to do.

That's it for now, my blog is not up to date.  Now I have to start thinking about warmer clothes, with our short winter just around the corner.

Bye for now

Sarah Liz


  1. Thanks for sharing your insights - pants fitting seems to be a vexed issue for so many. I don't have your fitting issues when it comes to pants, but I do know that Style Arc has a pattern it calls Flat Bottom Flo which might be worth checking out?
    Your experience regarding different fabrics affecting the fit of pants is one that I have had so many times. You just can't count on a pattern that fits in one fabric fitting in another. Adds to pants angst!

  2. Hello Paola, yes, pants fitting angst and different fabrics. As for Style Arc, I do have the pattern you mention, so I will have to try it. I have to admit my first attempt at making Style Arc pants was a dismal failure - high expectations of the good fit that many claim, but the same old problems and an even worse crotch shape for me!

    1. Crotch shape- that's another issue! I did an online pants fitting course on Pattern review that had the students make a crotch shape template by shaping a rope made of aluminium foil and place it around the body through the crotch from front waist to back waist. We then laid out the template against our pattern pieces and adjusted accordingly. It might be hard to visualise but it was effective!

  3. I too have pants fitting problems, however in my case my derriere is very pronounced and slightly dropped. I have had better results with Burda who have a different shaped back crotch compared to Big 4 which I still need to alter a little. I have not tried StyleArc yet though I have the barb pants downloaded.

  4. For a few years I gave up making pants entirely - all too hard with the fit issues. More recently have had some success with some of the Style Arc patterns, but not all of them I've tried. Your floral pants and skirt look very attractive. Despite the fit issue with the pants, I really like the slender leg line on you.

  5. I have great success with the Style Arc pants particularly Barb and I make pants for my size 6 friend with no bottom and thin legs and use Style Arc's Yoga pant - both in stretch fabrics such as bengaline,ponte or stretch woven (need to make slightly bigger)
    Stretch fabrics are much more forgiving I find (and more comfortable to wear)

  6. I really admire people who can sew well fitting pants but it generally seems to be quite a process. But honestly I think fitting requires a sewing buddy who knows what they are doing ( well at least it would make it easier )

  7. We were talking about pants fitting yesterday, and something that resonated with me is that nearly any Me-made is better than a RTW Pant.

  8. I agree, pants are hard! Like you, I have a 'small tail', actually it's just flat :-) so I have that baggy stuff going on as well. Tricky to fix! I think I spend as much time flat-measuring and changing patterns as I do sewing them...

  9. Very cute pants! I am considering purchase Lisette pattern. Thank you for sharing the informative post, Sarah! Well done!

  10. Competely agree with you on pants, and have yet to venture out. I plan on trying a pair of shorts to begin with and I have several patterns, but we shall see. You'll find that perfect pattern that works for you.

  11. OH... the woes of pant fitting.. Really dislike the idea.ha
    I love that fabric [both pants and skirt]
    You always do such a good job , fitting your patterns to your needs.

  12. I think you do really well. Pants are a hard thing to fit. The grey are lovely and suit you too. I also love the grey skirt. Good basics to mix and match

  13. I can completely empathize with the trouser/pants pattern situation. I have never been able to just use pants patterns straight out of the envelope and have them fit well. I have a couple of well-tweaked pants patterns (stretch woven, and non-stretch woven) that I use over and over again. I can modify them to have boot cut, slim or straight legs by manipulating the width below the knee. You may want to try Simplicity 1696 as a start since they have a slim version, a regular version and a curvy version of the pattern. Have fun! :-)

  14. Pants are annoying as heck...but as you demonstrated, for many of us our own projects will inevitably fit better than most things we can buy. I have not traced off a copy or two of pants that I do like but that might be an option in my sewing future.

  15. I love the fabric you've used for the pants and the skirt. I sympathise with your fitting woes- you know I share them though not for the same reasons!

  16. Pants fitting is a mystery to most of us and no matter what we sew I always find the fit is better than RTW which you have shown with the pants. Love how you eeked out the skirt and pants, I also do this and it does give you a lot of satisfaction.


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