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Leena's Pattern Drafting Lesson:
Altering Patterns For Different Kinds of Pants

Metric conversion table

In this lesson I give instructions of how to design different styles of women's pants. If you don not have patterns for basic pants, you can draft them according to instructions on this web-site. Click here . Please remember that the units used in these instructions are centimeters.

How to make alterations for pleated pants Make alterations to the front piece of the pants' patterns. Back piece is left unaltered. Cut the front piece along the center line and from dart apex to the center of the leg cuff. Pivot pieces as in the picture: 2 * 6 cm. Experiment with different widths of the pleats. I suggest that you start with the amount in the picture. 

Drafting patterns for Bermudas The picture speaks for itself, I hope. Pleats are optional. Bermudas can be sewn also with ordinary darts.


Drafting patterns for jeans

Cut the back piece of the basic pants as illustrated in the picture. 4 cm from the waist at the side seam and 7 cm from waist at the center back seam. Draw the pocket mouth and the pocket on the front piece. Copy the pocket beside the front piece and cut it from the dart apex vertically across the bottom of the pocket. This is for moving the front waist dart to the bottom of the pocket. Darts are not used in the jeans' front piece.


Join the back back yoke pieces into one piece. If you do not want to sew the small dart which remains on the back piece when the yoke pieces are cut away, you can move it to the side seam. Draw the back pocket according to the picture. Cut front hip corner along the pocket mouth line. Pivot the pocket pieces to move the dart to the bottom of the pocket and join the pocket into one piece.


If you think that the legs are too wide for the jeans, reduce the side seams from hip downwards 1-1.5 cm and the inseams from the crotch downwards 1-1.5 cm.


Casual pants with no side seam

For casual pants, place the front and the back piece of the pants' patterns side by side at side seams as in the picture. Leave 6 cm (or another amount which you find appropriate for your purposes) between the hips of the pieces. Draw the new outline for the pants as illustrated, make the width of the cuff as wide or narrow as you want to. Add space for elastic waist at the top of the pants. If you prefer to have side seams in your casual pants (e.g. to be able to sew hip pockets), just cut the piece vertically in two.


Sewing instructions are also included in this web-site. To view them click here .

Copyright 1998 Leena Lahteenmaki

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