graded bodices
Grading enables manufacturers to produce clothing in proportionate sizes.

Most people are wearing pants that don’t fit

Here are some of the reasons:
Industry produces clothing that fits average sizes
  1.  Pants can be drafted and sewn that fit any body type or combination of measurements. However mass production requires that the industry draft its patterns for average measurements. Most bodies aren’t average. But drafting patterns to fit average measurements means that manufactured clothing will sort of fit many people.
  2. The industry uses grade rules that determine the proportional measurement changes through its size range.
The industry can make custom-fitted clothing, but it’s generally not feasible
  1. Pants can be custom made in the industry’s designing departments. But the average customer would find the cost of garments made by design room sample makers unaffordable.
  2. In the past there has been some half-hearted attempts to custom make clothing in the industry by scanning the body, then producing clothing  that fits that individual using mass-production methods. These attempts petered out quickly.
  3. Factories use line-assembly methods. With the exception of the design room sample makers, almost all sewing is done by piece workers. It would be a nightmare to try to keep control of pieces drafted for individuals.
  4. For industrial production to be profitable, a factory needs to cut 1000 garments at a time, with sales before cutting that ensure that the prior sales will at least cover the costs of cutting the garments.
  5. Custom made/mass production is an oxymoron. It’s not possible.
Constant style changes can cause fitting problems

Women’s styles are constantly changing, necessitating quick drafting of new patterns that may not be well tested for fit before they are used to mass produce clothing.

An industrial layout. If the length is doubled, three pairs of pants can be cut. Note that all patterns lay in the same direction. Also note that nothing is cut on the fold.
Pattern changes in production can cause major fit problems

To make a profit garment pieces need to be laid tightly over the fabric. Sometimes in production patterns may be reduced in width to reduce the yardage needed to cut the garments. Reducing a pattern’s width can destroy the garment’s intended fit.

The diagram on the right shows a layout often used in industry. If the fabric is spread twice the length shown, three pairs of pants can be cut tightly from the fabric. The spread may even tighten if one pair of the pants is cut the opposite direction.

The crotch length involves three measurements. The crotch length can be correct, yet not fit if two or more of the three measurements is incorrect.
Some people’s stomach circumference is the same or larger than their hip circumference

These people need their pants’ fullest circumference to be higher than the average person. Well fitting clothing is often impossible if that is the case.

Most people’s stomach circumference is smaller than their hip circumference, as shown on the left.

People with asymmetrical figures have even greater problems with trying to find something that fits.

Crotch fit is complicated
  1.  Pants need to fit three areas of the body – the waist/hip area, the crotch, and the legs. Those three areas vary considerably. Most pants will fit one or two of the areas well, but may not fit all three areas well.
  2. Correctly fitting the crotch requires fitting the vertical center front, the vertical center back, and the horizontal crotch area. Even if the pattern’s crotch length is correct, if one or both of the vertical lengths, or the horizontal width is to long or too short, the pants will not fit well.
This diagram from Drafting & Fitting Pants and Skirts shows a correctly fitted pant muslin.
Customers are often unaware of how badly their clothing fits
  1. Women try clothing on in the stores, but most dressing rooms do not have three-way mirrors. There is no way for a woman to see how the pants fit in the back.
  2. Women wear their pants closer to the body than do men. Often pants reveal more about a woman’s figure than she realizes.
  3. Men wear their pants loose, often baggy. If the pants are comfortable, a man assumes the pants fit.
  4. Customer knowledge of drafting, fitting, and sewing is limited. Customers  are often unaware of just how poorly made much of the merchandise available for sale in the stores really is.
  5.  Most people are wearing clothing that doesn’t fit. They have never experienced the comfort of well-fitted clothing.
  6. For many people the only solution is to either accept the fact that they may never have pants that fit, or that if they wish to own pants and other clothing that fits, they need to learn how to sew.
Good drafting and sewing instructions are not generally available
  1. If one wishes, one can learn how to measure, draft, and sew beautiful clothing. But one needs instructions that really work. The fashion industry upgraded its drafting and sewing procedures back during the First and Second World War.  Minimal equipment is needed – a few simple tools, a basic sewing machine. But this information is not generally available. All can be done in the home. One can make beautiful clothing at home, but one needs professional information to do so.
  2. I believe this information should be available to lay people, the reason I’m writing my series of books.
  3. Because clothing manufacturing is line assembly work, most people, even people who have worked in the industry, do not know the entire process. I’m a production pattern maker who learned sample making from my sample makers, and was later asked to teach this information in college. There I was able to develop a program and write the textbooks my students needed to design and sew clothing that fit. I was fortunate to have those opportunities.
  4. I found when writing the information needed for individuals with various fit concerns to draft, fit, and sew pants, that the information filled two books. There is no way to present all of this information in one or more posts on my blog.
  5. If you should be interested in obtaining this information, the books are available from my website. 
    Tested extensively, these books contain fly zipper sets, pant sets, lining, waistband and all other information needed to draft, fit, and sew skirts and pants like those done in high-end industry.
  6. The books are packed with charts and diagrams that have been college classroom tested to make sure they are easy to use.
  7. The pant book set is 20% off through Sunday, July 7, 2019. Use coupon code  July
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© Laurel Hoffmann, 2019.

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Jeanntte Antry
    July 5, 2019 1:47 pm

    I struggle to find fit in ready made. I have a short waist and long legs. Pants that are long enough are never my size and the extra long always adds additional width for some reason to the sizing. It makes finding pants and jeans that fit almost impossible. I make my own pants patterns to fit and sew capris, jeans, and pants of all kinds, now for myself and love this book.

    I struggled for a long time to get my own pattern to fit but using Laurel’s “Drafting and Fitting Pant’s” helped me find solutions to design and fitting issues I haven’t found anywhere else. I highly recommend this book. Thanks for the great post and opportunity to own this book at a great price. Jnetti

  • Thank you.

  • Hey There. I discovered your blog the usage of msn. This is a very neatly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your helpful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.


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