Learning how to lengthen any pant pattern is a basic skill that all sewers should know.
We are present in all body shapes and sizes, the variations are numerous. For additional consideration, please see the linked article.
We must therefore learn to adapt the models to our body.
People who try on models often say that “it's not a good model” or that the model is not well made. The question we should ask ourselves is: why is the model not correct? The models are based on certain measurements and designs, so it's crazy to think that every model will fit us perfectly.
There are two possible reasons why the pattern may not look right: firstly, the pattern does not fit your shape and secondly, you do not have the standard mannequin measurement for the size you are using. I'd like to explore this further in a separate article, as there are a few myths I'd like to debunk.
For now, let's say I'm going to focus on showing you how to lengthen any pant style so you can tailor it to your body's specific needs.
In this demonstration I am using the palazzo pants pattern, so download this pattern as it is the perfect pattern for practicing. I wrote this pattern a little shorter, so it's a good example to use in this tutorial.
How to know if you need to change the length
The first step: The pattern I'm using has a slanted pocket, so I'll need to pin the back of the pocket to the front of the pants to make the pants appear as one piece.
Second step: Pin the front and back of the pattern and drape it over your leg. Remember that at this point the pattern does not have a waistband, so place it over your hip bone to allow for the waistband.
This is where you have to decide if the pants are too short or too long for you.
How to lengthen any pant style
Adding length to any pant style is done in about 20 minutes or less. Place the front and back of the design on the table and draw a horizontal line halfway. femur and another horizontal line in the middle of the tibia.
Cut out the pattern using the lines you just drew marked in red above.
Place a piece of paper on the table large enough to accommodate the width of the pattern and double the length you need to modify the pattern.
Pin the pattern, making sure the grain is straight and extends the pattern as needed, plus hem allowance. Let’s say you need to add 5″ + hem = 6″ to pants, divide the amount in half (2) as we will be cutting and laying the pattern in two places – one at the top and one at the bottom of the pattern.
Go ahead and extend each cut by 3″. This technique will not change the shape of the pants.
Redraw the grain to keep the pattern straight.
Trace the sides of the pants on both the front and sides, shown below in red.
At this point you can either trace the entire pattern onto a new sheet of paper or leave it as is by securing it with additional tape and proceed to cut out your fabric.
As you can see, it takes very little time to lengthen patterned pants and the result is tailored to your needs.
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