Archive for the ‘body shape’ category

Getting to know my sizes

November 26, 2011

Many surprises when I started exploring pattern blocks earlier in the year. One was that many methods of drafting patterns to individual measurements assign half your bust/ waist/ hip measure to front and half to back. Surely not, I thought. And indeed it isn’t true for me.

Some pattern making books do include front-back differences. I’m using :
Knowles. Pattern making for fashion designers : juniors, misses, and women.
Allemong. European cut.
Liechty, Rasband, Pottberg-Steineckert. Fitting and pattern alteration (hurrah, my birthday present this year).

– – –

Taking my measurements from waist to thigh

Wearing leggings and tank, I rigged myself up with :
– horizontal velcro tapes at waist, high hip, hip.
– vertical tapes at CF, side seam, and CB.

Needed to adjust the position of the side tapes so they :
– looked from the front as if they were at the edge of my body.
– looked from the side as if they roughy divided the area of the body in half.

No photos – I haven’t got a leotard, so it was all rather untidy !

I don’t attempt to measure to an accuracy of 1/16 inch or 1 mm, as BML tells you to. Impossible accuracy with a soft flexible body. It’s easy to change the measure much more by a slight change in tension of the tape measure or posture of the person being measured.

I know 1/8 inch can make a difference to the quality of fit. But that’s in fabric being tried on. I aim for measures to the nearest 1/4 inch/ 0.5 cm. Details to be adjusted on the ‘muslin’.

– – –

The results

My total waist measure is 33-1/2 in., total hip 43-1/2 in.
Both Big4 pattern size 18.
Apparently no problem there then.

But look at the details and a very different picture emerges :
. . . . . . . . . front . . . . back . . . . total (inches)
waist . . . . 19 . . . . . . . 14-1/2 . . 33-1/2
high hip. . 20-1/2 . . . 21 . . . . . . 41-1/2
hip . . . . . . 20-1/2 . . . 23 . . . . . .43-1/2

(Sitting hip 46 in., important to know for ease allowance.)

Interesting, I still have a waist at the back, but there’s all that stomach sticking out in front. Yes, it does go in and out daily.
And my high hips are important, so :
– darts below waist need to be short, and mainly at the back.
– below high hip there’s little change.
My high hips are about 3-4 inches below my waist. But as I have a tilted waist (higher at back due to high hip pads), a level high hip is not the same distance below my natural waist all the way round.

Double those measures – so these are just imaginary numbers, assuming my back and front are the same :
. . . . . . . . front . . . back (inches)
waist . . . . . 38 . . . 29
high hip . . . 41 . . . 42
hip. . . . . . . . 41 . . . 46

Comparing those numbers with the BMV size table, that means my pattern size is/ are. . . (I’ve added bust here, I knew this before.)

. . . . . front . . . . back
bust . . . . 14 . . . . 16
waist . . . 24 . . . . 14
hip . . . . . 16 . . . . 22

Eeek ! no wonder I’ve never been able to wear a sheath dress or a leotard 😀

I’ve still got an indented waist in silhouette from the front, but have difficulty fitting it. Easiest with a waist seam, which isn’t usual in a blouse. I’m sure it is possible to get princess seams to fit me well at the back, but I haven’t got round to it.

Here’s my personal waist-to-hip pattern which shows the different front (right) and back shapes.

”hip-templates-web”

These measures helped me understand much, but they don’t give the complete picture. My front waist and hip measures may be similar, but I’m not the same shape all the way down – forward spreading waist becomes hips spreading sideways. Visually, my widest hip is lower in my silhouette from the front than it is in my silhouette from the side. And unlike my stomach, that large back is just generally large, not protruding.

Don’t even try to imagine what I look like in a RTW fitted jacket !
Though I do promise I have never bought one 😀

Some people need front bigger than back below the waist. Sandra Betzina ‘No Time to Sew’ p.15 says she cuts a size 14 pants front and size 10 back.

Above the waist, I have small bust and wide back. Many people have larger upper front than back. FBAs need to be adjusted for personal shape and ease preference. See my post on the FBA for some comments.

– – –

Other special features of my shape

Here are some other features of my body, as described by Liechty et al.

Short lower rib cage/ high waist.
short between armhole and waist

High neck base.
similar to sloping shoulders but I think this is more ‘me’.

Forward head.
raise back neckline, lower front neckline

Shallow chest.

Low bust position.

Rounded upper back.
Shoulder darts essential

Cylindrical upper torso.
Scoop out armholes sideways. I haven’t got large biceps but do need a large armhole. I’ve learned to check cut-on sleeves to make sure they’re not tight.

Larger elbows.
Don’t know if my bones are large, but I do like to be comfortable when I bend my arms.

Longer lower torso.

Cylindrical lower torso.
long crotch extensions on pants

Here’s some things which affect style rather than fit :
– I’ve recently realised my forward head has made my neck go visually from long to short.
– lumpy knees and thick ankles.
I have got good features too 😀

– – –

Implications

No I don’t look like a freak.
But RTW doesn’t look good !

And, with so many non-average features, no wonder I find it easier to get good fit by starting from my personal pattern block and adding style elements to it. Rather than starting from a commercial pattern and making all these changes.

I don’t think all this self awareness gets you out of making a trial garment. Even when you’ve gone through the pattern-muslin-pattern-muslin cycle several times and have a good fit, it’s best to check that length, ease, and style elements such as collar shape, pocket placement, etc. are flattering.

Also best fitting method depends on personal preference. I don’t at all enjoy tissue fitting. I prefer working direct with a muslin, ‘reading the wrinkles’. Rather than trying to get all the adjustments done accurately to the pattern before ever trying something on.

But many people love ‘Fit for Real People’, and tissue fitting, and not having to make a muslin. So try different methods to find what you prefer. Every little step is an improvement 😀

– – –

P.S. There have been so many comments about this, perhaps I’d better add some more :

I’d like to to encourage people who have unusual fitting challenges. Of course it’s marvellous if you find commercial patterns which are close to your body shape, or a fitting aid which works for you. But there are people who have too many features away from average for that to be possible. And many of those special features aren’t dealt with in the pattern making books which claim to tell you how to draft a personalised pattern.

I’m not so analytic about all this when I do the actual fitting. I fit by ‘reading the wrinkles’ on a muslin. I make no attempt to resolve all my fitting issues one by one on the pattern before cutting out.

Though there are many fitting issues which need a rough change to the pattern before cutting the fabric, or there won’t be enough fabric available to make the detailed adjustments. (Though if you make a muslin, you can slash and spread on the body to add the wedges of fabric needed.) Such as a long body, or square shoulders, or a large bust cup, or protruding front and rear when fitting pants. Or different sizes front and back, above and below.

And I am the sort of person who likes to understand what I’m doing. For example, I need a personalised armhole to be comfortable. Liechty et al is the only book I know which explains what it is about my body which makes this necessary, and what to do about it.

– – –

Patterns and links available November 2011

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‘Fit to Flatter’ by Amy Herzog

November 5, 2011

October 2016. Amy Hertzog’s on-line tutorials are no longer available. She now has a book, Knit to Flatter, and a Craftsy class, also Knit to Flatter. She gives much detail about hand knitting, but the general ideas apply to all garments. This post has some comments on applying the ideas to dressmaking patterns.

Amy Herzog’s tutorials are a marvellous series about the style elements that flatter and don’t flatter different body shapes. And how to make fit changes.

It’s for knitters, but most is relevant to dressmakers. We have similar basic problems :

– We can’t try something on until it’s partly finished. So how do we know beforehand that we aren’t wasting our time, effort, money, and beautiful materials on making something that looks marvellous on the model and dreadful on us ?

– Most of us have body features that are not ‘average’. How can we alter an ‘average’ pattern so it fits us better ? This is actually easier for dressmakers – we just have to alter the paper pattern. We don’t have to calculate the details of stitches and rows.

In this series there are excellent photos of real people wearing right and wrong shapes (generous of them to show that). Especially tops and casual jackets. The examples are hand knits, but the advice about styling and shaping applies to any clothing, made or bought.
So read “dressmaker” instead of ‘knitter’ and “top” instead of ’sweater’.

Full of ideas and inspiration 😀

– – –

1. Introduction

2. Shapes
Types of body shape and suggestions about what flatters them.

3. Mindful project choice
Starting from body shape and showing what styles do and don’t look good.
Also starting from patterns and suggesting body shapes they look good on.

4. Sweaters [tops] and you
Use photos to identify your body shape.
Take interesting measurements.
Some comments on easier and more difficult pattern changes.

5. Necklines
Advice on necklines that flatter different body shapes.
Instructions for changing width and depth of neckline in knitting patterns.

(Knit stitches are not square, which adds complications. This is why she mentions ’knitters graph paper’. There are web sites where you can enter the number of stitches and rows to the inch/ 10 cm for your knitting yarn. The site produces graph paper with those proportions. You draw your required shape, with the natural proportions, on the graph paper. And use that to count how many stitches and rows you need to knit the shape.)

For suggestions about changing necklines in dressmaking patterns, see my necklines post.

6. Sleeves
Flattering length, width, and shape of sleeves.
Again the instructions section is about knitting.

For dressmaking patterns, it’s usually easy to change sleeve length.
To change sleeve width or shape which involves changing the armhole, it’s easiest to substitute the sleeve from another pattern. Match up the centre lines and shoulder seams of the 2 patterns and trace the armhole across. If you use the correct armhole for it, you won’t need to change the new sleeve.
If you want a wider sleeve without changing the armhole, most fit books tell you how to alter sleeve biceps width without altering the sleeve cap length. Or simply use a larger size sleeve from the same pattern, with the armhole to match.
Brensan Studios Shirt Club are patterns you can swop sleeve styles between as they have the same armhole.

7. Length
Where best to put the horizontal lines on your body.
When she says to use ’short rows’ if you have a tummy, she means add a downward curve to the centre front hem.
The section on pattern modifications uses measurements of the lengths of your body sections (taken in Section 4). So it applies to dressmakers as well as knitters. Guidance about where you need shaping darts.
For me it’s important to know about my high hips (circumference, and distance below waist) as well.

8. Shaping
Where you need darts, and how large to make them. Advice that’s the same for dressmakers. Good on shaping for the back – I recognise myself here.

When she tells a knitter to use short rows, it’s a way of adding length at the centre of a garment piece without changing the length of the side seams. Dressmakers achieve the same result by adding horizontal darts from the side seams.
Do you know how to add darts to a dressmaking pattern? It’s often easier than in knitting. Perhaps easiest to learn by experimenting with a trial garment to find what works for you.

She thinks we all look best with waist shaping in our clothes. Yes, in an ideal world. But in winter I wear so many layers that looking more shapely than a box really isn’t an option 😀

9. Implementation
Making your custom styled top pattern.
Choosing the best style elements for you from all the previous sections : this is the same process whatever the source of your clothes – knitting, sewing, RTW.
The measurements section is also relevant to dressmakers. Though do add bigger ease levels if your pattern is for woven rather than knit fabrics.

There’s a section for knitters on doing the pattern calculations. This is the only section in the whole series where there’s not much for dressmakers.
For dressmakers it’s the usual strategy :
– develop well fitting personal basic pattern blocks, or learn what changes you need to make to commercial patterns.
– learn how to transfer style elements from one pattern onto another.

10. Conclusions
Review, plus ideas on how to use favourite style elements from any pattern in a way that’s best for you.

(Ravelry is a huge site for knitters. Somewhat akin to Pattern Review.)

– – –

Amy mentions light/ dark colours but otherwise says little about colour, which for me is very important in getting a flattering result. But there are many interesting tips and helpful comments in all this. You do sometimes have to make an effort not to be distracted by details about knitting. But the general principles are the same for all clothes makers. Recommended 😀

All the recent wardrobe planning reminded me how much I like sweater knits. But the simplest sweater patterns are basic rectangles, which are not good on my pear shape. So this Fit to Flatter series is just what I need.

It is very relevant to choosing flattering style elements for anyone. And for making appropriate pattern alterations in dressmaking as well.

– – –

Links available November 2011

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Jackets of the season – notched collar blazer

March 26, 2011

The key jacket for this Spring/ Summer 2011 is a notched collar blazer.

Eileen Fisher has picked out 3 versions.

”3-notched”

The most obvious difference is length : mid hip, low hip, or mid thigh. Which is the best length proportion for you ? (Notice the under layers are all about the same length.)

All have collar notch at front neck level. Good if you want to draw attention up to your face.

All have similar shape and angle of notch. In some seasons there can be big changes in these, but a simple notch is popular this year.

And lapels that are 1/3 to 1/2 the width along the shoulders to the armhole.

All of them are loose enough to layer. While many jacket patterns are more fitted and meant to be worn closed, with perhaps only a camisole under.

As I never wear a blazer myself, I used to think a blazer is a blazer is a blazer. Notched lapel collar, fitted sleeves, single breasted, boxy shape. Well, that’s in women’s clothing. In men’s clothing it’s a similar shape but usually navy fabric with brass buttons and patch pockets. Or in sports club or school colours. But in women’s fashion, there’s actually a wide variety of style details.

– – –

Round or square corners ?
Two of these jackets have square and one has rounded corners, so choose which is best for you.
Are your body lines straight or curved ? Is it your style to be crisp or soft ?
And some stylists say square corners make you look slimmer. . .

Width of lapels and collar
A wide variety of lapel widths are fashionable at the moment. Though Eileen Fisher hasn’t featured one, shoulder-width lapels are also current if that looks good on you.
For me it’s not a simple choice.
Wide lapels give me upper body emphasis, which I need as I’m small busted and wide hipped. And they visually strengthen my sloping shoulders.
But a slim lapel adds a vertical line, which I need as I’m short waisted.
Which looks best on you ?

These styles all have collar and lapels the same width. This is classic style, but it isn’t essential, it’s a design decision.

Also the edges of collar and lapel are straight. That’s another style feature which is current classic, though there are many patterns with curved lapels.

X or Y neckline ?
In these examples, the 3 button style has a front edge Y shape, and the 1-button styles have a front opening X shape, which I talked about in my shawl collar blazer post.
Would you look better with the front cut away below the lowest button ?

Soft roll or firmly pressed edge to the collar fold ?
Which is more to your personal taste ? Which flatters your body shape ?
Do you want to look more formal or more casual ?

Style, location, angle of pockets ?
Men’s blazers have patch pockets. Women can use nearly every pocket style on a blazer : patch, in-seam (perhaps with hidden zip), flap, single welt, double welt. (An exposed zip is more edgey than classic. And pleated or bellows pockets are more safari/ artisan.) It’s possible to go on at length about pockets. There’s a lovely old book, ‘Just Pockets’ by Patricia Moyes. Start from the simplest jacket pattern and make multiple versions which look different because of the pockets.

Added back interest
Do you do the sort of work where you have your back to onlookers, so jackets with back interest would be a good idea ?
Or do you usually sit down, so need a plain back that doesn’t crush easily ?
One of these Eileen Fisher jackets emphasises the curved shaping of multiple princess seams at the back. Another has an inverted pleat at centre back.

People round here are wearing jackets with multiple seams or inverted pleats at the back, often below a yoke, and with a 2-button tab at waist level.

Perhaps Project Runway Simplicity 2810.

”s2810”

Lined – unlined ?
It’s relatively easy to leave out the lining of a lined jacket – unless there’s a lot of inner structure to hide.
Adding a lining to an unlined pattern is not difficult once you know how. See oop book ‘Easy Guide to sewing linings’ by Connie Long.

Notch height and shape
There are some style elements which it’s best to leave as they are on a pattern, as they’re difficult to change unless you know what you’re doing.

The notch shape and height and the break point of the collar are all best left alone. (Though they can be changed in pattern making software like Pattern Master Boutique. Not in Bernina My Label. Those are the only software I have personal experience with.)

These 3 jackets all have the notch at front neck level.
But it has recently been fashionable to have notches much lower, even at bust or waist level. Particularly on ‘boyfriend’ jackets.

Being closely analytic, there are 3 angles at the notch – the collar corner, the notch, and the lapel corner. And all 3 are design decisions. The Eileen Fisher jackets have the corner angles close to square. This is the classic choice.
This is a fashion thing, other angles and shapes have not been so fashionable recently. (And they’re not so easy to manufacture.)

The origin where the lapel fold line starts – the ‘break point’
On these jackets, you have a choice of folding back the collar from bust level or waist level.
Which is more flattering on you ?
I’m best with a lapel down to waist level. That gives me a vertical line on my short waisted upper body. And a lapel folding out from bust level draws attention to the fact that I haven’t got one.
Does one of these break points make you look or feel older/ younger ? slimmer/ wider ? larger/ smaller cup size ?

In the example jackets, the lapel from bust level goes with the shortest length jacket, but that isn’t necessary.

Number and position of buttons
On these jackets the button positions are simple and classic : a single button at waist level, or three buttons spaced from bust to waist level.

It’s easy to change the number and position of the buttons within the space available. This is the strip where the centre fronts overlap. The top of the strip available for closures is just below the break point where the collar turns out. The bottom of the strip depends on whether or not the lower jacket is cut away.
Once these are set it’s relatively easy to change how high or low the top and bottom button are, and how widely spaced they are.
No doubt if you’re generous busted you’re already know it’s best to have a button level with the bust point, if that area is buttoned over.

Choice of 3 buttons or 1 (or 2 ?). Which is best for you ?
This depends on details of your body shape (and how fitted the style is, just to complicate things).
Perhaps do some snoop shopping of jackets. Which button layouts make you look longer/ shorter waisted ? Which make you look larger/ smaller busted ? Which make you look more efficient/ more relaxed ?

One button needn’t be a waist level. There are several Simplicity jacket patterns with 1 button at bust level.

– – –

Just for contrast, here’s a design with very different style decisions, Vogue 8638. (The pattern has a choice of notch shapes.)

”v8638”

– – –

This was all getting a bit much. So I’ve put some comments about notched collar blazer patterns and sewing advice in another post.

And not to worry if notched collar blazers are not your style. Some people love them, but they’re not for me.

I remember wearing a few RTW notched collar jackets, but never one that could be described as a blazer. I did once own a shawl collar structured blazer. Bought it because a stylist said “Every woman should own a blazer”, and that was in the days when I didn’t know better about such opinions. I only wore it one time. A colleague said “You look very. . . um. . . straight” – and I never wore it again 😀

I do wear trenchcoat styles, which are also current. Not at all the same as a blazer. Double breasted, wide lapels, closing up to the neck, wide collar based on a band, added yokes for shoulder emphasis.

There are three other key jacket styles picked out by Eileen Fisher for this season (cascade, collarless, and biker/aviator). I’m planning a post on them too.

– – –

Patterns and links available March 2011

Pants styles and body shapes

June 27, 2010

The Eileen Fisher summer ‘system’ skirt and pant styles wouldn’t work well for me. ‘No’ to my body shape in short skirts, leggings, and fashion jeans ! I think styles like these only suit people who’re shapely enough below the waist to draw attention to themselves in that area. Which I’m not.

So here’s what I’ve been thinking about styles and shapes – nowhere near a complete analysis !

– – –

Very brief points about fit

I confess to being more interested nowadays in comfort and freedom of movement than high fashion for my own clothes. And that means clothes with loose fit, more ease. There’s interesting information about the amount of ease in different pant styles, in Palmer and Alto ‘Pants for Real People’, page 12.

Palmer and Alto also say crotch shape changes from a tightly curved shape for fitted leggings or jeans to loosely curved for easeful trousers.

Relate the pants style you choose to the closeness of fit you like.

The Pants for Real People book contains a huge amount of information about pants fit. I’m not a fan of tissue fitting, not just because it’s so difficult to do on yourself. But the same ideas apply to fitting a muslin.

I made a few comments on pants fit in a post on pant pattern wedges.

– – –

The same pant style for different body shapes

Pants patterns are such an individual matter. I do get agitated reading pant pattern reviews by people who rave about the good fit they’ve got straight out of the pattern envelope, without saying anything about what body shape they are.

It would be ideal if we had some patterns which have already done the pattern alterations needed for our own body shape. It takes time and effort if you want pants to fit. But it does help if you start with a pattern that’s somewhat like you!

There’s a difference between Vogue and Burda pant patterns. Vogue usually have a vertical centre back seam, while Burda usually have a centre back seam on the bias. You may find the angled seam works better for you if you’re more curved outwards at the back.

Some designers say they provide body-shape-specific patterns. I don’t know how successful they have been, but here anyway are some of the ones that make that claim.

Most of these patterns are the same basic style but altered for different body shapes.

(2017 : these Simplicity patterns are oop, but they still make good illustrations. There is now a new range of Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns.)

Simplicity 2475 is a straight skirt pattern for slim, average and curvy shapes.

”s2475”

Simplicity 2562 has wide legged pants for slim, average, and curvy shapes.

”s2562”

Simplicity 2700 is for boot legged pants for slim, average, and curvy shapes.

”s2700”

Simplicity 2342 is a pattern for slim pants for slim, average and curvy shapes.

Dana Marie’s Terrific Trousers are for apple or pear body shapes (largest measurement high or low on body). With a choice of straight wide, bootleg, and tapered leg shapes.

”terrific.trousers”

(The near-horizontal line of these pockets would not be flattering on my high hips. I look better in vertical slanted pockets like the Simplicity ones shown earlier.)

– – –

Different pant styles for different body shapes

Darlene Miller takes a different approach. She says different styles of pants are most flattering for different body shapes. She has four separate pants patterns, for triangle, square, circle, and oval body shapes.

On her site, she recommends :

“Pants for the Triangle body shape fit best with
– angled pockets and darts, shaped waistbands, fitted yokes,
– tapered or flared legs.
Use fabrics with body such as linen, linen blends or gabardine.

Pants for the Square body shape fit best with
– tucks, inseam or patch pockets,
– slim or full cut straight legs any length.
Use casual fabrics such as corduroy, denim or silk noil.

Pant for the Circle body shape fit best with
– soft gathers at the waistline, hidden side seam pockets,
– tapered legs.
Use lighter weight softer fabrics such as crepe, Tencel or microfibers.

Pants for the Oval body shape fit best with
– simple, body slimming lines, darts, hidden side seam pockets,
– slightly tapered legs.
Use good quality classic fabrics such as gabardine, chinos and microfibers.”

”dmpants” from Darlene Miller’s site

As I understand it, Darlene Miller doesn’t have direct equivalents to hourglass and inverted triangle body shapes. Perhaps you’re supposed to use the pattern that goes with your lower body shape, rather than your body shape as a whole.

The only one of these shape-specific patterns I’ve tried is Darlene Miller’s Triangle pants. The crotch curve fits my pear shape (no big back curves) with little alteration, so I use them as my reference when looking at other pant patterns. (It’s amazing how comfortable it is to wear a crotch curve that fits properly.) And Darlene Miller’s fitting instructions focus on the points I have most difficulty with (high hips and crotch extensions). I’m pleased with this pattern. But I haven’t seen any of her other patterns, so I don’t know if the fitting advice is general or shape specific. I can’t guarantee they will be good for other people ! And I think you need some experience to use her instructions.

If you’d like more ideas on what would be best for the special features of your own lower body, look at the “The Body Shape Bible’. Trinny & Susannah suggest best pant styles for each of their 12 body shapes.

– – –

The details of what flatters, my example

Personally, I only wear a very limited range of pant styles. There are a lot of specific details of my lower body which affect what looks good on me.

– I have an indented waist, so elastic waists and pants with no side seams are not the best shapes for me. I need a shaped side seam.
– there’s a short gap between my rib cage and hip bones, so there is not much room for a waistband or elastic. Faced waist styles are better.
– low waist styles are not good. I’m short waisted, which many people recommend low waist pants for. But I also have very high hips, so the line of a low waist comes across a rather wide part of me.
– my hips spread 4 inches when I sit down, so I need at least that much hip ease. I’m not comfortable in close fitting styles.
– jeans, which are tight on the thighs to enhance the shapeliness of the butt, are not good on me. I have saddlebags, and have never had the sort of butt to celebrate.
– I have a deep torso front to back. So most RTW pants, let alone fashion jeans, are too tight for me front to back. I need long crotch extensions.
– I’m not sure I would have worn leggings even when I tried to be in fashion (though I’m sorry to say I did wear miniskirts sometimes in the 70s, as in those days they were essential, however awful they looked – perhaps I should be more sympathetic to all the people who wear black these days but shouldn’t). I think the area of leggings that can be seen needs to be a part of the body that is a good shape. And I wouldn’t say that about any part of me below the waist these days. But if you have got good legs, let people know, whatever your age !
– my knees are lumpy, so I avoid shorts.
– I used to have pretty ankles, but no more. So low low calf is the shortest I wear. This applies to skirts too. Skirts don’t fit well into my practical lifestyle anyway, but that’s another reason why I don’t wear them often.
– pockets : inseam pockets tend to gape on my curved hip silhouette. The curved shape of jeans pockets signals ‘look here’ to somewhere I’m trying to distract the onlooker from. . . Vertically angled pockets are best at slimming my curvy high hip lumps. (see pear shape post).
– wide legged pants look laughable on me. The proportions are all wrong, they drag me down visually. I also don’t wear cuffed pants.
– straight legged pants (22 inch/ 55 cm hem) give me ‘elephant legs’.
– slim pants (12 inch/ 30 cm hem) have the ‘carrot’ effect (what words we choose :D) Though slim pants do look good under a thigh length top.

So – hurrah for faced waist tapered leg pants (max.17 inch/ 42 cm hem).
(hems for pattern size 18)

It’s not surprising that all my pants are very similar in style. I use pants as a background ‘uniform’, rather than part of my wardrobe that I have a lot of variety in.

When there are so many factors which can affect what looks good, no wonder many of us have difficulty with pants. Though if your body is closer to the average usually designed for, you’re more likely to be able to wear a wider range of styles with success.

I remember trying on a pair of full legged pants in a public changing room. I looked ridiculous. Then an inverted triangle shaped woman tried on the same pants and looked marvellous. So Good Luck with finding the shapes that are right for you 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available June 2010, revised July 2017

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