Sunday, July 26, 2020

Pants length and Petites and Talls

Simplicity 8922 is a great pattern. It is a straight legged pant with 4 cuff variations that are separate and sewn on to the pant leg. If you look like the model on the envelope, well, perfection in hem length ensues. If you are not that five foot six inch dream woman, this divided look could easily go awry. I just made the pants you see above and have already started a second pair. 

 I made it my business to come up with a formula for getting this proportion thing done right and done easy. I had spent way too much time on this part of the last construction and had to figure out a different way. This method is easy, didn't take me long and will work just as well for those who are taller than our dream woman on the pattern envelope. 

Before we start I would like to say this method could work on any pattern. You just have to establish where your knee is and where the knee is on the pattern. For other pants patterns you can fold the front pant leg in half connecting the edge of the finished hem on a full length pair of pants with the inseam crotch point. Keep your grain line arrows straight and in line with each other. Where the fold is is where the pattern has decided your knee is. This is your frame of reference for adjusting any pant length, whether you are short or tall. You then compare the pant leg with where your knee is and make the needed adjustments. With that all said, here is how I went about dealing with the proportions between the cuff and the pant leg on Simp 8922, particularly for petites. For Talls, just go in reveres. 

The first thing you need to do is to find a pair of pants that has the perfect length that you want to also have in your new pair of pants with the cuff. Look in your closet. Try them on. Are they the perfect length you are looking for? Get out the measuring tape.

Put the pants nice and flattened out on a table.  Hold the beginning of the measuring tape right at the seam where the waistband meets the pant. THE SIDE SEAM.  Press down and hold tight. Now measure the side seam to the fold of the hem edge. You are measuring the finished length of that side seam, no seam allowances or hem insides included. Write that down. 

For this pattern, hold the front leg pattern piece against your tummy making sure the SA matches you natural waist. Have someone mark a dot on the tissue where your knee is. Done that step! Make a dime sized circle with crosshairs in it to mark your "knee circle". You want it rather obvious as it will be your reference point. 

Lay this front pant leg pattern flat on the table. I was working on my back leg so that is what you see here but it is the same. You can see the red dot and that is my "knee circle".  Fold the seam allowance, or if using a sloper like I am, the hem allowance on the pant leg to the back of the pattern. Lay it out on the table nice and flat. 

Cut out the tissue for your cuff pattern. Fold the top seam allowance and the hem edge on that to the back of the tissue as well. This is all specific to S8922. 

Lay the cuff piece up to  the pant leg piece matching the top of the cuff band SA with the edge of the pant leg hem SA. The SAs have all been folded to the back. This will give you the view of the completed pant leg as per the pattern. Now we know you are a shorter person than our model on the envelope and this will be too long. Measure that side seam, not the cut edge. What is the difference to get you to where you need to be to match your perfect side seam length that you earlier wrote down?  Whatever you need to remove, take half of that and tuck it out of the cuff band. So if you need to reduce the pant leg 4 inches total, take  two out of the cuff band with a folded tuck. Match the seams again and look at your pant leg.  It is still too long and you have 2 more inches to remove so take that from the leg to get to your total of four.

 I found, at five feet tall, just taking two inches out of the cuff and sliding it up and down the pant leg until I got my exact side seam length I wanted worked out perfectly. So, next, slide your cuff band up until you have the exact length you need for your perfect side seam measurement and judge how it looks. Use your knee circle as a reference point. If it is good, and you have the right measurement for your side seam. mark your pant leg and fold out what your don't need.  So if you slid your cuff up 2 inches to make the four inches you needed to get to your perfect length AND it looks good to you and in relationship to where your knee is, tape things in place and proceed to cut your fabric. Double check your measurements again after you have folded out the unwanted length. We'll call this technique "Tuck and Slide". You tuck out  your cuff  based on your side seam measurement and slide up or down to get the perfect length. How's that? Once you've found your magic spot, just tape the tuck into place and cut or fold out your pant leg tissue as well. Make sure you've added back seam allowances to the pant leg.  Double check everything before you cut. Measure the side seam of the pieces, add up and see if you get your perfect side seam length from the original garment.  Also, remember to do the same to the back and any facings you may decide to mock up as I did. It really only took a few minutes compared to my first effort. The magic is the side seam measurement. Also, that knee circle is a priceless reference point and I implore all pattern companies to put it on their pants patterns. It is theoretically the halfway point between your inseam crotch point and the hem edge. We know we are all built differently and knowing where the knee circle is on the pattern allows us to adjust for our own unique shape. Short from knee to hip? Remove length there until your knee circle matches your own knee and vice versa. It is a great reference tool.  In short here is our petite or tall pant leg adjustment for styled cuffs:

* Find your ideal side seam measurement for the completed garment. 

* Find your knee circle on your pant leg. 

* Fold back the hem allowances on the cuff band and the top seam allowances on the cuff band. Fold out the seam allowance on the pant leg where it meets the cuff. 

* Match up the bottom of the pant leg and top of the cuff. 

* Fold out half of the measurement needed to reduce  length on the cuff. 

* Match the cuff top to the leg bottom . Slide up the cuff until you reach your ideal side seam length. 

*Mark your pant leg and fold and out a tuck there as well. 

* Fold all your tissue back out. Tape in your tucks and cut out your pieces. Measure twice, cut once! 

HAPPY SEWING!....................Bunny


  1. Thank you. This is excellent advice! Especially for determining knee location.

  2. Wonderful tutorial! Makes perfect sense and easy to do. Thank you.

  3. It's all about the having that knee circle for reference. I so wish the pattern companies would put that on their pant patterns.

  4. Excellent instructions.  I have this pattern as well, bought because I loved the different leg variations.  I can't thank you enough!

    1. That's great news. It goes together quite quickly. I am going to make View A in traditional khaki twill. It will be great for work if and when I ever go back.

  5. Do keep in mind that for this view of S8922, the front cuff is curved and overlaps. If you take length out of the cuff, or add to it, be sure to do it in the middle of the cuff so you can maintain the size of the cuff at the top and the curve at the bottom. You'll need to grade the curve once you make the adjustment. (In other words, blend the curved edges to get a smooth curve.)

    1. Great comment, Donna. I did find the overlap is really deep, allowing a bit of fudge factor if necessary. I self faced my tulips and I like tht the added fabric from the facing helps keep the drape of the pants nice. Great observation, thanks.


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