How to get a better fit when sewing trousers

Hilary Pullen Dressmaking Tutorials 0 Comments

When it comes to getting a good fit sewing up a pair of trousers can be tricky. It’s probably best to start off knowing that the pattern isn’t going to fit perfectly right off the bat and accepting there will be some fiddly pattern tweaking needed! In this post, we share some of the most common issues you might come across when sewing a pair of trousers and a few tips to help you work out how to fix them.

Before you get to the tips, a reminder that we have 50% OFF our pattern of the week!

Top tips for sewing great fitting trousers

Make a Muslin or Toile


No matter how confident you are in sewing up a pair of trousers it’s important to make a toile first, this is the only way to see how a pattern will fit your individual shape. Our bodies and particularly our bottoms come in all different shapes and sizes, so one pattern does not fit all. You can use any fabric to make a toile, but the fabric you choose should have a similar weave or be a similar thickness/stretch if using knit fabric. With trousers, the most important part to get right is the waist and hips so you don’t even need to make the muslin full length if you’re keen to save a little fabric.

Look at how good fitting trousers look when on you!


There will be some wrinkles on a pair of trousers, so take a look at where these fall and let this be your guide when tweaking your pattern for the perfect fit. You need enough room on the hips and enough for the legs so you can move freely so you will have a few wrinkles here and there. If you don’t allow enough room you will get issues even if you can physically get the trousers on.

How to avoid wrinkles around the crotch area


These unsightly and uncomfortable-looking wrinkles can be caused by not having enough depth in the front thigh part of the pattern. Adding just half an inch to the thigh area of the pattern can really help, it will just allow the ease you need to avoid the crotch bunching. You may also find you’re seeing wrinkles across the top of the thighs. This may be caused by not having enough of a curve in the crotch area, so you may find that cutting a deeper curve helps with the ease of the fabric. The wrinkles can look even worse at the back!

A great way to do this is to lay out a pair of trousers that fit well and copy the shape of the crotch onto your new pattern, you’ll find little changes in the depth of the curve and the rise of the back will give you the best clues about what might be causing the bunching up or excess fabric.

How to avoid gaping at the back of torusers


You’ve got too much fabric and need to carry out a small / sway-back adjustment! You can simply take a V out of the pattern to reduce the amount of fabric or increase the darts if you have these on your pattern. Use the toile here to see what that V you’re going to cut from the pattern will look like.

How to make trousers shorter


You might think this is a really easy fix, just shorten the hem? Don’t do that as this will impact the overall fit of the trousers, especially those that taper or flare. Instead, you need to check first if you’ll need to shorten the crotch area, you may find you don’t need to if you’re not that much shorter.  Then take the length out at the thigh and the shin. Fold the pattern in these two places until the lines meet.

How to make trousers longer


Exactly as above but this time you’re adding to the pattern, just don’t add it all on the hem.  If it’s just a little amount then you can do that but for more than a few cms check the crotch and add the length at the thigh and shin.


Let us know how you get on with sewing up a pair of trousers and be sure to checkout our range of trouser patterns.

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