Mar 1, 2012

Where's My Waist?

Where's my waist?  I'm asked this question so frequently that I decided to create a video on this topic.  Whether it be for fitting your pants properly at the waist line, or for establishing the correct hem length for a bodice/top, knowing where to measure your waist is so important.

I had one lady tell me that once she finally made the 'pretend' waistband (which you'll see in the video) and tied that around her comfortable waist location, the crotch length of her pants changed and the result were pants that (finally) fit. 

I'm sharing with you the essence of her story...
'The first pants were the beginning of the problem for me (well too much cake was the real beginning!).  They used to fit fairly well, but then I lost some weight.  I didn’t realize how much that can affect the pattern fit. When making these pants I did take them in a little on both side seams. At first I thought the problem was that I had made them too short (which I had) but after wearing them for a day at work and constantly hitching them up, I knew that they were also too big.  It seemed to be mostly in the crotch and across the back.  (There's no photo of these pants in this post.)

I decided then to make a new blueprint. I mostly wear pants at work and all my pants are now a little big. I also really wanted a pair of your yoga pants. I think there is no point spending my precious spare time sewing if I don’t like or won’t wear the outcome.  So I thought I had taken my measurements correctly – and I did have to take them myself this time. All my measurements had changed with the exception of my height (no surprise there) and crotch. I did think this was a bit unusual, but carried on regardless! I made a toile and it was awful! There are no photo’s!

Then I emailed you.  I discovered that it is better to tie a piece of fabric around your waist. I have always used a thin piece of elastic. Following your suggestions and re-reading the Pants book I re-measured. What a difference! I have laid my latest blueprint over the top of the previous one and the differences are so obvious.

Tonight I have completed a toile using the new blueprint and I have attached numerous photos of front, back and side.  They feel very comfortable to me. I can’t see any obvious wrinkles or smile lines.  I can sit, bend and wriggle!  What a difference the 'pretend' waistband makes!

Thanks so much for you help and guidance.'

(This lovely (private) lady prefers to remain anonymous, though I will tell you, she lives 'DownUnder')


  1. This is a great blog- I have a tummy just like the one shown in the blog(AND I'm from Downunder too!!)I've just done my master pattern for the pants and will be cutting the first trial pair this weekend. I'll be sure to remember the fake waistband-not to use elastic as I always have before.Thanks again for this great resource,Glenda.

  2. You are most welcome! We had fun making that video...I'm glad it was of assistance to you. Send photos of your pants when you've got them completed.