Craftsy Pants Class Blog# 2


Pattern Packet

Pattern packet back

The class is Pant Fitting Techniques with Sandra Betzina.  She’s been teaching sewing and making patterns for years. Her strong point is great fit. In fact, she has a line of patterns with Vogue called “Today’s Fit.” She uses more measurements for personal fitting on these patterns and the sizing is different. I want to learn about fitting ready made patterns,so  let’s learn from the best!

The pants we’re making in this class aren’t my style- at all. I don’t think I’ll like the finished project and that’s one of the reasons I’ve procrastinated on starting this class. (I really like some of the other patterns that she shows us in the introduction class, however. maybe I’ll make some of those eventually.) But I really want to learn the skills she teaches, so I’ll suck it up and get started! Also, the class is about personalized fitting, so I could always change them to be more my style, I guess.I have a ton of leftover bottomweight fabric, so it’s not like I’m sinking a bunch of money into this project. And the pattern came free with the class, which was nice. They shipped it to my house once I paid for the class. It’s been a while, so I don’t remember the exact timeline, but it did ship pretty promptly. Also, some of my hesitation about the pattern may just be the picture on the pattern envelope. I would use a different color and style them a lot differently.

Now, these pants have a princess seam, which kind of freaks me out. But I can see why that would help with fit. I guess we’ll just see how they turn out. My goal really is to build experience and skill, so I’ve got to get past the fact that this project may not fit in with my taste.

One more thing: (And by thing, I mean reason for procrastination.)  I HATE cutting patterns apart! They are so expensive, and I always think I may need to use them again in a different size. If it’s a pattern that’s small like kid’s clothes or a top with few pieces, I just trace my size onto my own tissue paper so I can preserve the original pattern. I’ve definitely put off starting to make projects because I don’t want to cut into the pattern and ruin the other sizes, but I don’t want to take the time to trace the whole pattern, either. I haven’t figured out if this is smart and economical of me, or if it’s stupid and just getting in the way of me finishing projects. I’d love to hear responses on who else shares my apprehension and whether anyone else traces patterns to save them. I did work for a dressmaker who would buy multiples of patterns when they were on sale and cut one of each size. But she had a lot of work and used them a lot. The perfectionist in me wants to have the perfect plan of pattern preservation before I start a project. I probably need to tell her to just shut up!

Here’s the class overview:

Lesson 1: Introduction
Lesson 2: Pant Fit & Patterns
Lesson 3: Taking Measurements
Lesson 4: Tummy & Waist Alterations
Lesson 5: Rear & Thigh Alterations
Lesson 6: Crotch & Calf Alterations
Lesson 7: Testing Your Pattern
Lesson 8: Finalizing & Balancing Your Pattern
Lesson 9: Preserving the Pattern

Lesson 1: Introduction

The introduction is mostly learning about the teacher and talking about various pants options. Her background is inspiring and people like her really get me fired up about sewing!

Lesson 2: Pant Fitting Techniques

We learn about what makes a good fit in pants. This is something most people don’t know anything about. My muffin top can attest to this. My jeans are mostly too tight and my trousers are mostly too baggy in the back. I wish I could make all of my pants! I’ve always wanted to become really good at making pants and jeans because there is such a need for custom fitted jeans. Nobody can find pants that fit them exactly right and everybody complains about pant fit. But most people- even people who sew- don’t make pants very often. How great would it be to be the local source for perfectly fitting jeans?

She shows us several patterns she’s made and examples of pants she’s sewn from those patterns.

Lesson 3: Taking Measurements

Where the rubber meets the road. Not looking forward to measuring myself, but I’m off to watch this video and will let you know how it went.

Ok, taking my measurements took all of 5 minutes. She doesn’t just do waist, hip, and length the way I would have done it on my own. She’s got some great tips in there for really specific measurements. Still, it took a nominal amount of time to do. Why did I procrastinate? The world may never know.

Sandra goes on to show us various models with different pants-fit issues, which is great! I just wish I had a buddy taking the class with me who could objectively show me what’s wrong with my pants. Her explanations are fantastic. She shows the fitting problem, then goes over what corrections it will take to eliminate it. I know I’ll never retain everything, so I’ll probably refer back to this section of the class for years as I’m doing work for people with various body shapes.

I was never aware of just how used to seeing (and wearing) bad fitting pants I was. People just sort of wear whatever they can squeeze into or belt onto themselves, and the fit and hang is typically pretty bad. I’ve always complained about finding pants that fit, particularly since I need to buy mine in “Long” so that narrows down my selection (and ups the price) even further. Watching this really makes me want to take the altering ready to wear class! (I’ll have to restrain myself from purchasing it until I KNOW I’ll be able to complete it, but OOOH, there’s a MAJOR sale right now. Oh, wait, I’m actually enrolled in the first alterations class. Looks like that’s one of the classes I bout a year ago and haven’t got around to.)

She shows a pair of pants she made with the princess seam that she put piping down the front of the pant and I really like the look. Maybe I’ll do something like that!


I ended up tracing the patterns. I timed myself so I would know just how long it takes and wound up spending 42 minutes on it. Now, is 42 minutes quite a long time? Sure. Is it too long? Not for this project. I’m glad I did it. If I were making something for myself and had no intentions of using the pattern for anyone else, I definitely wouldn’t do it. I don’t do it for my $2.97 patterns and I don’t do it if I’m in a hurry to finish a garment. But for this, I’m going to spend so many hours on the class anyway that the 40 extra minutes isn’t that much time in the grand scheme of things.  And if the pants come out great and anyone likes the idea of custom made slacks, I still have the pattern.

Original Pattern Pieces

Pattern pieces

Traced Pattern Pieces for WaistbandTraced Waistband

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