Pants/Trouser Block- Introductory Special Price!

Lord and Lady Curzon with First Day's Bag in Camp near Nekonda, Hyderabad 1902 by Lala Deen Dayal, The British Library, Oriental; India Office Collection. My testers are as intrepid and fearless as Victorian British Tiger Hunters...

First- I want to thank all of the intrepid testers who helped me develop the Pants Block service.  You ventured with me into the great unknown, you did great work, you asked thoughtful (sometimes hard!) questions and helped me understand how to draft and fit custom pants blocks through the internet.  It’s possible! Thank you for your patience and perseverance, I could not have figured this out without you!

I wasn’t sure if or how this would work via the internet when I asked for testers.  I just had an idea based on stuff I’ve done in “real life,” and longed to try it out every time I read a blog post about pants fitting difficulties.  It is possible.  When I look at photos of wrinkly muslins sent in by testers my fingers itch to reach through the screen and pin and tweak, but I am learning the best ways to describe necessary alterations.

I think the best way to convey alteration information (by far) is through diagrams.   I do not like terms like “full butt” or “deep crotch” and besides names like that don’t tell the whole story, so I use my own original diagrams and terms like “Alteration A,” “Alteration B,” and “Alteration C.”  If necessary, I’ll add more but those three tend to cover the bases.   Also, know that your pants block is not a size.  It is yours, and arrives with your name on it.

The method I use works well to create a good solid base to work from, and I know which alteration diagrams apply to which wrinkles.  I do not pretend to know everything, but I work hard and learn quickly.  If a problem arises I’ve never seen before, I will tell you then do some research and we can work through it.

If we need to work on simple alterations (no slash-and-spread or anything too involved, mostly moving seamlines) we can do it at your own pace.

Once the pattern fits, I have a basic tutorial which will demonstrate how to use your pants block to alter a commercial pants pattern.  The tutorial and my alteration diagrams are password protected for now, but that may change in the future.  From there, you can go on and use your block to help you reliably fit pants for as long as your body is the same shape.

Should you change shape and require a new block, I will provide you with one for half price.

A related housekeeping issue: Lately the volume of emails for the Consulting Dressmaker have increased from a dribble to a stream.  That’s awesome!  I love helping sort out sewing and fitting issues, and getting to know those of you who email me.  It’s fascinating.

However, I think I need to set a “work week” for the Consulting Dressmaker.  Her (my? I’m sure my misuse of pronouns is unhealthy..) office hours are Thursdays for Skype consultations, which can be arranged through my scheduler.  However, The Consulting Dressmaker is perfectly happy to answer all fitting and sewing advice related problems via email Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Sometimes I need to sleep on a problem before I know how to help, and if I don’t know I will tell you.  At any rate, the policy is that I will at least acknowledge your email within 12 hours and answer fully during my work week.  I put a lot of consideration into your issues, but I also have to manage the work/life balance of a working mother with a young family.

I have a pressing question.  English is a very funny language spoken by many people all over the earth.  Is “Pants Block” a little giggle-worthy to those of a slightly more Commonwealth persuasion?  Is “Trousers Block” better?  Or do we like “Pants/Trousers” because even though it’s cumbersome, it gets the point across?

If you’d like to make a perfectly fitting pair of pants, head over to the Pants Block page, have a look and fill in the form.  Half price for the first 10 clients! That’s only $15 for a custom draft and fitting guidance.

Coming this week- Filling in My Knowledge Gaps: Lace; Silk Fabric Care Tips (with a story), The Quilter takes on Megan’s Dress, and a clean and pretty version of the BCT (with new size 30!).

Edited to add: We reached 10!  Thanks for signing up!


  1. Nice to read that your business is picking up!

    On a somewhat related topic…if you haven’t found it all ready, I hacked your basic tee. It ain’t lovely but I’ll wear it! I posted about it on my blog on March 12 and gave you full credit for the pattern and linked to your blog.
    Feel free to use or not use the photos if you want.

  2. This is great. It sounds like quite an ambitious project, but I’m so curious to see the results of what you’ve been working on, for myself! (Plus, I can use all the help I can get. Plus: what a great deal!)

  3. “Trousers block.” I vote for this term. From your trousers block you can design pants, trousers, slacks, shorts and jeans. And jodhpurs and knickers and plus-fours. And leggings and jeggings and tights and any number of other forms of hosen. And yoga pants, sweat pants, etc. The mind boggles.

  4. Hooray for pants blocks! I’m in CA, so it doesn’t sound naughty to me.

    In unrelated news, I got a few new fitting books in the mail this week, and (if you remember my email) I think I may have figured out what the problem was with my dress… and how to fix it. I’m very squee and can’t wait to sew up a new bodice muslin.

    (Refresher/hint: I was the chica with the ridiculous extra room in the upper chest. I thought it was a bust fitting issue, turns out it (might be) a height/armpit fitting issue! No harm no foul, I’ve gotten three fitting books in this time, and this hint is in ONE of them).

    • Yeah, I don’t mind pants either, but I didn’t want to put off non American English speakers…

      I do remember, and I went back to take a look at the photos again. I don’t think it’s a bust fitting issue, either… Do you mean that you’re short through the upper torso? Hmmm.

      • That’s what it seems like… and my armholes do gape alarmingly without fail. I will get back to you on this, but it seems like it might have use for more than just me if it pans out. Now that I’m clued in, it seems like I see this everywhere!

        • I made a diagram of the possible solution to this issue. to find out how to space your lines, put on the dress and pinch out how much you need to shorten the bodice through that area. Then take it off and measure it. That’s how far to space your two lines on the bodice. Of course, once you make the tuck in the pattern you should true up the edges of the pattern. I hope that helps.

  5. awesome! i’m not going to make the first ten since i’m at work and can’t measure myself, but i am so willing to do this at the regular price. yay!

  6. Yay!! That’s fantastic! I am going to blog about it on my blog too because I think that a good fit in trousers is something MANY sewists would crave.
    Pants is fine to me because I am used to the american ways that prevail upon the internet. But it makes me giggle a little because the British had a fad for using the word ‘pants’ to describe something awful! And your block is NOT, so the irony amuses me!
    Trousers or Trousers/Pants might be safer. :)

  7. Fantastic for the pants!!

    Also: Pictures like the one you posted always interest me. I spend all of 2010 living in India and, while there, learned that there are only 1411 tigers left in all of India. That’s a really small percentage of tigers and they’re STILL recuperating from near-extinction hunting during the British Raj. Of course now the problem is shrinking territory; tigers, unlike lions, are solitary cats so each cat requires a significant amount of hunting territory. So they’re pushing every outwards, which means they’re starting to run into “human” territory. There’s a number of tigers that were sighted on the BEACH in the state of Gujarat (where I lived). India takes considerable pride in it’s tigers and, as a result, there’s a HUGE push to save the tiger–commercials, telethons, etc. It’s fascinating really.

    But yeah… pants!

  8. Pingback: Design Inspiration: Flutter Sleeves and Lace « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  9. Yayayay pants. Wait a minute. Trousers. Umm, I use both really actually. I thought trousers was the normal term for here (NZ) but come to think of it I don’t know. Oh hell, we all know what is meant don’t we, though it does make us smile from time to time!

    I’m going to in for the trou/pants block when I’ve got my bodice block sorted, else I’ll start putting crotch curves in all the wrong places.

  10. i just tried creating a pants pattern for a romper that i just made. it took me a long time to realize that i needed to rise the back because i have a larger but. it also took me a long time to realize that the side lines of the front and back pattern are the same. once i fixed this, the pattern fit beautifully! it may not work for all patterns, but it did for this.

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