Fitting Notes Toile No. 1: V8499 Trousers from Vogue Patterns

Fitting Notes Toile No. 1: V8499 Trousers from Vogue Patterns

Assembil Blog: Pattern and Toile 1: V8499 Trouser from Vogue Patterns. Image of pattern envelope and pins.

In this post, we will fit Toile No. 1 of the V8499 trousers from Vogue Patterns. The fit changes here mainly centred around adjustments to reduce the volume of the trousers so that they didn’t swamp the body, while still maintaining the rounded silhouette through the legs.

Toile 1

Below you can see the front and back views of Toile No. 1. You can view more images and notes for this toile process in the post Pattern and Toile No. 1: V8499 Trousers from Vogue Patterns.

In the last post, we also mentioned some initial fit thoughts for the original pattern depending on your hip to waist size ratio. And possibly if you have a smaller waist relative to a curvier hip and thigh area then you will not need to make the drastic volume reductions that we have made here. In the case of this mannequin and the fit model used, however, there is less of a measurement difference between the hips and waist, and this creates a larger amount of excess volume in the hip area.

Assembil Blog: Pattern and Toile 1: V8499 Trouser from Vogue Patterns. Toile 1, Image 1.Assembil Blog: Pattern and Toile 1: V8499 Trouser from Vogue Patterns. Toile 1, Image 3.

The main notes of this fitting were:

  • Too much volume running through legs, particularly through backs of legs.
  • You can see that the waistband curves up slightly at the front.
  • Too long in the leg. Need to adjust length being aware of knee dart position.
  • Slightly too short through the crotch, this is partly uncomfortable due to a make issue because the seam allowance value sticks straight up.
  • The waist size is generally fine, possibly just a little loose, but there is also the elasticated section at the back that could be used to narrow or loosen the waist as needed by adjusting the elastic measurement. The gathered back fabric would then just redistribute itself.

Toile 1 Fitting

The toile was then pinned to imitate the changes we wanted to make to the pattern. For this toile, the design was first fit on the body and then transferred to the mannequin to make more objective changes. The toile could then be fit back on the body at the end to ensure that the changes would be correct.

It is best when fitting to always pin the garment as though you are picturing the pattern change that you are going to make to the paper pattern. For example, there is no point in pinning the garment in difficult ways that would be impossible to translate back onto the 2D piece of pattern.

When fitting, we will often use the basic pattern change terminology used in our book How Patterns Work. As we explained in the book, most pattern alterations can be broken down into a series of basic “moves” that you can use in combination to tackle pretty much any fitting problem. Here on the blog, you can now see some of these pattern changes in action when they apply in a fitting context.

Assembil Blog: Pattern and Toile 1: V8499 Trouser from Vogue Patterns. Toile 1 Fitting, Image 3.Assembil Blog: Pattern and Toile 1: V8499 Trouser from Vogue Patterns. Toile 1 Fitting, Image 2.Assembil Blog: Pattern and Toile 1: V8499 Trouser from Vogue Patterns. Toile 1 Fitting, Image 4.

Vertical Reductions in Volume

The first step was to pin out 4 cm (2 cm pinched out) vertically through the back of each leg. This was through the “side back” piece.

Next, 1.5 cm (7-8 mm pinched out) was pinned out vertically through the front of each trouser leg. This was through the “front upper” and “side front” pieces (including the pocket). This line was positioned so that it would not disturb the knee darts. As we said before, if you pin in a spot where it’s easy to make the pattern change, then you’ll save yourself a headache later on.

This front volume reduction was mainly through the legs, and you can see that the pins don’t continue in a line all the way up to the waistband. Keeping in mind the way that we will translate this into a pattern alteration, this vertical reduction in volume has been pinned so that it is level with the dart point on the front of the trousers. If you are going to have to taper volume, or pivot volume to different positions on your pattern, then you need to think of how you can use the nearest darts and seams to your advantage.

In fact, in this case, the reduction that we were taking out at the front of each leg of 1.5 cm, was about the same size as the dart value. So this meant that there was an option to simply get rid of the dart and take an even splice of 1.5 cm of volume right up through the front leg.

Adjusting Balance of Front Pieces

After the main vertical volume changes were made, it was time to assess the balance of the silhouette. Here the vertical changes had caused the vertical seam lines through the front legs to angle inwards, plus we still had the issue of the front waist raising up slightly.

To adjust this, the front was pinned horizontally to pull the waistband into line so that it sat straight. At the same time, this also changed the angle of how the legs were hanging and corrected the issue with the front seam. This pinning was basically an 8 mm volume reduction running horizontally through the front of the trousers and tapering to nothing at the side seams.

Assembil Blog: Pattern and Toile 1: V8499 Trouser from Vogue Patterns. Toile 1 Fitting, Image 8.Assembil Blog: Pattern and Toile 1: V8499 Trouser from Vogue Patterns. Toile 1 Fitting, Image 6.

Horizontal Increase in Volume

The last fitting change that needs to be made is to create a little more length in the crotch. For this toile, only about an extra 1 cm of length is needed, so there was no need to bother splicing open the calico to mimic this change. As a pattern change, 1 cm will just need to be added to all the necessary pieces to drop the crotch level by 1 cm. However, the knee darts were at about the right level, so we will want to drop the crotch level but keep the knee dart position as is.

Translating Fit Changes to Pattern Changes

It is worth taking time at the end of a fitting to consider how you would translate the fit changes into pattern changes.

For the example of these trousers, pattern piece by pattern piece, then most of the changes should be relatively simple. The changes mainly just involve even increases in volume and even decreases in volume to use the terminology from How Patterns Work.

However, you can see from the way that the front of the toile was pinned, that the most pattern manoeuvering will need to be done in the “front upper” pattern piece. In this part of the garment, a few changes will need to be done at once.

List of Pattern Changes

Below is a complete list of the fit and pattern changes that will be made. In the next post, we will look at how these fit changes were carried out as pattern alterations. Due to the number of different fit changes, and because of the amount of volume taken out in some of these changes, we will then cut and sew a second toile.

  • Reduce back volume:
    • Take out 4cm vertically through “side back” pattern piece to reduce volume.
  • Reduce front volume:
    • Take out 1.5cm vertically through front panel (“front upper” and “side front”) to reduce volume. As the pinning for this change was only up to the level of the front dart point, as part of this change, move dart value or reduce curve of panel at front seam or at side seam or both. In the end on this change, the front dart was removed.
    • Horizontally take out 8mm at CF panel “front”, blending to nothing at side seam. This is to reduce the fact that the front of the pants was sitting too high at the waistband.
    • These changes were made through cut and spread.
  • Facing changes:
    • Update facing shape as needed to fit new front waist shape.
    • Take 5mm off the bottom of the front facing SA for the pattern. Then you won’t need to trim off this amount in Step 19 of the instructions.
    • Notch CF of facing pattern to help you line it up with the centre seam.
  • Lower crotch level:
    • Add 1cm extra length horizontally through the body to lower crotch level. Compensate for this by raising legs by 1cm so that knee darts will remain at the same level. Applies to “side back”, “back”, “upper front” and “side front” pattern pieces.
  • Alter hem:
    • On the toile, the leg length was pinned at two different heights to test the desired length.
    • Alter leg length to create shorter hem height. 11.5 cm was taken off the hem of the trousers and then the hem line was blended across all pieces.
    • Hem allowance was changed to 3.5 cm. This is to allow for an overlocked edge and then for the hem to be finished as a single turn hem, topstitched at 3 cm.
  • Fusing for pocket:
    • Update shape of pattern piece as needed to fit new front pattern.
    • Fusing piece is traced from updated pattern, and then 3mm taken off each edge to make it easier to fuse to fabric.
  • Elastic:
    • Length stays the same.
    • This can be checked and adjusted on Toile No. 2.


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