Jeans fitting problem

By the way, where is everybody? Come next Tuesday, it’ll be back to work for everyone! No more slacking off! In the meantime, put on your thinking caps and play with this one. Thatcher writes:

My wife works as a pattern maker for a small clothing company in St. Petersburg, Russia ( and we have used your site to gain a wealth of information over the past year since finding your site. So first of all, thank you for a wonderful resource. My wife and the two other girls she works with have a problem that we hope you can help with.

The inner thigh region of all the pants they make always produce vertical folds that no one likes. Despite numerous attempts to construct pants that don’t have this problem no one has any idea what to do. I’ve attached 2 pictures, one is ‘our problem’ with a arrow showing the problem area, and also a picture ‘what we want’ from [deleted] company that illustrates what they would like to have this area look like. Your insight into this problem would be *greatly* appreciated.

Below are the two photos. Thatcher’s photo is to the left.

So friends, for grins and giggles, have at it. My money says this is a two part issue. For one, the styling of each are different which plays into the solution. I think the front piece is too big, right where that crotch curve forms. The opposite of what creates a camel toe. What say all of you? Feel free to send in sketches or upload them and include a link in your comment. That is if I can chase you guys out of bed or wherever it is you’ve been hanging out lately . Back to work everyone!

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  1. Christy B. says:

    Could you get Thatcher to take a photo of the pattern’s front rise so we could have something to mull over? It looks to me like the front rise extends too far past the curve or maybe that the inseam needs to be shortened right up there while smoothing out the curve. I need more visuals!!

  2. J C Sprowls says:

    On photo #2, the problem is the length of the crotch fork is too long for this model. It should be raised about 3/8″ and shortened by about 1/2″, plus the hip needs to be brought in about 1″. The waist of this trouser, if it were extended to the true waist of the model is probably about 1 1/2″ too big.

    What I see here is the inverse of what is typical of a men’s buying problem. Most athletic men need to buy 5-pockets that fit the thigh and live with a swimming waist. However, this model is waif thin; yet, he has the same problem with this style. This style needs to go back to the drawing board because it was interpreted as “skinny jeans” for a bubble-butt – I don’t think it’s flattering.

    Now that I’ve thoroughly trashed this, I should say there are redeeming qualities. The problem is design, not patterning or execution. The shaping of the inner thigh of style #2 is precisely what is needed to remedy the vertical folds in style #1.

    On photo #1, the problem is that the hip breadth is too scant, which is causing stress over the male genetalia. Simply add about 1/2″ to the width across the front panels (1/4″ at each the crease line). And, the drooping in the thigh can be remedied by simply slimming down the front panel between the crotch fork and the knee.

    I find the ideal amount of wearing ease for men’s 5-pockets is 3/4″ at the waist and about 1 1/2″ at the hip. For cargo pants (like in style #1), I suggest about 1 3/4″ to 2″ wearing ease around the high thigh, tapering to about 1 1/2″ around the knee, slightly slimmer for 5-pockets. I’d also suggest swinging the outside leg seam further out by about 2″ at the ankle, because the leg appears too fitted for a cargo style.

  3. Alison Cummins says:

    I’m not sure that jodhpurs are supposed to look like hip-huggers. Or that, with the long crotch depth and full hips and thighs that they could. I suppose you could cut them apart and sew baggy jodhpur legs onto a hip-hugger crotch, but wouldn’t you get a kind of balloony look? More clown-like than the urban hooker we all want to emulate?

  4. Carol Kimball says:

    A good “seat of the pants” solution (and I’m not sorry):

    1) …is to add fabric where it pulls, as J notes.

    2) …dart out excess where folds are forming, and reshape the pattern as necessary.

    The second often changes the angle of the leg, and oddly, doesn’t usually affect the grain line. I’m drafting a pattern for a woman with this problem in the back and will post with photos with circles and arrows (thank you, Arlo) on the User Forum under “Patterns/Pants Pattern Theory”.

    As to where I’ve been, moving snow. Or moving snow. Or moving snow. Charlie spent four hours out in the wee hours of night-before-last, as it was accumulating above the intake scoop of the snow thrower (and up here in the mountains, we have a substantial machine). Wintering in Baja Mexico is increasingly appealing.

  5. Carol Kimball says:

    A photo of the front and back pattern pieces Thatcher’s folks have been working with, from top to about knee area would be a lot of help.

    The post is up in the Discussion Forum as above.

  6. Alisa Benay says:

    I feel like I’m missing something. The 2nd picture is what the client wants? Don’t they have issues as well? I do bridalwear, so dresses, not pants, and definately not mens pants, so maybe I’m all wet on this. Is the problem on the first one that the crotch curve is too deep?

    Carol, where are you up in the mountains? I’m in the Springs. Can you bring that ‘substantial machine’ down here? The Colorado Springs street department decided for whatever reason for THE PAST 3 BLIZZARDS to just pretty much not plow. We hit 48 degrees this afternoon and I saw a small portion of our street for the first time in weeks.

  7. Carol Kimball says:

    Modifications to accommodate a fuller figure from a “real” pants pattern (thanks, J!) are up on the Discussion Forum under “Patterns/Pants Pattern Theory”.

  8. Ahmed says:

    Folks, been thinking of this for quite a long time… When are we men going to have pants that don’t kill your testicles when we do the simple task of sitting down! When are we going to be comfortable? When are men going to get pants for, well, men.. Pants that accomodate the male genitals! Pants with a crotch. Why not have a third piece of fabric in the middle.. Please don’t ask me how.. I’m not the tailor or fashion designer, you guys are :-)
    I’d love to hear from you on this. I’m really interested in how a man’s “manness” looks from a fashion design perspective! Isn’t that what a fashion “designer” look for? Masculinity for a man’s clothes? I know that what we users are looking for. It is DEFINITELY a part of how we percieve pants, and how a designer is successful or not with it.. does it look sexy and manly?
    Thanks… wanna here from you on that.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Re-reading this post after this long, I should have been more clear. I’m saying these pants (particularly #2) are a photo example of “Wad”, aka camel toe’s big brother. The explanation and analysis of how “wad” happens was found at the link I left in the entry. The link was a hint, the solution to this challenge was found there.

    Iow, not only is the problem not that “the length of the crotch fork is too long for this model”, it’s the opposite; the crotch fork is too short. The wad is created because there is too much fullness at the CF. Cutting that away lengthens the fork and will correct the front waist dip you see at the zipper closure. Whether the thigh girth at the inseam/crotch needs to be reduced afterward is a wholly separate issue. Accordingly, if it is true that “Most athletic men need to buy 5-pockets that fit the thigh and live with a swimming waist” it is only because there is too much fullness at CF. I disagree that it is inevitable. Cowboys are very athletic (by athletic I mean fit, active and hgt/wgt proportionate) but I don’t know any that would be caught dead in something that fits like this; they buy brands that compliment their silhouettes.

    I also disagree with respect to #1 that the “hip breadth is too scant”. The proposed solution of adding yet more girth there will only make the problem worse. The solution is too carve out at CF and to add the difference to the waist/hip, reversing what was done in the uppermost photo of the entry I linked to.

    The forum discussion Carol mentions is here. I didn’t participate in it because I disagreed with many of the comments (particularly the tangent about gussets inherently lead to seam failure in activewear). I chose to abstain rather than to be thought argumentative. In retrospect, that was a mistake; silence lends consent.

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