Pop quiz #465 pt.2

I’m happy this quiz went a little better than the first one I did, we had several correct answers to this quiz. For clarity, I’ll remind visitors that a tuck is a dart that hasn’t been sewn all the way through to the tip. Here are the steps to remove the tuck in the pattern of these slacks:

  1. Cut the dart out.
  2. Slash a line all the way down to the hem of the pant leg.
  3. Overlap the two sides of the dart until they met.
  4. Tape that mess together, trace it out on a fresh piece of paper and cut it out.

Which reminds me…it’s considered lazy if your patterns are taped together so make a fresh pattern. Tape can dry out and pieces can fall off when they’re being slung around by people who don’t care about them as much as you do.

Here are the responses with the correct answers from comments. In the end, the best response -the one I was looking for- was the simplest and shortest comment. ~drum roll~

From Alison:

I think I’d take the pleat out by folding it out the entire length of the leg.

The reason I claim this is most correct is because this is the reverse of how a pleat or tuck is created. Or should be created. If the pant leg is full, it’d be folded out, the entire width of the tuck, for the length of the leg as she says. If narrow legged (and we can’t see that), it’s more akin to a dart formation coming to a sharp point at the hem -which would be folded out (or cut out if you prefer) as well, the full length of the pant leg. I’ll accept both of those configurations since we don’t know the fullness.

Esther’s comment was also on target but much more advanced, requiring potentially, further iteration as it was style and line dependent (technically, she was the first right answer we got). I was looking for a simpler basic technique -first tool out of the chest- due to previous criticisms of complexity that had been leveled at me. Esther wrote:

I would slash from the dart tip to the side seam and pivot the dart closed… Alternatively, you could slash straight down from the dart tip some distance and then square out to the side seam and rotate the dart closed. Either way, it transfers the dart to the side seam and all that’s left is to smooth out the side seam.

Anne’s method was also valid but with the caveats I listed with regard to Esther’s proposal:

Here’s how I’d make the correction: Cut a vertical line through the center of the dart down to the horizontal crotch line stopping just a fraction above it. Then cut the horizontal line (C) from the crotch to barely meet the vertical dart cut. Pivot the paper (upward and to the right) until the dart legs meet. Blend the crotch back to its original curve and lower the waist from CF to the former dart placement. This leaves the side seam untouched and preserves the overall drape of the leg.

JC’s comment was correct if we’d been altering an actual pair of slacks, not a pattern. He wrote:

To remove a pleat, spread the front panel flat and recut the side seam. The creaseline of the orig front should be matched with the creasline of the new pattern. There might be a slight defect introduced at the side seam of about 1/4″ ~ 3/8″ due to waist shaping.

Todd’s comment was also interesting but I got distracted with his mention of a second tuck and I couldn’t shake it to follow him. He did correctly and specifically say that

…the answer begins with analyzing how the pleats were put into the normal pant block. I think the normal block was slashed down the center grain line to open up the main pleat…

Thanks for your participation. I hope this was instructional and fun. Or what passes for fun in these parts.

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  1. Todd Hudson says:

    The image said “Remove Pleats” (plural) which is part of why I thought they were double pleated pants. Also that dotted line was shifted way more than the original pleat took in.

    OK bring on the next quiz. I’m going to try really hard not to add complications.

  2. Danielle says:


    That was what I said! By JC’s comments I had it right all along (as if I was altering an actual pair of pants) but I guess I failed to communicate it well… next time, I’ll draw my answer.

    …the fix … has eliminated not only the pleat/dart but also the fabric between the pleat and the side seam. The waist will be too small…

    Also, I don’t understand Esther’s solution – wouldn’t that make the side seam on the front longer than the back? How would you fix that?

  3. J C Sprowls says:

    I’m a huge fan of these! Please keep them coming!

    It’s interesting to see how each of us interprets the problem and then plans to solve it.

    I agree the “more right” answer should be the one that reduces iteration and is easy-to-impart.

  4. Esther says:

    Kathleen is right in that my solution would be style dependent. A similar modification would have to be made to the back to balance everything. This would work better with a skirt.

    I am not sure where I picked up this technique – probably design school as my pattern drafting books don’t show it.

    Alison’s solution is the quickest and easiest. I would pick her solution any day – assuming the pant leg width can be narrowed.

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