Author Topic: Using a men's draft for women's slacks  (Read 6725 times)

Anna

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Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« on: March 16, 2016, 06:50:18 AM »
I've tried various methods in an attempt to draft my own slacks with limited success. I've taken an in-person drafting class where the instructor based the draft on Helen Joseph Armstrong's patternmaking for fashion trouser draft and finished the class disappointed and without a usable pattern. It was clear that the instructor had taken a community college fashion design course and had little understanding on how to modify the draft to an individual's figure, also the fact that most of us in the class were looking for a more modern "slack" with a narrower leg and slimmer fit where the draft she was teaching was for a wider legged trouser created a disconnect.

Next I tried Suzy Furrer's Craftsy class for the pants sloper, given that this is intended to be a slimmer draft I had hoped for better results but after a number of muslins and difficulty conveying issues/questions through craftsy to the instructor (her replies never really addressed my questions which I partially blame on the difficulty of conversing trough text and the workload of the instructor contributing to short replies that really didn't provide enough information)

So after that I've made some pants from commercial patterns with better albeit not perfect results and am ready to go back and tackle my own draft again. I am thinking part of the issue is the front dart on women's drafts and that the drafts are intended to be "slopers" meaning they go to the natural waist and have no additional waistband/pockets etc. the lack of design features is not really a concern, but I do not wear pants/slacks/trousers at my natural waist and lowering the waist after the fact affects the fit, the lack of a waistband also affects the fit since it adds structure and stability. My issue with the front darts is more due to the fact I have a slim figure and the darts tend to terminate at a hollow in my hip/pelvis and in any event after lowering the waist most of the dart gets cut off/eliminated and I've had better success with commercial patterns that do not have a front dart and thus I feel I might do better without it.

So back to the title of my post, given that I have a slim figure (a waist of 27" and hip of 38" that is fairly evenly distributed as in I don't think I have particularly wide hips or a full bottom) would a flat front men's draft like the basic trouser draft posted in the patternmaking reference section potentially yield a better result for my figure?

Henry Hall

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2016, 08:19:37 AM »
I've never understood what 'sloper' is supposed to mean, though it seems to me it is just another name for a block pattern. I don't think the drafts are supposed to be made up without a waistband, no matter what draft it is.

Women's body shapes are reflected in the differences between men's and woman's drafts. You may be slim, but your waist:hip ratio is different to the 'standard' male ratio which is a 6 inch increase from waist to seat. Yours is a full 11 inches! Your natural waist I assume?

Schneiderfrei

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2016, 08:32:22 AM »
I am no professional pattern maker but I think that a male draft will still give a result that is very far from close.

The idea of the draft is only to get you close to the shape of the body you want to fit.  It would be very unusual to make no alterations on the actual figure.

I found it difficult to come to the point where having made a draft you then cut and snip and tape it to pieces and back to get the actual draft.

I had imagined that the draft was somehow the final word.  I know this is not so now.

The difficulties with the waist band may be considered more construction issues, knowing how to incorporate that construction element in to the garment in a fine way.

When you talk of hollows etc maybe you could look at alteration to the side seams and even centre front/centre back.

You can use darts to make up small errors in circumference.

G

tom bennett

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2016, 08:40:57 AM »
Hi Anna, I probably should get involved, not my field though I want to try the trouser draft for a friend's wife. It is on C&T forum "This draft by Kurt Czujewicz comes from Das Schneiderhandwerk".  It is for a trouser suit but the trousers draft may come in handy.

tom.

Henry Hall

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 08:52:49 AM »
With trousers, unlike the difficulties with coats, I don't think there needs to be that much messing about nipping and tucking in a draping way. With a pattern near enough to what a person is hoping to achieve it's possible to draft, fit and then alter the pattern to create a good block without too much fiddling about with one muslin after another.

If you want a lower-rise, slimmer pair of trousers, use a draft closest to that shape. Lowering the rise on a standard block is not a problematic operation (remember to factor in the amount that will be added when the waistband goes on, assuming they aren't plain top trousers). Don't use your natural waist height and circumference measures if you don't want to wear them at that height.

TTailor

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2016, 09:25:10 AM »
Calling posaune!

tom bennett

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2016, 09:34:29 AM »
Calling posaune!

I wish I could "Like" things :)

hutch--

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2016, 09:55:24 AM »
Anna,

I think the idea of designing your own block pattern is the way to go if you don't mind experimenting and are happy enough to draw your own patterns. If you can get yourself a cheap supply of fabric to play with, something like the notion of muslin or similar, starting from your base measurements and designing your own pattern has a better chance of success than trying to interpret a standard block pattern that had another purpose in mind.

I say this because I am faced with a similar task but on the other end of the scale, as a guy who is very straight up and down, most men's patterns fit like a sack of spuds so I long ago had to make my own patterns for the track pants I make. With a high waist to hip differential you in fact have some advantages in keeping them up where my type of shape has to have high waistlines just to keep them up.

I gather you are after a 4 panel design with something like a hipster waistline which in conjunction with darts between the side seam and the rear center seam will be a slim fit without being "skinny jeans" tight.

Now TTailor is right here, I have seen some of the technical data that posaune has posted in the past and I think she has enough design information to help get you up and going. If I am right, its not a men's pattern you are after but a slim fit woman's pattern and as you don't have the problems like a bulging stomach or a big behind, it should not be that difficult a task.
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majka

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2016, 09:08:39 PM »
I feel quite presumptuous to put my 2 cents but here I am speaking from my own experience. Even custom draft makes initially presumptions about your figure and sometimes you can make things worse if you don't exactly understand your figure in relation to the draft or what you need to archive in the draft.

You can bend any draft to your figure, the only difference is the amount of the work you have to invest and how much you need to change. An ideal draft works for you, not against you.

In your place, Anna, there are several possibilities how to get to this ideal draft quickly.

Do you have slacks or jeans which fit you really well? One way would be to copy these. It is a good idea if you don't know how your ideal draft should look like, if only to get a look at the result.
You can make adaptation for the style to the draft after you have it on the paper. You could even go half way only - to copy the dimensions from the slacks for your draft. I mean to follow the draft method but simply taking down the numbers from the slacks, not from measuring yourself. Possible problem: you'll copy any problems your slacks have and as always, have to work carefully and precise.  Such draft still needs testing, but should avoid big errors.

Take not only waist and hip measurement, but high hip too, in between these both. For you, this will be probably less than the pattern assumes, for me it is more :) If you have an disproportion between front and back (the seams end always too much in front or too much in back), take these separately when measuring if you go this way or notice how much you need to move the seams (add or subtract from the front and back part).

The method of copying dimensions from well fitting slacks (or any other finished part) is not bad generally, I find it easier this way not to deceive myself about the numbers - and some dimensions are easier to take or check this way. If you have somebody to take your dimensions, you don't need it, naturally.
 
How well does the pattern from your classes fit you? It is worth to manipulate is, or is it better to start again?

And how good are you at pattern manipulation? Sometimes, it is easier to take ready made pattern and adapt this. Be careful from where you start - it is, at least for me, easier to make the pattern bigger where you need it than to make it smaller, except in very few cases.

Personally, I would make quite close fitting trial garment sit at natural waist, even if you don't wear your slacks there. Lower waist can mask some fit problems. As soon as you get the trial fitted really well, you can change the style easily and lower the waist without problems. For the same reason, take a draft with darts. You can eliminate the darts later or change it, but for trial garment these are the best. And don't forget to wear your trial for a longer time at home, don't forget to sit and work in it.

You are not alone - just now I have fabric from the bottom of the bargain bin waiting - I need to make and fine-tune new slack draft for myself.

If you have several well fitting trousers of any type, turn them inside out and look at how the front and back part looks like. It should give you an idea what you want to archive. Think about possible problems this trousers have and what should be changed in the draft. This way, you can get several trials without doing the work yourself and concentrate only on the problem areas.

TTailor

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2016, 10:01:33 PM »
I've tried various methods in an attempt to draft my own slacks with limited success. I've taken an in-person drafting class where the instructor based the draft on Helen Joseph Armstrong's patternmaking for fashion trouser draft and finished the class disappointed and without a usable pattern. It was clear that the instructor had taken a community college fashion design course and had little understanding on how to modify the draft to an individual's figure, also the fact that most of us in the class were looking for a more modern "slack" with a narrower leg and slimmer fit where the draft she was teaching was for a wider legged trouser created a disconnect.

How frustrating! Knowledge and understanding are two differents things! It is difficult to find instructors who know why things work or don,t work, or one who understands that most people are not "standard" shapes.

So I have used a mens draft for myself, and really the mechanics of the draft can be applied, most of the change is in the front fork area as the draft for men allows for anatomy. The curve in the front fork can be more pronounced for a womens draft.

That being said I think Posaune really could give you the best advice.

You have an 11" difference waist to hip, so take some photos front back and side so you have a more objective way of analysing your own figure. You will need this to modify dart positioning.
Also, you want a closer fitting slack, so don't use the Tailor and Cutter draft from 1940 for instance because it has a wide leg.
In regards to the Armstrong draft, (which I do not like) ,her explanation of difference in fit between trousers and slacks makes sense.
There are a lot of contributing factors in the draft for a pair of trousers.

posaune

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2016, 12:03:43 AM »
Well, I'll try my best.
First of all: Yes, you can take a men's draft. But you must alter it a bit because men are built in another way. And they don't wear such tight pants as woman.
I try to attach a pic compariosn woman(Blue) and man (red) same measurements .(comes later I must study how to, maybe it works?)
http://www.mediafire.com/view/320vic3ispn77ay/woman_man.png
In this pic I have both times used Mueller. Woman draft and man draft same measurements with the defaults settings for the gender.

I always draft up to the natural waist. So I can take better care of the balance of the trouser but that is me. And I alter it later. It is a legend that woman need always a waist front dart. The front waist dart is mostly done to prevent  a big hip curve which is not easy to fit. Best place is there where the hollow is between belly and hip bone, 6-7 cm from the side seam. If you have pleats the dart will be in the pleats.

a waist of 27" and hip of 38" that is fairly evenl y distributed as in I don't think I have particularly wide hips or a full bottom) would a flat front men's draft like the basic trouser draft posted in the patternmaking reference section potentially yield a better result for my figure?

if you have 11 " difference you have about 1" more than the average girl (german) and 50% more than a man.  But where did you measure this waist? Natural waist? Or where the pants should sit?
And if you push your belly into front you have no front waist dart but deeper back waist darts. To say anything further we must see some pics, straight front, back and side seam from bottom to neck. When you stand on a piece of paper (certain length) it will help to analyse the distances.
lg
posaune
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majka

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2016, 01:52:55 AM »
Posaune,
I am wondering about the draft comparison you have posted. Is this correct? The drafts are different than I would expect it, except for the longer back dart. This one is a sign of women's draft for me.

I would expect the women's draft to be curvier in the top part (not straight from the hip line, but usually starting to round more from about halfway to the waist). And, probably for the same reason, I would expect the back curve to end higher on women's draft.
The blue draft has very regular decrease from hips to waist, with no abrupt changes in the curve, or I am missing something? Or are these simply my expectations and for "normal" figure it works different?

Anna

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2016, 03:21:51 AM »
Ok... so... men's draft might not be any better. I think I will try Suzy's draft again but eliminate the front darts and see how it goes. One of the other issues I've had is that I'd make changes to the muslin and adjust the paper pattern to match those changes and then when I made the final pair things weren't quite right, so recently I've started using my muslin AS the pattern and have been getting better results. I find cotton muslin stretches/relaxes a bit and this can affect the fit when only the changes are transferred to paper.

I'm an engineer in my day job, so I actually really like the math of drafting with pencils and rulers and paper. I love a straight line haha.

My one frustration with the drafting methods I have seen is that they follow and industry standard that you then have to make a garment from before you can make fitting adjustments-- as in they address fitting as an after the fact issue rather than showing things you can do to alter the draft to get a better first result based on your measurements/posture etc. I often have to add a wedge at the back crotch to get more crotch length without adding crotch depth and alterations like this while possible on a muslin wouldn't be possible to do on a garment that you intend to wear since NOBODY wants a seam across their backside.

posaune

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2016, 03:45:27 AM »
Anna,
If you know what to do, you can do most things in the drafting stage. You must have a draft which allows this - for me it is Rundschau because I know the draft and where to manipulate. First analyse the figure (posture), second measure (balance), put this into the draft and have enough seam allowance.

Every fabric behaves in a certain way so you will have mostly every time little fitting issues.

If you measure your crotch diameter you can easily adjust your pattern.

Majka,
Why should the ladies draft be curvier? They have the same measurements 84 waist, 102 hip for comparison.
In theory the woman with a 102 hip would have a 78 waist and this would be curvier. You have to take out 6 cm more. Part of it at side seam and then darts.
lg
posaune

majka

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Re: Using a men's draft for women's slacks
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2016, 04:18:13 AM »
Why should the ladies draft be curvier? They have the same measurements 84 waist, 102 hip for comparison.
In theory the woman with a 102 hip would have a 78 waist and this would be curvier. You have to take out 6 cm more. Part of it at side seam and then darts.
Thanks, that's what was "wrong" with the draft for me. Somehow I didn't connect the same measurements with the result and still visually expected the smaller waist to be there.