Adjustments on this page:
Adjustments in other posts:
written by Anemone (Anne) Harris
When sewing pants or jeans for ourselves, it's common to require a few adjustments to get the garment to fit our bodies just right. In this post, I'll walk you through a couple knock knee and full thigh adjustments using the halfmoon 101 JEANS sewing pattern. Use the links above for help on blending or grading between sizes, adjusting the rise and making adjustments to the crotch curve.
If you have draglines or folds pointing to your inner knee you may benefit from a knock knee adjustment or a full inner thigh adjustment. The fabric is dragged towards the inner leg where more fabric is needed for the knees or full thighs.
Here is the image of my first pair of jeans showing the wrinkles and folds behind the knee.
This method of adjusting for a knock knee leaves the same width for the leg but pivots to shorten the outseam (side seam) and add length to the inseam.
Draw a line across your front and back pattern pieces at the full thigh mark, perpendicular to the grainline/side seam. Mark the center point of this line (as shown with the x in my example).
Cut along this line leaving a small hinge at the center x marking. This will allow you to pivot the pattern at the hinge to remove length from the side seam while adding length to the inseam.
If you have already made a previous pair or have made a muslin, you can determine an adjustment amount by pinching out fabric at your side seam until the folds disappear and your hem falls straight. Pivot the pattern so you are adding ½ that amount to the inseam (this will remove the other ½ from the outseam). For example, I had to pin out 1” (2.5cm) from my sample pair so I pivot to add ½” (1.25cm) to the inseam and remove ½” (1.25cm) from the side seam.
Add some paper beneath your pattern, tape in place and mark the new cut lines by blending smoothly between opening at the inseam.
At this point your pattern no longer has a straight side seam for cutting along the selvage edge of denim. To get your straight side seam back, draw a line extending up from the lower leg. This will be your new side seam.
Since you don’t want to remove this width from the hips/waist you will add it back at the center back of your pattern. I like to do this by making another line, perpendicular to the new side seam, from the top of the side seam across the pattern.
Cut along this line and slide the top portion over so the side seam corner is at the edge of your new side seam.
At the center back mark a new cut line blending smoothly into the original curve. You can measure the amount you are removing at the side seam and ensure you are adding back the same amount with your new center back cut line.
Trim off the excess paper at your new cut lines for the side seam and crotch curve.
Repeat these steps on the front pattern piece, straightening your side seam and adding back the removed width at center front.
If you have draglines or folds pointing to your inner knee you may benefit from a knock knee adjustment or a full inner thigh adjustment. The fabric is dragged towards the inner leg where more fabric is needed for the knees or full thighs. This adjustment, found in an article by Sandra Betzina in Threads Issue Nov 2008, will add width at the knee but blends back to the original pattern width at the hem.
I have very full inner thighs, fleshy inner knees and perhaps a slight knock knee. This is the adjustment that worked well for me. If you have a similar leg shape and are getting folds/draglines behind your knees this may be the adjustment for you!
Tape some extra tissue along the inseam of your pattern piece.
At the knee level of your pattern measure out the amount of width you wish to add at the knee. I added a ½” at the front knee and 1” at the back knee.
Mark the new cut lines by blending smoothly from this new knee point to up to the original full thigh mark and down to the original hem.
I like the simplicity of this adjustment method which did not impact the straight side seam or change the tilt of the leg. Love that it allows me to approach this by adding extra seam allowance at the inner thigh when cutting my fabric, so I can let out the inseam as needed during baste fitting!
In these images you can see I marked (on the wrong side of my denim) while cutting the extra width I wanted to add. I also marked the original cut line of the pattern, this allowed me to let out as much as needed during baste fitting.
For help on blending or grading between sizes and adjusting the rise of your jeans, go to this post.
For help on adjusting the crotch height or depth and scooping the crotch (for example, to avoid, ahem, 'camel toe'), go to this post.
Anemone (Anne) is a lover of all things garment sewing and fabric. She especially loves pattern testing and occasionally going down fitting “rabbit holes”. Nothing is quite as satisfying as understanding the cause and figuring out a solution to an interesting fitting problem! Anne lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with her spouse and their two adorable (and hilarious dogs). You can follow her sewing adventures on her Instagram account @sewanemone.