Back in May of this year, we moved from a single story apartment to a 3-story townhouse. I also spent the summer getting back into shape, healing a foot/ankle injury, and in general, making health and fitness my main focus. In that time, my body has dramatically changed shape. Climbing significantly more stairs each day and hiking more in the mountains will have an effect. I wear a fitness tracker, and the floors climbed/descended graph from the last 12 months is hilarious!
Unfortunately, all of this came to light when I realized my brand new purple jeans weren’t going to work for me. Although they “fit” because I made alterations using my old block pattern, I was always fidgeting and adjusting the pants, and in the end, I just threw them in the bin because I got so angry. It was then I realized my old duct tape body form and the block pattern I created from the duct tape sloper no longer fit me. I had to start back at square one.
I had already made the fit alterations to the Persephone pants but decided to put the pattern aside for several weeks. I wanted to refocus on getting a good fit on my pants, and I tackled my rigid jeans pattern first because I don’t like being defeated. My jeans pattern was loosely based off Megan Nielsen’s Dawn jeans.
Once I had solved my fit issues, I picked up the Persephone pattern again with a fresh perspective and useful information about how to fit my body.
Even though my body shape has dramatically changed, my overall size hasn’t changed one bit. I still have a 38″ bust, 32-33″ waist, and 42-43″ hips. That puts me at a size 14 for the Persephone pant.
I made my final pair in Robert Kaufman 14 wale corduroy. Not sure how I’ll love the pants after wearing them for a couple of days. I know that corduroy likes to sag out pretty badly, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
The actual pattern is in gray. My final adjustments are outlined in turquoise.
I’ll walk through the general steps I took to get to my final pattern.
- I figured out where I wanted the pants to sit on my waist. That’s pretty critical to the rest of the fitting. I needed to lower the center front . The pattern suggests the waistband should “hit at the natural waistline (about 1″ above your belly button, at the smallest part of your waist)”. Unfortunately, that puts the waistline right at the bottom of my sternum, so I lowered the waistline down to my belly button.
- I wasn’t sure how to do a knock-knee / wide-hip alteration on a pattern like this, but I played around with the position of center front  and center back . In the end, to get the pants to balance correctly, I needed to angle to top outwards and add width to the front  and angle the back inwards and remove width from the back . There’s a side seam mark on the pants and that helped me determine that I needed to adjust the width of the front and back. Also, when I talk about balancing pants, I’m referring to the fact that your legs should be center down the pant leg the entire way. The original pattern on me had the pant leg swinging inwards, so by the time you looked at the pant legs at the bottom, my ankle wasn’t centered in the “tube”.
- The other alteration to get the pants balanced was to play around with the inseam. In the end, I needed to remove quite a bit from the back inseam  while still maintaining the back crotch length.
- Then came the frustrating and tedious aspect of figuring out front crotch length and front and back crotch curve. In the end, I needed to add length to the front . Reduce the scoop of the front  and increase the scoop in the back . I have a forward-tilting pelvis, and that’s why I almost always have to reduce the curve of the center front. This alteration is sometimes referred to as a flat pubis alteration though in my case, it’s because my pelvis is tilted forward.
- Finally, because I’m 5’11” and this pattern was drafted for someone much shorter, I added 3 inches of length to the bottom .
Given some of my previous pant patterns, the Persephone pants are very well drafted. It’s hard to decipher alterations when there’s no side seam, but it’s such a great pattern that it was worth the effort. I haven’t worn wide-leg pants in a very long time, so now the hardest part is getting used to the swishing of my pant legs when I walk. It’s a problem worth having in my opinion.