Every Threads Magazine Article on Pants Fitting

As part of my ongoing project to learn pants fitting, I’ve been searching for more learning resources. I went to the San Francisco Public Library and found three books on fitting:

  • Pants for Real People, the Palmer/Pletsch book on pants fitting.
  • Vogue Fitting, a book from the ’80s with a chapter on pants fitting.
  • Fabulous Fit, a modern book featuring the seam method of pattern alteration.

I’ve also been spending some time with my copy of the Threads Magazine DVD Archive looking for articles on pants fitting. The Threads DVD Archive has to be one of the best sewing instructional purchases I’ve made; there’s literally hundreds of articles in there I find fascinating. It was difficult for me to look through the archive because I kept running into the temptation to go off on a tangent looking at some other interesting article.

What’s more, the magazine issues are all standard PDF files, without copy protection, so it’s straightforward to copy them onto a tablet or similar device for ease of reading.  Thank you Threads magazine for trusting your readers.

My copy of the archive goes through the end of 2012, up to issue 164. To find the articles, I used the online, searchable index at the Threads website, but their search interface is quite poor (both online and the version that comes with the disc). So I had to do a lot of legwork on my own to filter through these articles.

Threads Pants-Fitting Index

Herewith, for those of you who have the archive DVD, or a collection of back issues of Threads, is an index to nearly all articles in the magazine relating to pants fitting.  I can’t guarantee this list is complete, but it does cover most of them.

In some cases, I’ve listed the author of the article, either because they are a noted sewing personality or because I’ve found their writing especially understandable and useful.

Update: I’ve added another article from a paper issue I have on hand, issue 168, Aug/September 2013. It appears at the bottom of the list.

Update 2: Added another found article, from the November 2014 issue.

  • A Perfect Pair of Pants, Issue #7, Oct/Nov 1986, pg. 26
  • Tip: Altering Pants (lengthening crotch curve), Issue #15, Feb/Mar 1988, pg. 12
  • A Fitting Pair of Pants: Adjusting the curve is the key, Issue #18, Aug/Sep 1988, pg. 32
  • How to spot and correct three common pants-fitting problems, Issue #18, Aug/Sep 1988, pg. 36
  • A Comfortable Pair of Pants: Letting the Body Talk Back to the Trousers, Issue #27, Feb/Mar 1990, pg. 54
  • Fitting: Lengthen Crotch, Heavy Thighs, Pear-shaped body, Issue #34, Apr/May 1991, pg. 8
  • These Pants are Made for Striding, Issue #38, Dec 1991/Jan 1992, pg. 68
  • Fitting: Pant Legs turn in, Issue #41, June/July 1992, pg. 8
  • Fitting: Pants for a flat seat, Issue #43, Oct/Nov 1992, pg. 30
  • Fitting: Pants creep up, Issue #50, Dec/Jan 1994, pg. 26
  • Pants for Every Body, Issue #54, Aug/Sep 1994, pg. 50
  • Fitting Pants on Every Body, Issue #55, Oct/Nov 1994, pg. 46
  • Fitting: Pants fitting for a protruding derrière, Issue #63, Mar 1996, pg. 24
  • Fitting: Tapering or widening pants, Karen Howland, Issue #67, Oct/Nov 1996, pg. 24
  • Fitting: Fitting the Seated Figure, Issue #70, Apr/May 1997, pg. 28
  • Fitting: Walking Room in Pants, Issue #75, Feb/Mar 1998, pg. 26
  • Fitting: Perfecting Pant Legs (bowlegs and knock-knees), Issue #78, Aug/Sep 1998, pg. 22
  • Fitting: Bulging Lap on Pants, Issue #84, Aug/Sep 1999, pg. 26
  • Fold Out Pants Primer (insert), Sandra Betzina, Issue #91, Oct/Nov 2000, pg. 55
  • Fitting: Restyling Pants, Karen Howland, Issue #93, Feb/Mar 2001, pg. 20
  • Making Your Own Custom Pants Form, Issue #95, June/July 2001, pg. 40
  • Fitting: Correcting Back-Leg Wrinkles on Pants, Karen Howland, Issue #98, Dec/Jan 2002, pg. 24
  • Fitting: Fitting Pants From a Sloper, Karen Howland, Issue #106, April/May 2003, pg. 22
  • An Incorrect Crotch Length Makes Inseams Ride Up, Karen Howland, Issue #111, Feb/Mar 2004, pg. 26
  • Everyone Can Have Jeans That Fit, Sandra Betzina, Issue #111, Feb/Mar 2004, pg. 32
  • Fitting: To pull pants over wide hips, you may need a second zipper, Karen Howland, Issue #112, Apr/May 2004, pg 26
  • 5 Steps to a Perfect Slacks Pattern, Peggy Sagers, Issue #114, Aug/Sep 2004, pg. 52
  • Fitting: Fitting pants to wide hips and thin legs, Karen Howland, Issue #115, Oct/Nov 2004, pg. 34
  • To Fit Pants, Start at the Waist, Joyce Murphy, Issue #119, June/July 2005, pg. 34
  • Adjusting Pants from Waist to Seat, Joyce Murphy, Issue #122, Dec 2005/Jan 2006, pg. 36
  • Remove Trouser Excess, Joyce Murphy, Issue #126, Aug/Sep 2006, pg. 73
  • Quick Pants-Fitting Tip, Issue #126, Aug/Sep 2006, pg. 17
  • By the Seat of the Pants, Kathleen Cheetham, Issue #128, Dec 2006/Jan 2007, pg. 48
  • For a Personalized Fit, Grade It! Resize your patterns to make perfect pants, Joyce Murphy, Issue #139, Oct/Nov 2008, pg. 44
  • Improve the Bottom Line: Adjust your pants pattern to fit a shapely derrière, Issue #143, June/July 2009, pg. 47
  • Lessons from the Tailor – Menswear alterations happen at the center back, Joyce Murphy, Issue #143, Jun/Jul 2009, pg. 68
  • A Great New Way to Fit Trousers, Joyce Murphy with Judy Barlup, Issue #168, Aug/Sep 2013, pg. 44
  • Fit Your Own Pants Perfectly, issue #175, Oct/Nov 2014, pg. 62

Articles I Like

Here’s some articles in the list I’ve found helpful, from both a conceptual and practical point of view:

  • A Comfortable Pair of Pants: Letting the Body Talk Back to the Trousers, Issue #27, Feb/Mar 1990, pg. 54
  • These Pants are Made for Striding, Issue #38, Dec 1991/Jan 1992, pg. 68
  • Fitting: Pants fitting for a protruding derrière, Issue #63, Mar 1996, pg. 24
  • Fitting: Walking Room in Pants, Issue #75, Feb/Mar 1998, pg. 26
  • Fitting: Correcting Back-Leg Wrinkles on Pants, Karen Howland, Issue #98, Dec/Jan 2002, pg. 24
  • An Incorrect Crotch Length Makes Inseams Ride Up, Karen Howland, Issue #111, Feb/Mar 2004, pg. 26
  • Adjusting Pants from Waist to Seat, Joyce Murphy, Issue #122, Dec 2005/Jan 2006, pg. 36
  • Lessons from the Tailor – Menswear alterations happen at the center back, Joyce Murphy, Issue #143, Jun/Jul 2009, pg. 68

I’ll also give a special call-out to Sandra Betzina’s Pants Primer, as it gathers a lot of useful info in one place:

  • Fold Out Pants Primer (insert), Sandra Betzina, Issue #91, Oct/Nov 2000, pg. 55

Since this article is also a review of sorts, I wanted to give the Threads DVD Archive five stars for its gold mine of information, if you’re willing to get out a pickaxe and go digging.

Rating:

18 thoughts on “Every Threads Magazine Article on Pants Fitting

  1. Kathy C.

    I have this same DVD and used to own all of the “Threads” magazines. I reluctantly gave some of them away. I, too, love the DVD but the search engine is for the birds. Thank you for listing the pants’ articles in one spot. I know that it will help me in my pants fitting journey.

    Reply
  2. Corey

    All threads magazines from 1985 – 2013 are available for FREE download, They are on kickass.to – torrent website. They also have numerous other sewing publications for download.

    BTW how is the Kenneth D King/book dvd on trousers? I have thought about getting his materials.

    Reply
    1. Don't Want To Be Copy Wrong

      I assume that’s not legal. Enlighten me if I am mistaken.

      Anyone know how much it costs to upgrade the DVD after one has bought it? In addition, I’m under the impression that public libraries don’t carry it. Is that correct?

      Reply
      1. mportuesisf Post author

        I don’t know if public libraries carry this DVD, but I checked out the Threads website and you can still buy an old version of the DVD (same version I have, through end of 2012) for $32.95. They state:

        “Do you own an earlier version of the Threads Magazine Archive and would like to update your copy? Just give our Customer Service group a call and they will make sure you get every issue of Threads that you need. Call us (toll free) 866-242-4297, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm EST. International customers can call 203-702-1922 during those same hours.”

        http://www.tauntonstore.com/2012-threads-annual-magazine-dvd-rom-031036.html

        Reply
    2. mportuesisf Post author

      I don’t believe in censoring comments to my site (other than spam), so I’ll just note that we’re all adults here, and we make our own choices.

      I personally think it’s worth paying for the content Threads magazine produces. If they make a product I feel is of questionable value (for instance, their over-priced series of fitting DVDs featuring Kenneth D. King) then I won’t buy it.

      I especially would feel bad about torrenting the Threads archive rather than paying for it, since a former Threads editor is a reader of this blog.

      Reply
      1. Don't Want To Be Copy Wrong

        Thanks. I saw the notice about the ability to update, but as I don’t own the DVD, didn’t want to contact them. They don’t seem to be encouraging annual updates at that price.

        Wasn’t suggesting you censor anyone, but was seeking a confirmation. Even if I consider a product overpriced, I won’t download it illegally for ethical and practical reasons, the practical ones being that using material for free kills the maker’s incentive.

        Reply
        1. mportuesisf Post author

          I didn’t notice that the 2012 disc I linked to contains just the issues for year 2012, at the $32.95 price. I thought it included the entire collection starting from issue 1. Good catch.

          And yes, at that price it’s not a terribly good value to add on a single year.

          Reply
    3. mportuesisf Post author

      Corey,

      I purchased the KDK book/DVD on trousers a while ago, and even forgot I had it until I was reminded by a recommendation for it on this blog.

      It’s hard for me to judge it without going through the trouser draft he presents in the book. The production values are not super-high (it looks like it was home-published using MS Word or something) but the information seems solid. You get some of KDK’s sense of humor spilling into the text as well.

      KDK does explain his methodology for pants fitting in the ebook, which is a surprise to me. I’m looking through it now as I’m writing this, and it appears to be quite extensive, over 60 pages devoted to the topic though the diagrams he presents often fill entire pages.

      I’ll add this to my reading pile; I may have to do a full review of this book for the blog.

      Reply
      1. Corey

        I am thinking of purchasing all his materials. I do believe most of his works on his site are home published. i do like that he did study with a french courtier seamstress. However I find going thru Claire Shaeffer’s books I am learning much of the same couture sewing techniques.

        I have respect for his talent and use to first watch him back in the early 90’s on a pbs show called “sewing today”. He had hair then. His clothing for woman is terrific, stylish and very hollywood, reminiscent of bob mackie. I find some of the things that he makes for himself, ‘out’ there for sake of a better word. His coat/jacket with feathers, now that is over the top.

        I was also looking thru some Vogue Men’s suit patterns, was thinking about your goals. There are a few with the high end, tailoring techniques in them for jackets, waistcoat and pants. I found them very good wrt tailoring menswear the old fashion way with a great deal of hand stitching. Get your thimble out, ready set go. If you go to the pattern store, get the envelop out and look at the instructions, typically a vogue pattern that is labelled ‘advanced’, has the kind of hand work, high end construction techniques you are aiming for in your sewing.

        My advise to you still is to take apart your dockers and make yourself a pattern. It is much quicker then fusing with patterns. Use it as “your block” for all your patterns, for comparing and fitting.

        Reply
        1. mportuesisf Post author

          Corey,

          Vogue 8940 offers not only a pair of pants but also a tailored peacoat/car coat. The pattern is labelled “advanced”, which I assume applies mainly to the coat. The peacoat project is my planned entry into tailoring.

          Reply
          1. Corey

            I have the pattern that you are going to make, I will go thru the directions and see how they are.

            I have to remember I started very similar as you did when I was in public/high school using mainly patterns. I started making my own patterns from existing RTW because my mom wanted me to replicate pieces of clothing she had that she could not find in stores anymore. It’s that kinda thing where you find a garment that fits you well and you wear the heck out of it until its almost falling apart.

            I also did everything back then in the late 70’s early 80’s with just a 8 stitch kenmore sewing machine with a 4 step buttonhole that my mom bought me, which i continued to use right up until the late 90’s when my brother took it and lost it in a move. I miss that machine, been trying to find one like it to replace it. It sewed thru everything.

  3. wendy baschkopf

    Wow! And wow again! Thanks. You’ve done a truly good deed unearthing precious info and sharing it. My next step is filing this in Evernote so I can find it in my Sewing notebook. I love the Threads DVD archive too, but have found searching it cranky business. Plus, thanks for the shout out on the San Francisco Public Library. They have riches and the research librarians are dedicated, knowledgeable helpers.

    Reply
    1. mportuesisf Post author

      Heh, the list started out in Evernote. So from my Evernote to yours.

      I also have a list of other articles in Threads I find interesting, so I might do more lists like this in the future.

      Reply
  4. Don't Want To Be Copy Wrong

    Thanks for the list. It’s unfortunate that searching for articles in the Threads catalog is so difficult.

    Reply
  5. Rani Stoddard

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a dream. I’ve subscribed to your blog and can’t wait for the emails to start coming. You are a treasure.

    One correction. On the Fit your own Pants Perfectly Issue October/November 2014, it’s number 175, not 174. Otherwise, perfection.

    Reply

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