How to shape a trouser leg


Here’s how the useful folks at the Cutter and Tailor forums followed up on the topic I posted about here last: How tailors used to make (and shape) trousers. Highly recommended reading for those of you who want the good old stuff. Especially note the impressive results Jeffery Diduch gets with pant-leg shaping right here, right now. Thanks for posting the pix, and doing the work, Jeffery!

There’s also a new clip from the book’s DVD posted on YouTube, thanks to Craftside, a blog devoted to the craft publications by my book’s publisher, Creative Publishing International; lots of good stuff thereā€¦ Check it out!

Here’s the clip:


  1. Ann's Fashion Studio on October 27, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Your “replacement tops” are such a great idea.
    Thank you for the tutorial, they are always helpful.

  2. Maricou on October 28, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Thank you for sharing your tips are invaluable


  3. Sheila on October 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Great techniques and thanks for sharing.

  4. sapatu on March 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    thank you for sharing this and for your book which is really fantastic.
    I was wondering though if you could help me with something that is not covered in the book – bespoke pattern cutting systems. Are there any books or info out there that show how to cut patterns for ladies made to measure trousers? Everything I have found is either for home sewing (pin it on you and check the fit) or industry standard (assuming that all size 12’s have the same proportion…)
    Any advice anyone has would be gratefully received!

  5. David Page Coffin on March 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Bespoke pattern cutting systems, hmmm… Having never worked in a tailor’s shop, I can’t speak authoritatively, but I understand that the standard thing is for tailors to use drafts, into which they plug the customer’s measurements. These could be the same drafts that you’d find in a RTW business or a book about drafting for RTW (like Armstrong’s pattern-making book or several texts from Fairchild by FIT professors); you just don’t use measurements from a chart of standards, but actual measurements from a specific body, which customizes the pattern (but doesn’t usually eliminate the need for a try-on and some tweaking). Old tailoring books and trade journals are full of such drafting instructions. I suggest you register over at the Cutter&Tailor forums where facsimiles of many old books and drafts are often posted, and where the post-ers are wonderfully well-informed and helpful. There’s a section devoted to women’s custom clothing:

  6. just a sewfreak on September 25, 2011 at 11:48 am
  7. A on June 12, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for the video, I was just wondering why the row garment had a fly that was off grain ? Is that just an error in the row pattern or is there a reason behind it?

    Many thanks!

  8. David Page Coffin on June 12, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    If there is I don’t know what it is. But I have seen slightly off-grain flies before so I believe it’s not something “wrong”. In my own drafts and copies I always check and correct the fly to be on-grain because it makes sense to me that it should be, but it may not be that critical, except for striped or checked fabrics, for which I personally wouldn’t want to see angled lines going into the fly edge. Wish I had a more definite answer; to get one, I’d head over to the cutterandtailor link given in a previous comment, register there and post your question again.

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