@Ithacamaven‘s Top, Down, Centre, Out seems to be the topic of conversation that’s attached to every self-sewn pair of pants on the internet!
Recently we got a question about TDCO on the M&B Patreon forum, so I did some additional research and dove in with my Glebe Pants pattern to make some new pants for my travel capsule to take with me to Wellington. The pink pants I shared recently were made from the pattern pieces after doing this TDCO fitting.
Size and fit details: Using Ruth’s recommendation for choosing sizes, basing the outer seam on your waist size and the inseam and crotch seams on your hip size. This is the TDCO approach to blending or grading between sizes, rather than blending sizes at the outer seam which changes the shape of the pants.
I picked a Size F at the outer seams and a Size M through the inseams and crotch seams. Size F is the size I’ve made my other Glebe Pants and I basically just chose Size M for the other parts because it had the most crotch extension. I did not add any width to the pattern pieces or height above the waist for the purpose of fitting because I was VERY confident that the pants would have too much rise and would not need any extra width added.
The fitting process
I omitted the slash pockets and cut out one half of the pattern- one front leg and one back leg, which I basted together. I sewed some elastic into a loop and popped it where I’d want my waistband to sit. Because there was no issue with the pants being too small anywhere, it simplified the fitting process a lot.
I concentrated on getting the front and back seams to sit in my centre, tucking them into the elastic, pulling them up until the crotch was hitting at the right spot (with enough ease). Then I basically arranged the rest of the fabric into the elastic waistband. I knew I was only going to have elastic in the back, so I concentrated on getting the sideseam to hit in the correct spot, and made myself a deep pleat at the front. I tugged at the top of the side seam of the pants, pulling it higher into the elastic waistband until wrinkles through the legs disappeared. And I ended up deciding that I needed to remove some fabric from the centre back.
Is this the exact order of things I was supposed to do? I’m not sure, but it felt right.
I transferred where the pants were interacting with the waistband over onto my paper pattern and cut out the other side of the pants and then I used my shears to lop off the fabric I had deemed unnecessary at the top of my first side of the pants (leaving a seam allowance of 1/2″). Then I did a check with both legs attached to each other still with the elastic loop as a waistband, tweaking and pinching fabric.
I ended up adding a 4″ pleat to the front and removing an amount from the centre back of the pattern. I effectively ended up removing 2″ from the rise all around the pattern pieces, with slightly more through the centre back as I was trying to remove some excess fabric pooling in the small of my back.
In truth, I haven’t exactly maintained the design intent of the Glebe Pants because I’ve seriously widened the legs of the pants and put a very deep pleat in which is twice as big as the original View B pleat.
I also could not be bothered to go back and add the slash pockets back in, so I attached this gusseted pocket which I had recently drafted for a wrap skirt (it’s now the November Patreon Bonus). The pocket hits at exactly the right spot for my hand and is surprisingly capacious.