I don't usually do women's patterns but here I was agreeing to do make a trouser draft for a woman I know. She also has a difficult time buying off the rack, as many of us do, no matter our size and shape.
Her waist is around a size 12 but her hips are in the size 18 range.
Here are her measurements just for the record.
Height approx 5 feet tall
waist 27 1/2 "
Upper hip 37 1/2"
Lower hip 43 1/2"
rise to natural waist 12"
girth from CF waist to CB waist 33 1/2"
I took photos of her from the front, side and back which I find helps a great deal when looking at the numbers, then I made a little sketch to outline her shape and the areas of disproportion.
I am going to make a pattern that fits her to her natural waist - which is much higher than the usual trouser waistline- just to allow the greatest leeway when we talk styling.
Obviously the pattern must be big enough to go around her at the fullest area- which is her lower hip- then the issue becomes how and where to reduce that hip size to the size of her waist. In her case she is very pear shaped so there can be a fair bit of shaping on the side seams and the centre back, and they need to be augmented with adequate shaping at the centre front and with darts in the front and back waist. There is also the issue of how much shaping in the outseam of the leg will be required but I didn't make it too shaped at this time.
I didn't really have a specific draft that I wanted to follow, although I did have Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear sitting around so I referred to that off and on. I have found that those systems of drafting rarely translate well for disproportion so I am just as well off doing my own thing, so I just proceeded in what I think was a logical matter. The only area that I was wondering about was how long to make the back crotch extension. The draft in the book was really short so I lengthened it. Better too long than too short- better slightly too large than too small- it is so much easier to pin out excess than guess at how much more you need.
As you can see below, I often start my pattern and write notes to myself as I am proceeding.
In this case I went away and had lunch, came back and looked at the notes and pattern again with fresh eyes, and changed it, reducing the shaping on the side seams and increasing the darting into the waist.
I cut a toile in muslin and sent it off to be made up and I will fit her on Tuesday. I will be fitting the jacket on Tuesday as well, so it will be a busy and informative day. It is good to get as close as you can with the pattern but I think that it is during the fitting that it all comes together.