So here’s the thing about sewing: eventually, people will figure out that you do it. And then they will have questions… Uncomfortable questions. Questions like:…
Ever wondered how, exactly, pants work*? What kind of crazy pattern-making sorcery goes into drafting a pant? If you’ve ever looked at a “from scratch”…
Nothing makes a pant look as fantastically olde-timey as a fall front. Unfortunately, a real fall front is a pain in the patouty to sew (trust me), and it’s not something that can be added in after the fact in any sort of historically accurate manner. Fortunately, if you’re not 100% concerned about authenticity, it’s easy enough to add a mock fall to existing pants….
Ankle measurements are useful for knitting custom socks (why, don’t you?), making jewelry (specifically anklets), and fitting big-poofy-gathered-at-the-ankle style pants (clowns, harem pants, etc).
Calf measurements are used for tall boots, tall spats, and jodhpurs and fitted crop pants.
Knee measurements are used any time a garment fits close around the knee. I mostly seem to use them for making gathered bloomers and knickers.
Thighs happen. I’ve personally always found that a bit disappointing, especially when I try to find pants that fit. If you’re making a bifurcated nether-garment of any sort, and you want it to fit over your thighs, it’s helpful to have a proper measurement. This measurement is also used in many men’s short-pants throughout history (canions, slops, etc).
The Inseam is the classic measurement used by tailors everywhere to hem a pant. It runs along the inside of the leg, from the crotch to the welt of the shoe, and has been the source of a lot of humor about pant fittings. Because of that, many of us use the, ahem, “less personal” Outseam measurement….
Measuring the Waist to Ground Length correctly is crucial for several things. Most obviously, it’s used for making skirts that fall fully to the ground. It’s also the measurement I rely on for estimating fabric use in historical work, as the vast majority of the fabric is in the skirts.
The Waist to Full Hip measurement is used to fit pants, fitted skirts/dresses, and very long line corsets. It’s the secret measurement that lets you make patterns that keep skirt hems and prints level on figures with a pronounced tum or bum. (For historical purposes, making patterns up using a modified Waist to Full Hip measurement taken over hip pads/skirt supports can be used to keep hems and fabric patterns level.)