The basic pattern of «sportswear» trousers

While reading the ESMOD book “Becoming a pattern drafter”, I have learned of two types of basic pants patterns. This discovery deserves to be shared here so you can have the right basis for every model of pants.

There are 2 types of pants:
1) the «city» or «classic» pants with a straight line of the leg, which allows front pleats and pockets. This pattern has been already introduced here.
2) the “sportswear” pants, closer to the body, with a lower waist, which fits behind and allows wider movements. This pattern is used to make leggings or jeans and is the subject of this post.

The pattern I detail here includes the ease or the minimal enlargement and can be used as it is. You can enlarge it even more to change the shape and give it more volume.

Begin by taking and note the following measurements:
Waist measurement + 8 cms of ease. This ease is necessary for fabric shrinkage when the waistband is attached, the clothes tucked into the trousers plus the breathing ease
Hip measurement + 4 cms of ease
Desired width of the knee
Desired width of bottom of pants
Pants height
Hip height
Crotch depth height
Knee height

1) Draw XY as the center leg axis, parallel to straight grain. In perpendicular to XY, draw horizontal lines corresponding to the lines of waist, hips, crotch, knees and bottom by taking into account the measurements noted above. Drop A 4cm in F and draw the new waistline
(fig.1 ).

2) Draw the following for the front of the pants (fig 2):
BB1 = CC1 = CC2 = 1/7th of the hip measurement with ease
BB2 = 1/10th of the hip measurement with ease
DD1 = DD2 = 1/4 of the width of the knee – 1cm
EE1 = EE2 = 1/4 of the width of bottom of pants – 1cm

FA1 = (1/2 waist measurement with ease – 1cm)/5
A1A2 = 1/4 waist measurement with ease + 1cm
Drop A1 in A3 of 1cm.

Join E1D1, D1C1, E2D2, D2C2, B2A3 in a straight line.
Halfway along D2C2, scoop out perpendiculalry 0,5cm and retrace in a curve.
Join C2B2 in a curve while respecting a flatness in C2.
Join A2A3 in a curve while respecting a flatness in A3.
Join A2B1C1 in a curve while respecting a flatness in B1C1.

3) Draw the following for the back of the pants (fig 3).
BB4 = CC3 = CC4 = (1/6th of the hip measurement with ease) + its 1/20th
Drop C3 1 cm to make it C5
BB3 = BB4 – 1/8th of the waist measurement with ease
DD4 = DD3 = DD1 + 2cm
EE4 = EE3 = EE2 + 2cm

FA4 = 3cm. Draw A4A5 = 0,5cm, parallel to waistline.
Beginning at A5, mark B5 in a straight line following the dropped waist line so that:
A5B5 = 1/4th of waist measurement with ease – 1cm.

Join E3D3, D3C4, E4D4, D4C5, B3A5 in a straight line.
Halfway along D4C5, scoop out perpendiculalry 0,5cm and retrace in a curve.
Join C5B3 in a curve while respecting a flatness in C5.
Join C4B5 in a curve.
Halfway along A5B5, scoop out perpendiculalry 0,5cm and retrace in a curve.

4) Your «sportwear» pants pattern is now finished (fig.4). Compared to the “city” pants, the waistline is dropped, the front center line is not parallel any more to the straight grain and the back center line is slanter.

But as for the «city» pants ” I advise you to test your pattern in a canvas before applying further transformations, such as a “jeans” cut which I will soon show you. Till then, make beautiful pants.


8 thoughts on “The basic pattern of «sportswear» trousers”

  1. I would love to see the changes you makeup in a jeans cut. You rarely find information about a close fitting jeans fit. How soon do you plan to show us those techniques? Not pushing you or anything I just check your website everyday hoping. Ha! Ha!

    • Hi Dave, I am not sure they are the same as I have not studied yet men trousers

  2. I, too, am waiting for the jeans fit pattern! In the meantime, I’ll see if I can make a pair of the Sportswear trousers to fit.

    I just came across this on Pinterest, tonight. Thank you for the great information!

  3. Hello,

    Your blog is so interesting and helpful – it makes a great read.

    I came across it because I am interested in drafting a pattern for a simple pair of pyjama bottoms. I know I could just use an existing pattern but I like the idea of getting a really good fit.

    Could I use either of your city or sportswear pattern tutorials as a starting point for this?

    Thanks in advance

    • hello helen, thank you for your message, you should definitely use the sportswear pattern for pyjamas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.