I was reading some more of the great sewing tips in Deepika Prakash’s book (ISBN-13: 978-1-58923-502-1), published by Creative Publishing International, Inc. in 2010. I came across this GREAT tip for measuring crotch curves.
I’ve struggled with this measurement for years. I bought a flexible curved ruler to measure with. I even had my hubby make a homemade dressform of my lower half. But this is a much simpler method. I don’t know why I never thought of this before!
The secret is regular kitchen aluminum foil.
In the book it suggests taking a length of foil long enough to reach from the waist in the front, between the legs, up to the waist in the back. Then you roll that length lengthwise into a “snake” and gently bend it to conform to your body curves. A helper can mark with a sharpie where your center crotch is and where the snake reaches the front and back waistline.
Carefully remove the foil, cut off the ends at the points where it reached the front and back waistband and you have a perfectly conformed crotch curve.
In addition, especially for plus sized women, you might want to sit down with the snake still on, since our crotch curves lengthen when we sit. Make your pants for this longer crotch curve and they will always fit you when you sit as well as when you stand/walk.
Personally, I find that lots of ready-to-wear pants are a bit short in the crotch for me. When I put them on, the front waistband pulls down noticeably about 1″ or so, making the waistband form a V shape on my front. Not a good look.
By having the crotch curve marked at the center, you can see if you need to add more length at the front or the back. Our bodies are not always symmetrical from left to right but, especially plus sized bodies, are often very uneven front to back. Some of us are bigger in the front and some in the back. Only add fabric where your body actually needs it.
The other part I always had difficulty with was finding my “center”. Then I realized that the crotch center determines where the pants inseams will lie. Since I want the inseams to run down the middle of my inner legs, I had my helper keep that in mind when marking the crotch center on the snake. Now everything hangs where it should!