Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Analysis of the fit of women's custom-made pants

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  • Pants have become a seemingly necessary part of the average American woman's wardrobe and may be worn for nearly every occasion. However, many women have indicated that when conventional methods of construction were used for pants-making, the pants did not conform to their expectation of good fit. Observation showed that pants made according to the conventional methods of construction did not comply with the standards of good fit that have been established for other garments. Therefore, the conventional methods of pants construction were modified in accordance with the principles and standards of clothing construction that have been used as a basis for achieving good fit. The basic differences between the unmodified and modified methods of construction were: 1) the location of the lengthwise grain line on the patterns, 2) the addition of fitting allowances on the fitting seams of the modified pants patterns, 3) the techniques used to facilitate the placement of the grain lines of the fabric on the balance lines of the body, and 4) the fabrics used to construct the pants. The participants were students at Oregon State University. To determine the effect that a modified method of construction would have on the fit of women's custom-made pants, eight pants patterns were randomly selected from the commercial patterns purchased by the participants. Two pairs of pants were constructed from each of the selected patterns, one pair before the pattern was modified and another pair after pattern modifications. An additional 46 pairs of pants were also made by the modified method of construction. Each of the 62 pairs of pants was then modeled, and 12 characteristics of fit were rated by a panel of clothing construction authorities as well as by the other participants in a class. There were statistically significant differences between the fit of the crosswise grain line, front crotch, back crotch, and lower back hip on the two sets of garments, while no significant differences were found between the other characteristics of fit on these garments. When the scores for the fit of the crosswise grain line, front crotch, back crotch, and lower back hip were compared among groups of modified pants, no significant differences were found. Subsequent analysis of the scores for the modified pants indicated that: 1) bonded wool-acetate fabrics were not suitable for the construction of closely fitted pants, 2) the size of the wearer apparently did not affect the ratings of the fit of the modified pants, and 3) the comfort of the modified pants was considered to be above average. The results of a secondary investigation showed that the total crotch length method of measurement provided a better basis for determining the adequacy of the crotch length of a pattern than did either of the two crotch depth methods of measurement.
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