Vikisews Anne Pants Using Top Down Centre Out Method For Fit

Vikisews Anne Pants Using Top Down Centre Out Method For Fit

Hello! I’m back after a break (so nice to see you! Lately, I’ve been busy around the house in major declutter mode) with a new make. Both the pdf and the fabric for this project were languishing in my stash for quite some time until I decided to try out the cargo pant trend so I made the Vikisews Anne pants using the ‘Top Down, Centre Out’ (TDCO) method for fit (more on that fitting method later).

The Anne pants have a high rise, angled front pockets and side patch pockets with flaps. They’re fitted through the upper hip and skim through the thighs to full length with tabs on the ankles. I made a size 38 in the 2nd height range and I widened the waistline. I made some changes to the design. Firstly, I added centre pleats to the patch pockets and secondly, I decided to go without the ankle tabs because I wasn’t keen on the ballooning effect that happened at the hemline when the tab was fastened over.

My fabric is a viscose/poly/lycra blend that I originally bought from Clothspot who sadly no longer trade. The colour’s a kind of bright chambray blue with a melange effect. It has some drape to it too so it hangs nicely.

Ok, so what is this Top Down Centre Out method for fitting pants/trousers? Well, it’s a technique for fitting pants developed by Ruth Collins (@ithacamaven on Instagram). Here’s a quote from her via an article on the Threads website :

I’ve developed a fitting method I call Top Down, Center Out (#TopDownCenterOut), a holistic, body-neutral approach that takes you from pattern to garment with only one muslin test garment, or toile. As the name suggests, you’ll start at the top—the waistband—to set the crotch seam position, and then fit outward, working from the center out to the side seams

There’s also a video on YouTube where she goes into more detail on the subject, there’s also a playlist of videos by @thecrookedhem where you can see the method being demonstrated.

The way that you fit a toile involves only making one leg of a pair of pants which is attached to a waistband. It’s suggested that you make up a permanent waistband for use with all of your toiles in the shape and width of your preference. I always like a waistband that is slightly contoured and where the top edge of it sits at my natural waist with a slight dip down at the front. I can’t bear a very high-fitting band that fits around my midriff so this is the main part that I changed on the Anne pattern as it has a higher straight-cut waistband. After interfacing and sewing up my waistband I did a fitting of my one-legged toile and I was surprised at how easy it was. Ultimately, I had to shorten the rise at the back and front and I needed to add more fabric in the centre back crotch seam which meant it ended up being a straighter seam. As recommended, I’d drawn grainlines on my toile so that I could make sure that they ran vertically down the legs without twisting.

Here’s my one-legged toile. Please excuse the photo quality and as you can see I’ve cropped off the other leg for modesty as you are supposed to fit just over underwear.

Vikisews Anne Pants Using Top Down Centre Out Method For Fit.

Once I was happy with my toile I cut into my fabric with confidence and enjoyed the sewing process.

As I mentioned earlier, I sewed some centre pleats in my patch pockets. This was easy to do and it just involved cutting the pocket bag wider (by 2-3″) seaming through the centre at the top and bottom, then pressing the pleat flat and topstitching down the folds on the right side.

Here’s a close-up showing the pleat:

Vikisews Annd pants pocket detail with added pleat

And here’s the waistband and zipper:

Vikisews Anne pants zip and waistband detail

Overall, it took me over two weeks to complete this project because of all the other things that I’ve been doing around the house with major decluttering, sorting and organising. It was nice to just dip in and out of a sewing project in between though.

Vikisews Anne Pants Using Top Down Centre Out Method For Fit
Vikisews Anne Pants Using Top Down Centre Out Method For Fit

I’m pleased with how my Anne pants turned out but believe it or not they now actually seem a bit loose around my waist and upper hip because in the two weeks that it took me to sew them, I’ve lost a little bit of weight with to being more active and also doing some new abs and waist exercises. So I guess I’ll have to unpick and adjust them…

I’m glad I tried out this casual cargo style but I need to try some more ways to style them as I feel like I might prefer a more fitted knit top with them. I have some ideas but I just grabbed this Uzma top for a more summery look for the photos which I took in rather a hurry yesterday.

Thanks for reading all about my adventures in the TDCO method and for watching me try out a new style too. Have you tried cargo pants? What have you been sewing lately? Let’s catch up in the comments.

See you soon.

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  1. Joan
    August 19, 2023 / 6:32 pm

    Hi Diane, Great casual pant! Thank you for showing us the TDCO method and how it worked for you. The rear photo is very elongated on my phone: not sure if that is your photo file or on my end.

    I have a couple of lightweight synthetic stretch woven cargo pants w/ elastic hem that I love for travel and plane wear: the pocket holds a ticket or passport and the hem doesn’t drag on the ground when you make a pit stop 😉. Not really like your more elegant casual pants, but with the side thigh cargo pockets…

    Do you think you achieved a better calf/inner leg fit OR is the circumference roomier in the knee so it is not an issue on this style?

    PLEASE share your ab/waist exercises! That is my #1 trouble zone!


    • Diane
      August 19, 2023 / 8:59 pm

      Hi Joan, glad you found the TDCO technique interesting. It’s really worth watching the process on the YouTube videos. Thanks for the heads up about the back view photo. I tried 3 times to fix it and in the end it seemed to only work if I put it alongside another photo.
      I didn’t have any issues with inner leg or calf with this pattern as it’s room enough around there and at the back the fabric hangs down straight from my bottom and skims over my calf.
      Oh, yes, for my abs I’ve been doing a side plank and regular plank but I can’t do full ones yet so I rest on my knees. I’ve been doing this routine by Michelle Kenway on YouTube. It’s tougher than you might think

      • Joan
        August 20, 2023 / 12:35 am

        Thanks for the YouTube suggestions, both on the TDCO alterations method, and the M. Kenway routine: I will check both out. My abdominal area is dreadful (would improve with 5 kilo weight loss, which is my ongoing goal), but I’d like to have stronger core/back/abs for longterm well-being, too! I’ve been doing some planks and side planks, but only when my class covers it ;-}

        • Diane
          August 20, 2023 / 1:54 pm

          I agree, it’s so important for overall health to have a strong core. Great for balance and also stability when lifting. I fit in that short routine anytime at home.

  2. Joan
    August 19, 2023 / 6:35 pm

    P.s. Even though you are taller and more slender than me, you have the same alterations in the hip, crotch and knee/inner leg as I have!

    • Diane
      August 19, 2023 / 8:59 pm

      Ahh, interesting!

  3. Susan
    August 19, 2023 / 9:03 pm

    What a magnificent fit you’ve achieved with these trousers. Absolute perfection!

    • Diane
      August 20, 2023 / 1:52 pm

      Ohh, thank you Susan!

  4. Chris
    August 23, 2023 / 7:08 pm

    These are fabulous pants and you have a great fit. I am sure you will get a lot of wear out of them. Thanks also for the YT link.

    • Diane
      August 24, 2023 / 11:17 am

      Thanks Chris! I’m chuffed with how well the back hangs as I’ve never got such a good result. Added bonus is they’re very comfy too

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