rydra_wong: Black and white photo of a seam ripper. Text: "Soft drugs and a seam ripper." (sewing -- seam ripper)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] sewing

A "diamond crotch" (a.k.a. diamond-cut crotch, diamond gusset, etc.) is a way to add fabric to an existing pair of trousers.

It's an obvious fix for trousers that are too short in the crotch, but it also increases hip mobility and how far you can kick, squat or stretch your legs apart without ripping the seams.

So it's very useful for sports -- e.g. yoga, martial arts, or rock climbing (I have a pair of climbing jeans with a diamond crotch, which is why I wanted to learn how to sew one).

They're also the secret behind the legendary Chuck Norris Action Jeans, so how could I resist?

The basic principle is extremely simple. You undo the stitching along the inside-leg seam of the trousers, then you insert an extra piece of fabric in the shape of an elongated diamond.


Make your own "Thrower's" Pants
Snakes in a Drain/A Look at The Crotch (scroll down)

I know these seem quite vague, but it all becomes clear once you start working on it.

Diamond insert being sewn into place, still showing white tacking thread

Here we are in progress: I've turned the trousers inside out, opened the seam, decided how much fabric I want to add, then tacked the insert in for testing purposes before starting to sew it into place properly.

I used a slightly stretchy fabric for the insert to add extra manoeuvrability.

Completed diamond crotch, from the outside

Completed, and right side out again.

The trousers are photographed in this awkward spreadeagled position because once the insert's finished, you can't see it in anything except a crotch shot. When you're wearing the trousers, it's effectively invisible.

I'm pretty pleased with this as a first attempt and have been going round the house doing high kicks to test it out.

In another climbing-related sewing project, I made another chalkbag out of a remnant scrap of brocade from an upholstery shop.

This time, I used a simple cylindrical design, but added a hidden zipped pocket at the back (and a tiny velcro pocket tucked between the outer bag and inner liner). I've finally learned how to sew a "blind hem", so there are almost no visible stitches at all.

Brocade chalkbag from the front

Brocade chalkbag from the back, showing hidden zipped pocket

Brocade chalkbag, showing interior

Date: 2011-06-15 01:08 pm (UTC)
aldersprig: drawing of the author (LynLyn)
From: [personal profile] aldersprig
Well done!

I have nightmare about blind-hems; we re-curtained my room when I was 13 and my mom made me hem all the curtains myself. Means I tend to be lazy and machine-stitch hems now ;-D

Date: 2011-06-15 01:14 pm (UTC)
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
From: [personal profile] aldersprig
Wow, go you!

I'm lazy and have the attention span of... hey look a ferret!

Um. But yeah, well done! (The curtains are still hanging in what was my bedroom (ulp) 22 years later, so I guess I did okay).

Date: 2011-06-15 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] delladea

I actually have a pair of pants that are too small in the crotch, so this is very helpful to me. Blind hems and I still don't get along.

Date: 2011-06-15 02:51 pm (UTC)
weaverbird: (Sewing)
From: [personal profile] weaverbird
Nice work on both!

I've used diamond gussets in underarm seams before, but never thought of using it in the crotch. What a nifty idea. Thank you!

Date: 2011-06-15 03:32 pm (UTC)
weaverbird: (Handwoven)
From: [personal profile] weaverbird
Good idea to try it out on sacrificial trousers! Much less anxiety that way.

I learned about gussets from a book on sewing handwoven fabric into garments using only rectangles, as it's a way to add ease without using much fabric, and with no waste - always a major goal with handwovens. Here's a coat where I used an underarm gusset. The sleeve portion is at the top of the picture; the garment side seam at bottom center. It worked like a charm - even though the sleeves are fairly narrow, the coat is comfortable and with plenty of easy of movement.

Date: 2011-06-15 04:24 pm (UTC)
weaverbird: (Handwoven)
From: [personal profile] weaverbird

And thanks! That's my $1.29 coat. I wove the fabric entirely of yarn left over from various commissions, some of which I dyed with walnut hulls from a tree near here. The $1.29 was for sewing thread to assemble it. I wore it for five winters. *g*

Date: 2011-06-15 05:48 pm (UTC)
19_crows: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 19_crows
Do you remember Chi pants, in the 80s? (I think) That was their big deal. They were very comfortable. Now I have a couple of pairs of pants from LL Bean that have the same kind of construction.

I hadn't heard "diamond crotch" before, always seen it referred to as a "gusset" (which can exist in armpits or anywhere else an extra piece of fabric can be helpful.)

Date: 2011-06-15 08:15 pm (UTC)
turlough: Gerard Way performing, Famous Last Words video, 3-4 August 2006 ((mcr) rocking out)
From: [personal profile] turlough
I've used gussets heaps of times before, mainly in underarm seams, but I've never realised you could use them like this. Such a neat idea. *bookmarks*

Date: 2011-06-16 03:35 am (UTC)
wpadmirer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wpadmirer
Nice chalk bag! I love ones with zippered pockets.

Date: 2011-06-23 07:51 pm (UTC)
feanna: The cover of an old German children's book I inherited from my mother (Default)
From: [personal profile] feanna
I have heard of the concept before, though I've never gotten around to trying it. I wonder whether I could make it bigger and use it to fix pants that have the typical bike damage that happens if you bike everywhere. (Disintegration where the inside thigh moves against the saddle.) It'd probably be visible, but I could pick a fabric that's close in colour. And increased range of movement would be a bonus.

Date: 2015-11-06 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ogmerlin
awesome,I knew what I had to do but had no idea of how to go about it. I'm slimming the legs on a pair of Military pants but, I'll also lose crotch space in the process. thanks for an explanation!

Thank you!

Date: 2016-07-01 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] motelmania.blogspot.com
You rock. Thanks for your post and great photos. I've just made my own diamond gusset in an otherwise fabulous skort from Athleta. I'll be thinking of you as I (comfortably) walk the Coast to Coast path across England this month!



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