Pattern Reviews,  Sewing Tips

Updated Striped Swallow “Coachella” PDF

I am so pleased to learn that the Striped Swallow “Coachella” shorts pattern (kids’ version only so far) has been updated for Summer 2018!

In June 2016 ( I reviewed the “Coachella” pdf.  While the design was undeniably super-cute, the fit wasn’t flattering or comfortable-looking in any of the photos I saw online, because the drafting had three problems causing severe crotch-bunching:

  1. Angle of the inseams
  2. Crotch width 
  3. Rise ratio

I’ll do a quick review of the problem areas, plus my revisions from the previous post, and then take a look at the updated pattern to see how it compares.

There were three basic fitting issues in the original draft:

  1. Angle of the inseams was very sharp (because the Front Rise and Back Rise met in a “V” not a “U”), and the pattern could not be  trued to a right angle at the inseam hem:


2. Crotch width:  it was too small,  causing  stress lines pulling the fabric down under the crotch. Crotch Width is  the horizontal distance between the Front Rise and the Back Rise,  measured  at  2″ above the crotch on the pattern.  In a Children’s pattern such as this, we’d want a crotch width of about 5″…..but this measured 3″ (the crotch width needed to be increased (and smoothed from a “V” to a “U”):


3. Rise ratio: Imbalanced Rise means that the ratio of Back-Rise length to Front-Rise length is not in the right proportion. The rise ratio ( Back Rise divided by Front Rise) was 1.22 (should be at least 1.25) .   The back rise needed lengthening so there’d be less strain  under the back crotch, pulling the front inseams towards the back.

Here are the corrections that I made to the original Coachella, as explained in the previous post:

A:  Scoop the Rises, front and back: to change from a “V” to a “U”, thereby increasing the front “hook” extension, and blend up to the waist:


B: True the Front Inseam at the hem; the added fabric will alleviate the diagonal stress lines towards the Front Crotch:


C. True the Back Inseam, adding a half inch to the back crotch hook (this will correct the rise ratio to 1.26, which is a better balance between Back Rise and Front Rise.):


Here is the revised graded inseam (note the grading is less “jumpy”, more consistent throughout the size range, and the tiny inseam in the smallest size has been fixed, as it would have “disappeared” after the seam allowance and hem were taken away):


D: Recheck the Crotch Width: it’s 5″ which is basic for kids’ pants and shorts:


Here’s the crotch shape: original pattern has a “V” (left), revised pattern has a “U” (right):


Let’s see how the new updated Coachella compares. The original pattern is edged here in green, the revised pattern in pink:


A:  Scoop the Rises to change from a “V” to a “U” (front:left, back: right):


B: True the Front Inseam at the hem:


C. True the Back Inseam at the hem, adding to the back crotch hook (this will correct the rise ratio):


D: Recheck the Crotch Width:


Every correction that I would have made has been done. Notice the smooth “U” shape in the crotch (the harsh “V” is gone!)…the rise ratio is fixed….the corners are all trued. (Bonus: the grading is now smooth and consistent.) Guaranteed, the fit will be so much better!

Let’s hope that the Adult Coachella pattern gets the same makeover.

Happy Sewing!



  • Shelley

    Guess somebody read your post. : )
    Btw, is the rise ratio range, 1.25 min – 1.35 the same for adult pants?

  • [email protected]

    Possibly….but it could just be that the designer decided the fit could be tweaked a bit and sent it to a drafting/grading service. The adjustments that I would make are the same that anyone who studied at any of the standard design schools would. (Yes the rise ratio is the same for adult pants. On the lower end for menswear, on the larger end for women’s wear)

  • [email protected]

    Pants patterns in particular tend to need adjustments. It could be because new patternmakers often begin with dresses and tops that require less effort in shape and proportions.

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