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I want to use this blog to show you our Butterick pant pattern B6973 and to introduce a new designer and two new Palmer/Pletsch workshop locations.

After teaching pant workshops, writing pant books, producing videos, and creating 12 Palmer/Pletsch trouser designs for men and women for McCall’s over 40 years and now two for Butterick, we’ve learned so much and want to continue to share with you.

history—an early aha moment

I also did a trouser pattern for Vogue in 1975. In those days, the upper back inseam was stretched to fit the front inseam. It caused puckers. The design director told us the technique came from men’s tailors to allow ease for “body parts.” Susan Pletsch and I deemed it unnecessary for women and removed it from our women’s pants. No extra body parts and no need for ease!


After many years of designing patterns, I’ve decided to pass the baton for future Palmer/Pletsch patterns. I’ve successfully collaborated with Tammie Ponstler on several projects. Tammie seemed like the perfect fit to continue the patterns. Read her biography at the end of this blog post and you will understand why!

Patterns are a collaboration between designers and the entire staff at a pattern company. We work together to make a good product. Our part includes sharing our thoughts on the design details, sewing the garments for photography, and writing the guidesheet. Tammie is very qualified, and working with her on these two patterns solidified my decision. She is thorough, does her research, and keeps to a schedule. Plus, she sews beautifully as shown by the blazer and trousers she sewed for photography. Besides all that, she is REALLY NICE!

Learn more about Tammie at the bottom of this blog.

Tammie Pontsler, Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor

Butterick B6973 − The Tammie Trouser

Tammie immersed herself in all aspects of this pattern, so we named the pattern after her. This pattern features wide legs, deep pleats, fly front, trouser pockets, and a waist-high contour waistband in a full-length pant and midi-length culottes.


The pleats are stitched down to avoid billowing under the band. There is a pocket stay to keep pockets and pleats flat.

All patterns feature the Palmer/Pletsch Tissue-Fitting Method with alteration lines on the tissue and fit help in the guidesheet.

Tape the crotch so the tissue won’t tear when you try it on.

tape the tissue along the crotch seam

Trying on the tissue is a quick way to check crotch depth. If the crotch seam touches you, it will grow a bit in fabric and feel just right.


Try on the tissue. For the contour band, add tissue to the side seams if your waist is larger than the tissue. To get the tissue to fit your shape, make tiny tucks along the top or bottom to fit you.

fitting contour bands


Wrinkles point to where you need to add tissue.

crotch wrinkles


Printed on pattern tissue, Perfect Pattern Paper won’t overpower or stiffen patterns. The 1/8”–1” grid makes altering easier.


The pocket facing shape creates a “stay” that will be caught in the zipper to keep pleats and pockets flat. (See Tammie’s sewing tips next.)

Use a pocket stay.


Pin the side inset to the front. After you finish these steps, you will baste the stay to the front in the zipper area. Tammie gives more tips in this blog.

The super-easy fly zipper is in our book Pants for Real People. Follow the guidesheet or watch our pant sewing video. (See resources for streaming or free video clips on the Palmer/Pletsch YouTube channel.)


After the pockets and zipper are sewn and back darts basted, pin the seams to the outside so you can easily adjust. Or pin them to the inside if you don’t mind taking them off and on to adjust.

fabric fitting
Helen Bartley works with Lyndsey Stanfill on fabric fitting
Fit Tip logo

Get a sewing buddy or take a class. Then you have a friend or teacher to pin the seams to your shape.

NOTE: If you sign up for Tammie’s 2-day online fit workshops, you will pin the fabric RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.

At left, Helen Bartley, who teaches the Palmer/Pletsch workshops at our sewing school in Vancouver, Washington, is helping Lyndsey Stanfill tissue fit during a pant workshop. Lyndsey teaches the Palmer/Plesch workshops at her sewing school in Louisville, Kentucky.

See Lyndsey’s blog about adding creases to this pant.



After sewing facing to contour waistband, sew stay tape in the seam to keep it from stretching. If the band is loose, pull on the tape while you sew to tighten the band.

If your fabric is stretchy, you can also tape the lower seam at the bottom of the band to keep it from growing.

Use stay tape to stabilized the seam.


by tammie pontsler

I took photos while sewing to make writing the guidesheet and this blog post easier!

Use a longer zipper.


We tell you to buy a 9” zipper even if your opening is 7”. This 14” zipper was in my stash. It worked! The point is that a longer zipper allows straight topstitching because the zipper tab is out of the way! Don’t cut the excess off until you’ve attached the band.


We like to interface the fly extension to give it more body. (See interfacing resources at the end.)

PerfectFuse Light is cut to fit the extension. To keep it from sticking to the ironing board when you fuse, scoot the interfacing to the left 1/8”. It will cover the center front fold and give the folded edge more body.

Interface the fly.


The extension on the front of the pocket facing is caught in the zipper stitching and holds the pleats and pockets flat and in place.

I creased the center front of the right stay and right front. Then I machine basted the folds together. Now the stay will get caught in the zipper and not pull away.

For the left front or underlap, I basted on the fold line for the underlap marked on the pattern.


It is officially called 1/8” double-stick basting tape. I used it twice in my fly zipper.

I first stuck it to the edge of the zipper on the underlap side. It is covered with a protective paper because it is sticky on both sides. Stick it to the zipper, peel away the paper, then place the edge of the underlap next to the zipper teeth and stick in place. Stitch next to the fold.

Then place basting tape on the edge of the overlap, peel away the paper, and, matching snips, stick the overlap in place. Next you are ready to topstitch.

Use basting tape on zipper.


Stick to zipper.
Peel away paper and stick zipper to underlap. 
Stick zipper to underlap.
Sew underlap to zipper.
Sew underlap to zipper.


I made a topstitching template 1” wide and placed it along the fold.

As the guide suggests, however, you can stick two rows of ½” Scotch Magic Tape side by side to the fly. Draw the curve on the tape.


Because this fabric was slippery and stretchy, I used my template and then placed a strip of tape next to it for my zipper foot to slide on while stitching. No puckers!


Prevent puckers.


After testing interfacings on my fabric and sewing a seam through all layers, I selected two weights. I fused PerfectFuse Light to the band facing and PerfectFuse Medium to the band.


You can see the two weights of interfacing under the sheer press cloth. Fuse for 10 seconds in each spot.

interface the waistband


To save on paper, we’ve been asked to remind everyone that patterns are not books. If you want more in-depth tips on fitting, pleats, fly zipper, contour band, and pockets, see Pants for Real People.

If videos work better for you, follow Pati on how to tissue-fit and Marta on how to sew pleats, pockets, fly front, and waistband in the sewing videos. Stream the videos from the digital website or watch free clips on the Palmer/Pletsch YouTube channel!



Each includes use instructions in the 1 or 3 yd. package.

other blogs about pants & TROUSERS

Tammie Pontsler, Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor


Tammie became a Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor in 2016. She resides in Grand Rapids, Mich., where she offers hands-on classes in fit and sewing in her private studio. She also coordinates and teaches online Palmer/Pletsch seminars, classes, and workshops. She is a fit expert who will bring fit to you no matter where you live.
She is currently working toward her Master of Fine Arts degree in Fashion from Savannah College of Art & Design. She also has a master’s in education and experience teaching at San Diego College of Continuing Education, where she helped coordinate the first online fit courses for Palmer/Pletsch. She has been a presenter for the American Sewing Guild and an educator for Bernina of America. 
She is part of the Palmer/Pletsch team of talented instructors worldwide and a contributor to our educator programming. Her passion is creativity in fiber arts and surface design, which shows in her award-winning garments. 
Her designs will be available under Butterick Patterns’ Palmer/Pletsch brand as Tammie Pontsler for Palmer/Pletsch. She hopes to make the Palmer/Pletsch Tissue-Fitting Method available in more pattern brands featuring her designs.
If you are interested in Tammie’s online classes or her studio classes in Grand Rapids, you can reach out to her directly.


Tammie Pontsler, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Lyndsey Stanfill, Louisville, Kentucky

Tammie will be not only designing Butterick patterns but also curating and teaching the new Palmer/Pletsch online classes on Zoom.

Lyndsey, our newest “location” team member has a sewing school in Louisville, Ky., where she offers Palmer/Pletsch workshops.

Both attended a 5-day jeans workshop in Vancouver, Wash., taught by Helen Bartley, author of Fit and Sew Custom Jeans. I got to join the class and sew jeans for me! What fun to be in a class with a great group of teachers! Pati Palmer

Palmer/Pletsch Online Zoom classes and workshops

Our Palmer/Pletsch live online workshops and seminars are offered on Zoom.

Kentucky Sewing School of Lyndsey Stanfill

Our Kentucky workshops are taught by Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor Lyndsey Stanfill. They are held at Made Stitch Company in Louisville.

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