Taking in Pant Seams

Make your pants fit you to a T with a few stitches.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Pants that don’t fit you right, sagging and bagging at the waist, hips or legs, can be enough to drive you batty. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, try taking in pant seams to make your pants fit you right. The process isn’t too tricky, so grab your supplies and transform your baggy pants into pants that conform to your form.


Try on your pants and figure out just where you need to take them in -- at the waist, hips or legs. Pinch the excess fabric in your fingers at both side seams and note how much fabric needs to go. You’ll take the same amount in from both side seams -- measure this with the tape measure so you know how much to take in your pants. Slide off your pants so you can work on them.


Rip out both outer side seams where you need to take them in. If you’re altering the waist and hips, rip out about 5 inches of waistband at each side seam and then rip out the side seams about 5 inches past the point where you want to stop stitching.


Look at your pants along the ripped out seams -- the front pants pieces often have rivets and pockets. You don’t want to mess with these or stitch these parts into a new seam. The best way to take your pants in is to move the back pants pieces in the amount of fabric you measured in the first step. Measure this distance along the back side edge of your pants with the tape measure and draw a stitching line with the fabric marker. Taper the stitching line so it blends in gradually to the original seam at the point where you stopped ripping out the side seams.


Pin the edges together to eliminate the excess fabric from the back side edges of your pants. Align the stitching line you drew on the back pants pieces with the original stitching lines on the front pants pieces -- you’ll be stitching along the same seam line on the front side edges.


Sew both new pants seams along the stitching lines you drew. Take out the pins and trim off the excess fabric with the scissors.


If you ripped out the waistband to take in the waist, you need to take it in before stitching it again. Fold the waistband in half where it aligns with the side seam. Measure in from the fold half of the distance you took in your pants and stitch a vertical seam at this point to make the waistband fit your pants. Stitch the waistband back to the pants on each side to finish taking in the pants seams.


Try on your pants -- they should fit with a comfy snugness.

Things You'll Need


1.Tape measure

3.Fabric marker

5.Sewing machine


2.Seam ripper


6.Thread (matching pants)


Tips & Tricks


If your pants have front pockets, make sure you keep the pocket linings out of the way as you stitch the new side seams.


Related Videos




Burda Style: Take in Jeans at the Side Seam
Alterations the Seams Easy Way; Susan Martinek

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