10 Easy Steps to Alter Pants at the Waist
Most garment manufacturing companies seem to think that waist sizes of pants jump 2 inches at a time. So if you’re an in-between size you either have to wear your pants too loose (and you wouldn’t think of wearing your pants too tight, now would you) or get a tailor or seamstress to take them in. Right? Well there is another option that might be more in-line with the economy as it is and the clothing budgets shrinking. Learn how to take in or let out the waist of your dress pants yourself.
Seriously taking in or letting out a pair of dress pants is not hard and will take no more then 30-40 minutes.
First off you need to check if there is extra fabric in the back of the pants. Most men's trousers are designed so that they can be adjusted at the center back seam. You can easily take in or let out up to2inches/5 centimeters without affecting the fit of the pants elsewhere.(Unfortunately this method of letting out pants will mainly work for men's dress pants as only about 10% of ladies slacks have this type of sewing style and seam allowances left in the back of pants and in waist bands. Also most Docker style sport pants for men and naturally jeans do not have extra fabric because they’re sewn with flat French seams. To be honest this has been one of my pet peeves forever and a day.)
You will need straight pins, dress makers chalk, either asmall pair of scissors or a seam ripper, matching color thread, your sewingmachine, iron and ironing cloth.
The job of taking in and letting out is the same. It isalways easier to take in then to let out mainly because then there is no dangerof the pants showing seam marks. If you’ve outgrown your favorite pants (Imeant to say that the pants have shrunk… nudge-nudge-wink-wink) you just needto be really careful when pulling out the old seam.
- If there is a belt loop over the centre seam on the waistband you need to remove it carefully using the small nail scissors or seam ripper.
- You need to try on your pants and have someone pin them in for you to where they feel just right. Measure how much you would like to take in and mark it with your dressmaker’s chalk.
- Remove the stitching that holds down the inside facing of the waistband about 5-6 inches/ 12.5-15centimeters on each side of the centre seam.
- If the amount you need to take in is mainly in the waist and you need all there is in the seat then you will need to make a short seam adjustment only careful not to swoop in too fast. But if you have excess in the butt too then you can sew in the seam more gradually all the way down to the crotch. Using you tailors chalk mark a sewing line on the inside of the pants.
- Place a pin joining the waistband sewing line carefully so that it doesn’t slip apart when you’re sewing. Pin the remainder of the seam. From the edge of the waistband facing right through to where you need to sew.
- Sew along your marked line taking out the pins as you go.
- Try on the pants and if they feel right go over the seam line two more times to give it a good and solid seam. Safe from blow-outs.
8. Remove the old sewing line and press the seam open and flat from the inside of the pants using your damp ironing cloth.
9. Re-sew the waistband facing stitching in the ditch (The line where the waistband and the pants meet).
10. Re-attach your belt loop.
Done… That wasn’t so hard now, was it?