How Do You Take in Pants?


Quick Answer

Taking in pants can be done fairly easily with a seam ripper and a sewing machine. Measure the pants carefully before you begin altering them, since it's difficult to undo a mistake.

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Full Answer

  1. Make a pattern

    Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your waist and hips. Lay the pair of pants to be altered down on the table and place a piece of dressmaker's paper under them. Trace around the pants to make a pattern, and use the measurements you took to reduce the size of the pattern. Cut out the smaller pattern and lay it over the pants, then trace around it so you know how much you have to take in.

  2. Take apart the pants

    Using the seam ripper, remove the waistband from the back of the pants. Leave the waistband attached to the sides and front of the pants, but pull down on the elastic band so that it comes free of the waist.

  3. Restitch the waist

    Put two 2-inch darts in the back of the pants to make the waistband narrower. Each dart should be an equal distance from the center of the waistband. Replace the waistband, and sew it back in place.

  4. Restitch the legs

    Fold in the seams on both legs so that the pants match the pattern you created. Allow the new seam to merge with the existing one around the level of the knee. Trim excess fabric and finish the new seam.

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