How to tailor pants

topic posted Mon, December 5, 2005 - 8:41 AM by  Rose
I have gone down a few inches in the past month and a half (mostly waist size) and now all of my pants are too large. I took in my jeans about 3-4 inches total (not sure how many dress sizes that is. I just basically started at the waist and sewed all the way down (since I lost inches in my thighs too). I have take in my shirts too.

But with my dress pants, I'm not sure what to do or how to do it. I sew but I dont tailor. I dont want to spend the $$ to have someone do it and plus I'm still loseing. Do you recommend a book for this?
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SF Bay Area
  • Re: How to tailor pants

    Mon, December 5, 2005 - 10:49 AM
    wow, I'm scared to tailor pants. I have this pair that fit me about 6months ago, but now they fall off my hips, but they were expensive, and I'm scared to touch them..
    (also, whats the secret tolosing 3" in less than 2 months,girl?! share the wealth!)
    • Re: How to tailor pants

      Mon, December 5, 2005 - 11:02 AM
      I'm afraid to touch these pants too! I dont have that many clothes so its not like I can just not wear them.

      How I lost the weight? I already had a pretty healthy lifestyle - good diet and excercise, but I had an intolerance to wheat and I'm just finding out about it. Once I took it out of my diet, I instantly dropped weight in fat and bloating. I started drinking more water, eating more smaller meals throughout the day and less when I do eat. But taking wheat really made the most difference.
      • Re: How to tailor pants

        Mon, December 5, 2005 - 11:04 AM
        interesting. hm
        my first roommate was allergic to wheat too.

        Anyhow, back on topic!
        • Re: How to tailor pants

          Mon, December 5, 2005 - 11:44 AM
          Not allergic just intolerant - HUGE difference.

          I think I may just leave my pants alone before I ruin them. I might exchange them at a consignment store though...but huge pants feel so sloppy. :P
          • Unsu...

            Re: How to tailor pants

            Mon, December 5, 2005 - 12:23 PM
            ok, back on topic...
            for tailored pants, there are generally front and back darts.
            Compute how much smaller you need the waist and divide it between the side seams and the darts. If it is mostly front, at the tummy, you might do minimal changes to the back darts and the back half of the side seam--just depends.
            Hip and leg changes can be divided between the side seam and the inseam BUT again, if the main loss is at the tummy, there will be excess length of fabric along the center front from top of pants to crotch seam. So some of that reduction should NOT be done by just moving in the side seam and inseam, but by shortening the crotch seam.
            clear as mud?
            • Re: How to tailor pants

              Mon, December 5, 2005 - 1:58 PM
              Clear! :D

              In other words: dont mess with it.

              I can deal with darts and side/inseams, but the crotch is not something I want to mess with.
            • Re: How to tailor pants

              Tue, December 6, 2005 - 5:44 PM
              what happens if you bring in the center seam in the back?
              • Unsu...

                Re: How to tailor pants

                Tue, December 6, 2005 - 6:01 PM
                "what happens if you bring in the center seam in the back?"
                if the butt has shrunk significantly, the fit will be improved.
                But I think most female weight loss tends to be tummy, then hips/thighs and tightneing the space across the buttocks would be one of the last things I'd look to do.
                If the butt had changed, the first thing I'd look at is adjusting back darts for changes in waist/hip relationship, then side seams and center back seam altogether, then crotch depth. Crotch depth may be more appropriate then back seams in terms of where the excess fabric is actually going. Depends entirely on the bod!
  • Re: How to tailor pants

    Wed, December 14, 2005 - 6:05 PM
    I do alterations for a living.
    Men's dress pants are always designed to take in the seat and waist from the CB seam. You can take in pants this way but if you take in too much of an angle going upward, you will get
    a vee dip to CB waistband. On womens pants, if you do this.
    you may have to open up waistband, slash it at CB and finish
    it off. Go to a resale shop and look for a pair of mens
    pants that have been altered in CB to see what they did. I
    learned a LOT by looking at techniques done on ready to wear. Mens pants are always taken in or let out in
    the CB, except for jeans or sport pants.
    Unlined slacks are easier to alter than lined, naturally. A lot
    of womens pants alterations are done by taking the waistband
    off about 3/4 of way around, leaving it attached on side
    that has buttonhole or hook. Try the pants on, pinning in the
    amount desired at each side. Sew neatly, remove orignal
    seam as needed, press. When you reattach waistband, you
    should have extra length equal to the total amount you took
    out of the seams. This will be on the button end or eye end of the waistband. If your pants are lined, you need
    to repeat the same alterations on the lining--just takes more
    Just go slow. Try to make your finished work look as good
    as the pants did originally. My college professor always said that a finished garment should be as pretty on
    the inside as it is on the outside.
    Take a look (if your library has them) at back issued
    of Threads Magazine. (
    Each issue usually features info on fitting and it is an inspiring and outstanding source of sewing information.
    As an aside, I have also recently found out that I am allergic to wheat! That explains years of headaches, hands that swelled and hurt when I kneaded dough, my red forearms
    when I was a kid (Celiac disease)!
    • Unsu...

      Re: How to tailor pants

      Wed, December 14, 2005 - 9:19 PM
      Connie, just want to say welcome to Bay Area Sewing tribe! you've jumped in with some wonderful posts today!

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