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Hi! I have a couple of pants that are loose all around! I mean not only my on the waist, but at the bottom and thighs too. Unfortunately those pants (ready made) are of a shape that I can’t narrow only the waist to achive fitting, it is obvious all around they are more loose than they should be. I really hope this makes sense, I tried taking pics but they barely show what I mean.
Anyway, my question is how do you narrow a pair of pants? Do I take the side seams in or the inner seams in? Which way is correct? Is there anything I have to pay attention to?


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  • 958f82a55d1f911aea11daf7f2e4e6295bbe805d_large

    Apr 8, 2010, 03.49 PMby bohemiannow

    No one knows that answer? If you want to narrow a pair of pants at the legs, do you take the side or the inner seam in? Or should I gain back that extra weight I lost…. lol

  • Bored_polar_bear_large

    Apr 8, 2010, 05.52 PMby 20beverly08

    for pants too big all the way around, first take your own measurements: waist, hips, inner leg seam, outer leg seam. mark this down on paper. then, take the same measurements of your pants, with the pants lying flat on the floor, as if you are marking a pattern, and mark those down on paper. Find the difference between each of the numbers between your own measurements, and the pants. Example: my waist is 36 inches, hips 40 inches, inner leg seam 29 inches, outer leg seam 32 inches( your outer leg seam will be a bit longer, to accommodate your hips). If I have a pair of 46 inch waist pants that are 32 inches long when I try them on, I will determine the difference between my measurements and those of the pants that I want to make smaller. I will then sew my new seams, based on the above formula, matching my own measurements.

    The same formula goes for making pants larger, only you will add strips of fabric to accommodate a larger size.

    Hope this helps. please let me know.



    2 Replies
    • 958f82a55d1f911aea11daf7f2e4e6295bbe805d_large

      Apr 8, 2010, 05.57 PMby bohemiannow

      So if I got that right, you take in all seams you can take in, in order to accomplish fitting. If , for example, my pants are 4 inches bigger than me, I take 2 inches in the outer seam and 2 inches in the inner seam. Right?

    • 20150117_152733_large

      Apr 8, 2010, 08.40 PMby mlssfshn

      At each seam 2 pieces meet. You actually have 4 seams, and each pattern piece has 2 seams so you have 8 seam allowances. 4 inches divided by 8 equals 1/2 inch. So you take out 1/2 an inch at each seam allowance to equal 1 inch at each seam by 4 seams to equal 4 inches. If you take out 2 inches in the inner seam and 2 inches in the outer seam your actually taking out 16 inches. Is that clear?

  • Bored_polar_bear_large

    Apr 8, 2010, 06.14 PMby 20beverly08

    Right, if your pants are 4 inches too big all the way around, take in only 1 inch at each outer seam and only 1 inch at each inner seam, because you want the right and left sides to be even on bother outer seams and both inner seams, for evenly spaced seams. There are 4 seams total: 2 inner and 2 outer leg seams, so divide 4 inches too big by 4, and take in one inch on each of the 4 seams. If you can sew in the waist band at each of its side seams (waist bands can be made smaller where the outer seams of you pants are, so it looks like you wanted the waistband to have outer side seams), and then sew the extra fabric in the waist band flat, that will work. I’ve had to take in and shorten pants all my life, so sewing is defiinitely a worthwhile hobby.

    1 Reply
    • 20150117_152733_large

      Apr 8, 2010, 08.43 PMby mlssfshn

      you only want to take out 1/2 in at each seam because when you stitch in 1/2 in your actually taking a half inch from each piece of fabric that meets at that seam. So if you take a 1/2 inch you actually get an inch. 1 in in actually becomes 2.

  • 10th_aug_on_holiday_large

    Apr 8, 2010, 07.04 PMby katensew

    If the pants have a pressed in knife edge seam front and back then you must take an equal amount from the side and inner leg seam to maintain this knife edge exactly. Sometimes a waistband has seams at the side/ back ( especially if the waistband is shaped. So remove the waistband at these points only, make the adjustment on these seams and reapply the waistband.

  • 958f82a55d1f911aea11daf7f2e4e6295bbe805d_large

    Apr 9, 2010, 07.10 AMby bohemiannow

    Thanks guys! To missfshn: yes I understand the calculation, I’ve been narrowing waist bands for ever! Above I ment 2 inches as a total. I was just wondering, cause once a seamstress told me that you can only narrow a pants by the inner seam and that didnt sound right. Thanks a lot again.

  • Sam_0020_large

    Dec 13, 2010, 01.15 PMby wardrobe-cat

    And don’t forget not to go overboard. Make sure your foot still fits through the hole!

    1 Reply
    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Dec 15, 2010, 11.03 AMby katexxxxxx

      Snort – giggle! BTDT… I ended up putting a zip up the outside of the legs, like a boot zip!

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