he's not getting fatter, so the pants must be smaller
April 8, 2007 10:47 AM   Subscribe

Sewingfilter: how do I take in pants?

I made my boyfriends sleep pants from this pattern He told me he was a medium in pants and I made them for the medium pattern. Well I had him try them on before I sewed the elastic in the waist band and they are much too big, even with a drawstring. I realized I should have made them S instead of M. How do I take the pants in? What stitches do I need to undo, or do I just sew this sides up smaller and cut the excess off? I'm a beginner at this so I'm really not sure.
posted by Attackpanda to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Because it's sleepwear, and not something he's going to wear in public, you could probably get a lot of mileage out of simply sewing up the sides, cutting off the excess. If they're also too high on his waist, you might also need to cut a bit off the top, or roll the waist band over an additional time.

I wouldn't do that with proper garments, since it will affect the fit through the crotch, but sleep pants are generally loose and comfy in any case. Try running a basting stitch (long, loose tensioned stitch that's easy to pull back out) up the side seams and have him try them back on. If that seems workable for him, then just go over the basting stitch with a strong seam line.

If you want to get more into what changes you would want to make to do this "properly" look back to your pattern. It's likely multi-sized, so the next set of lines in are what you would have cut to make the size smaller. See where they've removed fabric and how it's different through the crotch to see how you would properly size something down.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:01 AM on April 8, 2007


thank you so much!
posted by Attackpanda at 11:03 AM on April 8, 2007


Just make sure you don't sew over the waistband where you insert the elastic- you probably need to unstitch/take off the waistband in order to properly resize the pants.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:32 AM on April 8, 2007


Yes, for this round just change the outside seams. and possibly the waistband. For me it would be easier to use a seam ripper to remove the sewn-on elastic instead of trying to take the pants in with the elastic still on; use it to undo whatever other stitching as well. You can get a cheap seam ripper at many drugstores/discount stores near the needles and thread.

If you're definitely going to make another pair of PJs, buy a size S pattern and compare the pieces to the M pattern, just to give you a clearer idea of what's needed.
posted by wryly at 12:12 PM on April 8, 2007


I am a professional seamstress/alterations specialist. This is the pro method of taking in pants of most kinds:

You should have a front and back seam on the pants, the back seam is the one you want. Only take in side seams if they are the ONLY seams on a garment.

Have him try the pants on, then with your hands and a few pins tighten the pants in the back to the comfortable/proper size and pin. This will be your guide.

Keeping it pinned, turn the pants inside out. Now with some sort of marker (tailors chalk or a pen) on the inside of the pants mark where your pins hold. You'll probably have to eyeball it, but from about an inch above the crotch mark with a dotted line up to the first mark by the waistband. A little bit of curve in the line is great for a better fit.

Next Undo about 2 or 3 inches past where your pins mark the waistband (not the back seam, just the waistband part, including the part that the drawstring goes through.

Now fold the backseam (like you were flattening the pants from front to back instead of side to side) and sew along your dotted line. Make sure to secure the beginning and end of your seam by going back and forth a few times, that way anchoring the thread. You can double the seam if you think it will undergo any stress (not likely if it's just sleepwear.)

Now undo the FIRST backseam that was obviously too big, and flatten that. You can trim it with scissors if it's more than an inch or so. Then basically resew your waistband the same as before, only with that backseam folded under it. Make sure you keep any elastic or drawstring out of the way so it doesn't get sewn in (you can pin it in place if you need to.)

That's pretty much it. If you try this and run into any difficulties, feel free to ask in these comments, I'll check back for a few days.
posted by othersomethings at 12:29 PM on April 8, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oooh. that sounds do-able even for me. thank you!
posted by Attackpanda at 6:27 AM on April 9, 2007


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