How to Take in Pants Legs: A Step--Step Guide
Whether you’ve recently lost weight, purchased a pair of pants that are slightly too big, or simply want a more tailored look, taking in the legs of your pants can make a significant difference in their fit. Altering pants can be a simple task, even for beginners. In this article, we will guide you through the process of taking in pants legs, ensuring a perfect fit every time.
Step 1: Gather the necessary tools
To start, you will need a sewing machine (or a needle and thread if you prefer hand-sewing), a measuring tape, chalk or fabric marker, pins, and a pair of scissors. Additionally, ensure you have matching thread to your pants.
Step 2: Measure and mark
Put on the pair of pants and determine how much you need to take in. Pinch the fabric on each side of the leg until you achieve the desired fit. Use a measuring tape to ensure both sides are symmetrical. Mark the excess fabric with chalk or a fabric marker.
Step 3: Pin the fabric
Carefully remove the pants and lay them flat on a table or ironing board. Starting at the bottom hem, fold the fabric along the marked lines and pin it in place. Continue pinning the fabric up the leg, ensuring it is smooth and flat.
Step 4: Sew the new seam
Using the sewing machine or needle and thread, sew along the pinned line, removing the pins as you go. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end to secure the seam. Trim any excess fabric close to the new seam, leaving a small allowance for future adjustments if needed.
Step 5: Try on the altered pants
Once you have sewn both legs, try the pants on to ensure the fit is satisfactory. Make any necessary adjustments re-sewing or trimming any excess fabric. If you are satisfied with the alterations, press the seams with an iron to create a crisp finish.
Now that you know the basic steps of taking in pants legs, let’s address some common questions that may arise during the process:
1. Can I alter pants legs without a sewing machine?
Yes, you can hand-sew the new seam using a needle and thread. It may take longer, but it is entirely possible.
2. How much fabric should I pinch in to take in the pants legs?
Pinch in the fabric until you achieve the desired fit. However, it is advisable to leave a small allowance for future adjustments.
3. Can I alter pants with patterns or stripes?
Yes, you can. Just ensure that the pattern or stripes line up correctly before sewing the new seam.
4. How do I ensure both legs are symmetrical?
Measure the distance from the inseam to the edge of the fabric on each leg to ensure consistency.
5. What type of thread should I use?
Use a thread that matches the color of your pants to ensure a seamless finish.
6. How do I prevent the fabric from bunching up while sewing?
Take your time and sew slowly, ensuring the fabric is smooth and flat as you go.
7. Can I alter pants legs that have a zipper?
Yes, you can alter pants legs with zippers. Just make sure to sew around the zipper carefully.
8. Is it possible to take in pants legs that are too tight?
If the pants are too tight, it may be challenging to take in the legs further. Consider seeking professional alterations or purchasing a new pair.
9. Can I alter jeans using the same method?
Yes, the same steps can be applied to altering jeans. However, keep in mind that denim fabric may require a heavy-duty sewing machine or needle.
10. What if I make a mistake while sewing?
If you make a mistake, simply remove the stitches and try again. Practice makes perfect!
11. Can I take in pants legs if they have cuffs?
Yes, you can alter pants legs with cuffs. Just ensure that the cuff aligns correctly after sewing the new seam.
12. How long does it take to alter pants legs?
The time required will depend on your sewing skills and the complexity of the alteration. On average, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
13. Should I wash the pants before or after altering them?
It is advisable to wash the pants before taking in the legs as they may shrink slightly.
14. Can I alter pants legs if they have pockets?
Yes, you can alter pants legs with pockets. Just be cautious while sewing around the pocket area and ensure the pockets remain functional.
With these steps and answers to common questions, you are now equipped to take in pants legs and achieve a customized fit. Remember, practice and patience are key, so don’t be afraid to try altering different pairs of pants until you become confident in your skills. Happy sewing!