How To Alter Pants (Trousers)

How To Alter Pants (Trousers)

A step by step approach that guides you through waistband alteration and shows how straightforward it is!

Hi, I'm Claire Louise and I'm a theatrical wardrobe mistress working in the West end of London. Today I'm going to be sharing with you some of my tips and tricks on how to get the best out of clothing repairs and alterations. In this video I'm going to show you how to alter the waist of a pair of trousers.

These trousers have already been fitted and I know that I want to take this much out of the waistband. The first thing I'm going to do , the pins are going through both layers as I'm just lightly making a mark so the pin is just through a single layer of fabric. I'm going to be taking this alteration out on the same amount on either side , so I only need one side of the fabric to be marked.

So now my seam is open again and then I'm going to turn it to the inside and I need to unpick all the stitching that holds this waistband down so that we can get inside and get this whole thing adjusted neatly . I've already unpicked this , for speed, but there's a little row of stitching that just sits in there and once you've unpicked that then you've got a nice flat area and you can really get inside your waistband. I've just caught my seam allowance there .

So the next thing I'm going to do is give myself a chalk line marking where those pins are and this is just a rough chalk line . The next thing I'm going to do , so that it's easy to access this seam, I'm going to pass my hand through one leg of the trousers and grab the hem of the other leg and this feels a bit counter intuitive and then I'm going to pull them together so the two legs of my trousers are now inside each other. What this has done is it's opened out the seam and it makes it much easier for me to stitch it.

And now, I'm going to much more carefully mark this new line. So I want to guide the line towards my original stitching and I want to take the same amount all the way up through this waistband at the top . And now I'm just going to pin .

And you need to have opened up enough stitching that you can easily get right the way through this layer . And now I'm going to take this to the sewing machine. So I'm starting my machining just a little bit past where the original stitching was.

I haven't unpicked any of the stitching before I do my new row and this helps keep the two layers exactly together. A little tip for stitching a curved seam is to have a very slight zig zag on it and that allows it to stretch because this is actually is a curve and if it doesn't stretch, often the seams will split which is why your trousers get holes in its seat. And I'm just going to do a little bit of reversing to start , always start sewing clothes with some reversing because you don't want it to unravel as you ? and if you're comfortable sewing over pins, that's absolutely fine.

The tricky bit is when you get to the top because we've got this sort of folded over layer so I'm going slowly making that nice and easy . I'm using the thumb of my left hand to make sure it's all smooth underneath there. And again, a little bit of reversing at the top.

I'm now going to unpick some of this and trim this down and then press the seam open. I'm just taking my pins out. It's good to keep quite a bit of seam allowance in the centre back because you may decide you may want to let these trousers back out again in the future.

Don't cut everything away and I do the trimming before I do the unpicking because often it saves me having to do too much unpicking . I'm going to get that seam nice and open . Now a centre back seam on trousers must be open or it won't sit flat.

And then I've just got a little bit of unpicking to do on the original stitching just here . Now you can see that we've got a raw edge and that's fraying so we do need to put a finish on this edge so we're just going to run up the two sides and zig zag over that raw edge. Using a zig zag on a machine is a perfect way of finishing off your garments at home and you d