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altering pleated pants

andyangel | Posted in Fitting on

Hello Everyone,

I am new to Threads gathering discussion. 

Has anyone attempted to alter pleated pants to a flat waistline?  I have a pair that I want to alter but I’m not sure where to start.  Thanks!


  1. mem | | #1

    do you mean that your front crotch curve is shorter than the pants front??

    1. andyangel | | #2

      No i just want to remove the pleats and make the front flat    thx

      1. mem | | #3

        You will need to convert the pleats into darts  I am not sure whthet there will be too much fabric right through the front and that this will be a hard job to do well . How wide are the pleats?

      2. Ralphetta | | #4

        I've done this, but it was more time consuming than I expected.  Unless the pleats are REALLY shallow you will have way more fabric from the waist down to mid thigh than is easily removed by a couple of darts.  In my case  the difficulty was the area below where normal darts end. Running the darts down that far was really conspicuous to me. If there hadn't been pockets, I could have just opened the side seam and taken the excess out of the front from the sides....  maybe. 

        Oh, and there was a lining to refit.

         By trial and error I made it accpetable, but it wasn't something I would do again unless I really, really, really loved the pants and  thought they made me look like a movie star.

        1. andyangel | | #5

          Thanks for the advice.  These pants don't fit that description! 


          1. Teaf5 | | #6

            Another, easier option to take some of the fullness out of pleated pants is to iron them flat, then topstitch each pleat closed down a few inches, creating tucks.  The waistline area is now much flatter, but the fullness near the crotch area remains, allowing for ease of movement.

            However, I agree with other posters that pleated pants in general fit completely differently, and it's generally not worth trying to convert them to flat-fronts.

          2. mygaley | | #7

            Before I attempted to make this conversion, I would thread trace the grain line up the front of both legs to the waist. Place a paper pattern that fits you on top of this, matching the waist and having the grain lines match. When you see how many places on every seam line will have to be changed, you will know what you want to do. If you decide to go ahead, you will still use the grain line you marked, so this won't be wasted time and effort. If I wanted to do this to save a great fabric, or perhaps salvage one part of a suit, I would completely disassemble the garment, recut using the grain lines, and go from there. This may sound time-consuming, but I have had times when I had more time than cash and thought a "free" garment was worth my time. God bless you Galey

      3. limelake | | #8

        Peggy Sagers has instructions on her website. she only has one or two pants patterns in her collection and provides these instructions on how to alter them.  Hope this helps!


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