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Altering pleated pants

Sew Biz | Posted in Fitting on

Hello out there!  I’m new to this board and ran a quick search on altering pleated pants.  I have a number of pleated pants that I’m considering “unpleating” and changing to flat front.  Has anyone done this?  Do I have to take them all apart completely?  And to boot, they are lined and have pockets!  Thanks for any advice. 


  1. ixs | | #1

    Hi, That is a big job. I would rather sew something new than alter it. But I would think you might want to only take the front apart (oh, not sure of myself here) and see if you can put darts in that won't interfere with the pockets. Then you'll have to decide what to do with the lining, depending on how that was done. Maybe you can work on the cheapest pair first, in case you ruin them. I would think you would have to take the front waistband apart.

    How about it everybody? What do you think?

  2. Elisabeth | | #2

    The main pleats are giant unsewn darts that either "end" at the hem or at the knee. If there is a smaller pleat close to the pocket it is a regular type dart of only a few inches. To keep the straight grain down the front of the pants, along the crease, the fronts would need to be completely resewn since fabric would need to be taken off the center front and the sides. You can see how a pleated pants pattern is created from flat front in an article by Judy Barlup here http://uniquetechniques.com/Tips_Tech/tips_tech.html

    1. Sew Biz | | #3

      Thanks for the info.  It does sound like a big job.  Good idea to try it on the least favorite, cheapest pair.  Since I don't wear them that much anyway, I might as well!  At worst, I can learn how they were put together.


      1. LindaG | | #4


        Here is a link that explains the drafting difference between pleated and darted pants.  It helped me understand that the width added for the pleat actually goes to the hemline and why just eliminating the pleat on a pattern left me with some baggieness in the thigh and knee area.



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