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Help with slimming down rtw mens pants.

wantingtolearn | Posted in Fitting on

Hi all, hopefully I can get some advice. I buy rtw pants but they are too baggy for me, I like the european cut pants, where they are slimmer, how do I slim down a pair of pants that I buy in a store? Thanks for any advice.


  1. fabricmaven | | #1

    I have a very flat seat, so whenever I buy RTW pants the back is always baggy. First, I always look at the center back seam to see if I need to remove any length from the center back seam under the waist band. By pinching fabric horizontally until I remove some of the excess fabric hanging under the buttocks I see that I usually have to remove about an inch at the center back waist seam tapering with a french curve to match the existing side waist seam. If a flat derriere is not your problem you can pin out the undesired fullness in the back legs just under the derriere. Divide this measurement by two, removing equal amounts from either side of the back legs. Then remove the original stitching from the inside of your knee which you will have marked with a chalk line. Mark the amount to be removed from the inside back leg with a ruler up to the crotch line. This will require moving the back crotch seam line forward but remind yourself that you must leave a seam allowance for the back. Then remove the stitching from the side seams at the high hip area to the knee line and adjust the excess amount in the same way as  the inner leg. I usually baste it all back together and try the pants on. If it isn't quite right I play with the amount s on either side untill I'm satisfied that the grain lines are hanging properly and that the pants look good from the rear view. Basically you are removing excess fabric from the back crotch area that tapers to the original seamline at the inner knees and excess from the lower hip line to the knee on the side seam.  Hope this makes sense.   

    1. wantingtolearn | | #2

      Thank You so much for the info, I will try it out. It was very helpful. Thanks again.

    2. Digi | | #6

      I also have a very flat "bumb" and also have very thin (long) legs.  I've always had a difficult time buying pants that fit, and have never quite met the challenge of making my own that I felt were "perfect".  I have no belly, so no problem there ...and the sides of my hips are straight - not rounded like most women.  Actually, I'm built more like a teen-aged boy!

      So ...any ideas for this figure type ...and have you found a pattern that you particularly like for your flat seat?  I like pants that are neither flared or narrow ...sort of straight down ...I guess you'd call them: "stove pipe" legs.  I would appreciate any thoughts or ideas you might be able to share.  Thanks so much for your ideas so far.

      1. fabricmaven | | #7

        Hi, I don't know if you have a long, no, or short waist. I'm short in the waist and rather straight. So waistbands do not look good on me. I can't give you a specific pattern that works for your type of figure. In the past I have bought mens slim/boot cut jeans. For me that would be a 26 or 27" waist with a 30" inseam. The boot cut means they come straight down from the knee. Neither tapered or flared. That is the silhouette that looks best on me. I have an old Calvin Kline jeans pattern that has undergone many iterations. I removed the waistband and added that amount to the top of the pants pattern and created a facing instead. I also made the back of the pattern one inch wider than the front. Meaning that I removed width from the front pattern at the side seams and inseam and added to the back then redrew the seam allowances. I didn't make the pattern larger.  It just seems to make them more comfortable to sit in.Over the years I have made the pattern in silk, lace that I've underlined, velvet, upholstery (light weight) Anything that could be interesting.  You can lay that pattern over another pattern and get a general idea of how much you have to remove from the back side seams and upper crotch area. You could take apart an old or cheap pair of jeans and create a master pattern. Hope this helps.

        1. Digi | | #8

          You've given me some very helpful ideas; thanks.  I think what I'm going to do is to draft my own pattern from scratch ...using a couple of articles from Threads as my guide.

          As to front and back: I like the idea of not doing a circumference measurement of the hips, but taking front and back separately ...as this has helped a lot in the past, probably because I not only have a flat seat, but also very thin thighs.  Therefore, it has helped to take out (on the pattern tissue) a long, vertical piece from waist to pant cuff.  If I need to, I then add to the sides ...but at least I have less fabric in the "bum" area.  (I hope I explained that clearly).

          I checked the Threads index, and there are a number of good articles on drafting pants - including the most recent one in #133 on "Knock Off Your Favorite Pants" - which, while different than drafting from the beginning, should be fun to try.  I do have a pair of jeans that are perfect, except for too short in the rise.  I am long waisted, long in the rise, and have long legs (32-inch inseam, flat footed, with no shoe on), so the rise is usually much longer, depending on the heel height of the shoe I plan to wear with that particular pair of pants.

          Thanks again for your helpful ideas.

  2. Teaf5 | | #3

    One way is to try on the pants inside out. That way, you can pin and re-pin the seams until you get the shape you like, and then use the pins as a guide for your new seam lines, allowing a little ease for the bulk of the seam allowances when they'll be inside.

    Inside-out pants look really funny, but you can see where the seam lines intersect with each other and with pockets, and pinning them that way means you don't have to re-pin in order to stitch.

    Remember, though, that you can only go so far in modifying pants from one style to another; You can't go from boxy, pleated trousers to flat-front narrow slacks without taking them apart and completely remaking them because the entire fronts and backs have to be re-drafted. It's a lot easier to look for another manufacturer with a different basic fit.

    1. dollmarm | | #4

      hey I like your idea - never thought of such a simple idea.  My son is long and thin and most of his pants to fit for length are baggy in the seat and waist.  I will try this idea.  thanks,  I found him some suits that were never worn at a Consignment Shop that the pants are very baggy in the upper leg section.  I will see how much I can taper in with out them looking and or fitting funny.  By turning them inside out I will be able to see how much, plus not interfere with the pocket material.  Again thanks, :~)

    2. wantingtolearn | | #5

      Hey Thanks so much, what a simple and easy idea. I will give it a try. Thanks for your help!

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