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How do I make high waist pants low-rise?

luckie85 | Posted in Fitting on

Hi everyone –

I found in my closet the other day a beautiful pair of flowing black pants which would do wonderfully for any elegant evening out. They’re a great material and from an expensive store so good quality too. I bought these when I was 15 (I am now 18) but still fit into them miraculously. However, as I am sure many of you know, trends have changed over the years and these pants which come up to my waist would look GREAT low-rise. They are a clasp fasten above the zip. My mom is handy with a sewing machine and I asked if she would lower the waist so that they are low-rise hipsters, by cutting off much of the waistband fabric and removing the zip so we just have a three-button up fastener (much easier, I assume, than putting in another, shorter, zip and clasp fasten).

She is unsure about tactics for doing this – particularly how to remove excess material from the waistband area without ruining the pants, and how to remove the zipper successfully. We don’t even know if this is the best way to go but I’d love to wear these pants on New Year’s Eve so any suggestions would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks!


  1. SewerDMcG | | #1

    What type of zipper is it. I would just lower the waistband (you would probably need to make a new waistband to fit where you would want it, i.e. hips) and keep the zipper (just shorten it from the top). Just be sure the top of the zipper has some kind of stop.


    1. luckie85 | | #2

      I can shorten the zipper from the bottom if I stitch across it but not from the top, surely? Please tell me exactly how - that would be all I need to know - thanks!

      1. SewerDMcG | | #3

        Here a link on how to shorten zippers. Is the waistband separate?

        1. luckie85 | | #4

          No the waistband is presently not separate. Thanks for the link - that's great. I'll show it to my mom and see what she can do and if there are any more questions I'll be sure to ask - thanks so much!

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