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Making pants leg slimmer

berniejh | Posted in Fitting on

Can someone tell me how to make the legs of pants slimmer.  I have a pattern for pants with a fairly straight leg and would like to make the leg slimmer so I can wear the pants with tunics.

Is it as simple as just cutting them slimmer?  The pattern has a side zip and a narrow waist band and fits nicely thru the hip and butt.  I would like them to be about as slim as Simplicity 2568.   The pattern is not available in New Zealand yet.


  1. stillsuesew | | #1

    Your pants pattern shouldn't have any pleats. If it doesn't you should be able to take them in - you need to do it evenly on each side of the leg tapering to nothing at the hip and the crotch. Those look like really narrow pant legs. It may help to have a little stretch in the fabric.

  2. sewelegant | | #2

    Every bit of advice I have seen on changing the width of pants emphasizes the need to equally remove (or add) the excess width from both sides of the leg.  If your pants pattern already fits well above the crotch line and there is not a lot of excess fabric in the torso (e.g. pleats) then you can easily make your own pattern.  Just lay out your pattern and decide how wide you want the width at the hem to be... it needs to be big enough for your foot to go through.  Then use a long ruler to connect the crotch line with the hemline.

    There have been so many patterns in the last few years on leggings.  Do you not have any of them available?  Anyway, happy sewing, and I know you can do it!  I have drafted my own pants pattern with good results and this is basically how one decides the width.

  3. cat42 | | #3

    Threads had an excellent article on this topic, in the old ''Fitting Section." This was by Karen Howland, Nov 2008: https://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4309/tapering-or-widening-pantsIf you're only going to take away a small amount on each side of the leg (1/4 inch or less), then you can probably just trim it away. But any more than that, other things must also be altered, including: slope of crotch curves, slope of CB and CF, darting at waist. This is all described in the Threads article.Here's a few other articles that might help too, from Threads:
    A Comfortable Pair of Pants, by Rebecca Nebasar has a great sketch on the first page that describes how crotch curves vary as legs get narrower or shorter. (Feb/Mar 1990)Fitting Pants from a Sloper (Fitting section, by Karen Howland, in response to a question from me), Vol 106, April/May 2003. Has sketch comparing pants slopers for trousers, slacks and dartless jeans, showing differences in waist, CB/CF slope, crotch curve and leg width, when legs get narrower.

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