Some women are so lucky: they simply choose clothing in their size and go home to find it fits perfectly, of course. Others have a bigger challenge: it fits in the bust but the shoulders are too wide; the pants are too long or the waistline is too tight. Not everyone has the means to pay for expensive alterations so they can have properly fitting clothes. If you’ve found yourself with a favorite pair of pants, but the legs are just too wide, you can easily fix the problem even if you’ve had a minimal amount of experience with sewing.
To make the legs smaller without a big hassle you might find it easiest to try them on inside-out. That way, you can get someone to pin them for you so that you have the proper fit. Or, mark the areas with chalk and pin the legs after you’ve removed the pants.
If the pants you’re altering are jeans, heavy corduroy or similar types you’ll need an industrial machine to sew them. With great caution some people are able to sew denim on home machines but you risk breaking needles and even tearing up the motor. For lightweight pants, begin sewing from the top of the jeans down to the ankle or other area.
From the area just below the waistband you can sew down to the ankle or any other area. Start a few inches before the area that you want to make smaller. Here, take a couple stitches, back-tack, then begin sewing. Follow the threads already in the side seam until you begin approaching the area you want to make smaller. At this point, gradually start stitching towards the pinned area, removing the pins as you go along.
Stitch as far as you want, but when you begin approaching the end of the area you’re making smaller, start to aim for the stitches already in the side seam, once again. Once you enter back into the side seam, stitch a couple more inches, then back-tack. Remove the pants from under the machine and do the other side.
Trim the old material away to with in a quarter-inch of the new seam. The same technique works for taking in shorts and skirts as well. You’ll find it an easy way to change some garments yourself and save on that expensive alterations bill!