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How to Let Out Pants

Need a little breathing room? Let your pants out using some necessary and careful techniques that will make them good as new.


  • TIP: Don't change the seam at the crotch. Altering this area will change the depth of the crotch.
  • Step 1: Remove the basting. Reinforce the area by adding an additional seam 1/8 inch from the new seam.
  • Step 2: Fold the waistband facing back into place and restitch down the center seam of this facing. Replace the belt loop and you're done.
  • FACT: In 1789, during the French Revolution, rebellious men rejected knee breeches worn by the aristocracy, wearing trousers instead. They were referred to as _sans-culottes_, which in French means "without breeches."
  • Step 3: Remove the original seam line and try the pants on to be sure they fit at the waist. Take the pants off again and stitch down the seam line.
  • Step 4: Baste, sewing by hand or setting the stitch length on the machine, along the new seam line you have marked.
  • Step 5: Remove the belt loop at the center back seam with a seam ripper, as well as the stitching there that holds the waistband facing in place on the inside of the pants. Pull this facing up, exposing the seam that runs from the top of the facing into the pants' crotch.
  • TIP: Go slow with your seam ripper to avoid cutting or damaging your fabric, which is easy to do.
  • Step 6: Mark a line on the inside of the pants, starting at the top of the seam on the waistband facing down to the crotch area. Gradually taper it to blend into the old seam line.
  • Step 7: Try on the pants to see how much you need to alter. Measure the opening of the open zipper for an idea of how much to let out.

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