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How to take in trousers at the waist

How to take in trousers at the waist

Learn how to take in trousers at the waist with this extract from Mending and Alterations Made Simple by Anna de Leo. This book teaches you all the essential skills for mending, altering and fixing clothes. It will teach you essential clothing maintenance so you can get a longer life from your garments. 

Tightening trousers at the waist

How to alter pants at the waist

Here the repair depends on the type of trousers and the type of stitching they have
on the back; however, the waist is usually taken in at the “centre back” (i.e. the middle of the back of the trousers), where there is a seam on the waistband. Before continuing, measure how much you want to take in while the trousers are being worn, secure the excess with a pin.

How to adjust the waist on trousers

Finally measure the amount to be taken in.

For classic men’s trousers you normally turn them inside out and simply unpick the inner waistband from the trousers

How to reduce the waist on pants

On the waist, on the wrong side of the trousers, mark the amount to take in with
chalk, for example two times 1 cm, or 2 cm total.

How to adjust your trousers

Baste after pinning the part to be tightened.

How to make your trousers fit better

Then, starting from a few dozen centimetres down the old seam, start to stitch towards the chalk mark you made on the waist and continue along the waistband

How to take in the waist of too big trousers

Unpick the old seam.

How to make jeans waist smaller

 Iron the open seam allowances

How to reduce the wait on trousers

When doing the stitching to take in the trousers you must make sure that the seams on the waistband match up.

How to alter trousers at the waist

Iron the trousers again. 

How to reduce the waist on trousers by hand

Use an invisible stitch on the wrong side of the trousers to close up the waistband.

TIP – Some particularly delicate fabrics risk getting the so-called “glossy effect” when ironed, so place a cotton cloth between the iron and the fabric.

Mending and Alterations Made Simple: A Complete Guide to Clothes Repair is available from most good bookshops.

Image copyright: Anna De Leo

Extract used with the permission of the publishers Hoaki Books.

For other mending or alteration tutorials please visit our techniques page and click the alterations & repairs tag.