Intro: How to Skinny-ify Baggy Pants
This project requires basic sewing knowledge, but it’s not too hard for beginners. You will need only basic sewing tools.
Things to keep in mind: (1) We focused only on the legs of the pants; making the hip area of a pair of pants fitted is a little trickier so our instructions will only include the legs. (2) We didn’t serge the seams, but if you have a serger, you can! We will let you know in the instructions below when you would use the serger. (3) Don’t try this with pants that are several sizes too big for you. (4) We used a model because it is a bit more difficult to try to do this project on your own.
Materials you need:
1. Pins (at least 20)
2. Thread that matches the color of the pants
3. Sewing machine
5. Seam ripper
6. Serger (also known as overlocker) (optional)
Step 1: Preparations
1. Turn the pants inside-out and have your model put them on.
2. On the outside of each leg, use the pins to make a line where you’d like the seam to be.
3. Try to emulate the original seam with your pins or the final seam may not lie flat. To avoid this problem, create a gently curving line when placing the pins. Avoid creating sharp edges that would be hard to sew over later with your sewing machine.
4. Have your model shimmy the pants off (remind him or her to be careful).
Push the pins in with the pointed end upward to minimize scratching later when your model removes the pants.
Avoid pulling too hard to minimize skewed or wrinkled fabric.
Keep in mind the fit of pants that your model already likes and is comfortable in; it may be helpful to have your model first try on a pair of pants that has the fit he or she likes.
Step 2: Sew Along the Pins
1. Sew down the invisible line you created with the pins.
Tip: Back stitch three or four stitches at the beginning of your line. Make sure to employ that same gently curving line when transitioning from the original seam to the one you’re creating.
2. Remove the pins one by one as you approach them.
3. Sew all the way down through the bottom hem of the pants; backstitch.
Step 3: Adjustments
1. Before continuing, have your model try on the pants right-side out.
2. If you notice any puckers, areas that fit poorly, or any other problems, rip the seams of the problem area and resew that area, backstitching at the beginning and end of the portion you’re resewing.
3. Adjust the pins on the other leg to match the changes.
Step 4: Serge Edge
1. If you would like to serge that edge, this is when you’d do it.
Tip: If you don’t have a serger, sew a zig-zag stitch a half-inch from your seam all the way down the length of the seam and then cut off the excess fabric with the scissors.
Step 5: Hem (Optional)
1. If the pants need to be hemmed, hem them now.
Tip: If you do not know how to hem pants, a simple internet search should provide plenty of guides.
Step 6: Repeat
1. Repeat steps 2 through 5 on the other pant leg.
2. Make any finishing adjustments as needed.
Step 7: Enjoy Your Skinny-ified Pants!
Thank you for reading!
-J. E. and I. H.