Alter pants to fit. Step by step sewing tutorial.

alter pants to fit

Pants upcycling tutorial.

In this clothes upcycling tutorial, I alter a beautifully made pair of pants of white linen pants that were given to me by a friend. They were much too big for me and I needed to make quite a few alterations. None of these were too difficult and could be done by beginners and inexperienced sewers.

Watch the step-by-step sewing tutorial

Step 1 – New inner pant leg seam

The first step was to remove the existing lining. I’m not a traditional sewer and I never sew from scratch. With the lining removed, I pressed the inner seam of each pant leg.

This is where I sewed the new inner pant seam to make the legs more tailored to my size.

After pinning my new seams, I then try on the pants to make sure I haven’t taken in too much or too little. Then it’s over to the sewing machine to sew the new inside leg seams.

Happy with the new pant leg width, I then cut away the new excess fabric so it couldn’t be seen through the pants.

To prevent the new seams from fraying, I sew another zig zag seam adjacent to my new inner leg seam. I don’t have an overlocker, so the zig zag stitch is my go-to.

Step 2 – Reduce the length of the pants

Next, I need to reduce the length of the pants by taking up the hem to make the shorter.

With four buttons already sewn on the bottom of each pant leg, I am going to use these as a guide and cut just above the fourth button. This leaves me enough fabric for the new hem.

Step 3 – Alter the waist band

And finally, the waistband was too loose and needed to be adjusted for my waist.

To do this, I added some darts around the waistband. First I pinned them, I tried the pants on.

After some adjustments, it’s over to the sewing machine to finish them off.

I must admit this was one of my favourite upcycling and mending projects. I wear these linen pants all the time.


benefits of learning to sew

The benefits of sewing, mending and making your own clothes.

In an era of environmental consciousness, learning to sew and make your own clothes is more relevant and beneficial than ever.

Sewing skills not only mean saving money (more important in times of high cost of living) but play a significant role in reducing your environmental footprint.

Below are how learning to sew and utilising your existing sewing skills can make a positive impact on your life and the planet.

Learning to sew can be cost effective

Learning to sew and mend your clothes can lead to substantial savings now and in the long term.

Instead of discarding garments due to minor damages you can easily repair them yourself. Upcycling clothes gives them a new life, keeping then in the circular economy rather than going to landfill.

Making your own clothes means you can create custom pieces tailored to your style and fit.  Best of all, you’ll have the satisfaction of wearing something unique, knowing you made it yourself.

Sewing reduces your environmental impact

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions and environmental polluters. By learning to sew, mend, and upcycle, you actively participate in reducing this impact through waste reduction, resource conservation, and by reducing your carbon footprint.

Evolve your personal style and expression

Homemade and upcycled clothes offer a unique opportunity for personal expression where you can tailor clothes to your preference, size and design.

Sewing means you can enjoy a more meaningful wardrobe that’s filled with items that you love and cherish.

Sewing enhances creativity

Sewing fosters creativity and skill development.

Upcycling encouraging you to think creatively about how to repurpose and rejuvenate old items. Sewing your own clothes allows you to experiment with different fabrics, patterns, and designs. There are no rules!

Making something with your own hands or bringing a beloved items back to life cultivates a sense resourcefulness.

Making ethical fashion choices

By making and mending your own clothes, you align with ethical fashion principles.

Fast fashion often involves exploitative labour practices and poor working conditions. By creating your own garments or repurposing second hand clothing, you know exactly where and how they were made, promoting fair labour practices and ethical production.

Sewing is less wasteful

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, millions of tons of textile waste are generated each year.

Repairing and upcycling clothes keeps them out of landfills and often being shipped overseas and burned.

By extending the life of your garments, you contribute to lowering the environmental impact of clothing waste across the world.