How to lengthen your pants
A great pair of pants can be the foundation of an excellent outfit. When you find a pair you like, you want to wear them for as long as possible. When pants become too short, it’s time to lengthen them. While this is usually done on dress slacks, tailored business slacks, and casual jeans alike, it is important to note that not all pants lend themselves well to this technique. You can work with most fabrics and materials, but some are better than others.
Before you begin, have the pants you want to make longer in front of you
If you have a pair of pants that are too short, don’t just throw them away. You can lengthen them without too much effort, as long as you have a sewing machine. Make sure to use the same color thread that your pants are so the stitching doesn’t show up.
One of the most common alterations that people make to their clothing is lengthening pants. It isn’t too difficult to do, but you’ll definitely want to practice on a pair of old pants before working on a more expensive pair.
Wash pants before attempting to lengthen them
The first step to lengthen pants is to wash the pants before you take the scissors to them. This will prevent any shrinkage once you cut them.
Decide how much longer you want your pants to be
Establishing the length you want your pants is the first step in knowing how much material to add and what kind of hem will be needed. Your pants may be too short because they originally were made that way or because they have shrunk in the wash (or both). In any case, start by measuring your pants from the top of the waistband (not including the button) down to where it meets your shoe. Use a tape measure or yardstick for this measurement.
When deciding on a length, take into account your height and other measurements so you don’t end up “bunching” at the bottom of your shoes.
Determine the amount of ease (how loose the garment will be after it’s been lengthened) that you want the finished garment to have
Identify the amount of ease (how loose the garment will be after it’s been lengthened) that you want the finished garment to have by pinning out some extra fabric along the center front seam of your pants and trying them on again. Check to see where you would like this extra fabric to end up when you are done with projects.
A note on alterations:
A pattern is a system of guidelines that can be altered to make it fit you. You can lengthen or shorten most patterns by following the guidelines given below. Some patterns, such as those with a lot of design features, may not lend themselves to easy alterations and may require special consideration. Be sure to read the instructions and alter them when instructed.
Ease is the amount of wearing ease (how loose the garment will be after it’s been altered) that you want in your finished garment. The average amount of ease for most garments is 2-3″ at the bust, 1″ at the waist, 2-3″ at hips, 1″ at the knee, and 0-1/2″ at the ankle.
To lengthen your pants you will need the following items:
- Tailor’s chalk
- Tailor’s measuring tape
- Thread that matches the color of your pants (cotton is a good choice)
- Tailor’s needles
I suggest ten ways to lengthen your pants:
- The first way to lengthen your pants is to sew on a flounce. Measure the circumference of the pants at the bottom and cut out the flounce with an inner circle equal to the length. The flank may be of a different fabric.
- The second way to lengthen the pants is to lengthen the creases. Multiply the circle and the resulting length by 3 or 5. Cut out a strip of fabric similar in color and texture. Make a crease.
- The third way to increase the pants is to combine the first way plus the second way together. Looks very smart. Fabrics may vary in texture (lace, batiste, jeans, etc.).
- The fourth way to extend the pants is to lengthen the cuff. A cuff trimmed with fur this method is suitable if there is very little fabric left from sewing, and there is not enough to cut the cuff across the width of the pants. You can insert the fur. More fur can be sewn at the very edge of the pants. Looks spectacular and new. Teddy fake fur is perfectly washed, and then combed with a comb.
- The fifth way to enlarge your pants is ruffles. If you have a favorite jeans, and there is no suitable denim at all, you can sew a contrasting fabric of large width and make the same belt for the set, a couple of applications – here are ready-made pants.
- The sixth way to lengthen the pants is to cut them. Cut the pants below the knees, the resulting edges treated with a stitch, then lace and sew. The pants are lengthened by the width of the lace insert.
- The seventh way to lengthen the pants is to sew the lace just at the bottom of the product.
- The eighth way to lengthen your pants is with a buttoned cuff. Make a cuff, but not sew it into a ring, and draw the edge with loops and buttons. We could do an application.
- The ninth way to enlarge the pants is to turn the bottom bend away. It’s a good way to lengthen the pants, too. You can stitch the tops of the ribbon.
- The tenth way to lengthen the pants is to turn the fabric at the bottom and make a fringe, then sew a lace. You can stitch the lace at the same time if you strengthen the edge.
How to hem pants with no access to a sewing machine
If you need to lengthen pants with no access to a sewing machine, you can use safety pins to hold the cuffs up until you are able to have them hemmed by a tailor or seamstress. If your pants are hemmed using an original hem, pinning should not leave any permanent marks. If your pants have been turned up and ironed into place, pinning will leave pinholes but those can be repaired later by ironing over them and laundering the pants.
P.S. I made a hole in these trousers by myself. You have to do this: separate the pants from the inner seam. Then zigzag the fabric, where you have to make the hole. Then within this square, make cuts, holes, cut out pieces of fabric, and all this washed in the machine.