Altering Woolen Trousers


Sadly I don’t have a picture of the original trousers. They were about one size too large on me and they were too low-waisted which didn’t look good. The length was on the verge of being too long. I decided to shift the crotch down, meaning that the waist moves upward and the pants legs get shorter. They are on the shorter side after the alteration, but I like the look of almost too short trousers, don’t judge me. The leg’s hems have enough allowance to still add length if I changed my mind later.

So, I detached the waistband from the back part, a bit past the both side seams. I didn’t want to mess with the front part where the closure is. Then I ripped the central back seam, the part of the front seam below the zipper, the upper part of the inseams and the upper part of the side seams. I was aware that since the trousers have front pockets, it is best not to interfere with the front pieces at all and luckily it wasn’t necessary.

This is the front piece, basically untouched throughout the whole process, except that I moved the crotch downward.

I took in the back pieces at the sides and at the central seam and placed the crotch several centimeters lower. I removed only a few centimeters total on all the seams since the trousers were only a size or two bigger.

Then it was time for my least favorite part – reducing the waistband. On commercial low-waist trousers the waistbands are typically curved and sewn from two bands, having a seam at the top, plus any amount of topstitching. Usually I remove all the stitching standing in the way of my getting to the actual seams, trying to do as little damage as possible and work from there. In this case I removed the topstitching on the upper edge completely, cut the waistband in the middle of the back and down-sized it to my purposes. Then I sewed everything back in place and lastly reattached the belt loops. I didn’t cut off the surplus fabric and didn’t bother with any more shaping, so there is quite much bulk in the new back seam of the waistband, but I’m prepared to live with that.

The trousers fit now so I guess my aim was accomplished. The back of the waistband is not as neat as before, but it is not really noticeable except upon a close inspection, so I am not inclined to exert more effort then that.

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