Trousers Alteration | Simple Sewing Tutorial

Save a lot of money by doing your own trousers alteration! Read on to learn how to fix and adjust your trousers!

Trousers Alteration in Five Easy Steps

There is nothing more disheartening than your favorite pair of pants not fitting you right anymore. But before you consider throwing them away or replacing them with a new one, why not learn how to alter them yourself? Learning how to alter your trousers is very easy! More importantly, learning how to do it saves you a lot of money and resources. So prepare your favorite pair of pants and sewing materials and let’s start sewing!


Materials You’ll Need for Trousers Alteration:

  • Trousers
  • Scissors
  • Seam Ripper
  • Chalk or Marker Pen
  • Pins
  • Needle and Thread


Step 1. Turn Your Trousers Inside Out

First, turn your trousers inside out and lay it on a flat surface. With the back facing you, fold your trousers in half and line up the two seams at the back together.

Step 2. Mark Your Back Seam

Depending on how much you want to cut down, mark from the seam. For this tutorial, we marked an inch from the center seam.

Step 3. Pin Along Your Chalk Line

After marking, start pinning along your mark. If your trousers have patterns on its fabric, be sure to check if it matches before you start sewing.

Step 4. Try Your Trousers on If It Fits

Before you start sewing, try your trousers on first. You don’t want to ruin your garment by sewing and finding out it doesn’t fit right on you. Better to check if it fits you right and if the adjustments are perfect before locking it down in stitches

Step 5. Sew Along the Back Seam

After making sure it fits right, start sewing your trousers by machine or by hand. Sew all the way from the top to the crotch. Voila! You’ve just adjusted your trousers!

Tip: After sewing, check if the patterns match well. It won’t hurt to check on your seams and adjustments after you’ve sewn it.


Other Method: Altering From the Side

For trousers with no pockets, you can also adjust the fit by reducing the sides. Just like the altering from the back seam, mark, pin, and sew the sides of your pants to match your desired size. If you reduce one side, make sure to apply the same change to the other side to keep the symmetry of your trousers.


For a more detailed tutorial, watch this video from Bira.B:

Isn’t that easy? Before trying my hands on this tutorial, I used to think altering trousers would be a horrible process. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how easy it actually was! In five easy steps, I could transform a pair of baggy pants into a nicely fitting one! Learning how to alter trousers just made me realize how there are a lot more ways to keep my clothes last longer. And now I’m looking forward to discovering more hacks I can apply my sewing skills on!


Do you know other ways to alter trousers? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to learn other alteration tutorials? Check out How To Alter Clothes That Are Big!

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Editor’s Note – This article was originally posted on April 21, 2016, and has since been updated for quality and relevancy.

3 thoughts on “Trousers Alteration | Simple Sewing Tutorial

  1. violetmoon says:

    Sorry! No seamstress or tailor ever turns the pants inside out to mark. Pants are always taken out of the back seam and crotch BACK seam unless recutting. Then side seams can be use but usually only the BACK of the pants, not the front. If done any other way, they are called cloth butchers, not seamstress or tailor!! The waist band is always either taken off and moved around, or the band is taken in from the inside of the band and cut then put back together. This is how you can tell your alterations person is good!

    • Sandi Brown says:

      Agreed! The waistband definitely has to be reset after such a large adjustment to the back & crotch seams. Otherwise it just doesn’t look professional.

  2. Patsy miller says:

    I lost 35 lbs the worst part was waist band . My husband by suggested that on each side I make a cut into inside only. 4 to 5 inches long center being sides. Take a piece of elastic 6 in long insert in under one side sew down. With safety pin put the elastic thru to other slit use safety pin to keep elastic from coming loose then put thru to other side sew down reall works

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