How To Taper Pants In 10 Easy Steps

May 17, 2022
by Jack Lyons

This article may contain affiliate links.
We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

We’ve got the best tips on how to taper pants and also have some fantastic tutorials that will help get you started making your own custom-fitted pants.

Tailored Pants: How To Make Them Fit Perfectly And Sewing Instructions

Learn how to tailor the perfect pair of tailored pants with our easy-to-follow tutorial guides.

From first steps to finishing touches, we cover everything in detail.

The Importance Of Tailoring A Pair Of Pants

You should know that tailoring a pair of pants is essential for this fashion item, especially if you want them to fit perfectly.

In fact, it’s such a necessary part of fashion that most people don’t even realize that they need to do any fitting at all.

We’re not saying that there isn’t anything wrong with going shopping or asking a friend to measure up, but keep in mind that what you see in stores are samples; their sizes might differ from yours.

Therefore, it’s always better to ensure that you can get the exact size you want before buying them.

When you purchase a pair of pants online, you usually pay extra money for shipping.

Then, when you receive them, you’ll probably find out that they don’t fit right either.

So instead of paying for shipping fees, why not try making them yourself using our simple step-by-step instructions.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose to go with a store-bought pair or create your own.

As long as you know the proper way to sew a pair of pants and what tools you’ll need to take care of it, you’ll be able to complete the project successfully.

The Ultimate Guide On How To Make Your Own Custom Fitted Pants

Tailor working with blue denim jeans.

If you want to learn more about how to tailor a pair of pants, here are some of the best ways to get started:

Step 1 – Choose Your Fabric

We use two different fabrics in this tutorial. We did this because we want to show you the difference between cotton and wool.

Wool is much softer than cotton. However, it tends to shrink much faster. Cotton is much stronger than wool. You can use either fabric, depending on your preference.

When choosing your material, remember to think about its weight, style, and color.

For example, if you’re trying to make a dress for a baby girl, you would definitely look into lightweight materials like cotton.

However, if you were looking to make a suit jacket for a man, you would definitely consider heavier fabrics like wool.

Step 2 – Measure Up

Once you’ve chosen your fabric, it’s time to start measuring up. This will determine which pair of pants you’ll need.

For example, let’s say that you’re planning to make a pair of light blue jeans.

You’d start by taking your measurements.

This includes where your waist sits, the length of your legs, the width of your hips, etc.

You could make many types of pants, including chino pants, straight-leg pants, boot cut, boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans, and more.

Regardless of the style, you’ll need these measurements before cutting.

Step 3 – Cut Out Your Patterns

Now you’ll want to take the measurements earlier and draw those lines onto your pattern paper.

Next, cut along the dotted line. Now you have your pattern pieces ready to move on to the next stage.

Step 4 – Create Your Pattern Sewing Guides

Now that you have your pattern pieces, it’s time to create your guides. To do this, simply pin the pattern paper to the fabric.

Place the guide next to the edge of your material to easily align everything. 

Also, place your ruler along the bottom edge of your pattern piece, so you can accurately determine the length of your pattern.

If you aren’t sure, simply make reference marks on the edges of your pattern pieces using pins until you figure out the correct placement.

Step 5 – Align Your Pieces

To begin sewing your pants, you’ll want your pattern pieces aligned correctly. To do this, just follow the steps below:

  • First, press both sides of your pattern at once. 
  • Then, pin the top edge of your pattern piece to the top edge of the fabric. 
  • Next, pin through the front and back layers (not your seam allowance).
  • Finally, run a basting stitch across the top of your pattern piece, then remove the pins.

Step 6 – Baste

After completing basting, you mustn’t pull too hard when stitching your pattern pieces together.

Although you may find yourself pulling quite hard, try not to panic.

Instead, gently tug at the thread as you go. Doing this will help prevent stretching or tearing of the fabric.

Once you’re done with the basting, continue with the rest of the process.

Step 7 – Seam Allowance

Next, measure the distance from your crotch to the top of your knee or ankle.

Again, depending on what kind of pant style you’re making, you might have a few options here.

For example, suppose you’re making high-waisted trousers. In that case, you’ll probably want to leave an inch or two extra space between your waist and knees/ankles.

Otherwise, you’ll most likely be leaving much less room for your pants to fit comfortably. 

When determining if you should add or subtract a bit of space, ask yourself questions such as “Will my thighs get crushed? Will I be comfortable while wearing them? Am I trying to lose weight?”

If you decide to add more room, you’ll simply sew a tiny amount of additional seam allowance.

However, if you choose to subtract more space, just trim away some excess fabric.

Either way, you’ll end up with a nice little pocket.

Step 8 – Cut Two Pockets

After completing your seam allowance, it’s finally time to cut the pockets.

Simply cut 2 rectangles of the same size (i.e., about 1/4″ larger than the width of your pattern piece) from any solid color fabric you’d like to use.

If you’ve chosen a print fabric, you’ll definitely want to consider the grainline of your material.

For example, if you choose a striped fabric, you’d better be careful about where you cut your pocket since you won’t be able to see stripes unless they line up perfectly.

Even if you’re cutting a plain fabric, you’ve still got the chance to mess something up, so double check before you start cutting!

After you’ve cut your pockets, attach them to your pants. To do this, place one pocket inside the other and pin them right in the middle.

Then, sew the two pockets together by hand using a zigzag stitch. This is another step that could cause the loss of a bit of tailoring, but it shouldn’t affect your results too much.

If you’re unsure what to do, please look up a pocket sewing tutorial.

Step 9 – Sew Stitching

With the two pockets sewn onto your pants, it’s time to finish the seams.

Start by lining up the raw edges of your fabric, then bring them together. 

To begin clipping the corners, fold your fabric over once and align the raw edge of one side of the material with the folded edge of the other. Do not press these areas yet.

Next, make sure that both sides of your fabric are lined up correctly.

Next, pin down one side of your fabric and take out your pins. Now, you can snip along the lines indicated in your pattern.

Repeat this process until all four corners have been clipped.

Once you complete clipping and pressing the corners, you can move on to the next steps.

After you’ve finished pressing the last line indicated in your pattern, turn back to clipping.

While doing so, pay attention to whether you’ve made a mistake. It happens pretty often when you try to clip your corners.

First, make sure that the fabric isn’t twisted around in a direction that makes things difficult.

Next, press the area again to ensure that the material lays flat and smooth after being pressed.

Once everything has been checked, continue moving forward.

After clipping the corner, proceed to stitch your seam. In some cases, especially at the bottom, you may find the legs of your pants overlapping. Just adjust accordingly.

Once you’re done, press the entire leg of your pants one final time.

Now, it’s time to hem the bottoms of your pants. Fold over a small section at the bottom of the pants evenly. Make sure it’s the same width all the way around.

Carefully sew the folded-over part so the raw edge on the inside.

Press the hemmed edge of your pants to ensure that it lies straight.

When you’re done pressing, iron the rest of the pants flat, that’s all for the hemming!

Step 10 - Try Them On

Now, go ahead and put your pants on. They should fit just perfectly without making you feel uncomfortable.

Don’t worry — you don’t have to wait until you get home to wear them. Instead, you can always try wearing them while walking or even sitting down.

How To Measure Pant Holes

Measuring can be tricky on any article of clothing, but especially pants, when you want to make sure the lengths are the exact same. Here are a few tips!

Measurement Tips

When it comes to measuring yourself, we always recommend using a tape measure rather than an online calculator.

When you go online, you might get confused between inches and centimeters, which means that you might take measurements that aren’t entirely accurate.

However, you may be able to ensure you don’t make mistakes if you measure yourself three times.

Here’s what we suggest: First, measure your waistline directly above your belly button.

Next, measure your hips' bottom, which is where they meet your thigh.

We also recommend measuring the inner leg from your waist to your ankles. 

How To Taper Pants - Conclusion

To conclude, we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to taper pants and learned a lot about the different ways to do so.

Happy sewing!

Related: How To Measure Sleeve Length [3 Easy Steps & Top Tips]

About the Author
Related Stories