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Sewing/altering side seam of pants


These are men's pants with a slanted pocket not even with the side seam.  I would need to take the waist and side seam in 2" (total) on each side.  What would you suggest or is this too much of an alteration for the pants to look good?

Hi Jeanette,

It's hard to say whether or not that much of an alteration would work on your pants. It would depend on the size of the pants (larger pants would be able to handle a larger alteration), and the style as well.

Generally speaking, if you're looking to take in 2" on each side, you'd be better off spreading out the alteration to other seams, if possible. For example, you could take in 1" on the outside seam, and 1" on the inseam. Or you could take in the centre back seam along with the side seams. That way, the alterations would look more natural, and you wouldn't have to worry about losing any of the design details.

If you are looking to only take in the side seams, because of the uneven pockets, then maybe try a basting stitch first to see how the pants look with such an alteration. A basting stitch is when you sew using the longest stitch your sewing machine offers, or a long hand stitch, so that you can more easily remove the stitches afterward.

Best of luck!



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Amie Scott


I can answer many questions related to craft sewing, fashion design, pattern drafting, clothing alterations, clothing repair, and simple home decor sewing projects. I can not answer question about machine repair/maintenance, quilting, knitting, embroidery or needlepoint.


I have been designing and sewing clothing and accessories professionally since 2003. I have two years of experience teaching basic machine sewing classes for adults. I have experience altering clothing and drafting sewing patterns for women's wear. Currently I own a retail shop with a sewing studio, where I design and produce my line of women's wear, and also offer custom sewing to clients.

Although I'm mostly self taught, I have taken some advanced online pattern drafting and clothing alterations classes. Of course, nothing beats actual hands on work, and I have over ten years of experience in professional sewing and fashion design.

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