Sunday, May 18, 2014

Taking pants in at the waist

Zubon no uesuto wo tsumeru

I really really wanted a pair of bright red pants. After some searching online, I found them at Banana Republic. And then they went on sale. So I ordered 2 pairs of them online in different sizes, tried them on, picked one pair, returned the other when I got near a store during a work event. 

(...and let the pair I kept sit in my closet for several weeks. Story of my life…)

They are Banana Republic Hampton Ankle pants. I got them at 50% off. This means they cost about 2 to 3 times as much as I usually spend on pants. They fit nicely at the hip and thighs but were about 3 cm too big at the waist. 

They've got waist darts above the pocket, so I decided to take in 5 mm each at the darts on either side, and 2 cm at the back center seam.

5 mm at the waist darts means 2.5 mm inside the original seam.

For the back center seam, I marked 1 cm inside the original seam at the top. Then I sketched a natural-looking curve that joined the original seam.

The waistband was taken in 3 cm. I folded it at the center, and measured, marked, and stitched 1.5 cm from the fold. Then I cut on the fold.

I ripped and cut the interfacing from the seam allowance. This let the waistband lie flatter. Then I pressed the new seam open, and stitched the whole thing back together at the waist.

For the first time, I remembered to sew the tag back on.

The result was pretty good. An experienced sewer (or a generally nitpicky person) would notice that the stitching around the waistband is crooked and the re-stitched belt loop isn't perfectly straight, but otherwise, they look OK. Much better than they did when they were 3 cm too baggy.

One thing I learned…you get what you pay for. These high(er) quality pants had interfacing at the darts and waistband, and lining material around the waist band seam (logo jacquard, no less). The Uniqulo chinos I altered a couple months ago didn't. This is probably the most expensive item I have ever altered.  I have altered items that were costly when I bought them, but they were bachelorette items I did work on to see if I could get them to fit a post pregnancy (x2) body. These pants were bought new, and altered after a single washing. I am getting better and faster at this. I'm making the clothes fit me, and not the other way around, and it feels good.

Remember, it's not your fault the clothes don't fit you in the fitting room.


Annie Crow said...

As always, impressed by your ability. And thanks for the link to that article. I'm not about to start altering my clothing, but it is illuminating, and makes me treasure my favorite pieces all the more.

pumpkinmommy said...

Thank you! I've done waistband alterations on 5 dress pants/ chinos and one pair of jeans, so practice makes perfect (it's not perfect yet, but I'm better and faster than before).