Sewing pants looks like a difficult task and it is so if you are a beginner. You may find it difficult because there are multiple aspects that go behind putting together pants. But once you make it and understand the importance and nuance of every aspect, sewing pants will become an easy job. Following is how you can sew pants.
What you Will Need:
There are a few things that you will need to sew a pair of pants:
- A pair of pants that fits you just right.
- Pants fabric. The fabric should be cut in two pieces that are 5 inches longer and two inches wider than a pair of pants.
- A strip of elastic or drawstring.
- Measuring tape
- A tailor’s chalk
- A sewing machine or a sewing kit.
Step-By-Step Instructions for Sewing Pants
There are several steps that go into the making of perfectly fitting pants. Let’s understand the steps, one by one.
Step 1 – Fold the Pants
Fold your existing pants to make a pattern. Fold it in half while pulling out the crotch seam. The button side of the waist should be on top and the back should go in the fold. When choosing your sample pants, go for simple pants. Do not choose cargo or stylish pants that may have extra pockets or other bulging patterns.
Step 2 – Trace the Pattern
Pick one piece of your fabric and fold it in half. Fold it so that the wrong side of your pants is up and the right side is inside. Now place the folded pants on the folded corner of the fabric and draw the layout. Do not trace right next to the pattern. Leave two inches on all the open sides. The folded side will overlap with the pattern. Cut the fabric on the chalk line. Do not cut the folded side.
Repeat the same process to cut the other side of the pants. Fold the other fabric in half, and place the other side of the folded pattern on the fabric. Trace it and cut according to the same instructions. Now you have the two raw sides of your pants. Let’s move to the next step.
Step 3 – Sew the Legs
Now you have to stitch the legs part of your pants. Remember that the stitching has to be done on the wrong side of the fabric. Set your sewing machine to a simple straight stitch and start sewing from the curve of the crotch of your pants and go all the way to the ankle. Follow this procedure for both the right and the left piece.
Before you move to the next step, you will have to zigzag stitch the raw edges. This is the edge where you cut the pants not the straight stitch you just did. The zigzag stitch will secure the edges from unraveling when used or washed. If you think the gap between the stitches and the edges is more, cut the extra fabric. Do not cut very close to the stitches.
Step 4 – Stitch the Crotch Seam
Place both the legs together. Hold the edges of the crotch together and create a seam. Use pins to hold the seams in place. Start stitching the crotch where the legs meet. Remove the pins as you proceed. Do not sew on the pins, or you might damage your sewing machine. Sew till the waistline. Repeat the same process on the back of the pants, starting at the bottom to the waist. To finish this part, zig zag stitches the raw edges.
Step 5 – Create Buttonholes or Measure Elastic
You can choose to secure your pants with a drawstring or an elastic. Following are the steps for each:
If you want to use a drawstring, measure two inches from the top of the waistline to the center of the seam. Park the point. Then, measure the 1 ½ inch out from this point, on both sides. Mark these points with a one-inch vertical line. Now, if you measure, you should have 3 inches of space between the two lines and they should be at equal distance from the center of the seam.
Stitch a buttonhole on the lines and leave this process here. You should cut the buttonhole after your pants are ready and insert a drawstring.
If you are going to insert an elastic, measure your waist and cut a piece 2 inches shorter than your waist size. Not fold your waist down and stitch around leaving a gap of two inches at the center. This is the point where you will insert the elastic and stitch it together.
Step 6 – Inserting the Drawstring or Elastic
Start by zig zagging along the raw edges of the waistline. Cut open the button hole you created. Now, fold down the waist two inches to the hem. Get ready to make a straight stitch to seal your waist. Stitch below the button hole and go all the way around.
If you want to insert a drawstring, you can do so by securing a safety pin to one end and pulling it out of the other end. Tie knots on both the end so that your string does not go back inside. And your pants are ready for the last step.
If you want to insert an elastic, secure a safety pin to one side and start inserting on one side of the opening. Go all the way around and pull the elastic out of the other end. Pinch the two edges together and stitch them together. Close the opening on the waist. The pants are ready for the last step.
Step 7 – Hem the Bottom
The only left to do now is to hem the bottom. Decide how long you want your pants to be. You can keep pants as pants or turn it into a capri or shorts with little effort. Turn your pants inside out and wear it. Fold the legs according to the length you want. Mark the point. Zigzag stitch along the raw edges of the hem. Pin the bottom hem of the pants and straight stitch. Make sure to keep your stitches half an inch away from the zigzag stitches. Stitch evenly around the leg. You can also stitch along the bottom of the hem to get a neat look.
Your pants are ready now. Try it and check the fitting. If you feel like your pants are tight at some point, you can always remove the stitches and resew. This is where all the extra space that you had kept comes in handy. To finish your pants and give strength to the stitches, you can now double stitch the whole pants.
What Order do You Sew Pants Together?
Pants are a difficult clothing to stitch, as opposed to say a skirt. It has to be stitched by following a particular order. You cannot simply start with your waist band. The right order to stitch a pants is:
- Stay stitching
- Seam finishing
- Inner and side leg seam
- Crotch seam
- Waist band
All of these steps are crucial in their own way. If you mess up the order, you may have to redo a few things which will result in a waste of time. Infact, it won’t be wrong to say that you cannot stitch your pants if you do not follow this order. So, be mindful of this order and sew all the segments one by one.
Sewing a pant can become fun with practice. In this article we discussed how to sew a simple pair of pants. Over the time, as you understand the nuances of cutting and sewing pants you will be able to add inside and outside pockets and do so much more. The key is to practice and take it slow both with the scissors and the sewing machine.