How To Make Pants Skinnier At The Bottom

You have found that perfect pair of jeans that are in perfect color, have an excellent shape, and are exactly your size. But as you try the pants on, you will find that they fit amazingly everywhere – except in the legs. 

Well, you cannot comfortably wear the pants when their legs are way too wide right at the bottom. Would you pass on such a great deal only because the legs are not skinny enough? Of course, not! You need to figure out how to fit the pants leg perfectly at the bottom.

Even if you have no idea about how to sew, there is nothing to worry about. Three no-sew methods exist that can solve your problem. So, read on and get to work!

How To Make Pants Skinnier At The Bottom?

There are two main ways to make your pants skinnier at the bottom – by sewing and no-sew methods. If you are trying the sewing method, you will have to use pins to mark the pants before creating your new seam. Then, put finishing touches on the pants and cut off the extra fabric. There are three ways to alter pants using no-sew methods – using heat-bonded hem tape, using zippers, and the pin-roll method. In the first two methods, you will need tools like iron-on hem tapes and zippers. In the last method, you will only need the pants that you want to alter.

Method 1. Making Pants Skinnier At The Bottom By Sewing

If you have a tough denim pant in hand, the quality of materials you use will be more important. Not every needle, pin, or thread will get the job done. Ensure that all the tools present in the sewing kit are good enough for the job.   

Consider the options when you find that you need to upgrade some of the tools to deal with thicker fabrics.

Search for the kits that come with high-quality threads and durable pins and needles. Also, you will need titanium scissors for denim because such scissors make cutting through denim a breeze. You will not find titanium scissors in every sewing kit.

Materials You Require:

Given below is a list of all the things you will need to sew your new hem:

  • Your pants
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • High-end thread in matching color
  • Sewing machine

After you have gathered all the material you need to work through any fabric, you can start sewing.

Step 1: Get The Pants Prepared

  • Put the pants on inside out for deciding where you want to pin them
  • Choose a seam that you want to use. Generally, the inside seam looks better. Also, it is sturdier because it gets double sewn. However, the outer seam is easier to stitch.
  • Place pins at the place you want your new seam
  • Also, you can choose to point this out using a marker instead of putting pins if you want

 Step 2: Create Your New Seam

  • Take the pants off
  • Use your sewing machine to start sewing to the top pin from the bottom pin. Also, you can choose to sew along the line you made using multiple pins (if that is more convenient to you).
  • If you utilized a marker, it will be easy to sew along your drawn line.
  • Pay attention at the time of sewing your new hem. As such, you will get more stability if you try double sewing across that hem.

Step 3: Putting Finishing Touches On Your Pants

  • Try the pants on once more
  • Do not cut off the extra fabric right away. You need to wait until the fit is just right. There is no going back after you cut off the fabric.
  • If you want the seam to be closer to the leg, you will have to sew a new seam. Per se, you will just have to cut off the first one.
  • If you want to loosen that leg a little bit, simply cut the thread. Then, you can choose to start over to get the fit right.

Step 4: Cut Off The Extra Fabric

  • You will cut off the extra fabric only when you feel satisfied with the fit.
  • Leave about ½” to ¼” from the seam. The additional space is the allowance left for the fabric to fray such that it does not mess with the new stitched line.

Method 2: Using An Iron-On Tape

Of course, an iron-on tape is not a permanent fix. So, before you go ahead with this method, keep in mind that you’ll need to periodically reapply that tape. 

Things you need:

  • An iron-on tape
  • Seam ripper
  • Hot iron
  • Pins

Steps to follow:

Step 1. Just as before, put the pants on inside out and place the pins where you aim to get the new seam.

Step 2. Take your pants off and release that seam. For this, use your seam ripper for cutting the thread. Then, pull it until you release the fabric. You can choose to flatten the fabric after you open the seam. After this, put one side over the other side. Put a strip of hem tape right in between the fabrics.

Step 3. While keeping the pants inside out, use your iron and follow the directions for the hem tape you are trying to use. Let it cool down completely.

Step 4: Check your pants’ fit. In case your pants need some adjusting, simply remove the hem tape and begin again. Remember that there should be no cutting the fabric until you are sure that the fit is right. Also, you might not need cutting at all due to the way you have folded the fabric.

Method 3: Putting Zippers In Your Pants

A good way to make those skinnier at the bottom is to put a zipper at the bottom. Putting a zipper is an easy way to alter those pants and jazz up your old pants with an additional style element.

Things you need:

  • Fabric glue
  • Seam ripper
  • Two set of zippers
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins

Steps to follow:

Step 1. Like all other methods before, put the pants on inside out and place the pins where you aim to get the new seam.

Step 2. This time you need to cut out the additional fabric first before you do anything else. Keep in mind that you can take more fabric off at once, but you cannot put that back after it is cut. So, you will have to cut off small bits at a time.

Step 3. After you are sure that those pants legs are skinny enough, use a measuring tape to measure that cut part. Now, the zippers need to be of the same length. So, cut the zippers accordingly.

Step 4. Use the fabric glue to attach those zippers to your pants legs. Make sure that the opening of the zipper faces the bottom. Also, take care that it’s facing the outer side of your fabric. 

Next, glue your fabric as near to the teeth of the zipper as you can. It will help you in making the zipper sturdy.

Method 4: The Pin Roll Method

The final method happens to be the least permanent one you can opt for to get that skinny-legged look that you want. It is intentionally and completely reversible in nature.

Things you need:

  • You basically need nothing more than your pants.

Steps To Follow:

Step 1. Pull your outer seam right away from the foot.

Step 2. Fold that additional fabric over itself.

Step 3. Keep holding the fold. Then, roll up that hem away from the floor. When you go on rolling that hem upwards, its vertical fold will get pinned to the leg.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using No-sew Methods

Though you might feel that you can only use sewing to make your pants skinnier, no-sew methods have their advantages and disadvantages.


  • The no-sew methods are easier for the beginners
  • You do not need any special equipment.
  • All the no-sew methods are not permanent. In case you change your mind, you can go ahead and undo your work to get the old seam back with no damage to how the pants look. It is also a major help when you are not completely sure about what you’re doing as it lets you easily undo your mistakes with zero penalty.


  • It will not work well when you are planning to make the entire pants leg skinnier.
  • As these methods are not permanent, it means that the methods can come undone sometime.




I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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