One problem with going back to work 12 weeks (13 in my case because I streeeeeeeeetched it as far as I possibly could) after baby was born was my ill-fitting old work clothes on my new momma shape. I got away with wearing yoga pants the last 11 months of my pregnancy (tee hee) because seriously, are you gonna tell a pregnant woman that what she’s wearing is too casual / too comfy / inappropriate for the office? Didn’t think so. So while I got away with them before my leave, I was pretty sure I’d be called out if I tried to sneak into the office wearing elastic pants upon my return. And while I still had my trusty pair of basic black work pants that were hemmed with safety pins and threadbare in the butt because I’d been wearing them for the last 6 years, I figured it was maybe just maybe time for a new pair for my new body. So I went out and I bought myself 3 pairs of pants that fit me.
Four months ago.
And now, while I’m very happy to report that they’re all slightly too big because I’ve dropped the last of the baby weight since then, I unfortunately find myself every morning not deciding which pair of pants look the best but rather which ones look the least bad. And the last thing I wanted to do was go out and buy more pants when I had these 3 pairs that had barely been worn, so I decided to try my hand at altering. And it totally worked. This works best on thinner pants like dress pants, yoga pants, etc. And it was super easy. Promise. (for my tutorial on how to take in jeans at the waist, click here)
P.S. I am a hairstylist. I am an office worker. I am not a seamstress.
1) If there is a tag and/or belt loop in the center back of the waistband, remove it/them using a seam ripper, cuticle scissors, or if you can’t find anything sharp you could just, you know, gnaw them off with your teeth.
2) Put on your pants inside out and zip any zippers, button any buttons. Have fun with that.
3) Give yourself a reach around and, starting down by your nether regions and working your way up, pinch the excess fabric at the seam that runs up along your booty and pin, pin, pin. Place straight pins all the way up the seam to the top of the waistband.
Be careful not to pin your underwear to your pants like I did or else you’ll have a hell of a time with the next step.
4) Close the blinds, then carefully take your pants off, trying not to disturb the straight pins.
5) Lay the pants flat, still inside-out, folded at the butt seam and if necessary, reposition any of your pins that you may have put in a little cockeyed when you stabbed yourself in the butt crack.
What, just me?
5) With the pants still inside-out, use a basic straight stitch and sew along your pinned line starting at the crotch and working your way up to the waist.
6) I actually went back over my entire stitched line again for a second time because I’d rather not find out the hard way if one stitch line is strong enough for the seat of a pair of pants, especially at work. Seriously, these people see enough of my underroos when I forget to zip up my fly.
7) Try on the pants the right way to check the fit.
8 – optional but a lot more comfortable than having a bunch of fabric all smooshed up in your bum) If everything fits well, cut the excess fabric off on the inside.
9) Reattach your belt loop if you had one; reattaching tags isn’t necessary.
View from the inside:
View from the outside:
Tada! I’m happy to report that I took about 1 1/2″ off of 2 different pairs, taking them in probably about one size each, and they both fit very well again.
- I ended up letting the hem out a little on the legs after altering the waist/butt because even though I didn’t take in a ton, bringing the seat in actually made the legs a little shorter. I like my pants long enough to trip myself and the guy behind me.
- The pants pictured are from Sears, I think they’re Stooshy brand and I’m pretty sure they’re these in charcoal but I’m not positive because you know, I took the darn tag off.
- I’m not sure how much you could actually take in pants before they start to look weird or the butt pockets get frighteningly close together, so if a lot needs to go I would probably try taking equal amounts from each side instead of the back.
- I don’t think I would recommend this with jeans given the bulky material and the different stitching necessary, though I haven’t tried to know for sure.
My other pants post: How to take in jeans at the waist