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Forum > Fitting Woes > Need some help altering RTW pants ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Need some help altering RTW pants
DH swears they are fine. Me, not so much.
tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/20/13 10:01 AM

DH went and ordered ballroom "practice" pants - a move I approve of because it lets me off the hook for making him some. But the way ballroom pants work is to hang straight down from a very high waist, so with a bit of a tummy and pleats for ease of movement plus drapey fabric, the legs are massively wide. They are a bit like palazzo pants! He is sure I have the skills to take in the legs so they look a bit better, but is also willing to take them to a tailor. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to help me figure out if I should make an attempt or send him off to someone who really knows what they are doing.

They really don't look as bad in the photos as I think they do in real life. They came unhemmed, so what you see is about 7" of extra fabric at the bottoms.

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

Learn To Sew
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Learn To Sew  Friend of PR
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In reply to tourist <<


Date: 6/20/13 10:16 AM

It seems like you are uncomfortable doing these changes, so send him/them to a tailor. I see the problems, but do not know what to suggest to fix things. Why do you have the pins in the legs at the ankles?

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Bernina 630, my much loved main machine
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stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 6/20/13 12:20 PM

I have never found a tailor who could successfully (or satisfactorily) "unswish" a pair of DH's suit pants. He has the same issues: A larger waist + pleats = larger pant legs. They do fine altering the seat, but I'm not sure what they do to the legs, but it causes them to "catch" in the inside of the calf when he takes a step--which looks bad enough on an attorney; think of the consequences in a dance!

I realize that is supremely unhelpful; heaven knows *I'm* not about to try altering them. You may be braver and more successful; I'm just saying don't hold out great hope for the "professionals."

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~Gem in the prairie

beauturbo
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Date: 6/20/13 4:48 PM

Normal quick and cheapie alteration on some guy's suit pants if they are too big for them or too small or such (within kind of small parameters) is just untacking the back waistband right there, flipping it up ,and resewing that seam, since the back of pants are more sewn in one with the split back waistband there, that's how you take them in or let them out. That changes the waist with some leeway, but is not going to do anything to the hips and legs of some at all, with side seams and maybe pockets and stuff in them.

I have actually done sort of that and actually taken in all the outer leg seams (which involved narrower front pockets too) on maybe 7 out of 14 pairs of jeans for myself once, removing jean rivets and all that too, when went down maybe more than 3 jean sizes. What a whole lot of work that is. That is why I only got though half of them, just not worth it at all. I think if you are invisioning something like that on those pants, to pay someone else to do it, even if it worked, might cost more than the pants, and at that point, you could just try on a bunch of different pants and find and buy some that might fit more like you would want really. Of course, I don't know how guys dance pants should fit either :)
-- Edited on 6/20/13 4:50 PM --

genierita
genierita  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/21/13 4:39 AM

I agree the best place is the CB seam for men's tailored trousers. This avoids the pocket problem where all the details are important to the style. Not to mention access to the pockets if their opening is close to the side seams.
You can alter the bottom leg width from the lower thigh / knee down - but always take equal amount from inner leg seam and outer leg seam so the grain line hangs true. I have recently done this for corporate women's wear with a similar problem. It worked very well. It pays to pin carefully first to 'see' the new line. Where you join to the old stitching line needs to be very smooth, so taper very gradually.
Having said all that beware of a 'balloon' pants or 'clown' pants look happening. Perhaps take a little in at a time until he's happy rather than a lot. Pants styles looks totally different on but in reality the differences in cut are subtle.
I hope this helps. If in doubt pay a lovely US alterations person as it probably cost too much for me to visit!!!

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 6/21/13 8:44 AM

If he is okay with them, then just have him put on the shoes he will be wearing and turn up the hem.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

tourist
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Date: 6/21/13 10:07 AM

Thanks for the ideas. The waist and seat are fine on these pants. As they are for ballroom dance practice, we need them to be a little roomy (hence the pleats, which he doesn't usually wear these days) to get the range of motion.

It is the width of the legs, particularly at the bottom, that is a concern. They are pinned up in the photos. He has short legs for a tall guy, but these were obviously made for a giant. I wanted to just pin and not cut anything until we decided who was going to do the alterations.

genierita - My tentative plan was to open both leg seams (inner and outer on one leg at a time) up past the knee and watch the drape as I pin the new seams. They have a sewn in crease, so that will help see the grain line as we go. They are so wide they look like samurai pants or palazzo pants.

Ooh - now I have looked at all those palazzo pants images, I think I might need to make me some! Comfy!

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

Sewliz
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In reply to tourist <<
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Date: 6/21/13 11:31 AM

Holy foxtrot, what happened to men's dance pants? I don't remember them ever being that palazzo like. Look at these basic dance pants, they are huge, so much fabric, and they don't don't even look good on the model, ugh. What's next? This look?

Well, the young pros tend to be slim hipped and long legged relative to their torso and the palazzo pant look works well for that shape. It's not a look or cut that translates well to the rest of the population. Someone needs to make dance pants for the more average guy.

Your plan to take in the inner and outer seams sounds like a good one, that should tame the leg volume some.

------
Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

tinflutterby
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Date: 6/21/13 1:10 PM

I was successful taming my own to wide pants using your method. As Genierita said you just have to maintain the grain line and a little does go a long way. I started with a basting stitch so it was easy to undo.

tourist
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In reply to Sewliz <<


Date: 6/21/13 6:24 PM

Sewliz - It is true. The young guys look amazing in this sort of pants and honestly, when I look at the photos and don't see all the swishy-ness in the legs, they do flatter his current shape.

DH actually had a bit of advice for me. He has been around me sewing for long enough to know to look at RTW for help. He pointed out that his competition tail suit has similar pants but without swishy legs so I could look at those for a clue or two. Smart guy!

We have a competition this weekend, so no sewing. But I am now laid off from work for the summer so the sewing room will be seeing a lot more action starting Monday!

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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