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recycle large pair of pants (Tip/Technique)
Viewed 5432 times
Review rated Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 12 people   
Posted by: deeque
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About deeque
Member since: 2/2/06
Reviews written: 6
Sewing skills:Intermediate
tips added: 1
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Posted on: 11/16/10 0:00 AM
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I had bought a pair of wool dress pants by mail order(real cheap) that turned out too big for me. Instead of sending them back I thought I could alter them. When I was altering them, I would have had to take the waist in 3 inches, so I thought if I took off the waistband and took out the hem and separated the front from the back I could recut them using this pattern. They turned out great and fit good.... It sounds like a lot of work but I left the zipper and pockets in so you can skip the zipper insertion and the pocket placement. All I had to do was cut out the new front and back, sew the side seams and sew the waist band. To make the waistband fit, I lined up the front so the buttons and hooks would be in the right place and then took the excess from the center back. The zipper, snaps and buttons on the waist band all lined up after that. The RTW waist band also had belt loops so I used those too.
I skipped the front side pockets and just cut the front flat as one piece. (After adding the front side pockets to the paper pattern.) The back pattern- I had to add the back yoke to the back pants peice-- but I had some extra black plain fabric I used because I didn't have enough of the original fabric.
The best part was the pockets on the RTW were welt pockets which I think look better than patch pockets. I love the fit because they are "dress pant material" but have a Jean pant cut so I can wear "jeans" to work. I didn't pay much for the pants - but you could definitely go to a used clothing store and buy some pants about 2 sizes too big and do the same thing. The fabric was a lycra-2% & wool and definitely recommend a slight amount of stretch fabric because the pants are a very slim cut. The pattern was extremely true to size if you measure your hips and go by that.
I would definitely do it again- if I come across some "used" very nice fabric pants that are too big and recycle them. A lot cheaper and faster than starting from scratch. Just make sure you look for pants that have a fly front and about a 2" waistband and you can "make it work".

It was fun to see if I could work this out- I would have only been out about $20 if it didn't work. Definitely a project for those who like to repurpose and recycle things. The best thing is the pants really look nice. I'll add a picture when I can get someone to take it.

11-28-10
I used vogue 1204 and the reason Idid this is I wanted to test how the pattern fit before I used "real" fabric with it. It fit me really well;waist, hip & length - so I'll be able to use the pattern for other fabrics.
The way I did the waistband, I lined up the front button & snaps with the front of the pattern and sewed two sides toward the center back. then I cut the excess out of waist band at the center back so you could use extra long waistbands and make your corrections at the center back. I also lined up the grain lines of the pattern front and back with the grain lines of the pants fabrics so it would hang right.
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11 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Winifred said...
I do this all the time. In sales I buy good quality large sizes and cut them down. Very often the cost in the sale is much less than i wou;ld have to pay for the fabric alone ! Keep on with the good work !
11/16/10 6:15 PM
arianamaniacs said...
I'm not sure I would do this on new pants, if I had the chance to send them back and get the correct size, but it's a good idea for recycling!
11/17/10 2:11 AM
HeyJane said...
Can you believe I have five pair awaiting this same treatment. I got the whole pile for only $20 but they didn't have my correct size. The waistbands are way too big so I just figured here comes some practice at altering waistbands. I was glad to see your review, and how you approached the alterations. Thanks for posting how yours turned out, and enjoy your new pants!
11/17/10 8:06 AM
RLL said...
I have done this with tops, but never with pants....what a great idea.
11/17/10 8:34 AM
Tarrbaby said...
love this idea, and we were just talking about doing this at work(bridal shop and alterations) Would love to see pictures when you have the time. Great Idea!
11/17/10 8:37 AM
Tarrbaby said...
sorry double post
11/17/10 8:37 AM
Rivkah said...
That sounds like an awesome idea. Do you think it would work with pants that really big-like 14" too big in the waist?
11/17/10 10:50 AM
mssewcrazy said...
What a really great idea also for anyone who loses weight and has pants they can't wear.
11/19/10 7:41 AM
Lookingpast said...
Great tip!!!
11/22/10 5:32 PM
ghijsmom said...
Which pants pattern did you use to cut the pants to make the smaller pair. I'm not seeing it in the tip, but I'm jet-lagged. That is a very good idea and wish I'd thought of it before I gave my too big pants away.
11/24/10 7:06 PM
deeque said...
I used vogue 1204 and the reason Idid this is I wanted to test how the pattern fit before I used "real" fabric with it. It fit me really well;waist, hip & length - so I'll be able to use the pattern for other fabrics. The way I did the waistband, I lined up the front button & snaps with the front of the pattern and sewed two sides toward the center back. then I cut the excess out of waist band at the center back so you could use extra long waistbands and make your corrections at the center back. I also lined up the grain lines of the pattern front and back with the grain lines of the pants fabrics so it would hang right.
11/28/10 1:44 PM

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