Can a Tailor Make Pants Bigger? – (Simple Guide)

Last Updated on August 21, 2023

We all have that favorite pair of pants that have shrunken overnight, or our waistlines have just grown a smidge. The burning question arises: can a tailor work their magic and make our pants bigger?

Can a Tailor Make Pants Bigger
Image Source: The Sew Show with Shae

Let’s delve into this common fashion problem and find out.

Can a tailor make pants bigger?

Yes! If the pants’ seams are a standard 5/8″ wide, a tailor can make each leg 1/2″ bigger, increasing your total. However, if more room is needed, buying larger pants for a better fit is advisable.

Jeans and Chinos

Jeans and Chinos
Image Source: The Sew Show with Shae

First off, let’s talk jeans—those beloved, trusty denim companions. You might have an olive-colored pair that feels like classic jeans but goes by a different name. Regardless of the hue, the construction involves top stitching and rivets—a quintessential jean trait. Let’s assess the feasibility if you’re eyeing that waistband, hoping to let it out.

Checking the seams is our first step. Starting with the back seam, we examine if there’s room for expansion. Turning the pants inside out, we unveil the front. Yet, as we observe the stitching on the edge, it’s evident that there’s no extra fabric hiding here. The same applies to the side seams; the stitching and pocket rivets approach the edge without any fabric to spare.

In jeans and chinos, the news is easy and not-so-encouraging: there’s no fabric tucked away in the seams to let out. Any alterations would likely involve going in, not out.

Suit Pants and Slacks

Suit Pants and Slacks
Image Source: The Sew Show with Shae

Switching gears to traditional slacks and suit pants, we discover a glimmer of hope in the alteration arena. While the outside of the garment might mirror the jeans’ construction, the magic happens inside. Focusing on the center back seam, we unveil a promising sight.

Peeking inside, it becomes evident that there’s ample fabric in this back seam. Unlike jeans, where the seams come right to the edge, we have a generous seam allowance here. Opening up this seam, a tailor can unlock a world of possibilities for alteration.

This means we have a potential solution for suit pants and slacks. By releasing this seam allowance, the tailor can grant us an extra inch or two, providing a comfortable fit without sacrificing style.

Can tailors make pants waist bigger? Here’s how! (Video)

make pant waist bigger
Image Source: Angela Woolsey

Yes, tailors can make pants’ waists bigger by adjusting the back seam. Carefully unstitch the waistband, mark the alteration line, and remove the stitching. Then, reattach the belt loop, tack the waistband, and press the fabric for a comfortable fit.

Note that: this method doesn’t apply to jeans or most khaki pants, but it might work for particular work pants (check my video for details).

Let’s dive in.

1. Unstitch and Assess

First things first, locate any stitches anchoring the waistband down and carefully undo them. For traditional slacks, there’s a ray of hope. On the inside, examine the back seam—there’s usually enough fabric here for alterations.

2. Measure and Pin

Determine how much you need to let out. Pinpoint the spot where the fabric should be let out and mark the alteration line. Take your time to ensure it lines up perfectly.

3. Seam Removal

Gently remove the original stitching in the marked area, taking care not to damage the fabric. A seam ripper is your trusty tool here. Be meticulous; patience is key.

4. Press and Adjust

Lay your pants flat and steam out any creases. This step preps the fabric for the next phase of alterations.

5. Reattach Belt Loop

Sew the belt loop back on, making sure to follow the original fold line. Tack it securely to ensure it stays in place.

6. Tack the Waistband

Use a strand of wax thread to tack the inside of the pants at the waistband. This helps secure the fabric in its new position.

7. Address Fading

Be aware that alterations can lead to slight fading around the altered area due to the tucking and untucking process. While you can’t completely prevent this, consider wearing shirts untucked to minimize the visibility of the faded area.

8. Perfect Your Fit

Now that you’ve successfully expanded the waist, make sure to adjust the rest of the seam accordingly to maintain a consistent and comfortable fit.

And there you have it—a step-by-step guide to expanding the waist and seat of your pants.

Video: How to let out the waist of men’s dress pants

How to make pants bigger in the thighs? (Video)

make pant big in the thighs
Image Source: BlueprintDIY

We are here is to guide you through the process of transforming your skinny or straight leg jeans into fabulous wide leg jeans.


Before diving into the tutorial, ensure that your jeans meet several prerequisites for a seamless alteration. They should be long enough and already fit well at the waist and hips. If your jeans tick these boxes, you’re all set to embark on this stylish journey.

 Simple Steps

  • Seam Ripping or Cutting: The first step involves either seam ripping or carefully cutting open the side seams of your jeans from the bottom up to the hip. This creates the opening needed to introduce more fabric.
  • Adding Triangle Pieces: Angelina introduces triangular fabric pieces to expand the thigh area. These triangles taper from the bottom to the top, ensuring a smooth transition. By placing the triangles on the sides of the jeans, you’re set for a roomier fit.
  • Clipping and Stitching: Secure the triangles in place with clips, and then sew them to the jeans. This stitching should start from the hem and work up, ensuring evenness and stability. You can even re-do the hem for a polished look if you’re skilled and willing.

Video: How To Turn Your Skinny Jeans into Wide Legs

Can tailors make pants longer? How? (Video)

make pant longer
Image Source: Professor Pincushion

Yes! Tailors can make pants longer! Ever wished your pants were just a bit longer? Whether it’s pants, a skirt, or a dress, you can extend the hem and add some extra length with this simple technique. Here’s how:

1. Assess the Hem

Take note of the existing hem and how it’s finished. Some hems might be folded with extra fabric, like a quarter-inch or more, hidden inside. Others might have special finishes like blind hemming.

2. Remove Stitches

Carefully use a seam ripper to remove the stitches holding the hem in place. Take caution not to damage the fabric. Remove both machine hems and blind hems if present.

3. Press and Prepare

Iron the fabric’s hem area, following the garment care instructions. Steam or lightly spritz with water while pressing. Attach extra fabric-like material (ribbon, bias tape, hem tape) to the bottom, overlapping the fabric’s edge by about ¼”.

4. Sew the Extension

Sew a straight stitch to attach the overlapped material securely. If needed, apply a product to prevent fraying.

5. Create a New Hem

Fold the fabric along the new extension and press to create a crease. Sew a new hem using the previous hemmed fabric as needed. You can now make your pants, skirt, or dress longer by the desired amount.

Remember, this method works for garments with extra fabric in the hem allowance.

Video: How to Make a Hem Longer


So, can a tailor make pants bigger? The answer hinges on the type of pants in question. For jeans and chinos, the limited seam allowance restricts major alterations. However, the scenario brightens for traditional slacks and suit pants, where the back seam often holds the key to a roomier fit.

Consult a skilled tailor before you toss aside your favorite pair of pants. They possess the expertise to decipher whether alterations are feasible and how best to achieve a comfortable, stylish outcome. 

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