How to Sew Wide-leg Pants to Straight Leg in 6 Quick & Easy Steps

Elegra Margiela
by Elegra Margiela
7 Materials
45 Minutes

Wide leg pants look great but sometimes you want a more tailored and tapered look. A slimmer or tapered fit can make your pants look better and more stylish! Today, I’ll show you how to sew wide-leg pants to straight legs in under an hour.

Taking in wide-leg pants at the tailor can be pricey. Here’s you’ll save some money and learn how to alter wide-leg pants to straight! Let’s improve the fit of your pants!

Tools and materials:

  • Wide-leg pants 
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Curved ruler
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Rotary cutter
  • Serger (overlock machine)
Trying on the wide-leg pants first

1. Take measurements

These pants fit beautifully in the waist and the length is perfect but the wide leg isn’t stylish enough for me.

Taking measurements for the pants

Put your pants on but inside out so you can see the seams. While you’re wearing them, take a measuring tape and measure your upper thigh, knee, calf muscle, and ankle width.

Marking the pants with tailor's chalk

While you’re measuring, mark the spot with the tailor’s chalk. You’ll do all the marking on one leg. Take the pants off.

How to alter wide-leg pants to straight

2. Mark the pattern

Once you’ve marked your measurements on the pants, take the tailor’s chalk and mark a straight line across where the marks are. Mark the center point. Check your measurements and whatever your measurement was for each area, divide by 4.

Marking the pants with chalk

Mark each side of that center mark that amount.

Connecting the markings

Whatever point you get, connect it with the chalk to the next area. Connect that line all the way down to the ankle.

Using a curved ruler to connect the marks

Use the curved ruler as well to connect everything together.

Folding the pant leg ready to cut

3. Cut the pattern

Once all the lines are marked, fold the pant leg towards the outer seam. Pin it so it is even and symmetrical. This way, when you cut, you’ll cut both sides of the pant leg at once!

Cutting the pant leg with a rotary cutter

Use the rotary cutter to remove the excess fabric.

Pinning the side seams of the pant leg

4. Sew up the pant leg

Open the pant leg. Pin the side seams in place, right sides together.

Serging the inner and outer seams

Serge both the inner and outer pant seams.

How to take in wide-leg pants

5. Check your work

Put the pants back on the correct way and see if the tapering you did worked well.

Once you’re happy with the taper, it’s time to do the second leg!

How to make wide-leg pants straight leg

6. Match the other leg

Lay the pants down flat. Fold the tapered leg over the wide leg lengthwise. Pull the crotch out and adjust the fit down the leg. All the hard work with measuring has already been done so now you’re just using the tapered leg as your pattern.

Pinning where the tapering begins

Pin the top of the pant and place a pin at the top part of the pants where the tapering begins. 

Cutting away the excess fabric

Cut away the excess fabric.

Pinning the pant seam ready to sew

Pin the pants legs. Serge the new inner and outer seams.

Straight leg vs wide leg

How to sew wide-leg pants to straight leg

How to sew wide-leg pants to straight leg tutorial

This is how to take in wide-leg pants! I know sometimes it’s hard to decide whether a pant should be straight leg vs. wide leg. Now, if you’ve got wide-leg pants, you can alter them yourself. Please let me know in the comments if you’re going to try this.

Suggested materials:
  • Wide-leg pants
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
See all materials

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