Prepping your Pants to Take to the Tailor

Over the years, I found a few different methods of preparing my pants to take to the tailor. Sometimes, you know what you want and want to figure out the measurements in the privacy of your own home, as opposed to the tailor’s opinion. Say for example you want to taper and hem a pair of pants. At home you can compare the pants to your already existing pants and work backwards and forwards to a solution.

There are a few different methods of prepping your pants before going to the tailor.


Hem/Taper or Both?

First, you want to decide if you’re going to hem your pants or if you also want to taper your pants? Hemming your pants is just bringing up the bottom or reducing the length of the pants, reducing the inseam length. Tapering would be sewing down the side of your pants, so we’re reducing the width in certain areas.
Many pants come a little bit wide, so many people like to taper their pants to get a more fit-looking—appeal-able look.

One of the first things I do is compare my pants against a couple of my favorite pairs of pants. I grab my favorite pairs of pants throw on the bed. Grab my new pants and throw them on top of it and I compare a few different measurements. I can pair the inseam length. So I put the crotch of the pants, right where they meet up in the center. I also pull them together and see where my favorite pair of pants ends compared to the other pair of pants. And then I’ll mark this point, and I’ll put a safety pin to mark the hem length. I’ll roll the pants up and put a pin in there to mark the hem length. At any point, I’m pinning the two folded pieces of material together to mark the hem like. I’ll test this on a couple of pairs of pants and see if it’s the same or slightly different. And then I’ll try the pants on and put a pair of shoes on, and then we’ll see what I like best —re-pinning to adjust.



Looking into taping I’ll go back and hold it against another pair of pants that I like and see how much wider the pant is at the thigh, at the knee, and at the ankle and see if it’s similar.  I will pin the pants to match the width of the other pants. I’ll do this all down the pants from as high up as the groin down to the knee -to the ankles perhaps putting five or six safety pins in. Then I’ll try the pants back on and check.


Pants Inside Out

As I pin everything I have the pants out, so you can see the seam, the stitching a little bit better. This is actually how the tailor is going to do his work. He will have the pants inside out and run them through the sewing machine this way. This keeps the outside clean and the stitches are hidden on the inside.

I would suggest just matching another pair of pants and not going too tight. If you decide to make things look fit, consider you’ll use these pants. You will have to sit down and walk around, etc. -you want them to be a little bit comfortable. But you also want to make sure that you take out the fabric that looks out of place and make sure it looks like you’re wearing the pants and not a baggy piece of fabric.

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