Fix Gaping Pants at the back

As I was going through  my clothes deciding what stays and what goes, I found that most my trousers are ill fitted at the back. I put them to the side  for a while now, but today I’ve decided that it was about time to make a dent in the rather large pile of stuff that needs to be repaired or fixed or refashioned.

‘Gaping band at the back’  is problem with most pairs of trousers I buy in store. (It sometimes happens with skirts as well, but not too often). If I get the size that fits my waist they will not fit on my hips as they are a bit bigger,  so I have to get the trousers in a size that fits my hips, which is normally one size up from my waist, which results with  trousers that fit well around my hips but are too big on my waist and look not to great.

While documenting myself on the internet trying to find the easiest way to fix this issue I came across few methods to  solve this problem, which I’ll do my best to explain below.

Method 1 

I found that for me the easiest way to fix the gaping is to add elastic to the waistband. (it’s not that pretty inside, but it is effective. And let’s face it, no one will look inside, especially when you  wear your trousers 🙂 ) I used this on a pair of 3/4 stretch jeans. Because my trousers have two belt loops right at the centre back, which I wanted to keep, I found it easier to add elastic to each side of them. Basically you need a piece of elastic about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) (I cut mine in half). You  put it in the inside the garment on the waistband and sew it in using a zig-zag stitch by stretching the elastic. If you are using on a fabric that stretched, do not stretch the waistband!  There is no need for it. If you have belt loops you need to stitch around, just stop your stitch before the loop and restart after.  All you  need to do after is to try your trousers on. No more gaping. Yes!!!!

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Method 2 

Adding darts. I tend to either use one dart in the centre back or two darts. Just measure the amount you  need to take out. If you  are making one dart,  then you need to remember that when you re-draw the centre seam line you  need to  start at the crotch  and re-do the stitch gradually, so that the new line looks natural and you  do not get some pleat as there is extra fabric left. (I’ve done it as I did not do deep enough and my pants look daft. Now sorted that problem). If there is to much excess just over lock and cut away. With my pants I’ve cut corners and made the dart through the band as well. (I do intend to wear the pants with tops that cover that bit anyway so will not be seen.

If you chose to do two darts, either because all the other seams around are French  seams or just because you  feel like it you need to  split the total amount you are taking out and split it into two smaller darts. I measured mine and set them about 7cm (or 3 inches) from the centre seam) and then machine stitched by using the one thread dart technique.  Your  pants might look weird to you, but I call that a designer feature. Just makes your pants different.

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Method 3

Side seam adjustment.  I think this is the hardest method of them all. It is best used when the side seam is simple, you do not have pockets and your waist bank is not continuous. Once you’ve decided how much you  need to take out you need to divide the number to 4 . Then unpick your side seams, low enough and re-draw the side seam lines making sure the lines are fluid  (Here you  can decide if you want to take more from the back or from the front.  You need to make sure you  do the same on both sides). And re-sew the side seam of your trousers.  They will look great. I do not have pictures of items I’ve done using this method. I’ve only done it  once to a pair of trousers for my mum. She was happy with them  once I’ve modified them, saying they look as if she bought them like that.  🙂

Sorry for showing you only after pictures. I did not think about making a post about this until I’ve already finished them all. I do hope that you find this article useful.



    • I am glad that you found my post useful. Hope it will sort your problem. Please let me k ow how it works for you. 😊

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