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  • Writer's pictureLonda

How To Alter Wide Leg Pant to a Skinny Capri Pant

Once again, I have narrowed some pants to be more ‘in style’.

Leg silhouette change.

Leg silhouette change.

Before the HOW-TO’s

let me get on my Soap Box. I maintain my opinion that the ‘Leggins’ look must be VERY VERY carefully worn – by women in general.  That being said – here is proof from a fashion show I recently attended.  If your legs are toned and look like this, then go for it, even in white, which will ALWAYS draw attention!

On the other hand… the legs in the left 2 photos would be more flattered in the pant silhouette as shown in the right photo….. in my humble opinion.

palazzo pant

My Goal for Pant Transformation

The pant I was going for (and achieved) was a capri length, slim leg, NOT a skin-tight Legging.  The original pant (of which I have 2 pair in the same great heavy nylon/rayon/acrylic double knit), was a boot cut – but one I still like and feel good in.  Here is my process:

  1.  On a pair of slim pants I like, I measured the lower hem circumference, inseam length and outseam length.  I figured if I chalked in that info, I could always slim them down further, and hem as desired.  See that chalked in on the photo below. I always do this on only ONE leg until I get that leg perfected.  Note also that the back leg is fuller – see the fold in the middle?


2. I also quickly determined that I would need to rip into the crotch seam in order to take the pant in all the way up through the inseam.

taking in at crotch seam

3.  The photo below shows exactly what got removed from the inseam and outseam – again, on ONE leg to start. SAVING what is cut off, properly labeled as to whether it was the inseam or the outseam is very IMPORTANT.

cut off pieces labeled


I always get one leg as close to perfect as possible before starting the remaining leg.  I figure, why have to FRE-DO two legs, if I can get one leg perfect, then make the other identical?


  1. With cut off (labeled) pieces, FLIP them over and lay on the remaining leg, matching original cut and seamlines.  Then, cut off the identical amount, using the pieces are your ‘pattern’.

pieces used as patterns for 2nd leg

2. Stitch 2nd leg with seam allowance identical to first leg and WALA, they re the SAME!!!


It is easiest for me to have the pant on right side out, and turn the hem allowance to the outside to determine length – especially when ‘sewing alone’.  This photo shows just that.

Leg silhouette change.

Leg silhouette change.

HEM – adding interfacing to hem allowance, clipping at the hemline to balance the bulk. Read ALL about Hemming Knits at my last Blog Post HERE.


I’m happy with my new ‘skinny’ capris.  They are even more comfy than jeans! While yes, I could have made them SKIN tight ala ‘leggins’, I elected to leave something to the imagination as my Mom taught me.  AND, Black won’t draw as much attention.

Your opinions?  Your experiences? Comments and questions are always appreciated and welcomed.


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