How to Make Suit Pants That Are Too Small Bigger

by Grady Blumenthal ; Updated September 28, 2017

Professional tailors do a great job, but so can you.

Leonard Mc Lane/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Over time, the majority of us are bound to put on some extra weight or, if you are still young, to simply grow. But that is no reason to throw away your favorite pair of pants. Making pants larger, otherwise known as "letting out," is a simple process if you have the right tools.

Items you will need

  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Dressmaker's chalk
  • Small scissors or stitch cutters
  • Color-matching thread
  • Iron

How to Increase the Waist Line

Step 1

Remove the belt loop, if there is one, with your scissors or stitch cutters by cutting the stitching and not the belt loop.

Step 2

Cut out the stitching over the center seam, releasing the waist line as far as it will go.

Step 3

Put your pants on and take in the waist line to the right fit. Have someone pin the fabric in place and mark it with the dress makers chalk.

Step 4

Rejoin the fabric with a sewing machine along the marked line, taking out the pins as you go.

Step 5

Try on the pants again. If they still fit, resew the marked line several more times to strengthen the seam and protect from embarrassing blowouts. If it is not a good fit, repeat steps 2-4.

Step 6

Press the new seam flat with a hot iron.

Step 7

Reattach the belt loop by sewing it in place.

How to Lengthen Pants

Step 1

Remove the stitching at the bottom of your pant legs by using scissors or stitch cutters.

Step 2

Try on your pants with a pair of dress shoes. Have someone fold up the excess fabric to the desired length. Hold in place with pins and mark with the dress makers chalk.

Step 3

Sew along the marked line with a sewing machine, removing the pins as you go.

Step 4

Put the pants on again. If it is still a good fit, resew the marked line several more time to make the stitch strong. If it is not a good fit, repeat steps 1-3.

Step 5

Iron the seam flat to finish off your alteration.


  • Ironing the seams which you will modify before beginning work on them will make the process easier and create a more professional look.


  • Always cut the stitching and never the fabric. Only a true professional should be making any alterations to the fabric.

    Dress pants are made with extra fabric so that they can be let out. If pants have already been let out, and the fabric used up, you may not be able to make them any larger.

Photo Credits

  • Leonard Mc Lane/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Grady Blumenthal has been writing professionally since 2009. He is currently a staff writer at "SurfShot Magazine," director of marketing at the Coronado Boathouse, and travel writer/ marketing Intern at Blumenthal holds a B.A. in communications from the University of California, San Diego.