altering boys’ pants

You know those inexpensive cargo pants with elastic waists, that are all too common in the toddler boys section?
Well at the end of last winter season I picked up a couple pairs of those baggy cargo pants from Walmart for $1. For a buck I just couldn’t pass them up.
But I hate how baggy they are!
First of all my kids come in the skinny variety, and two, cargo pants are usually made way too voluminous. At least I think so.
With autumn pretty much here, Reid’s been needing more pants. So I took those baggy pants and some baggy hand me downs from Owen, and altered them to fit a little better.
Here’s how:
{I used two different pants for the example pictures}
Turn inside out and line up the pant legs carefully and evenly.
Cut off 2 inches from the inside of each pant leg simultaneously {each pant is folded over so double the one inch you see}. I almost thought 2 inches was going to be too much, but these things are so terribly baggy that it was just right.
If one piece is longer than the other, stretch as you pin and sew, and you should be good. Most khaki and jean fabrics have some stretch to them.
Just be sure to keep the crotch and the bottom hems in line.
Sew a straight stitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance then serge or zig-zag the raw edges.Easy enough?
You don’t have to mess with the sides and therefore the pockets or the thrice sewn top elastic waistband. Just one cut and a quick sew. And you’re done!
If you want the seams to look more professional simply press with an iron. I skipped that step because I couldn’t wait to try them on Reid.
Here is the before and after.
Much better! They still look like loose fitting cargo pants without channeling Aladdin.
I still have to roll over the top, but it’s good room for growth as the season progresses.
 Reid even loved them. He balked at trying them on before, but once I got the altered pair on him, he started dancing and karate chopping all over the place.
With a shirt on I think they look even better.
You might be wondering what’s in that Spiderman cup?
His bribe candy for taking pictures for me…I mean his friend “Shake.” He kept talking to it and telling me it was talking back. It was so cute.
I didn’t flare them because I like how the narrower leg helps the hem from getting dragged under this shoe.
I hemmed up three more pairs of these baggy tradegies and now his pants wardrobe is looking much, much better.
Feels good.
Now if I can figure out how to make some of Owen’s pants look less like a flood warning. : /


  1. says

    Ha ha ha ha! My daughter wore some floods the other day. I called them that and she looked at me all crazy! She had no idea what I was talking about. Love the non-baggy look. It looks so much better on Reid. I have the same problem with my little man. Guess I'll have to bust out my machine. :)

  2. says

    Such a great idea! Gosh, it's been far too long since I've been by to visit- CONGRATULATIONS on your pregnancy! I got continually asked about the sex when I was last expecting also, with three boys before! I sincerely wish you goodness and growth through the duration :)

  3. says

    Here is what I did to fix the floods for my two warrior sons. It actually fixes two problems. First thing to wear out was the knees, then they grew out of them.
    You will need a #18 denim needle and some thread that matches what is showing on the jeans. I used a 12wt gold like is showing on most denim jeans. A sacrifice pair of jeans'
    Cut off the legs and salvage the good part.

  4. says

    My son is of the skinny variety too and I have the hardest time finding pants that fit just right. You have inspired me to go fix his wardrobe :) I need to adjust the waist of his paints too. Think I could cut off from the "behind" seam without too much problems?

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