Tapered Dress Pants

I put off altering these dress pants all week because I was working my real job too much.

Last Sunday, I had pulled out the hem of these pants and pinned them for tapering. Friday night, I got back to work on them, figured I’d alter these up right quick and log back in to my real job and get caught up. Right? WRONG.

I tapered them. All good. Home stretch. Just had to cut for the new hem. Marked the wrong fuckin’ line and cut one of the legs. Immediately after cutting one leg, I burst into laughter, I could not believe what I had just done. So eldest Brady boy was either going to show up for Homecoming expecting a flood (which, given the weather, might not be a terrible idea) or I was going to need to find another pair of these pants STAT.

Looked at the tag, they’re Croft & Barrow, which means they came from Kohl’s. It’s 9pm. “Hey Siri, what time is Kohl’s open until?” 11pm. Phew. Jump in the truck, call Mrs. Brady, she’s at the football game. I confess my crime and let her know I’m running to Kohl’s to grab a new pair of these pants to start over. On the entrance ramp to the Interstate, I can see the high school football game, so I honk wildly and Mrs. Brady confirms she hears me.

I get to Kohl’s and find what I think are the pants. They say Classic Fit. I think they look right but something seems off. The waistband looks different, but they are flat front black pants. I ignore my instincts and purchase them. It’s now raining. Fly back to Angela’s House of Incorrect Alterations and put them on the sewing table next to the pants I murdered.

Jesus Christ on a crutch, they’re the wrong pants. Fuck balls.

I take pictures this time of the correct pants. Back to Kohl’s. Now it’s pouring rain. Head back into Kohl’s, figure out I was not in the proper mens’ section before. I needed the dress clothing section; apparently my first trip I was in the casual clothing section. I find what I think are the proper pants but I inspect them very closely and the pattern of the fabric isn’t quite right. I keep digging through racks and find the right ones. I stand there, comparing them to the photos on my phone. A salesperson looks at me like i’m nuts. The tags on the inside are a different color, but these look like the same pants.

I get home (again) and put the pants on the sewing table (again). They are definitely the same pants. Alright, back to work.

So here’s how I did it. Fortunately for me, the second time around is always easier, so I was able to get it right and I think they look good.

After having the boy put the (original) pants on inside out, I pinned them where he wanted them to taper. When he had them on, I only pinned on the inseam. I picked out the blind hem and ironed the seams closed.

With the pants on the table, still inside out, I measured to the pin and divided that in half (since I was going to need to taper both sides). I marked the new cut line (this time I swear I measured three times before I cut) at 1 5/8” from the bottom raw edge and cut them. I then marked 1 5/8” up from the new raw edge for the new hem. At that mark, I measured in 3/4” on both sides and marked.

I folded the pants up so the bottom was at the crotch and marked that with a pin because that is where I would begin the taper.

I marked the midpoints with chalk and then struck a line from the original seam to the new mark at the new hem. My mistake the first time is that I made a mark at where the the finished hem would be, and I cut that. I should have marked 1 5/8” below that line and cut there. Lesson learned.


I repeated this for both legs; both inseam and outer seam.

At the new hem mark, I marked with chalk a slightly flared line so that when I fold up the hem, it will match up.


I took it to the sewing machine and sewed along those lines on both legs; both seams.

Next, I began taking out the old seam up to where i began the taper. When I did this the first time, I noticed that it had a strange stitch that I wasn’t familiar with, and it seemed like it was pretty strong because it was a bitch to pull out. It looked like a regular straight stitch on one side but it had some sort of double stitch on the under side. I googled around and learned that this is a chain stitch. More googling and I learned that my Cover Stitch machine can also do this type of chain stitch! So, I gave it a whirl and just went right over the original straight stitch I had done.

After opening up the original seams, I ironed the new seams open.


I serged the seam allowance to trim the excess fabric off, following the new seam as I went.


Next, I serged around the bottom raw edge of each leg to finish the edges.


Last up was the blind hem, another thing I haven’t done before. I watched a video and tested this out several times on scraps to make sure I was doing it right - highly recommend doing this because I did wind up making some adjustments to my tension and stitch width.

At 2am, I finished up the blind hems and gave the pants a good press.


I delivered the pants on Saturday morning and had Brady-the-elder try them on. They fit how he wanted them to. Whew!

Ugh those blue shoes.

Ugh those blue shoes.