How to Shorten the Stride in Sewing


The "stride" in sewing refers to the crotch on a pair of pants. Depending on your measurements, you may need to adjust the length of the stride of a pants pattern. From jeans to dress pants, you want to be sure the garment fits you properly for a better look and more comfortable feel. Shortening the stride may take some practice and trial-and-error; it is important to find out what some trouble areas may be for your body type and where to adjust the pattern to make it fit.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern
  • Muslin
  • Sewing machine
  • Tape measure
  • Measure the crotch seam of a pair of pants that fits you well. Use the flexible tape measure to find the length of the crotch seam between your legs from waistline to waistline. Alternatively, measure yourself from center-front to center-back waistline between your legs.

  • Cut a slash about 3/4 of the way in from the crotch seam of your front pattern piece, about 3 inches from the top. Do not cut all the way through, so you leave a hinge of paper at the opposite seam line.

  • Cut another slash about 3/4 of the way through the crotch seam of your back pattern piece, about 3 inches from the top. You can cut another slash about 3 inches below the first slash.

  • Overlap each pattern piece where you cut it to make the length of the crotch shorter. Adjust how each piece is overlapped to match your crotch measurement. Smooth out the pattern pieces and use tape to hold the adjustments in place.

  • Cut out your pattern pieces in inexpensive muslin and sew them together. Try on the pants to see if the crotch seam fits you properly. If they do not fit, you may need to adjust your pattern pieces again; sometimes you have to adjust only the front or the back for a shorter stride.

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