How to Make Pants a Bigger Size

Add a stylish twist to those favorite pair of pants that no longer fit and make them a little more comfortable at the same time. If your pants are just a tad bit snug, you will only need a seam ripper to alter them. However, if you need to add more room, you can mix in a new pattern or texture by inserting a fabric gusset to the sides.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Watch the video tutorial

Things You'll Need

  • Seam ripper

  • Measuring tape

  • 1/8 to 1/4 yard of coordinating fabric

  • Sharp scissors

  • Iron and ironing board

  • Sewing machine with a 90/14 universal needle

  • Pins

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Option 1: No Gussets

If you only need to create a little bit more room to make your pants more comfortable, and the seams of your pants have been finished with a serger, it might be enough to simply use a seam ripper to take out the first row of stitching on each side of your pants. This technique will give you an extra 1/2 inch or so on each side.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Option 2: Adding Fabric Gussets

If you need more than 1/2 inch of extra room, you can add some fun fabric gussets to the sides.

Step 1

Start by measuring around the widest part of your hips. Write this measurement down. Then measure the circumference on your pants where they are the widest. Subtract the pants measurement from your hip measurement. This will tell you how much extra room you need to make your pants fit. Now divide this number by 2. This will tell you how wide each fabric gusset will need to be on each side. Add 2 inches to that number to allow for the 1/2-inch seam allowances.

For example, if after subtracting the pants circumference from your hip circumference, you find you need a total of 6 more inches, then 6/2=3+2=5. So each fabric gusset will need to be cut to 5 inches wide.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 2

Now use a tape measure to find the length of your pants.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 3

Cut two fabric gussets that are the the same size as your determined length and width.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 4

Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the side seams on the pants as close to the inside seam as possible.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 5

When you get to the waistband, just cut right through it. When you are finished cutting, both side seams of your pants will be open.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 6

Fold and press 1/4 inch under twice on each short side of your fabric gussets.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 7

Sew the folds on the short ends of each gusset to create a finished hem.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 8

With the right sides together, pin the gussets into the sides of the pants.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 9

Sew each side of the gusset onto the sides of the pants with 1/2-inch seam allowance. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 10

Press each of the new side seams open with an iron.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 11

To finish your seams and keep them from fraying, topstitch close to each side seam.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

The topstitching will also give the pants a nice finished look.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Now slip on those pants again and enjoy your new comfort and style.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)