Tutorial: Altering Infant Pants

About a month ago, I set out on the world-wide web in search for a baptism outfit that would fit a 10 month old boy. I did find some outfits that were more on the traditional side but only went up to 6-9 months and were, quite frankly a little feminine for a ‘almost toddler’. I did find a nice 5 piece, white suit on Amazon.com for a good price and quickly ordered it. The set included pants, a shirt, vest, tie and jacket. It was marked for a baby measuring 20 pounds in weight which Jack was closed to at the time. Knowing that he is a little longer and skinnier, I assumed I would have to do a little modifications before the baptism.


Here you will find a quick and easy way to take in and shorten a pair of infant pants.

Step 1:

Though there is no visual for this step, it is the most important. Put the pants on your little one inside out and pin where the fabric needs to be taken in and shortened. I used safety pins since babies are quite wiggly and straight pins can catch their skin as you remove the pants.

Step 2: Taking the sides in…

Draw a line with a washable fabric pencil so you can see where the pants need to be sewn once you remove the pins.

Step 3:

Sew a straight stitch over the pencil line along the leg and crotch of the pants. It’s best to start at the crotch and work your way out on each pant leg. Before you cut, fit the pants back on the infant/toddler to make sure that you have sewed in the proper place. It’s a little easier to take a seam ripper to a straight stitch than it is to reattached fabric after it’s cut off.

Step 4:

After you find that your new seam is at the right position, add a medium zig zag stitch to the outside of the straight stitch. This will keep your material from fraying as it’s worn and washed.

Disregard that my zig zag isn’t straight, it usually isn’t and this will not effect the final outcome. At this time, cut off the extra fabric on the outside of the zig zag. Get close but not so close that you cut into the stitching.

Step 5: Hemming the length…

Keeping the pants inside out, fold the cuff over to the desired length and press a hot iron to make a crease. Do not drag the iron back and forth but press to form a crease. This will reduce the wrinkles that can be caused by the iron. Now pull out the original stitching with a seam ripper.

Step 6: 

Measure the original cuff. For my example, the original cuff was 7 centimeters. I apologize for the metric measurements. It’s the scientist in me. Measure 7 centimeters from the newly pressed fold and cut to the length. Again, once you cut the fabric, you will want to stitch a medium zig zag along the cut to keep the fabric from fraying.

Step 7:

Fold the newly made cuff back up (still inside out) and thread a hand needle with like-colored thread. You want to pick up about 1-2 threads from the front of the pant fabric on the needle and thread though the compete zig zag stitch of the inside cuff.

Continue this hand stitch every inch or so until you have completed the circumference of the pant leg. CONGRATULATIONS! At this point, you have completed your alterations. Put the pants right side out and send them through the wash. In my case, I took enough fabric in on the side that I had to repress a new crease down the front of the pants. Once the pants were dry, I simply ironed the crease back into the front of each pant leg, again only by pressing the iron on the crease instead of dragging it from side to side.

Here is the finished product on the hanger. Check back to read a post about the baptism and see a photo of Jack in his new duds.

Disclaimer: I am not a seamtress and do not claim to be one. Some of the terminology in this post may not be correct…sorry.

Do you have any fun (or from necessity) craft or sewing projects that you are working on?


One thought on “Tutorial: Altering Infant Pants

  1. You must of gotten the sewing gene from your Grandmother, because we both know you didn’t get it from me. I would of gotten the super glue or hot glue gun out!

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