Shortening pants at the knee?

Posted by: babybunny

Shortening pants at the knee? - 12/20/08 11:50 AM

I had a couple of threads in the Light Gear section about how hard it was for me to find pants that fit me. Well, now I've found a couple of pairs but I've got some questions about hemming them.

North Face Horizon Convertible Women's
ExOfficio High Tide Women's

Both are too long in the pant leg by about 1-3 inches.

The ExOfficio has a somewhat elaborate cinching system at the hem that allows you to convert them from 31in pants to 26in pants. So to shorten the pants to 28in overall, I'm thinking that I need to take out 2-3in of fabric from somewhere in the middle because the cinching mechanism is blocking modification of the hem. I'd like to take out the extra fabric from the thigh area right above the knee rather than from the straight leg portion where my shin would be because then my knee would rest right on the knee articulation point of the pants. Right now the articulation is actually a bit below my knee and when I raise my leg the fabric pulls against my leg and adds resistance. The North Face has the same knee articulation problem.

The problem is that from the knee up, the pant tapers, so if I take out any fabric, the resulting two sections of the pant won't have the same length when I try to sew them back together again.

A: what the pant looks like now, too long and knee at the wrong place

B: what the pant would be like if leg shortened below the knee articulation point. Length is correct, but knee articulation is still not right.

C: what the pant should be like in a perfect world

D: the pink section would need to be taken out so that knee articulation and length are correct

E: but then the corresponding sections no longer match in width.

Is there any way to do this successfully?
Posted by: pennys

Re: Shortening pants at the knee? - 12/20/08 02:45 PM

I've done this kind of thing more times than I care to count - however I''ll have to get this later as I am on my way out the door.

The short answer is that you have to split the difference and re -taper the seams.

Posted by: Jim M

Re: Shortening pants at the knee? - 12/22/08 06:21 PM

I mess around with sewing, hemming and repairing and have even made some stuff too. I think I know what you are asking, but to know the answer you have to ask yourself what diameter you need the pants to be at the point where you put the two sections back together. If the diameter of the lower part is fine then you can open the seam on the upper part and taper a dart into them so the couture down to the lower part. (Easier said than done, but the way, because a straight line can make the pants look "blossomed".) If you have been lifting weights for some time and the diameter of the lower part is too small for your leg at that point then you have another problem that would be difficult or impossible to solve unless you are a much better seamstress than me I.
Good luck. By the way, I have done a lot of sole searching and have found I enjoy playing around with such projects, but in the end it isn't really productive if my time is worth anything. You seem to have thought this out carefully, that's important because sometimes I later figure out that I made a simple job much more complicated than necessary. What are the pants used for? Mountaineering, Skiing, Rock Climbing?