How to Lengthen a Pants Pattern

Originally posted 2015-05-27 08:00:56.

An Easy Way to Lengthen a Pants Pattern

I have a secret… I am a tall girl. Since I am tall, I have a hard time finding pants that are long enough for me. I love to sew and have the same problem with patterns. Any pants pattern that I buy is not long enough for me without a bit of alteration so I’m going to share how to lengthen a pants pattern that is quick and easy!

How to Lengthen a Pants Pattern


On all commercial patterns, there is a double line that says “lengthen or shorten here”, sometimes with a 2″ ruler on each side of the pattern piece. These areas are normally located in the leg area and hip area of a pants pattern. (They are located in the waist area of a blouse or dress, and in the hip area of a skirt.) These lines are important especially if the design of the garment will be affected by adding to the hem, know what I mean? Lengthening or shortening at the areas indicated on the pattern maintain the integrity of the style.

How to Lengthen a Pants Pattern_Supplies

A cut is to be made between the lines then the pieces adjusted according to the measurement the garment will need to be lengthened. For pants, I like to add 2″ to the length. To make it easier (and so that I don’t lose part of the pattern), I join the pieces with a piece of tissue paper.

How to Lengthen a Pants Pattern_Cutting Line

First, I cut a piece of tissue paper slightly wider than the pattern piece. I draw a line with a pencil on the tissue paper, then draw another line 2″ below.

How to Lengthen a Pants Pattern_Lines on Tissue

I tape the lower piece of the pattern at the lower line.

How to Lengthen a Pants Pattern_Lower

Then tape the upper piece of the pattern at the upper line above.

How to Lengthen a Pants Pattern_Upper

Sometimes the side seam lines need to be re-drawn. I use the straight edge to draw the lines and then the pattern is ready to use!

How to Lengthen a Pants Pattern_Side Seams

Hopefully, this tutorial on how to lengthen a pants pattern is easy to understand… If you need help, leave a comment below!

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