How Do You Taper Men's Jeans?

Written by melissa j. bell
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How Do You Taper Men's Jeans?
Modern jeans. (jeans image by Westa Zikas from Fotolia.com)

Finding a well-fitting pair of jeans or trousers is often a monumental task, as commercial clothing and sewing patterns are sized to suit a general range and not specific bodies. Often, regular patterns may need to be tailored in a few places to better fit an individual. One common type of jeans pattern alteration is tapering, which makes the leg width smaller. Tapering may need to be performed on a pattern that fits well in the waist and seat, but is too wide in the leg.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Men's jeans pattern
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Take width measurements at the jeans' hem and knee and add any ease that you would like your jeans to have. Also measure the distance between the hem and the knee. Write these measurements down.

  2. 2

    Cut the leg pieces from the men's jeans pattern. Fold the pieces along the length to create a centre crease, then unfold the pieces. Trace the centre crease with a marker.

  3. 3

    Mark the knee position on each leg piece with a marker. Do not include the hem allowance when measuring; instead, begin at the actual hem.

  4. 4

    Take your hem width measurement and subtract 1 inch. Divide this number by 4 and write it down.

  5. 5

    Transfer your final measurement from Step 4 to each side of each of the leg pieces, at the hem. Your markings should move all the side seamlines in from their original positions.

  6. 6

    Take your knee width measurement and subtract 1 inch. Divide this number by 4 and write it down.

  7. 7

    Transfer your final measurement from Step 6 to each side of the leg pieces, at the knee. Your markings should move all the side seamlines in from their original positions.

  8. 8

    Line up the edge of a ruler with the knee and hem markings and connect the dots to create the new side seamlines.

  9. 9

    Line up the edge of a ruler with the knee markings and draw over the upper side seams to match the new markings.

  10. 10

    Mark the new seam allowances on both pattern pieces. Cut the excess paper off the pattern pieces.

  11. 11

    Pin the altered pattern pieces to a double layer of your denim material. Cut two of each pattern piece.

  12. 12

    Sew the jeans pieces together as directed in your pattern instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also perform this process on an existing pair of jeans. Simply take the side seams of the legs apart and mark the insides like a pattern.

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