Baggy Legs and Elephant Knees

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It may not be a surprise to you that I alter a lot of my clothing. I like when clothes fit properly, but I’m very hard to fit. I am short with an extremely short waist and legs, I have a pouchy tummy and a big booty, and I’m not proportional. I guess it’s a good thing that I can sew and am not walking around like a total ragamuffin.

One of the most difficult things for me to fit is pants, most specifically skinny jeans/pants. Part of the problem is after I get my big booty to fit the legs tend to be a little baggy, but also because my legs are so short the knees of the pants don’t hit my actual knees in the correct place, causing elephant knees. I cannot stand when skinny jeans have baggy knees. I understand there is going to be a little wiggle room, but the elephant knees have got to go!

I have found a pretty easy way to fix this problem. Since the first time I did this, I feel like I am actually able to purchase pants. I can just fix them if they are a little off. For summer I have been on the hunt for a pair of white skinny jeans. When jeans are skinny, I typically like them to fit really well and pretty tight, but not this time. Since they are white, I wanted to be a little more cautious and not go too tight.

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Here are the pants before. They aren’t super baggy, but you can see the extra fabric around the knees isn’t cute. Also, they are long, but I think I like them rolled up for summer.

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The first thing I do is put the pants on inside out because it just makes it easier in the long run. I take straight pins and pin down the side seam of the pants to about where I would like them taken in. You might need a friend to help with this part. I like to follow the curve of my leg. Be careful not to make the ankle too tight or you won’t be able to get them on and off. Also be careful taking them off with all of the pins.

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I use the pins as a guide to draw a line on the inside of the pants where I plan on sewing. You can see how it is curved like our legs are. It looks kind of funny now, but they will look great on. I pin the pants together and then sew on the drawn line. I make sure I’m really careful at the top of the pants so that I blend the existing seam with the new seam.

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After I have sewn, I like to try them on before I cut anything away. It will not look perfect yet because of the baggy excess fabric inside the pant, but you will have and idea. I had to tweak the top of my seam on one leg so you might have to do that too. After I do an initial check, I cut the excess fabric away. I don’t have a serger to finish the seam, so I set my sewing machine to a zig zag stitch and sew over the edge of the fabric so it doesn’t fray as much.

white pants finished

Here are my finished pants. I know they aren’t super skinny like I usually make skinny jeans, but I think they look way better than before and will be great for summer time. For all you fashionable people out there, I don’t make all of my pants tighter. I understand that some pants, like dress pants, aren’t supposed to be as tight on the legs. I just think you look better when your clothes fit well. Hopefully this will help you if you have elephant knees. Also, this is just a warning, your pants will look kind of funny when they are laying flat because they legs will be curved and not straight. Don’t worry about it if they look fierce on!

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5 thoughts on “Baggy Legs and Elephant Knees

  1. Elizabeth

    Thank you! First site I’ve found with clear instruction on fixing this problem I have with all pants I buy. Can’t wait to give your technique a try 🙂

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