Hello everyone. This thread was probably my first result when looking into removing trouser pleats. I'm an alterations tailor in the Lehigh Valley, PA, US. I saw a tailor's drawing and decided to get to work. This alteration is now easy for me to perform, but the challenges were taking everything step by step as once you get the pants ripped apart there is material everywhere. Also, managing the distribution of fullness from the waist down thru the leg took me a few tries to do correctly. Here are pics from start to finish with description per step.
These trousers are double pleated Canali RTW with a ticket pocket. I decided to remove the pleats and keep the ticket pocket even though it's a pointless feature to me. I also have fuller front thighs so when I remove pleats from my own trousers, I add a front dart. These trousers are part of a DB suit. If there were ever a chance for me to wear them with out the jacket, I'd have dropped the front rise as well because I have anterior pelvic tilt which causes a collapse in the front of the cloth. Instead, I just wear them with suspenders under the suit jacket thus saving me even more labor. Total job time is about 3 hours. Once I removed the pleats, I also drastically slimmed the leg so I can achieve a more modern look.
Lastly, I remove all the belt loops and add suspender buttons to the outside of the waistband. It's just my personal preference. I add waist snugs to the waistband to keep my shirt tucked in and maybe I'll make a single pull strap for the back of the trouser out of pocketing or something similar (I'd make side tabs if I had the material to match). When I wear a suit, I almost rarely remove my jacket so I don't care if I have a strap made out of pocketing. Wouldn't care even if I removed my jacket because I'm a tailor and do what it takes to make my clothes fit. If someone sees it, they'll probably ask why it's there and end up with my business card.
Slicing the pocket away from the pocket facing.
pocket from pocket facing.
front panel from the wrong side ripped from waistband. Outseam is ripped from the knee up.
Ticket pocket removed
Fullness spread out to the side.
A mark is made on the waistband to show position of original pocket line. When the pocket is remade, it will fall at the same spot
front panel pulled back showing pocket bag/facing
Lines drawn to show how fullness will be taken out.
The extreme bias line drawn near the pocket is calculated by adding up total width of unfolded pleats then measuring over from the edge of the pocket.
This fullness isn't taken out of the leg proportionately all the way down the total length. It is taken out only at the top of the waist area where the pleats are the deepest. The fullness that comes out of the leg is about 1" tapered from the bottom of the pocket down to the knee.
The dart added is roughly the size of the smaller pleat. If no dart was added, the bias line drawn for the pocket is a steeper angle.
Preparing to sew dart and new pockets. The bias line has to be stabilized because it is so extreme. If it isn't stabilized, the material stretches during re-sewing and looks ugly. To stabilize it, I sew strips of pocketing on the straight grain (seen laying) to the wrong side of the front panel. Then I sew up the dart.
This is the wrong side of the front panel after the pocketing strip was sewn on, the dart sewn up, cut down the center, and pressed open. The next step is sewing the pocket facing to the front panel to remake the pocket.
Front panel after sewing dart and pocket. One step you don't see is attaching the pocket back to the pocket facing to fully recreate the pocket. Also, the top of the pocket bag is sewn to the front panel in order to easily re-insert the front panel to the waistband.
After the front panel is attached to the waistband, the trouser is turned inside out. What you're seeing here is the fullness of the front panel extending past the seam allowance of the back panel. The white line is where the sewing line will be. It will taper to nothing at the knee.
Sewing the new outseam. This start around midpoint of the pocket facing seam continuing down to the knee. Here is where the bottom edge of the pocket is reattached to the outseam of the leg.
This is the outseam sewn and pressed open. The slit in the seam allowance is where the bottom edge of the pocket is.
Turned right side out, here the finished result.
now we go to the ticket pocket side. The position of the ticket pocket is determined. The pocket is then re-sewn to the waistband first then to the top edge of the front panel
The front panel is sewn to the waistband. Outseam sewing is done as well.
nicer picture...look closely you can see the darts
not an easy picture to take by yourself
finished result when worn.
Not many clients request this to be done. If I did this specific job to a client's trouser including keeping the ticket pocket, I'd probably charge close to $85 as it is quite a job.