Sunday, December 9, 2012

taking in your jeans: from size 15 to size "fits me"!

I've figured out the secret to getting skinny jeans that don't have to be painted on! Just get them in a size way bigger than you are, and take in the waist!  I got this lovely pair of jeans, my first foray into the world of skinny jeans, at DI a couple weeks ago for a Halloween costume.  They started as a size that is not quite my own, and I'd been wanting to try taking in jeans, so try I did!  I figured, if I messed up, they were only $5 + they were for Halloween.  Also, for those of you curious to try, this is about 1000% easier than it looks, and it only took me about an hour and a half.  I was also skeptical when I first saw a tutorial like this on, but it really is very quick and easy.

1. Take a couple of pictures of how the jeans looked originally.  That way, you'll be (more) sure to remember where to add topstitching, etc., back in when you're finished. 

2. Measure how much the waist needs to be taken in.  I decided to take these pants in about 4", so I did 2" from each side.  See that seam straight down the middle in the photo above?  That's the main one we'll be working with.

3. Remove any belt loops that will be in the way.

4. Unpick the waistband from the pants.  (And unpick more than you think you'll need.  I took in 2" per side, but I unpicked closer to 6".) 

5. You want the waistband to be able to lay completely flat, so unpick any topstitching that will be in the way.  (If I hadn't unpicked that bit of topstitching, the waistband would've had a big bump in the middle when I turned it inside out in step 6.)

6. Turn the waistband inside out and fold over where you want to take in the waistband.  You'll be creating a seam here to cut out the extra material, so make sure it lays very flat to avoid creating any weird bubbles or wrongly-sewn folded parts.

7. Take in your 2" (or however much YOUR pants need to be taken in).  If you're like me, this will involve many pins for such a short distance and sewing very slowly. :)  Remember, if you're taking in 2", for example, you only need 1" on each side of the fold you made in step 6.  

8. Tada! Now cut off the extra material.  Leave about 1/2" seam allowance.  Iron that seam allowance open.

9. The top of the actual pants is now bigger than your waistband, so we need to take in a little of the leg so the pants and band will fit together.  Unpick the side seam down to just below the hip pocket. 

10. "Take the front jean piece and pin that in onto the back jean piece."  (quote from freshly-picked)
(See the edge of the black down below? That's the edge of the front jean piece. See the blue edge with scraggly threads behind it?  That's the edge of the back jean piece. So we won't be cutting anything off the front, just the back.)

11. Sew a new seam right on top of your old stitch holes (from the front side - remember, we're not cutting any fabric off the front).

Don't judge me. I never pretended to be able to sew a straight line.

13.  Cut off the excess fabric and finish the newly-cut edges.

14. Reattach the waistband to the pants, and tada!  You've got yourself a new pair of pants that fit!

My Halloween costume featuring the now smaller jeans!
This picture doesn't quite do them justice, especially because of my ridiculous shoes, but I don't really feel like taking a picture right now, and that's the only other one I have.  Also, enjoy that squinty "Are you taking the picture?" face. :)


Annegirl said...


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