Jeans whose waist is a bit too big can be modified to make it smaller. If you're good at sewing, trim the back of the waistband for a professional look. For those of you who want to apply a practical way, sew the left and right sides of the pants waistband. If you can't sew or aren't careful enough, use elastic to shrink the waistband without using a sewing machine.
Method 1 of 3: Trimming the Back of the Jeans
Step 1. Pull the center of the back of the pants waistband and hold it with a safety pin
Put on a pair of jeans and pull the middle of the back of the waistband with one hand until the pants don't sag. Grasp the excess fabric with the other hand and hold it in place with a large safety pin. Hold the fabric under the safety pins to pull out the excess fabric and then secure it with a pin. Continue pulling the excess fabric and threading the pins along the buttocks seam until no more fabric is protruding. This step ensures that your pants fit your waist and hips.
- Be careful when inserting the pin so that the panties (or leather) are not punctured by the needle.
- Thread the pin through the bottom seam of the pants as low as possible. The lower you put the pin, the less visible the connection between the old thread and the new thread.
Step 2. Mark the inside of the jeans following the line formed by the pins and then remove the needles
Remove the jeans carefully so you don't get pins. Lay the pants on a flat place with the front side of the pants facing up and then unzip them so you can see the center of the back of the pants being held in place with the safety pins. Mark the line formed by the pin using sewing chalk. Make sure both sides of the fabric to be sewn are marked and then remove the pin.
Use a marker if you don't have sewing chalk
Step 3. Remove the waistband seam between the two marks, but leave 1.3 cm on each side
Use a sewing breaker needle to unseat the top and bottom edges of the waistband. Remove the waistband seam between the two marks, but leave 1.3 cm on each side. For now, do not remove the seam on the top edge of the waistband and the buttock of the pants.
To make sure you don't strip off too many stitches, cut the first and last stitches first. Then, remove the thread by prying the stitches one at a time
Step 4. Remove the waistband ear between the two marks
For that, carefully cut the thread that joins the ear of the waistband to the belt.
If there is still excess thread on the ear of the newly removed waistband, do not cut it. When the waistband ear is reattached, the seam joint is not as noticeable if you sew directly over the existing stitch
Step 5. Remove the stitches on the top side of the waistband and the buttocks joint
Remove the stitch on the top side of the waistband, but make sure it's the same length as the 2 rows you removed. Separate 2 pieces of waistband fabric. Use a stitch breaker to open the seam on the inside of the pants starting from the waist down to 2.5 cm from the mark. Then, open the seam on the outside of the pants to separate the two sides of the butt.
To make the job easier and the result more accurate, cut the first and last stitches and pry the thread between the two newly cut stitches
Step 6. Bend the waistband upholstery (inside fabric) and sew with a straight stitch
Bend the waistband right in the middle of the back of the pants (between the two marks). Make sure that the outer edges of the fabric (which have a nice pattern) are facing each other so that the crease is pointing up. Sew the waistband with straight stitches from top to bottom according to the markings so that the waistband becomes shorter.
- So that the waistband joints are not too thick, cut off the excess fabric. Leave about cm of fabric from the seam for seams. Open the seam and press it with a hot iron so that the seam is folded left and right.
- To make the stitches neater, make a straight line with sewing chalk and then attach the pin to the line.
Step 7. Repeat the above steps to shorten the outer waistband
Bend the waistband and pinch off the excess fabric so that it is the same length as the newly sewn waistband. Fold the fabric right in the middle, sew, cut off the excess fabric, then iron the seam.
Step 8. Unite the two bottoms of the pants and sew with a straight stitch
Stack the two bottoms of the pants with the outer (good-looking) fabric facing each other. Attach the pin according to the line that was made. Sew in straight stitches following the line while removing the pins one at a time.
- Before connecting the buttocks of the pants with a sewing machine, pound the seams that have just been opened with a hammer. This step is useful for leveling the fabric to make it easier to sew.
- Once sewn, put on the pants to make sure the seams are neat and right in the middle. If the result is not satisfactory, open the stitches again with a sewing breaker needle and then sew again.
Step 9. Sew the buttocks joint in a straight stitch from the outside of the pants
In order for the pants that have been reduced to look like they were before, sew the buttocks joint starting from the unremoved stitches towards the waist. Make 2 parallel lines at the buttocks joint so that the stitching pattern is the same throughout the pants. Stack a few unremoved stitches with new stitches to disguise the seam joint.
- For a professional-looking outer seam, adjust the sewing machine setting by selecting a stitch that is about 3½ millimeters long.
- If you have a double needle on a sewing machine, use it to make 2 stitches at a time so you don't have to sew twice.
- If you don't have decorative thread for the outer side of the denim, use double sewing thread of the same color as the original stitch to make it appear thicker and almost identical to the original stitch.
- If the back of the pants is worn out so the new stitches look a lot different, first rub the threads with a nail file to get a slightly rough texture.
Step 10. Sew the waistband with a straight stitch
Sew the top and bottom sides of the waistband in the center of the back of the waistband. Make sure you choose a thread that is the same color as the thread on the other ear.
Before sewing the waistband, it is best if the fabric to be sewn is pounded with a hammer so that the fabric is not too thick because you will be sewing several pieces of fabric at once
Method 2 of 3: Trimming the Left and Right Sides of the Jeans
Step 1. Put on the jeans that have been turned over and pinch both sides of the waistband until the pants don't feel loose
Flip the jeans and put them on. Pinch the left and right sides of the waistband until the pants are comfortable to wear. Make sure you pinch both sides the same width so that the pants remain symmetrical after the makeover.
Use safety pins to hold the hand-clamped fabric together so that the work can continue
Step 2. Hold both sides of the pants with pins
Place the pins on both sides of the pants waistband as wide as the fabric you're clamping, but try to get as close to the waist as possible so the pants don't sag. Be careful when inserting the pin so that it doesn't puncture your fingers or waist. Continue to thread the pin if the fabric can still be pulled. You are free to determine the length of the side of the pants you want to sew depending on the desired hip circumference.
You can pin and pin pins on the sides of the pants from the waist to the thighs, even to the knees if you want to wear tight pants
Step 3. Sew the pants next to the pin with a straight stitch
Remove the pants carefully. Sew each side of the pants according to the line attached to the pin. Use a machine needle that is strong enough to sew the denim, choose a slightly longer stitch, and make sure the thread tension is high enough. Sew the pants in reverse stitch (moving the shoe of the sewing machine back) the first and last few stitches to prevent the threads from falling off.
Set the stitch length to 2 and thread tension to 4 before sewing. If the result is unsatisfactory, open the stitches with a sewing breaker needle and then try again with a different machine setting. You are free to experiment until you get the results you want
Step 4. Flip the jeans over and put them on
Find out what your seams will look like by fitting the pants. If the result is not satisfactory, open the stitches and repeat from the beginning. If it works, but the pants feel thick, trim off the excess fabric on the inside of the trouser leg. Leave cm for the seam so that the seam does not come off. If the excess fabric doesn't bother you, let it go.
Fold the excess fabric to one side and sew to hold it in place so the fabric doesn't lift when the pants are put on
Method 3 of 3: Using Elastic
Step 1. Pin the excess fabric in the center of the back of the waistband
Put on a pair of jeans and pinch the excess fabric in the center of the back of the waistband until the pants feel comfortable to wear.
To make measuring pants easier and more accurate, first iron the waistband of the pants
Step 2. Mark the inside of the trouser waistband at the exact point you pinned it
While pinching the fabric, mark the inside of the waistband with sewing chalk or a marker by making small lines at the ends of the fingers that are pinching the fabric. When the two lines are joined together, the waistline of the jeans shrinks to match your waistline.
Step 3. Cut the two lines on the inside of the waistband so you can insert the elastic
Remove the jeans and place them with the front side facing up. Unzip the pants to reveal the back of the waistband. Cut a few stitches under the waistband just below the two marks. Cut the inside of the waistband through the stitches that have been removed so that there is a gap that is close to the top stitch of the waistband. Make sure only the inner lining of the waistband is cut out. Make another gap according to the marking.
Make sure the length of the gap is at least 2 cm so that the elastic can pass
Step 4. Prepare an elastic that is 2 cm wide
Measure the distance between the two gaps in the waistband and cut the elastic slightly shorter than that distance. Pin it on both ends of the elastic.
The shorter the elastic, the tighter the waistband
Step 5. Insert the elastic into the waistband through the gap and hold the ends
To prevent the elastic from slipping, use a safety pin to secure one end to the waistband of your pants outside the gap. Attach a second pin to the other end of the elastic and thread it through the first slit until the elastic emerges from the second slit. Hold the end of the elastic outside the gap using a second pin.
- If you can't fit the elastic because it has a trouser tag, remove the tag first.
- Make sure you insert the elastic under the fabric lining the waistband so that the elastic is not visible from the outside.
- If you want to change the waistline of the pants, use a longer or shorter elastic.
- Instead of pins, the elastic ends can be sewn by hand or machine to prevent them from falling off.