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Generally, consistency is all you want from a pair of jeans. There’s nothing like having that one great pair that you can always rely on for comfort and style but change is the only constant and you may find yourself needing to switch up your lucky blues.
Pants may seem daunting to alter but with the tips listed below, you can alter your waist, inseam, crotch, and hem with not too much difficulty. Fortunately, most alterations can be done by hand and don’t require advanced sewing skills.
How to alter jeans at the waist
The most daunting part of waist alteration is that you will have to remove the waistbands, take in the side seams and then reattach the waistband. Fortunately, there is an easier solution that still produces a seamless look.
All you need is a strong, sharp needle and thick thread (upholstery thread works great), scissors, and a marking tool.
With your jeans, pinch the back of the waistband where the belt loop is until you reach your desired fit. Mark this with a pin or pen. Remove your jeans and use a pen to draw two lines on each side of the area you’ve pinched. On each side of the belt loop, complete a ladder stitch. Gently pull on the threads to cinch in the jeans and tie your thread off very well.
How to alter jeans at the leg
This is one of the easier alterations you can do on jeans. You don’t need to have any advanced sewing skills and this fix can be done by hand or machine.
To make your jeans tighter at the legs you will need a needle and thread, or a sewing machine, pins, or a marking tool and scissors.
Put your pants on inside out. Pinch and pin the areas you want to tighten. Once you’re satisfied with the fit, you can take them off and begin your sewing. If you’re working a machine, you can simply straight stitch the areas you’ve marked. If you are sewing by hand, make sure to use strong thread made for denim and use a running backstitch for durability.
How to alter jeans at the crotch
This is particularly useful for stretch jeans which have the tendency to, well, stretch over time. The most awkward place for this to happen is at the crotch, creating the most unflattering of fits.
This can be remedied through a simple alteration, however. With your jeans on, pinch and measure the excess fabric at your crotch. Try to keep the pinched area even between the front and the back so as not to distort your comfort. Once you’ve measured and/or marked this excess, remove your jeans and lay them flat. Sew along the inseam, with your measurement at the middle of the crotch seam and tapering your seam to a point as you get to the legs.