This is what these $1.something pants looked like BEFORE. Close to the most hideous garment ever made. Aaaaaack!
They were also too big when I tried them on (which was scary on its own--I am not used to having pants come up above my belly button!)--too loose in this hips, though, where it mattered.
So today I'm gonna show you how to take in a pair of jeans--any pair, even a normal colored pair!--so they fit you in the hips and butt but don't look totally altered.
Let's start with some humor, shall we? Here's a view of the back of the yoke of these jeans. You can tell, obviously, that the first step in this alteration process for me was cutting off the excess yoke! But I doubt you have super high waisted pants to work with, so this part probably won't apply to you. So, unofficial step 1--cut off the top of the jeans.
Nice buckle, eh?
Anyway, now to the tutorial.
So, you want a pair of jeans to fit quite a bit more snugly at the top? Follow this tutorial!
- With your seam ripper or pointy thread snips, snip the topstitching and all the seams that attach the waistband to the jeans at the side seam. Pick 2-3" on either side of the side seam.
- Also unpick the little row of partial topstitching that goes from the waistband down 4" or so. Hard to see what I mean in the pics above, but look at any regular pair of jeans and you'll see what I mean--on blue jeans, it's the classic gold stitching that goes down the side seam pressing the seam allowance to the back. Unpick these stitches so that your seam allowance flies free. Here's an inside view.
- Here comes the actual taking-in part. Fold the seam allowance flat and sew the side seam deeper, just like you're taking in any ol' seam. I tapered my seam from about 5" down, where the jeans started to be too big. They fit okay in the thighs, but were too loose in the hips and butt.
- Do this on both sides, of course... Now try on the jeans. Do they fit? When I did this, I had to take a second pass to make them still tighter, and it helped to try them on and make sure I was starting the seam at the right point on the hips.
- Once you get the fit right, re-do that top stitching on the side seam (press it to the back first). Sew down your seam allowance from the top down about 4".
- Bleh, now the not-so-fun part. Now, you have to make the waistband look normal again. You're going to sew right sides together at approximately where the side seam is, taking in the waistband the same amount you took in at the top of the jeans. E.g., if you took in the top of the hip 2", you need to take 2" out of the waistband, too, then you can sew it back down flat.
- I started by cutting the floppy excess waistband piece in half.
- Then, taking out the same amount as you did on the hips (I just cut off the excess), sew the waistband back together.
- Now you've got the waistband back together and you can re-fold and get ready to sew the three layers together (front and back waistband, jeans).
- Here's the inside. Pin the waistband piece back in place exactly where it was before...
- Then do the same thing on the outside. Lots of pins.
- Re-do the top stitching! Sew through all three layers, do the double seam look.
- Re-do the top of the waistband's top stitching, also.
OMG! Ta-da! Done!
One of you put it perfectly in your comment yesterday... you can totally pull off red jeans if you're in the right mindset--you gotta be in the mood for a) fun, and b) some attention!
I loved hearing your thoughts about red and colored jeans! Glad I'm not the only one bewitched by the trend!
As for this tutorial, don't let the red distract you... it would work just as well on classic blue jeans!