How to alter Loose Jeans to one that fits at the waist : 5 ways

Jeans are meant to be comfortable (for most people), but what if it is so loose that it will come down the waist – and this happens to those who choose jeans based on their hips and have a smaller waist when compared to the hips for standard sizes in jeans

Anyways, clothing that fits well is always an asset. So even if your jeans do not fall down to your hips, you may want to alter the loose waist of your jeans to something that fits well.

Here are the commonly used methods.

Alter the waist of loose Jeans

Method 1 – Using Darts

The easiest way to alter loose jeans is to make two small darts at the sides. No splitting open seams or anything. This method is suitable if you just have to make a small adjustment and you do not mind the look of the thick looking side seams. 

These darts will look like they are a part of the side seams.

To decide on how much to take in as darts, you have to wear the jeans rightside in and then pinch and see how much you need to take in – I think this is the easiest. Just mark the darts with chalk and then stitch through the pinched lines.

Or measure your body and decide on the darts.

Method 2 – Move the seam and top stitch

This method involves taking the seam off and then moving the side seams enough for the correct fit.

remove stitches at the sides

This method works the best if the waistband also has a side seam. But even if it does not, you can fold the extra edge to the inside and move the seams and top stitch the seam.

move the seam over the other seam

Move one of the sides over the other side. Pin in place and then carefully top stitch the seam.

altered the loose fit waist of jeans by moving one seam over the other

Jeans fit better at the waist now.

loose waist jeans made tighter with side seam stitching

Method 3 – Cut the waistband and restitch

For this method, you can remove the side seams and the waistband seam above the sides.

remove stitching from the side seams and the waistband above the seams

Then sew the seams as per your fit. Then reattach the waistband.

First, remove the stitching of the sides and then sew the side seams according to your fit.

sew side seams

Then cut off the waistband (ensuring that there will be enough for you to tuck one edge of the waistband inside the other and also enough to fold a little bit of the projecting edge to the inside)

alter loose jeans

Tuck one edge of the cut waistband to the other edge. Fold the edge to the inside and then top stitch the waistband over the jean’s top edge. Pin the whole thing in place.

pin the waistband in place

Sew the whole waistband securely.

Method 4 – Adjust the back center seam

This method involves cutting open the back center seam and adjusting the fit there.

You can read more in detail in this post How to alter loose pants.

Method 5 – Add elastic to the back waistband

This is my least favourite method – though very easy to do, it can create gathers around the back which many may not welcome.

You can make a small cut in the back of the waistband of your jeans and thread 3/4 inch elastic through the inside and then stitch the ends in place.

If you are averse to all these sewing and altering, just wear a nice belt through the belt loops on your jeans – they are there for a purpose. 

Altering jeans  – some general tips

Many things can happen as you sew over the thick seams of denim – the most horrible being getting a needle break in the midst of the sewing.

Ensure that you have a brand new needle on your sewing machine and also that you are using a thicker weight thread for the top thread. If you have heavy-weight jeans-needle, very good. It looks better on jeans.

Denim is a thicker fabric and also, you will be sewing over the thicker waistband- regular needles may not hold up under this presser. It is better to use the thicker jeans needle or a 16 or higher needle.

Flimsy home sewing machines may need to be handled with care when jeans are under their needle. 

There are many other similar disasters when thick sewing layers of thick fabrics under delicate machines. If the needle refuses to move, use your hand to gently move the wheel of the sewing machine. Do not race the machine – it will just lead to a broken needle. Your sewing machine must be really having a difficult time – be with it.

One other problem when altering jeans is that it may have rivets in places you may want to sew over – it may be impossible to remove them and sew; You will have to adjust your stitching so that your needle doesnot hit the metal rivets.

Related posts : Jeans alterations; How to alter tight pants/jeans. ; DIY Clothing Alterations ; How to hem jeans; How to cut off jeans to make shorts; Make jeans skirts ; How to repair holes in jeans

Updated on July 15, 2022 by Sarina Tariq

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