how to make jeans tighter in 4 easy steps

Shopping for jeans is extremely frustrating. Finding a pair that perfectly accommodates your hips, waist, and leg length is next to impossible. And the thousand trips to a fitting room that has no locks (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, ROBINSON’S MALL, FUENTE!) don’t help the quest to find the ideal pair.

Because I’m short, I always have my jeans shortened at the mall. Yes, I could buy smaller, (hence, shorter) jeans, but my butt, hips, and waist have an aversion to size 24 jeans. Often, I end up buying a pair that’s perfect on the waist but baggy everywhere else. This is the case for the last three pairs I bought.

So I did some research on making jeans tighter. It seems that a hot wash and long drying time combo works perfectly. I have no access to a drier or washing machine. I turned to Lorelai for help.

1. Fit your jeans. Estimate how many inches tighter the legs should be.

DSC_8098.jpg picture by miwiyam

2. Turn jeans inside out. Sew the inseam, starting from one leg. If you need to make your jeans an inch tighter, sew the inseam a half inch from the edge.

DSC_8102.jpg picture by miwiyam

3. Sew all the way to the crotch and turn to finish the other inner leg. You may choose to stop at the crotch to see if your new pant leg is tight enough. Or too tight.

DSC_8103.jpg picture by miwiyam

4. Fit your new jeans!

DSC_8108-1.jpg picture by miwiyam

Obligatory before and after pics:

tightjeans.jpg picture by miwiyam

NOTE: When you lay down your new jeans, you will notice some bunching on the crotch area. Do not worry, this will not affect the overall appearance of your jeans. In fact, I think they help lift your butt when you finally wear them jeans.

UPDATE

Here is what you do with the waist area:

back-jeansalteration.jpg picture by miwiyam

Notes:

Make sure that you don’t sew the pockets.

Always use needle fit for thick fabrics.


33 thoughts on “how to make jeans tighter in 4 easy steps

  1. Hi. do you have any suggestions for dealing with the waste as well… i bought a pair of jeans about a month ago and they have grown i swear!

    1. How to enlarge jeans for the days when Im fat.
      Yes, I do jeans enlargment with V shapes sewn in.
      Measure how much you need it to be bigger, cos this has to be put into the gaps. But it has to be 3 or 4 inches long so as not to be seen, as it is hidden in the pocket.

      1. cut a slit at the pockets right across the waist band.
      2. Tack a piece of V shape denim from old jeans into the gap on each side of your jeans.
      Try it on.. and if its ok… then sew it on the machine.
      Tidy up the waistband with by sewing it again.
      Tidy up the bit inside the pocket, this should be inside.
      Now, you have space in your jeans for the days when one is fatter.
      Once you put on your belt, you cant see the attachment.
      I have done it with pieces of leather too, and it looks funky.

  2. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    1. I accually tried this and I really lked how easy it was to do and changed a pair of jeans that I would have thrown out!

      Thanks!

      You’re welcome. Glad the tute helped. :)

  3. nice! i’m wearing very wide jeans because i have extra weight ;p but when i get lost all the extra fat i’m not going to buy new clothes! hohoho

  4. just an FYI, i have found that, personally, it is easier to sew on the outside. especially if you dont need to sew all the way up to the hip (ie. making flared jeans skinny, just tightening some looseness up to the thigh) and you also dont get stuck with weird, uncomfortable bumps which i always experienced when i sewed on the inside. and if you do get bumps on the outside, its just from not having tapered off your stitch smooth enough and can easily be fixed.

    1. just an FYI, i have found that, personally, it is easier to sew on the outside. especially if you dont need to sew all the way up to the hip (ie. making flared jeans skinny, just tightening some looseness up to the thigh) and you also dont get stuck with weird, uncomfortable bumps which i always experienced when i sewed on the inside. and if you do get bumps on the outside, its just from not having tapered off your stitch smooth enough and can easily be fixed.

      Yepyep, that works, too. :)

      1. You can’t sew the outside if you have a double seam there like with Wrangler jeans. That’s when you have to do the inside but it never feels right doing the inside. I would love to have my jeans tailor made! Have been going through this all my life.

  5. This blog has been sooo helpful already! I’m a highschool teacher with an interest in arts and crafts as well (particularly crocheting) but I’m a bit interested in sewing as well! I don’t sew.. I wish I could! We actually have a sewing machine at home because my mom is a home ec teacher. Maybe I should start learning soon and try this out!

  6. this seems so easy!

    another way of fitting jeans (if they’re too loose in the waist but fit everywhere else) is to very painstakingly slowly repeat the following steps all the way around the inside of the waist:
    1. spray a tiny bit of water on the inner waistband
    2. use an iron on a very hot steam setting to press the denim, shrinking it
    3. move over about an inch and repeat

    when you’ve done this all the way around the waist, obviously try them on first, but be careful not to restretch them! then, sew in a strip of some fabric that has very little stretch to it, making sure not to sew over the beltloops. this should keep your jeans at their new, shrunken size.

    keep in mind, this will only shrink them a little, and if your jeans are drastically too big, consider eating lots and lots of chocolate or greasy, tasty food.

    hope this helps!

  7. This is an easy way to size down pants to fit better. The only problem I have is that sometimes when you take in the legs, you also shorten the crotch area which makes the waist of the pants to rest lower on the hips. If the pants are “hipsters” you’ll want to be careful when you take your pants in that they’re not TOO LOW on the hips! Thanks for the illustrations! I LOVE this website! :)

  8. So glad I found this… I’ve lost weight, and none of my dress pants fit any more… Not in the budget to buy more, and hell… I live in a tiny town in south tx… Don’t need them a lot… But on occasion, there’s a thing… So thanks!!!

  9. I so have to try this. i have a few pants that are very big. i used to be like almost 300 pounds,i lost so much weight now im 176 so yea this may help me so much . thank you.

  10. Hi, I’m so impressed, smarty pants! j/k ;) But kinda cute considering the post! I was wondering if you any any tricks, ideas or techniques for keeping the original hem? I have a pair I have under-grown, lol. I’ve had 4 kiddo’s and have finally started getting my original body back! The problem is the hem in decorative and on the inseam, ugh. I love these jeans. Help! Please! And, like most can’t afford a taylor!

  11. Our readers love your tutorial:) Feel free to submit your future posts to us! 1600 visitors checked out your blog from our readerbase! Keep rocking with cool projects.

    P.S your smile is stunning!

  12. To make them smaller in the waist only, open up the side seams on the inside of the waistband. Insert elastic thru the back and tighten up as necessary. Sew thru elastic at side seams to secure. Won’t show on outside as is on original stitching line.

    1. This method will probably not work with dress pans; there might be unfortunate bunching by the crotch. I suggest ripping the inside seams first :)

  13. My girlfriends mother used to buy us boys Lee brand jeans 35 years ago. They were a lot cheeper & they
    would last a lot longer. Then for a week before school she would sew up the seams to the crotch& then
    hem them up if nessary. We had lots of compliments from everyone. It was great!!!!

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