I can’t believe how many times I’ve thrown away a pair of pants when they didn’t fit… I could’ve done this instead, and it’s so easy!
If your favorite pair of jeans have become too small in the waist, definitely don’t get rid of them. Instead, here’s an amazing idea for altering the waistband to fit you again!
Before you start, keep in mind that if your denim patch doesn’t match exactly, stick with slightly darker fabric rather than lighter. It’ll be somewhat hidden by the center belt loop that way!
Here’s how to do it:
Remove the center back belt loop with a seam ripper. Use a tape measurer to determine the circumference of the waistband on your jeans. Write that number down and save it for later.
Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut directly down the center back of your jeans to the back yolk. You can cut down farther if you need more room in the hips too.
Measure around your waist or hips where the waistband of your jeans will sit.
Subtract the circumference of the waistband from the circumference of your waist/hip measurement. This will determine the width of the denim piece you’ll need to insert into your jeans.
Add 1 inch to that number for a seam allowance.
For example, if your waist circumference is 28 inches and your jeans waistband is 26 inches: 28-26=2+1=3. Your denim piece will need to be 3 inches wide.
To determine the length of the denim piece, measure the raw edge of the cut you made in the center back and add 1 inch. Sew across the top of the denim piece.
Fold 1/2 inch of the top of the denim piece toward the wrong side of the denim and press. Topstitch the top edge of the fold.
Place the denim piece under the cut in the back of the jeans and mark the opening onto the insertion piece with a washable marker or tailor’s chalk. Cut 1/2 inch away from the marks you made.
Finish the raw edges of the insertion piece using the wide zigzag stitch that you used on the top edge. Pin the denim piece into the opening.
Change the thread in your machine to match your jeans and use the same wide zigzag stitch to sew the denim piece into the opening.
Use a short stitch length and change the stitch to a narrow zig zag. Use this stitch to reattach the belt loop to the center back of your jeans.
Now you’re done, and you won’t have to do this ever again!
If your jeans are a bit too big, click here for a hack on how to sew them smaller!