How To Tailor Jeans

Learning how to tailor jeans without the help of an expensive professional is budget friendly and fairly easy. When shopping for jeans, it is rare to find a pair that fit you correctly everywhere. For the person who has tried on seemingly everything at the mall and nothing seems to fit, tailoring is the answer. The pair of jeans you choose to tailor should be the basic style of pant that you want. They should fit well on the biggest part of your physique. For example, if you have wide thighs, the jeans should fit this area the best. If your hips are the biggest part, try not to worry about the waist. It truly takes a professional to make pants that are too small larger. Finding a pair that fits your problem areas well and going the other way, larger to smaller, will make the process much less of a headache.

To tailor a pair of jeans you will need:

  • a seam ripper
  • a tape measure
  • straight pins
  • a sewing machine (or needle and thread)
  1. Measure your body. With the tape measure, measure your waist, the widest part of your hips, the circumference of your thighs, and your inseam (from your crotch to your waistband). Write down all these measurements.
  2. Measure your pants. Lay the jeans flat and measure the fabric of the jeans in the same area that you measured on yourself. Make sure the tape measure is taut and the jeans are not wrinkled. Write down these measurements and compare with the first set.
  3. Rip the seams that need alteration. If the waist is too big, rip the seam along the waist with the seam ripper. If the pants are too baggy on the thighs or the hips, rip the outseam beginning right underneath the hips all the way down to the ankle. If the jeans are too long, rip the seam that forms the cuff in order to remove the length.
  4. Fit the jeans. One of the best things about home alteration is that you can be as particular as you want. Try on the jeans inside out, then, while minding the general measurements you have taken, customize the fit of the jeans to your body. Pin the seams generously along the whole seam to get ready for sewing.
  5. Sew the seams together. Using your sewing machine, sew the seams together while your jeans are still inside out. After you have finished the line of the seam, backstitch so the stitching stays together. After you complete each seam of the project, check to make sure everything is being sewn correctly.
  6. Finish the seams.  After you have taken the jeans in, you should finish the fabric that is left over. Cut the extra fabric at least a half an inch from the new seam. Then, using the "zig-zag" option of your machine finish the seam so that it does not unravel. Try on your jeans to see if there are any more adjustments that need to be made.
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