I posted a while back about taking in pants at the waist. And I had no idea how bad of an epidemic droopy drawers were until over 21,000 people read my post and pinned, and repinned, and repinned a few hundred times.
My first post was how to take in pants from the back of the waistband which worked really well on my work pants. Last week, I decided to try a different method by taking in the waistband from the sides on a pair of jeans that I once adored with all my heart but could no longer wear for more than an hour because they’d stretch out to the point of me flashing a little cracky every time I bent over which, let’s be real, is really only cute if you’re the Mayor of Buttcrack City. And I’m happy to report that I now have my favorite jeans back and they cling to my bunzos like a koala on a tree.
Disclaimer: By day, I am a computer technician. By night, I am a mom with a glass of wine and a sewing machine. A seamstress I am not. But I do love salvaging a good pair of pants and this worked perfectly.
Things you’ll need:
- straight pins
- sewing machine
- if you’re doing jeans, you’ll need a strong needle - I used a 14(90) needle (I bought this handy little 4 pack at Joann for $2.69, they fit all sewing machines)
1. Turn your jeans inside out
2. Put them on, then figure out how to button them from the inside. ‘Tis an art, I tell ya.
3. Pinch the waistband at both sides to get a feel for how much you’ll be taking in (I made mine pretty snug and took in about an inch on each side)
4. Start pinning down one side with straight pins, trying not to pin your finger to the pants (if you do, it makes it very difficult to move on to the other side). Repeat on the other side. I actually ended up pinning from my waist down to about mid-thigh, tapering out slowly so my last pin ended up on the existing seam (I could have gone all the way to my knee but I like these jeans a little looser, more like a boyfriend cut). Long story short, your pins should look like this:
5. Laugh at how ridiculous you look with your new hip flaps.
6. Shimmy your way out of the jeans trying not to pull too hard for fear of the pins popping out and stabbing you in the thigh. Or so I’ve heard.
7. With your jeans still inside out, sew along your pinned line. These were my machine settings for a nice, tight straight stitch (pictures like these always help me with sewing tutorials):
Don’t forget to backstitch (reverse back over your stitches) at the beginning and end to make sure your thread doesn’t come undone later. I may have overcompensated but I backstitched about 4 times juuuuuuuuuuust in case.
8. Unlike with my first tutorial, I didn’t cut out the excess fabric when I was finished because they were comfortable as-is, plus you then have the option to take them back out down the road if needed. But if you wanted to, you could always cut out the excess (try them on first to make sure they look ok after sewing) or fold and sew the end of the excess fabric down so it lays flat on the inside when you’re wearing them.
9. Turn them right side out and put them on. As you can see my seams don’t line up perfectly but unless someone is literally trying to smell my hip bone, I don’t think they’d notice.
10. Give yourself a high five for saving the money you would have spent on a new pair of jeans!