After hours of shopping, you've finally found a good pair of jeans, but they're a little too baggy. Or maybe you found some old pants while you were tidying your wardrobe, but they don't fit anymore. Lost cause? None of that! With a little knowledge, you can change your jeans at home. If the leftover is just around the waist, it is also possible to fix it. All you need is some hot water, a laundry and maybe a sewing machine.
Method 1 of 4: Heat Shrinking Jeans
Step 1. Wash pants in hot water
Avoid sharing the wash with other clothes and don't use fabric softener. The machine with the front opening can have more impact than the one with the top opening, as the movement that the clothes make inside is what shrinks the fibers. Look for a self-service laundry if you don't have this type of machine at home.
- Wash your jeans inside out to wear them less.
- This method doesn't work very well on jeans that are pre-shrunk or contain synthetic fibers.
- Alternatively, you can soak the jeans in a bucket of hot water. Dip the garment into the water and use a wooden spoon to sink it completely. Wring the piece when the water cools.
Step 2. Toss the jeans in the dryer and dry them at the highest temperature
Set the drying time as long as possible. Read the label first! If she prohibits drum drying, don't risk shrinking your jeans too much in the dryer. In this case, dry the piece in the open air.
Step 3. Try on the pants
It should be at least a little tighter. See if you can walk and run with her. Be aware that this method is not permanent. With use, the jeans will return to the "comfortable" shape they were before.
With each washing and drying, the strength and appearance of the piece degrades. So don't overdo it with this method
Step 4. Boil the jeans
This step is optional, but useful for jeans that are difficult to tighten. Use a clean pan large enough for the pants. Fill with water and bring to a boil. Keep an eye on the pot and, if necessary, add more water. After the water boils, turn the heat down to keep the pants "cooking" over a simmer. Cover and leave for 20 to 30 minutes.
Method 2 of 4: Resewing
Step 1. Try the jeans inside out
Close the zipper or button so that the piece looks the way it would look if you were going to wear it. Step in front of a mirror and see where you want to fasten your pants.
Remember that when you turn the piece inside out, the outside of the right leg will be the wrong side of the left leg
Step 2. Squeeze the fabric at the crotch and along the inner seam
Keep the inner seam at the edge of the tight area so that the new seam is centered.
- Pin horizontally in order to orient the sewing machine so that it passes over each pin without being damaged. Use diaper pins to avoid piercing your leg when moving or manipulating your pants.
- To improve the result, redo the entire inner seam, taking the extra fabric in a smooth curve along this entire part.
Step 3. See if there is symmetry
Measure from the inside seam to the new edge marked for the original seam. Measure again from the new inner seam to the pants hem. Repeat the process for each pin of the new inner seam. If there is any deviation, adjust the tightest leg so that the two are the same width. Leave the pins flat when measuring.
Keep marking while measuring. For this, use a tailor's pencil or chalk. When you're satisfied, take off your pants
Step 4. Prepare the sewing machine
Use the right thread for the jeans and a suitable needle for sewing this type of fabric. Turn on the machine.
- If you've never used a sewing machine before, sew a few threads onto a scrap of fabric, preferably a piece of jeans. You need to know the speed of the machine and see if the sewing will look good when you actually start the project.
- It is not recommended to use a serger machine for this step.
Step 5. Start at the groin
Keep the jeans as flat as possible. Start by making a basting stitch (a loose, easy-to-remove stitch) to test. Squeeze the reverse sewing button for only one second when starting to secure the stitches.
Step 6. Continue sewing
Sew in a smooth curve along the line of pins and marks you added. In essence, you are creating a new seam. Try to keep the line straight as you descend. If you're tapering the hem, try making the excess denim bigger as you get closer to it.
Step 7. Fasten the seam
When you reach the end, press the reverse sewing button for just one second to secure the stitches. When finished, repeat the process on the other leg.
Step 8. Take off the pins
Put them back in the right place. If you've used a lot of pins, make sure you haven't forgotten any.
Step 9. Try on the pants
Turn it right side up and inspect the seam for any imperfections. Try walking, running, kneeling, and all the other activities you would do using the piece.
Step 10. Finish the new sewing
Turn the jeans inside out before that. Use sharp fabric scissors to cut off the excess, leaving a safety margin of about 1.5 to 2 cm between the blade of the scissors and the new seam. As the jeans fray, overlock the new seam if you have this type of machine.
- If the seam looks crooked or tight, open it and start again.
- Don't worry too much if you see some fabric wrapped around your groin. When the pants are worn, this part will adjust and will not be visible in most cases.
Method 3 of 4: Tightening the waist with seam
Step 1. Remove the center loop from the belt
Carefully use sharp fabric scissors to cut it from the center back of the pants. Leave it aside, but don't lose it. You'll need to replace it when you're done with the changes.
Step 2. Trace the middle mark
Make a vertical line at the place that was covered by the passerby. Try to make the straightest possible line. Use a ruler or other straight edge if you prefer.
Step 3. Try the jeans inside out
Close the zipper or button so that the piece looks the way it would look if you were going to wear it. Step in front of a mirror and see how much fabric you will have to remove.
Step 4. Gather the fabric at the back of the waist
Leave enough room for you to breathe and use chalk or pencil to mark the joined edges on the waistband. At this point, the marks don't have to be straight. They should be visible enough to you and long enough that you can complete the process after taking off your pants.
Step 5. Take off the jeans and measure the width to be removed
Unbutton or unzip the piece. Turn it inside out. That way, the outside will look professional when you're done with the changes. From the middle mark, measure half of the area to be removed. Use chalk or pencil to mark this spot and do the same on the other side. For example, if you need to remove 2 cm, make a mark on both sides 1 cm from the middle.
Step 6. Mark the wedge to be removed
Draw a wedge shape (triangular) starting from the upper back of the waistband. The length should be about 7, 5 to 10 cm. Connect it to the marks on both sides of the center mark using a tailor's chalk or pencil.
The wedge length can be longer or shorter depending on how much you need to change
Step 7. Open some stitches
This will be where the waistband meets the peak (the area just below the waist). Open only about 1.5 to 2.5 cm on each side of the wedge. This will make sewing easier.
Step 8. Cut the waistband
Place the scissors on the middle mark and cut this entire part in half. You will probably cut the tag. Please feel free to remove it if it is in the way.
Step 9. Open the center seam
Use the seam opener for this step. Carefully undo the midpoints from the waist to the bottom of the wedge. When you reach this part, tie the remaining thread so that it doesn't come loose.
Step 10. Pin the new seam
Hold the open part horizontally and align the sides of the wedge made with chalk. Use sewing or diaper pins. Thread them horizontally so you can easily remove them as you sew. When snipping, keep an eye out to see if the sides of the wedge and the ripped edges are still aligned.
Step 11. Start at the groin
Keep the jeans as flat as possible and start by making an easy-to-remove tack for testing. Squeeze the reverse sewing button for only one second when starting to secure the stitches. Keep sewing. Use the slower machine speed as you are working with a small area. Move the jeans from the crotch to the peak, removing the pins as you reach this area. When you reach the visor, finish the seam.
Step 12. Finish the new sewing
Use scissors to cut off any excess edges. Give yourself a safety margin of at least 1.5 to 2 cm. If you have a serger machine, use this stitch to secure the seam, preventing the jeans from fraying. If you do not have this type of machine, make a zigzag stitch using the sewing machine.
Step 13. Check for unevenness and finish the seam
Turn the sewn portion outward and see which pocket is farthest from the center seam. Turn the jeans inside out again and go towards the pocket farthest from the center. Pin it in place if necessary. Iron the seam in this direction using the iron and remove the pins.
Step 14. Add a second sewing thread
Turn the newly sewn part out again and feel the new seam inside. Place the sewing edge under the machine needle, about 1, 5 to 2 cm from it. Start at the part just below the still separated waistband, head towards the crotch and finish.
Step 15. Pin and finish the waistband
Twist each side of the waist so that the outer sides face each other. Pin it in the marks made on both sides from the center. This is where the new sewing will be. Place the waistband under the machine needle, start at the bottom of the waistband and continue to the top, removing the pins as you go.
See if the pinned area lines up with the center seam. Otherwise, straighten the pins. If everything is already lined up, fasten the bottom of the waistband to the flap
Step 16. Replace the belt loop
Align the top seam of the loop with the top seam of the waistband and pin the two parts together. Do the same with the bottom. Place the upper part of the loop under the machine needle and sew horizontally, passing over this part. Repeat with the bottom and remove the pins.
Method 4 of 4: Squeezing the waist with hot water
Step 1. Boil the waistband
Pour boiling water into a laundry tub, tub or bucket, dip just the waistband of your pants into the water using a large wooden spoon, and leave it there for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 2. Remove the pants from the hot water by pulling them up from the legs or using the wooden spoon
If you are afraid of burning your hands, wear rubber gloves.
Step 3. Dry the jeans
Wrap the waist in a towel and toss it in the dryer. Dry on high temperature. The waist will shrink for a while.
- To make the new seam look worn, apply some bleach around it using a brush or sponge. Use a well-diluted bleach solution so that the difference between the bleached part and the rest of the pants is subtle.
- Ask for help with the dry cleaner. This location can sometimes help, as the process of applying starch and stretching several times helps to reduce the size of the waist.
- Remember: you can always cut more fabric to make your pants tighter, but you can't put them back on. When in doubt, prefer to leave it wider.
- Wearing pants that are too tight can cause health problems, such as poor circulation, pressure on the thigh nerves, and meralgia paresthetica (thigh nerve damage), as well as numbness and pain. Avoid wearing jeans so tight as to cause pain.
- Be careful when using scissors and a sewing machine.