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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sewing 101: Taking In a Pair of Jeans

I have a lovely friend, Lynsey, who is so cute and so fun.  She’s also a cancer survivor.  Woot!  Way to go, Lynsey!  She is in remission now, but has lots of “pre-chemo” clothes that don’t fit.  She spent a lot of money on all of her jeans and didn’t want to replace them.  So, she brought them to me to see if I could help. 

taking in jeans

To start off, I had Lynsey put her jeans on inside out.  Sorry, I don’t have a picture of this.  I didn’t think of doing this as a tutorial until I was half-way through.  So, just bear with me while I explain the process. 

Okay.  Jeans on inside out?  Great.  We’re ready to move on.  I pinned the outside seam of her jeans close to her hips.  We ended up taking this pair in about an inch on each side.  We took in quite a bit more on all the others.

I pinned about down to the knee and gradually merged with the regular seam.  Then I took it to the sewing machine.  Forgive the lighting at my sewing table.  It’s awesome for sewing; not photos.

taking in jeans (1)

See the pins?  See the rivets?

taking in jeans (2)

I had to sew between the rivets, and we lost that one rivet close to the edge.  No worries, though, because Lynsey’s pants fit!  :)

taking in jeans (3)

Sew a straight stitch until you get to almost to the knee of the jeans.

taking in jeans (4)

Gradually merge your stitch into the original side seam.

taking in jeans (5)

Then serge or zigzag stitch close to the straight seam you just sewed.  Now say that sentence five times fast.  I didn’t use either stitch.  My serger died and I have a stitch on my sewing machine that is similar to a serged stitch.  So, I used that and cut off the excess.

taking in jeans (6)

This will fray a tad, but it won’t matter since it is on the inside of the jeans, and it isn’t the full seam.  Now turn your jeans right-side-out and examine your handiwork.

taking in jeans (7)

Lovely!  You can hardly see where the your seam meets up with the original.  Here.  I’ll point it out if you really want to see it:

taking in jeans (8)

See how much money you just saved?  Instead of throwing away a perfectly good pair of jeans and buying a new pair, you just altered the ones you had.  Now they’re custom to your body!

taking in jeans (10)

…and you can’t even tell! 

…unless you look reeeaaallllyyyy closely, but who’s going to be that obvious about checking out your jeans?  If they are, they’ll just be jealous of your custom, flattering fit!  :)

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  1. curious what you did at the waist band and not just the side seams.

  2. I took them in at the waistband just like I did at the side seams. It's not all that noticeable, and her shirt covers it.

    On another pair, I just left the waistband alone, and she wears a belt.

    For another pair I took in for her, I zig-zagged some elastic into the back to hold it in. That took care of the bulky waistband seam, and took away the need for a belt.

    The other thing you could do is un-pick the side seams, pick the waistband off, resize everything and sew it back together. That would be a lot more work, but you'd get a nicely tailored pair of jeans.

    I hope this helps! :)



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