Taking in Jeans at the Waist: How to Make a Pants Waist Smaller Hack

Lydia Naomi
by Lydia Naomi
7 Materials
15 Minutes

Are your jeans too big? Do you want to take in jeans at the waist with a quick and easy hack? Well, in this tutorial, I'll show you how to make your pants waist smaller using a simple sewing hack and some elastic.

I found a pair of jeans at the thrift store that I really like the look of, but they're a bit too loose. It's no problem, though, because I'm going to use this opportunity to share my downsizing jean waist trick.

Let's get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Jeans
  • Elastic
  • Denim thread
  • Measuring device
  • Loop turner
  • Pins
  • Seam ripper
How to downsize jeans

1. Take measurements

The first step is to determine how much you want to take your jeans in. I can pinch about 3 inches at the back of mine, so that's how much I want to take them in by.

You need to measure the width of your jeans and then minus the amount you want to take them in, and that will be the length of your elastic.

My jeans measured 13.5 inches, minus 3 is 10.5 inches. So I cut my elastic to 10.5 inches.

How to take in jeans at the waist

2. Open the waistband

Using your seam ripper, open up the jeans a little bit on either side, just enough to get the elastic through.  

How to make pants waist smaller hack

3. Feed through the elastic

Proceed to feed through the elastic by putting the loop turner through the jeans. 

Tip: If you don't have a loop turner, you could attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic and feed it through that way. 

How to downsize waist of jeans

4. Secure the elastic

Pin the elastic to the jeans so that it doesn't get swallowed back inside. Make sure that you've opened up the material enough so that you can pull the elastic to where you want it to be.

You want to line it up under the belt loops so that you can sew under them; this way, you won't see the stitching as the belt loops will cover it.

At this point, you can try the jeans on to see if they fit. If they're still too big, then you can adjust the elastic so that it's a little bit tighter. 

Easy sewing hack for jeans waist

5. Resew the waistband

Now you're ready to sew the jeans back up. Take your denim thread, and make sure you choose a matching bobbin. Sew a stitch to secure the elastic under the belt loops on either side.

Backstitch where the original stitch on the jeans starts and ends and stretch the fabric as you sew. Pull your belt loops out of the way as you go.

Jeans too big hack

Take in jeans at the waist hack

And we're done! The jeans fit perfectly, and they're not gaping at all. They're also really comfortable because of the elastic - I could eat a meal in them and not feel like I have to undo my top button!

This DIY is a great hack for when you find a pair of jeans that you like but are too big, and also if you're someone who has lost a lot of weight but doesn't want to have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Enjoy!

Easy jean waist hack
Suggested materials:
  • Jeans
  • Elastic
  • Denim thread
See all materials

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