How to Make a Jeans Waist Bigger: 2 Super Easy Methods

Made By April
by Made By April
9 Materials
1 Hour

Jeans and denim shorts often fit perfectly around the hips but can be a little snug around the waist.

Today, I'm going to show you how to make a jeans waist bigger in two different ways. Neither of them needs a sewing machine. You can hand sew the first one and the second method is completely no-sew.

Tools and materials:

Method 1

  • Small pieces of stretch fabric
  • Strong needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Pins

Method 2

  • Rotary leather punch (optional)
  • Eyelet grommets (optional)
  • Wide shoe laces
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Tape measure

Both methods

  • Scissors
Cutting side seam

Method 1

1. Cut side seam

Cut the side seams of your shorts or pants open from the waistband by about 6 inches.

Preparing fabric

2. Prepare fabric

Cut two pieces of stretch fabric each about 8 inches long and 6 inches wide.

They need to be wide and long enough to cover the opening in the side seam with at least half an inch overlap on each side.

Fold over the top edge of the piece by half an inch.

Pinning fabric

3. Pin fabric

Place the top edge of the fabric inside the jeans level with the top of the waistband and the raw edge of the fold to the inside.

Pin the fabric to the waistband and down the side edges of the cut seam.

Make sure you have enough extra room in the waistband and that the fabric is flat on the inside.


4. Sewing

Thread a hand-sewing needle with polyester thread. Secure the thread to the fabric on the inside at the lowest point of the opening.

Bring the needle through to the right side and sew the fabric to one side of the opening with a backstitch.

Sew the other side of the opening in the same way. 

You can use a sewing machine for this step if you have one.


5. Finishing

Cut away the excess fabric from the inside.


Sew the raw edges of the fabric to the seam of the jeans using blanket stitch.

Method 1 complete

And here is the first method complete!

Preparing jeans

Method 2

1. Prepare jeans

Cut the side seams of the shorts open completely from the waistband to the hem.

With tailor's chalk, draw a straight line down each side of the side seam about 1 inch from the cut edges.

Mark the position of 7 or 8 equally spaced holes along the line, starting on the waistband. Make sure the holes match on each side of the seam.

Making holes

2. Make holes

Use a rotary leather punch or the tips of your scissors to make a hole at each mark.

The holes need to be large enough for the shoe laces to pass through them.


3. Lacing

Starting at the waistband, lace the two sides of the shorts together. 

Adjust the lacing until the waistband is comfortable and tie off the ends of the laces with a bow at the hem.

Add eyelet grommets to the holes if you have them.

Method 2 complete

How to make a jeans waist bigger

These are both cute ways to alter pants waists that don’t need a sewing machine.

For the first method you could use toning fabric or make a feature of the side pieces with a contrast color.

You can have a lot of fun with different colored shoe laces and even colored grommets for the second one.

Leave me a comment if you enjoyed seeing how to make jeans bigger at the waist the easy way.

Suggested materials:
  • Small pieces of stretch fabric
  • Strong needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
4 of 9 comments
  • Mary Mary on Jan 16, 2023

    Don't most women have the BIG, Bigger & biggest clothes in our closets?? I do and it's nice to know I can resize a pair of pants from something I already have. Having been through hip replacement surgery & gaining weight, this sure is a help for me. Thanks!!!

  • Marie Z Marie Z on Feb 17, 2023

    What a wonderful idea!!! I plan to try this. Thanks.