Take in Those Oversized Jeans by Yourself With This Technique

3 Materials
2 Hours

I found the most perfect pair of jeans while thrifting. I loved the distressed look to them and the artfully ripped knees. The one thing I didn’t love was how they fit me. They were too big and therefore looked baggy on me and just not very flattering. I loved them, though, and I had to get them. So I brought them home and got to work on taking them in to fit me better. Keep reading to see how they turned out.

Tools and Materials:

  • Oversized jeans
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
How to take in the waist of jeans
Open the side seams

I really loved the distressed look of these pants and I wanted to leave them as intact as I could. So my plan was essentially to take the side seams and move them over. So the first thing I had to do was to use my seam ripper to open up those side seams until about halfway down the leg. 

Take in jeans waist
Sew the new seam

After I was finished opening up the seams, I put the jeans on and pulled the back part so that the front part was tucked in under it, giving me my desired fit. Using a pencil, I traced the overlap so that I would know where to sew. Then I took them off and stitched along that line.

How to take in jeans at the leg
Take in the waist

Once that was done, the pants looked amazing on me, except for the waist—it was still too baggy. I didn’t want to take them in from the back seam because that would mean getting rid of the distressed seam in the back that I really liked. So first I seam ripped the bottom topstitch at the waistband in the back and then I cut the waistband open. Next, I ripped open just a bit of that side seam and folded the two parts that I cut inwards and sewed a seam. 

Take in your own jeans
Sew down pieces

Once that was done, I was starting to really get excited. Seriously, check out my dance moves in the video if you don’t believe me. Now there was one last thing left to do. I took the two flaps I was left with and sewed them down with a single topstitch to hold them in place. 

How to take in jeans

Taken in jeans

Oh my gosh, these jeans actually look amazing! The fit is perfect! I’m just so happy with the way they came out. Taking apart the seams was pretty annoying, but other than that this was really easy to do. I love that I was able to keep the look of the jeans while making them fit perfectly to my body. If you’ve got a pair of oversized jeans, you have to try this, and you have to show me your results in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized jeans
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine

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Join the conversation
2 of 14 comments
  • Mary McElwee Cline Mary McElwee Cline on Jun 26, 2021

    Loved your video.

  • Judy Judy on Mar 24, 2022

    Yes, I will. I have several pairs of jeans that are way too large for me and I would like to take them in at the waist. I was going to take them to a tailor to have it done, but now with these instructions, I'll do them by myself. Thank you very much, I do appreciate the advice.