How to Upcycle Low Waisted Jeans Into High Waisted Jeans

Made By April
by Made By April
6 Materials
30 Minutes

Do you have a pair of low-waist jeans you don’t wear anymore? Are you in the market for some trendy high-waist jeans?

Low-waist jeans had their time in the sun for many years, but as time goes by high-waisted jeans have become the new wardrobe staple.

I’m going to teach you a quick upcycled jeans hack to turn those low-rise pants into high-rise alternatives.

Tools and materials: 

  • Low waist jeans
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric marker
  • Sewing machine
Determining the length of your DIY jeans

1. Determine the length

Start by putting your pants on and getting an idea of how high you want the waist.

I decided to add 4cm to the current length.

Cutting the crotch

2. Cut the crotch

We are going to make modifications to these jeans on the crotch and inner legs. 

Start by undoing the seams at the crotch with a seam ripper. 


Taking measurements

3. Take measurements

Turn the jeans inside out.

Taking measurements

Measure the length from the waistband up to the crotch area. The measurement on my low-waist jeans was 18cm.

Taking measurements

I decided I wanted to add an extra 4cm to the length of the waist, which meant I wanted to alter these jeans to 22cm.

Mark 22cm on both sides of the open crotch.

Ripping the inner legs

4. Rip the inner legs

Rip the seams down both sides of the inner legs until it reaches that 22cm mark.

Taking measurements

By doing this we are starting the crotch lower and therefore lengthening the waist.


Large hole in crotch of jeans

You should now have a much larger hole.

We will now close this hole up in 3 places: the front of the jeans, the back of the jeans, and the crotch.

Closing up hole

5. Sew the front of the jeans

Beginning with the front of our jeans, match up the 2 ripped sides.

Pinning hole

Pin them together. 


Pinned hole

This is how you want to place your pins.

Sewing jeans

Sew along the pinned line, remember to backstitch, you want this seam to be secure.


DIY jeans: Progress shot

Now it should look like this.

DIY jeans: Progress shot

6. Sew the back of the jeans

Hole at back of jeans

This is the hole at the back after sewing the front closed.

Matching sides

Match the two back sides. 

Pinned fabric

Pin them in a line, like this.

Sewing pinned line

Sew along the pinned line, making sure to backstitch.

Sewing the crotch

7. Sew the crotch

We still have a tiny hole in the middle of the crotch to close.


Turning jeans inside out

Turn the jeans inside out.

Turning jeans inside out

Cut off any excess fabric, keeping your newly sewn seams intact.


Where to sew from

You are then going to sew from this point.


Where to sew to

Across to this point.


Completed upcycled jeans

Upcycled jeans

That’s it! You’re done 


Completed upcycled jeans

Here is the finished look from the back.

These turned out perfectly. They are flattering and modest and can be dressed up or down.

It took the fashion industry a good few years to finally give us the confidence to wear a pair of mom jeans. I suggest you jump on the bandwagon and make your own upcycled jeans that fit your waist and allow you to bend down confidently.

Please share in the comments if you enjoyed this hack and let me know if you have your own great clothes hacks. 

Enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll see you next time!

Suggested materials:
  • Low waist jeans
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Join the conversation
3 of 5 comments
  • Wendy Wendy on Jun 28, 2023

    I'm petite and an hour glass. I buy low-rise pants because they both fit better and look best. It doesn't matter that you want to declare high waist jeans that are "back in" style, it matters what you look like not just "fashion"!

    • Lana Lana on Jun 28, 2023

      Wendy, no one is asking you to give up the low rise jeans. If this idea isn't for you, then fine..just keep on moving. No reason to get testy! Maybe someone would like to change their low riders to high risers..but if you don't want to then you don't have to. To each his own.

  • Carol Carol on Aug 20, 2023

    How does this affect the length of the jeans?