How to Take in Shorts at the Waist the Simple Way

Knick Knacks
by Knick Knacks
5 Materials
45 Minutes

This tutorial is all about how to take in shorts at the waist.

After channeling my inner Marie Kondo and cleaning out my closet, I came across these denim shorts and simply didn’t have the heart to let them go. To use her own words, these shorts still spark joy!

So, instead of throwing them out, I’m going to take them in at the waist and bring you guys along for the ride. I hope you learn a thing or two!

Tools and materials:

  • Shorts
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
How to take in shorts that are too big

How to take in shorts at the waist

1. Cut the waistband 

First, take your seam ripper and undo the seams on the sides of the shorts.

Do this by the edge of the waistband, and continue until you are able to turn the waistband inside out (as pictured above).

It will feel like you're pulling out a lot of stitches, but keep going until you have separated the waistband from the shorts.

Once that’s done, cut the waistband to match the seam running up the side of the shorts. 

Taking in the shorts waist

2. Sew the waistband 

Pin the waistband together, right sides together as symmetrically as possible.

If like me, you then still need to take the waistband in more, repeat the same process as before on the back of the shorts. (Remember to remove the belt loop.)

Once you’ve done that, you can straight stitch along the cuts with the right sides together.

Take your time with this process. Denim is a thick material and it can take some time to get right.

Cut off any excess fabric so that it isn’t bulky and then turn the pants inside out. Fold the waistband back to its original shape.

Repeat this process on all three sides of the waistband. 

Sewing the shorts at the waistband

3. Finish the waistband 

To finish the alterations, fold the rest of the shorts back into place and straight stitch along the waistband.

Make sure to match your stitching with the existing stitching of the denim shorts. This will ensure a clean finish.

How to take in women’s shorts

How to take in shorts

This tutorial on how to take in shorts is the perfect quick and easy fix for a too-big pair of denim shorts.

It's basically only three steps and uses the existing waistband as the base. If you are attached to a pair of jeans that no longer fit, have no fear, this tutorial is here! 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • Shorts
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
See all materials

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