What Should I Do if My Jeans Are Too Big?

Sometimes, the jeans that caught your attention in the store are too big. Also if you were successful with a diet, your favorite pants don’t fit anymore. However, don’t be discouraged: there are ways to make your jeans smaller. This can be done not only by a tailor but at home as well.

How to Make Your Jeans Smaller

There are several ways to bring in the size of your jeans.


Put your jeans in a tub filled with boiling-hot water and leave them there for 10-15 minutes. After that, put them into cold water for 2–3 minutes. Dry and steam-iron your pants before putting them on again.

Machine Washing

Set your washing machine to its maximum temperature (approximately 200°F) and turn off the rinse cycle. Wash your pants and dry them over something hot, or on high heat in the dryer.

ATTENTION! Although jeans will shrink some from the hot water, they will eventually stretch back, so the washing method only works for about two weeks.

Tailoring at home

Washing is a temporary solution. For a permanent alteration, you should take in the seams of your pants.

If you are a sewing enthusiast, you probably already have all the necessary tools. And if you’ve never sewed before, you’ll need:

  • color matching threads
  • needles for sewing
  • pins
  • measuring tape
  • a pencil or a piece of chalk
  • wide elastic band
  • sewing machine.

How to Take In Jeans of a Bigger Size

Let’s revise all the ways to take in the size of your pants.

1. Waist. Put on the jeans and make a few pinches around the waist. Distribute them evenly without collecting excess material in one place. Secure the tucked in extra material with pins. Cut the waist in these places and sew them together along the pinch lines.

ATTENTION! Don’t pinch on the back too much: it will make the back of the legs shorter.

2. Hips. Put on your pants inside out and pin them along your hips, outlining how much needs to be removed. Second, remove your pants, and on the inside, draw the seam line with a pencil or a piece of chalk. After this, unstitch the waist, pockets, and side seams. Make new seams along the chalked seam line. Finally, add 2 decorative stitch lines on the outside.

3. Back seam. Remove tunnel loops and labels on the back. Put on the pants to pinch the excess material. After making the basting seam, put them on again to make sure they look good. Proceed with re-sewing your basting seams on a sewing machine. Remove the excess material and add decorative stitches along the seams on the outside. The last step is to sew back the waist, loops, and labels.

4. Legs. To make your jeans slim-fit, the algorithm is simple:

  • Put on your jeans turned from inside out and outline the wanted fit with the pins.

ATTENTION! Take in flared trousers below the knee and wide trousers along their entire length.

  • Remove your jeans and make a basting seam. Check it by trying them on again.
  • If there are no corrections to your basting seam, machine-stitch your jeans.
  • Iron the material and cut off the excess material.
  • Finish the seams and outside stitching with a few touches.

Follow all the steps carefully, and you will succeed!

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