Thursday, 17 January 2013

Fix it | Taking-in Jeans

Everyone (unless you've decided to embrace flairs...) wants their jeans to be slim and pretty tight-fitting. But the difficulty of buying a good-fitting pair of jeans is what keeps fashion agony columns in business. However, once you've got a pair that fit well at the waist, adjusting the tightness at the leg is actually pretty easy! All you need to do is take-in the side-seam.


  • Many pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread the same colour as your trousers

1. Step one is to put your jeans on inside-out!

2. Next grab the area where the jeans are too loose...

3....and pin both sides of the leg together until you decide it's tight enough.

 4. You should look as comical as this.

5. Make sure that the ends of the leg still match up, and that you've taken each leg in the same amount.

6. Then start sewing! Rather than marking the line with chalk I just sewed along the line of pins, taking them out as I approached them.

Tips and Advice:
  • Because of the way the waistband is sewn you cannot take jeans in at the top. Jeans that are too baggy around the waist are unfixable...except by braces(lol)...or some method of shrinkage unknown to me.
  • In reference to this post, I cut the ends off my jeans. This meant that I didn't have to deal with the hem. It's pretty easy to take in jeans with a hem though. You just unpick the hem where the side-seam reaches it, take-in the side seam, and then sew the hem back up.
  • If in doubt, take in less than you think necessary - you can always take in a bit more but it's a pain to have to unpick the whole thing.
  • The seam at the inside of the leg is a double seam ie. sewn down twice(you can see this in pictures 2&5 especially). This is to make it extra heard-wearing where your legs rub together or supposedly rub against a saddle while horse riding (this may be a myth, though probably quite plausible since jeans were invented in the frontier lands of's what I was told anyway). 99% of jeans are made this way and it means that you can't take in the trousers at the inside of the leg without considerable difficulty. Don't try!
  • The two pieces of a trouser-leg are not equally wide (see picture 5). I suppose this to allow room for your calf muscle but create the appearance of symmetry when you put them on. Anyway, don't worry about it. As long as you take in equal amounts of material either side of the outside seam your jeans will stay pretty much in proportion.
  • Although it may be tempting to reduce the bagginess around the knees of jeans (look at the first picture) there's a pretty good technical reason why it's there. Reducing bagginess around the knees tends to reduce one's ability to walk.