Saturday, April 27, 2013

Black and Skinny (Jeans)

I picked up these jeans from JCPenney for a whopping $4...I know, amazing right?!?
They are one size larger than I normally buy, but the waist was about the only part of the pants that didn't fit.

For $4, I figured I could try to tailor them myself...and even if I failed, I would only be out $4. So I snatched them up, like Widget with play-dough :)

Here is the before shot (in our 'under construction' bathroom).

Check out the above butt gap...anyone else have this issue with pants?

I grabbed some 4" wide elastic, and cut it into strips approx. 7" in length.

I folded the strips in half, and zigzagged the ends together (like a side seam)-I then flipped the elastic around, and sewed the fold together the same way (so that the 'loop' wouldn't shift while I was working with it)
I opened up the side seams of the pants

I cut the waist band open-because I wouldn't need all that fabric since I was making the pants smaller

Now the next part is a little harder to explain...and since it was all trial and error, it was even harder to photograph
*not shown: I attached one side of the double elastic panel to the front of the pants (making sure to sew very close to the start of the pocket without sewing over the metal rivet). I then sewed the elastic to the side seam (back panel only) of the pants-so the original pocket is mostly covered up by the elastic. Once that is done, you can then sew the front panel of the pants into the side seam, created with the elastic, and gradually taper the seam down the leg to meet with the original side seam (which for me was approximately 9" down from the waist band). Remember to make the new seam very gradual so you don't have any weird 'kinks' on the side of your pants.

I flipped the pants right-side-out again, and top stitched the elastic (to keep the excess fabric neatly tucked away) and top stitched the side seam approximately 10" from the top of the leg (to mimic the original decorative seaming on the pants)
Can you see the top stitch on the elastic?

The back still gaped a bit (you know, the above butt gap), so using an idea I saw from Cheri from I Am Momma-Hear Me Roar, I grabbed some 1/2" wide black elastic (any color would work, just match your thread to your pant color). I used the belt loop as the middle mark and decided the width of the brand name (printed in the back of the pants) would be a good area to gather. I tacked down the elastic (starting on one end of the brand name) and continued sewing while I stretched the elastic (creating the rushed effect). I had to pick up the needle once I got to the belt loop (then back down after the belt loop) so as not to make the belt loop unusable.

Then, I ran the pants through the wash...I hate when the dye from jeans and pants color you finger nails (among other things) when you wear them the first couple of times :(

Here are the pants on...My Hubby said they ended up being one of the best fitting pants I own (I'm not sure I agree 100%, but they do fit pretty good).  Anyway, here is a full shot of the pants in action.

For more ideas on altering jeans/pants, see these links:
video tutorial adding width to waist
Playgroupsarenotforchildren take in waist band
Hem pants using original hem

How do u like them Apples?


  1. Amazing idea. I found this at Sugar Bee Crafts, by the way. Genius idea... I'm going to try it tonight!

  2. You did a fabulous job! They look great! I'm always afraid to do anything to jeans but hem them (the thick fabric really put me off. I'm a needle snapper :). I'll have to give this a try sometime.

  3. Thanks for linking to Take-a-Look Tuesday over at Sugar Bee Crafts - you were featured yesterday, Most Viewed Link!!


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