Refashion jeans, with waist solutions

So I was asked about jeans that fit well everywhere except that they’re too tight on the waist. I use several different methods to fix this.


Sometimes the waist is only a fraction too tight. In this instance I pull the button off with pliers, and have a replacement button ready because it can’t usually be saved! I stitch the hole with the darning programme on my sewing machine as you can see in the top image. Remark the new looser position for the button and resew it on. In the image you can see that I only moved the button 1.2cm, but it made a huge difference to how the jeans looked when they are on, and how comfortable they are when worn.

If the waistband needs more added then remove the entire waistband and using an old scrap of denim add to the waistband at the button edge. The width of the plaquet dictates how much can be added on but this can be as much as 4cm. Remove and repair the button as before. Sew the waistband back on stretching it on as you go round, this is usually fairly easy because most jeans have a lycra/elastane content in the fabric. I don’t have an image of this method but I have used it and it works well.

I had recently used the jeans pattern that I’d copied to make a pair of jeggings. Because I usually wear them without the waistband showing I decided to use an old tried and tested method. I use fabric from an old or new cotton jersey vest top or t-shirt. I measure and cut to fit the jeggings waist and the width of the elastic I want to use. I sew the elastic in a circle encased in the jersey waistband and then zig zag this to the waist of the jegging, then overlock and I often top stitch all the layers onto the denim edge. The indigo pair in the image are made from my pattern, but I reused the original yoke, back and front pockets and fly plaquet after removing the zip.

The black pair of jeans had great leg shaping but I didn’t like the waistband which was about 6cm deep with 2 buttons. I removed the zip and closed the fly and again added on the elasticated jersey waistband. This pair were slightly too high at the top of the centre back, so the seam had to be redone and lowered 2cm at the centre back moving to 0cm at the side seam. Can’t always be right first time with an alteration?


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