How to Make Jeans Waist Smaller: An Easy Tutorial

Buying jeans or pants becomes a challenging task when your hips or waist don’t fit in the right way. Do you face issues when buying jeans for yourself? 

Do you have your favorite jeans that are just too big and don’t look good around your waist area? Or, do you have perfect fitted jeans but too loose around the waist area?

You don’t need to pass on to those jeans. With some DIY or sewing methods and techniques, you can learn how to make jeans waist smaller. Some professional tailors charge $10-$45 for making this small alteration. Don’t waste your money. You can do this on your own. 

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make jeans waist smaller

    • Using sewing methods
    • Without sewing

Are you excited to make your pants waist smaller? Start learning. 

How to Make Pants Waist Smaller: Taking Waist Measurement

Before you start your tutorial on how to make pants fit your waist, it is essential to learn about some basic measurements. This will make your DIY project of how to make your pants waist smaller much easier.

There is no standard size guide for jeans waist as different designers launch different visions for their jeans look. In simple words, jeans are not true to sizes.

Knowing your waist and body measurements can help you make an informed decision and lead you in the right direction of how to make your jean waist smaller.

You should keep in mind so many factors while measuring upcycle jeans, but waist measurement is the most important size. 

How Should You Measure Your Waist?

You must use a stand straight and flexible measuring tape. Place the measuring tape just above the belly button and near your waist.

How to make clothes for beginners
Image Source: cottonbro On Pexels

Don’t pressure yourself. Just relax and keep the tape on your waist. Keep the tape snug, and ensure it is parallel to the floor.

Bonus Tip: The measuring tape should be in direct contact with your skin for the most accurate measurements.

 Use a string to take measurements if you don’t have a measuring tape. 

Convert Your Measurement of Waist to Your Jeans Size

Once you have your waist measurements, you can check the particular brand’s size chart to understand your jeans’ size. This will also help you learn how to make jeans waist smaller or just while purchasing new jeans.

How to make jeans waist smaller
Image Source: Michael Burrows On Pexels

Women’s fit guide:

Pants Size Waist Measurement Jeans Size
23″ – 25″ 24″
XS 24″ – 25″ 25″
25″ – 27″ 26″
S 26″ – 28″ 27″
27″ – 29″ 28″
M 28″ – 30″ 29″
29″ – 31″ 30″
L 30″ – 32″ 31″
31″ – 33″ 32″
XL 32″ – 34″ 33″
33″ – 35″ 34″  

How to Make Jeans Waist Smaller Using Sewing Methods

In this section, we will talk about how to make jeans smaller using some proven sewing methods. Some might take more time and supplies, while others can be really quick.

This technique of how to make jeans fit the waist doesn’t require more patience so you can begin your journey with ease. Once you learn how to sew or make an adjustment to jeans, you can try your hands on making different types of clothes.

Sewing your jeans around the waist area gives you a permanent solution with a professional look. Once you master these sewing methods, you can change the waist area of different types of jeans. 

Here are two popular ways to make your jeans waist smaller. 

How to Make Your Pants Tighter: Adjusting the Back of the Jeans

This is the most professional and sleek-looking method of making your jeans waist smaller. It is easy to sew and can be done with less sewing essential kit like a sewing machine and seam ripper.

How to make waist of jeans smaller
Image Source: Pinterest

Follow these essential steps to learn how to make jeans waist smaller:

    • First, turn your beautiful jeans inside-out. Get to the center back of the waistband and pull-out extra fabric. Keep it in place with a sewing pin or clip. 
    • Continue pinching and pin down the back seam unless there are no more extra pins and your jeans fit you well at the waist and hips. Be careful not to catch your underwear when you place the pins.
    • Remove your jeans and place them on a flat surface to pull out the front waistband. With this, you will be able to see the inside of the back waistband where you just placed pins. 
    • Start marking the pinned seam with the tailor’s chalk, fabric chalk, or highlighter. Leave line on both sides and remove the pins.
    • You can get a seam ripper to pull the top and bottom row of stitches on the waistband and start working from left to right. 
    • Remove all stitches of both rows between the chalk marks and keep half-inch on each side. Make sure you don’t rip out too many stitches.
    • Now comes the tough part. Remove belt loops between two marked lines. For this, you need to clip away the thread which is attached to the belt of the waistband. 
    • If there are any more threads left, then keep it as it is. It will help you when you reattach the waistband at a later stage. If you don’t remove belt loops, you can cut the top of the belt loop and sew them back once you replace the waistband.
    • It’s time to cut the stitching on the waistband’s top edge. It should be of the same length as the waistband stitching. Keep two separate layers of the waistband.
    • Use a seam ripper to pull the stitches on the inside of the jeans to about one inch below the marked lines. Remove all other stitches on the outside of the jeans.

Make jeans waist smaller
Image Source:

    • Bonus Tip: Start cutting from the first line and last stitch, as it will be easier if you are a beginner.
    • Fold the waistband across the center back line of the jeans. Start folding with the right side so that the folded side faces you. Use a single straight stitch and sew at the end where the just inserted waistband connects from the top to the bottom.
    • Do you want to reduce the bulkiness of the new waistband? Then, you can cut off the extra types of fabric and leave 1/4th inch of fabric outside the stitches. 
    • Press that fabric so that they open on each side of the seam. This technique will be helpful to you when you learn how to make clothes on your own.
    • Use the inner waistband as an instruction guide, and take in the outer waistband. Fold it in the middle, sew it, trim it, and press the edges.
    • Pin the seats of the jeans together by turning the right side on the front. Sew it together with a single straight stitch along with the pins. Once you complete sewing, make sure you try your jeans to see if it has perfect fitting. If anything looks uncomfortable, use your seam ripper, pull out the seams, and repeat the steps.
    • Now comes the topstitching part. You can use topstitching thread to start sewing from the existing stitching lines to the waistband in two separate rows to give your jeans a professional look. To make it look professional, you can overlap a couple of stitches with the old stitch line.
    • Bonus Tip: Use longer stitch length on the sewing machine to make your topstitching look more professional.
    • The last step of how to make pants tighter at the waist tutorial includes sewing the belt loop on the back using a single straight stitch. Make sure you match the color of the thread to belt loops. 

How to Make Jeans Tighter in the Waist: Taking in the Slides of the Jeans

Another easy method of how to make jeans smaller in the waist is to work on side seams. Follow these steps to apply side seaming:

Fixing awkward gap on pants
Image Source: Kara Metta

    • Turn your favorite pair of jeans inside out and place them on a flat surface. Pinch the waistband on both sides until you get the right fit. Secure pinched fabric with some sewing pins as it will help you with the next steps.
    • Start applying pins in the waistband on each side. Make it as close as possible to keep the jeans fit to look good. Be extra careful when working with pins.
    • Apply pins on the downsides of the jeans and go as far as you would like, depending upon how you want your jeans to fit. Try your jeans now.
    • Take off your jeans and start sewing each side along the pinned line. Backstitch at the start and end to secure the stitching. You can use a longer stitch length of sturdy denim needle.
    • Keep stitching length to two and thread tension to four. If that doesn’t work, then you can pull out the stitching and use a seam ripper to try again.
    • Try your jeans once you complete the above steps. You are very close to finishing your journey of how to make your pants tighter at the waist. If you are happy with the stitches and want to remove the extra fabric, then you can cut it out. 
    • Make sure you keep a 1/4th inch border outside the stitching.  You need to fold the extra fabric to either side and sew ends so that it lies flat inside of your jeans.

With this, you have just changed your jeans waist at home. Wasn’t it easy? How much time and money did you require for this? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn new sewing skills at home. Try making your jeans waist smaller at home and look like some professionals do it. 

7 Best Methods of How to Make Jeans Tighter in the Waist Without Sewing

Did you purchase the wrong size jeans? Want to know how to make jeans tighter in the waist without sewing?

How to make pants waist smaller
Image Source: SHVETS Production On Pexels

It’s frustrating when you don’t get the right fit around your jeans. The good news is that you can now learn how to make your jeans waist smaller. Wearing a belt can prevent them from falling, but you should have a more comfortable option. 

Use Boiling Water

How much do jeans shrink when washing drying
Image Source: Clorox

Washing your jeans in hot, boiling water can cause denim fibers to shrink. Make a habit of washing your jeans in hot water, and it will make your jeans fit your waist. 

Use a Steam Iron

How to make pants tighter
Image Source: Pinterest

This is another fantastic method of how to make the pants waist smaller without sewing. Steam irons are used to smooth out wrinkles. They can be used to shrink bigger jeans. 

Lay your jeans on a flat surface, like an ironing board, and apply steam iron with the hottest setting on. It will cause the denim fibers to contract, making your jeans fit around the waist. Don’t forget to move the hot iron as it might singe your jeans. 

Place Your Jeans in the Dryer on High Heat

Line-drying can make your clothes smell nice and clean. When you place it on a dryer instead of hanging them on a line makes your jeans fit around the waist. 

Every time you dry your jeans, they will fit a little tighter. Make sure you maintain the temperature to avoid damaging your jeans. 

The warmer the clothes dryer, the better it will shrink your jeans. You can check the care labels of your jeans to understand the drying procedure. 

Use Rubber Bands of Basting Stitches

Rubber band trick make your jeans or pants last into pregnancy
Image Source: Click Baby Names

To begin how to make the waist on jeans smaller, you need to wear it to the waist level. Use a rubber band and pass it through the buttonhole. 

Tie a knot to hold the rubber band on your pant. Now you can take your rubber band and hook it on the button of your pants to fit it around your waist. 

Use Binder Clip

Wear your jeans and close the buttons. Keep your jeans by the top of the waist and pinch the jeans until you get the side fit of your waist size. 

Clip your binder on one side of the waist and repeat it for the other side to complete steps of how to make the waist of jeans smaller. You now have large jeans waist fit you in a perfect way. 

Use Safety Pins

How to downsize jeans without sewing
Image Source: iFixit

This is another excellent method of how to make the waist of pants smaller. It might be a temporary fix, but it will be great. Just insert safety pins into the area of your jeans that are too loose. TADA! You have perfect-fit jeans now. 

Roll Up the Bottom

Since some jeans are long, they might lose you. If you have at least two inches of fabric dangling past your feet, you can roll up the bottom to make your jeans fit around the waist. 

You don’t need to sew the folded fabric. With the bottom of the fabric folded up, you can achieve your goals of how to make jean shorts smaller.

​​How to make jeans tighter
Image Source: Julia Kuzenkov On Pexels

These are some of the amazing no-sew methods of how to make pants tighter. They might give you a temporary solution, but it is worth trying. 

Here’s to Better Fitting Jeans

The real choice of how to make jeans waist smaller depends on your skillset and the time you are willing to invest in adjusting your jeans. 

You can go for DIY or without sewing methods if you want a quick solution. You should invest some time and learn to sew to make adjustments for a permanent solution. 

The above-listed tricks and tips will work in both scenarios. Try multiple techniques to understand which works best for you.

Choose comfort and get perfect-fitting jeans around the waist area. Don’t forget to personalize your jeans using Superlabel Store’s custom woven labels and hang tags.

Happy Sewing!