Lots of women have trouble finding a pair of jeans with a good fit, for all kinds of reasons. I think my problem is very common; in order to get jeans to fit in the butt and thighs, I often swim in fabric around the waist. I have gotten better at buying jeans that fit but I still own some old jeans that don’t. They’re too big in the waist. For me, all the extra fabric is in my back waist. I have a protruding rear. What’s the best way to alter my jeans with the least fuss?
My fastest solution is to add a bit of elastic to the back waist. It isn’t very elegant but it does the work of a belt.
The stitching isn’t visible from the right side, but there is some fabric bulk.
I can get away with this if the difference isn’t to great, say about 2″. But I have jeans that are over 6″ too big in the waist. Here is what I did to one of them recently. This wasn’t a quick fix but I’ve been able to wear them a lot since I did it.
I unpicked the seam between of the waistband up to the side seam. I removed the back pockets and unpicked the centre back seam until below the pockets (You can see where the topstitching changes colour from yellow to blue).
I then restitched the centre back seam, overlapping it by an extra 1 1/2″ to remove some of the width. I added two darts to remove the extra width. These taper into the pockets. They are visible but it doesn’t really matter with this kind of lived-in jean.
The worst part is unpicking the tacks at the top of the pockets. I ripped a little fabric there, but I just zig-zagged over it with a fabric patch on the wrong side. It’s invisible when the pockets were sewn back on.
They still don’t fit perfectly in the front but that would be very difficult to alter. I wear these jeans under tunics and longer items so won’t worry about the front waist much. Getting that extra fabric out of the back waist really helps them to look less bulky under clothes.
Do you alter your jeans? What tricks do you have?