+ Altering Pants Tutorial – refashioning pants into skinnys or bell bottoms

Here is a video tutorial on how to alter pants! In this video I show you how to make pants into skinnys or bell bottoms, i.e. making them tighter or smaller. So….

If you want your pants to lose the sag and become tighter in the tush or if you need a new pair of pants that follow the trends 
or if you need to shrink those pants down to the right size
then watch the video and get cracken!!
 My husband filmed and made this video for my Valentine’s present, isn’t he AMAZING! Oh and the scene near the end (ahemm “foxy lady”), that was ALL him. I don’t mind though, don’t mind at all. Thanks babe, I love you.


  1. thank you so much for taking the time to do this video tutorial, the pic tutorials were a lot of help but the video just makes it extremely easy to follow!!!

  2. Impressive, love your hubs already. Thanks for sharing !!!

  3. Thank you so much for doing this video tutorial. Thanks to your husband as well. This really helps me understand something I have been confused about for a long time.

  4. Thanks so much. My husband recently lost 25 pound and I was able to sew down the inside seam of his jeans. It got rid of “grandpa” saggy butt and it looks so good now. Thanks again!! Love your blog.

  5. Great video! very easy to understand!

  6. Thanks for sharing. The video is a very nice quality.

  7. So talented! I gotta start practicing this!

  8. Thank You!!! This is awesome! I just took my first shirt in to fit me, and I am sooo proud. This is a huge help!

  9. You are the cutest person on the planet.

  10. very cool! thanks!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Very easy to follow. The filming and editing was done very well too.

  12. Great video tutorial – this is really your stong suit and your exclusive niche! Keep up the tutorials! Also I love your sewing pins – I need to get some like that!

  13. That’s funny, I was thinking the same things as Chris. Both that the video tutorial was really good and something you should do more of and that I liked those sewing pins! Hahah. I just realized I’ve been using the wrong sized bobbins (sp?)…I almost called them “boobins”. Anyways, now that I figured THAT one out I’ve been sewing more. Way to go Liz. And give the littler Beckster a squeeze from his Aunt Alli.

  14. Hey … Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial… :)
    I have a question.. How can I reduce the waist size? I have an Old pair of jeans 34 waist size and now I have to make 30 waist size?
    Thanks a ton….

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  16. I have the same question as Priya. My hips/thighs are wider but my waistband is always too big and I’m yanking my pants up all the time. Any suggestions?

  17. Lizzie, I wanted to give you a huge “thank you” for this tutorial. First of all, you are too cute! Second of all, props to you and your husband for making a quality video. It is seriously well done! I used your skinny pants tutorial to revamp a pair of pants I picked up while thrifting. I am thrilled with the results, and plan on trying it out with a few other pairs of pants too. Thank you for inspiring me to take on this project!


  18. thanks Lizzie B for posting this! You are so awesome! :)

  19. Fabulous how to video. Love the additional editing with the lights and music. Now I know why my 80s tapered jeans and Dicky pants were done all wrong – I only did one side!!

    Found you via Pressure Foot.

  20. Wowzers! This tutorial really brought me back to my first attempts at sewing, when I was 14. I wanted to have super tight jeans and did exactly this (it was 1995 and everyone wore tight jeans with frayed, torn open bottoms). Then in 97 I wanted to have bell bottoms, so I’d just buy any wide pants and turn them into bell bottoms. Loved them! The only thing I didn’t like was that they wouldn’t have the manufacturer’s acid wash.

    Still, pretty awesome tutorial!! :)


    Ana Paula – Pretty in Polka Dots

  21. thanks for this awesome video!! i did a refashion from regular pants into skinnies and i used this tutorial, so i added a lik to this post :) you should come and check it out!


  22. I have a question and a comment:
    Question: how do you deal with the rivets on the outside seam that are on the pockets? That part always stumps me and prevents me from taking jeans in on the outside seam.

    Comment: to the reader who was asking how to take in just the waist. I’ve done this by doing darts and then opening a slit in the waistband on either side of the front closure so that the waistband becomes a casing. Then I slip some elastic, adjust it and sew the slits closed. If done carefully you won’t be able to tell that your jeans are elasticized and now VERY COMFORTABLE :)

  23. would this work for denim shorts as well?

  24. Love it! Thank you!

  25. I just did this and they look AWESOME!!!!! Thanks so much for your sew (heehee) easy tutorial!!!


  26. would you recommend washing them before taking them in or to take them in when they are loose from wear?

  27. Thank you so much for this tutorial and you entire DIY section.

  28. I have been having such a hard time lately trying to find womens jeans.

  29. this is absolutely great! one Czech lady put a link of your video on the web for seamstresses so you have now many visits from CZ. thank you for your tutorial, I will use it. sure.

  30. Thank you soo much. You just helped my wallet. Instead of paying between $12-$60 for a pair of skinny jeans I just made them for free, & free is my favorite Lol. Can’t wait for more posts :)

  31. BEST tutorial i’ve ever found for this…. you really saved my wallet and my ugly pants!! THANKS!!

  32. Found you on Pinterest– so glad I did! Love the tutorial. I am a retard and have thrown away so many jeans because they were saggy and “dated” looking, even though I’m pretty handy with the sewing machine. Duh! Never crossed my mind to sew them! Will from now on– thanks a bunch!

  33. how would you take it in if the waist is too big?

  34. Would you still start at the crotch if they fit and you only want to take in the bellbottoms?

  35. Totally did this yesterday and I’m wearing my new skinnies today – love it! You had the best tutorial!

  36. I found your photo tutorial for this, and tried it out. Four days and one terribly ruined pair of pants later (well not ruined, I suppose, they made some great fabric scraps for other things!) I was quite frustrated. Then I found this video! And twenty minutes later, I have the best fitting pair of skinny jeans I’ve ever owned, which means a lot to a lady of my, um, stature. Thank you for the help!

  37. Okay I have this pair of bell bottoms that I was excited about but now I’m thinking that the leg is just way too wide. I was searching for an idea to make them a little more relaxed at the bottom. I only need to alter from the knee down. Any suggestions on how to do this well? You can email me at designbyjewell@gmail.com.
    I hope you have a chance to get back to me! :) Thanks!

  38. So I love your video and it’s super helpful but I do have one question. I have a pair of scrub pants I”m trying to alter. When I try to do it.. it looks bunched up at the butt. How exactly do you sew near the crotch part when you want to make the butt area smaller as well?

  39. I have a question too. What do you do if the crotch area is tight enough but the thigh areas too loose? How do you tighten that?

  40. Love this video! I’ll be taking in my jeans sometime soon. Keep the romance going and the videos coming!

  41. Wow! That is awesome! Amazing job. I will be altering some jeans TODAY. :)

  42. Thanks for the tutorial! What if the jeans fit through the crotch area to the thigh and you just want to taper in the bottom? I tried it and had some issues with the inside seams.

    I posted pics on my blog (http://tailoringmylife.blogspot.com/2013/01/im-no-longer-little-bit-country.html). I would really appreciate any help you could give me about this.

  43. I love these tutorials but I am so bummed that I cannot find one on how to take in lined dress slacks.

    Can you – or any of your readers – help me?

    Great thanks

  44. Greatmun says:

    You’ve got a really nice but!

  45. Hi, I read your blogs. Your story-telling style is wonderful, keepup the good work! And you can look our website http://cnflanges.com/ about tee. Thank you very very much.

  46. awesome video. very helpful. i am trying out right away :)


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