+ Make big jeans into little jeans tutorial

This is probably one of the best tutorials to have if you want to save yourself money and/or recycle some old jeans. Whether you are making them for yourself or for your kids. I know that there are millions of different styles and shapes of women’s jeans out there because there are millions of different body types. You can make your own! Custom fit to you!
 When it comes to your little ones, they ruin their pants so quickly that mentally, I have a hard time purchasing nice jeans for them. So, this is a fun and cheap way to make them instead. Also, talk about a custom fit if your babes has a hard body type to fit. It is so hard to find Beck skinny jeans that fit him these days, I usually sneak into the girl’s section and buy him some there. Poor guy.
Photos taken by Corey, my sister-in-law…thanks Corey!

bigger jeans
smaller jeans to be the pattern
sewing machine
1. Line up the little jeans on the big jeans making sure the outer side seams are lined up. Make sure to place them somewhere that doesn’t have anything like bum pockets or zippers.
2. Cut it out.
3. Sew up the inner size seam of each leg piece. Serge.
4. Pin and sew together the middle seam where the bum and zipper will go. Make sure to avoid seeing the front top section for the zipper, the length of this depends on your zipper size and the size of the pants.

5. Iron open one of the flaps of where the zipper is going to go, about 1.25″ to 1.5″ wide. This is more for helping you when the topstitching is needed in the future.
6. Install the zipper. Place the top left side of the zipper to the top left side of the fabric. So when it is pinned and you’re looking at it, you see the back right side of the zipper pinned to the left side of the jeans turned right side out. Then with a straight stitch, see close to the teeth of the zipper. To do this of you don’t have a zipper foot, move your needle position over and test out how close you can get. Repeat with the other side, make sure to line the zipper up perfectly together with the other side to make sure it can zip up perfectly. Just to be safe you can baste stitch the zipper in first then if it works go over it again with a stronger stitch.
7. Zip up the pants. Take the ironed bigger flap side from earlier, and pin it down over the other side concealing the zipper by over an inch. Pin down.
8. Topstitch just to right of the zipper over all the fabric making it the shape of a cured l. Like you would see on a normal pair of jeans. Then continue the Topstitch down into the curve and cross over the end of the zipper. Then see downwards following the just next to the seam. You can add an extra topstitch to the 1/4″ to 1/2″ next to that topstitch to make it look like normal jean stitching.
9. then topstitch the edge of the flap to make it look like jean stitching.

10. Cut or seam rip out the pockets from the original pants. Seam rip them if you want to keep that size of pocket.
11. Sew under the edges of the pockets to the size you like. Unless you seam ripped them, you can use the original size if that is the size you need.
12. Pin and sew them onto the pants.
***If you want POCKETS skip to step 17!
13. Cut off or seam rip out the waistband and belt loops from the original pants.
14. Iron the waistband’s edge’s in and under a 1/4″ inch.
15.  Measure waistband to fit exactly to the waist and cut/sew it out from the back center so you can keep the original button and button hole. Do this by opening the waistband and folding in half so the buttonhole and button are touching, then cut/sew out the amount to make the right size. fold and iron back closed to is original form. Pin and sew the waistband to the top of the waist. Sewing the ironed under edges on both sides of the waist completely covering the raw edge, like double folded bias tape.
16. Lastly, add the original belt loops (skip the first pic). Sew the belt loops on where you want….first sew the bottom raw edge RST, then fold over to the top of the waist line and fold the belt loop under and topstitch it down, then top stitch the bottom down. Super quick to do.
17. Cut out a curved section from the front where you want the pockets to go. Make sure that when you cut it out, you leave a 1/4″ to 1/2″ out in order to fold it under and sew. this includes out from the side seams so it can be fold right under keeping the side seam stitching from the original jean.
18. Cut out the pockets. You can make full pockets if you like, but I didn’t. I just cut out a few pieces that would fit perfectly into place and pinned it into place.
19. Top stitch the pockets into place twice to make it look like jean stitching.
Topstitch the rest of the jeans to make it look like real jean stitching. Like a double topstitch to the bum seam and the inner thigh seam.


  1. Pretty much the cutest little boy ever!!


  2. ah, he is so darling!

  3. Awesome

  4. THANK you for this tutorial! I once googled how to do this exact thing for about 45 minutes with no luck. Thanks!

  5. Love these photos, beautiful! And he looks mighty handsome in his trousers :)

  6. these pictures are ADORABLE! just a good idea with the jean recycle :)

  7. omigosh.. I just discovered you thanks to Pinterest..and I love all your design, tutorials, gorgeous’ness, family!! Love seeing other sew creative mamas, thanks for sharing!
    Mel ;o)
    needle and nest design

  8. That is so creative. I pinned it even though I don’t have any kids, I just hope someone else sees my pin and can use it! Brilliant !

  9. I’m going to pin this idea. I’ve tried another way to do this, but now that the kiddo is gettin bigger, I haven’t been able to figure out how to cut the old jeans and still have enough fabric for the legs. can’t wait to try your way!

  10. Awesome tutorial! You are really so talented and he is SO cute! Where did you take these pictures at? I live in the Provo area and have seen a lot of pictures done here but I don’t know where it is!!

  11. All your tutorials are just so amazing! So clear, perfect images…just awesome! You should publish a book with all of them in it. I bet it would sell well! Thank you! :)

  12. Its really very good creative idea,i must pinned it.Your t shirt design also nice and comfortable.great job

  13. Wow, this is brilliant! I have a nightmare time trying to find any trousers to fit my two-year old daughter’s narrow waist and hips. Will definitely try this out on old jeans of mine or her dad’s which I’m sure will work well. Thanks so much for your easy to follow tutorial!