+ The more professional way to take in a the waistband and legs tutorial

pants: thrifted/altered jcrew   top: oasap
Thrifted these jcrew “high heel wide leg pants” from  a garage sale a few weeks back and have been itching to fix them. They just needed a little tightening in the booty and waistband. I didn’t want to just pinch, mark, pin, sew, and serge up the sides…this time I wanted to make it look as if I bought it in my size. And it was surprisingly easy and fun to do, despite the seam ripper being used often (I hate seam ripping).
This tutorial is also great if you are one with bigger hips or booty and a small waist (lucky you)! Which means you have an annoyingly loose waistband that gapes opens when you sit or bend over. Annoying! So this will fix the problem!
I stole/borrowed this tutorial from the talented Susan of Freshly-picked…she does it just a tad differently  – she unpicks the side seams, sews it back up with the front side of the pants just moved in to keep the front pocket the same size. Awesome!
Photos by the talented Sami….turned out amazing!
seam ripper
sewing machine
1. mark where you will want to take in your pants in the waist and down the leg in a thin taper.
2. seam rip the topstitches of the pant leg a few inches where the tapering will end.
3. pin the seam ripped part open and flat.
4. pin the rest of the leg. Sew along the markings and taper to the seam ripped opening. Don’t sew an inch from the top if you want to work on the waistband.
5. This is how it will look on the outside.
6. Re-topstitch the outside of the pant legs to make it look like it did originally.
7. seam rip open the waistband at the sides a few inches and the belt loop if needed.
8. open up the waistband and fold it inside out and pin.
9. Take the upper part of the leg and finish off that inch you left from the part earlier.
10. cut and serge the extra fabric.
11. Fold it back down and pin under.
12. Topstitch back into place.


  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, you genius, you! Where do all these ideas come from? Do you dream them up while you sleep? Wish I had that talent! xo

  2. Love the pants! You are such a source of inspiration!


  3. Love it Liz! Thanks for the tutorial, I’ve been itching to learn how to resize pants so that the waistband looks nice and finished. This is perfect!

    Allie of http://www.meadow-rue.com

  4. You have got a fantastic figure on top of being incredibly talented! I’m dying to know where you got that blouse (but I have to assume you made it)- available for sale somewhere?
    Great pants, makes me wish I could find my old Jncos… :)

  5. Yay! These came out so well! ill have my blog updated this week and probably steel a few of these photos for a Digital Imaging class i have a project in! thanks again :]

  6. Genius! and beautiful.

    xo Emily

  7. always just wonderful tutorials! LOVE These pants!!!!! I am loving the super big wide flares like the 70’s!!! your tutorials inspire me so much!


  8. awesome, thorough job! I don’t know if I’d give my seam ripper that much love haha ♥ Meghan, The Flight of Fancy

  9. These turned out great. Nice to see a new way of taking in waistbands. Much better than my pinch and sew technique!

    Also meant to say that I like the changes you’ve made to the blog. Great work!

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  10. I love it! I wish I could shop your closet


  11. so pretty!!! just love your jeans!!


  12. Those pants and that shirt just look fabulous. So classy and beautiful! I have a fun giveaway on my blog that I think you will like! Check it out: bridgettenicole.blogspot.com

  13. Oh goodness..I love them! you’re so talented! I don’t even know if I could do something as simple as you say it is 😉


  14. Absolutely love! Such a clever idea!

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  15. I’m just beginning to sew but I can’t wait to try this on some pieces i have.

  16. Being British, I suppressed a giggle at resizing “pants”. *sniggers* (sorry should probably spend less time just hanging out with my children)
    Anyway, Liz – thanks for these. I’ve used bundles of your tutorials as a total novice and they are so simple and brilliant. I’ve just resized my oversized jeans and they are perfect! Only problem is I’ve just asked my husband if the backside is too tight. Grinning, he said no, which means they blatantly are! Thanks – you are such a superstar :-)

  17. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the website is also really good.

  18. Thankyou! Resized a brand new pair of J Brand jeans that fell off my hips. Awesome 😊


  1. […] The more professional way to take in a the waistband and legs tutorial […]

  2. […] For example, if you are taking in jeans, don’t just pinch at the side and sew over both waistbands. This will look bad, but it will also be sooo frustrating to get your machine to sew through all those layers (after all, it’s not designed to sew that way). Instead, unpick the waistband from the top of the pants. Take in the side seam first, then take in the waistband, then sew them together again copying the way it was done before. Cotton and curls has a great tutorial showing how to do this. […]