5. Another easy fix: Slimming the legs of jeans.
6. Nip in the waist for the perfect fit.
It’s a styling trick that doesn’t cost much (changing the hem of jeans will run you around $10, while bigger fixes at most tailors will be under $50.) That means—using an inexpensive pair—you could end up with perfect jeans for a quarter of the price of designer denim.
The other technique is that you can ask your tailor to do an “inside hem” which involves folding in the extra fabric and stitching it in place. Generally, a few things to keep in mind when changing the length of your jeans: If you’re shortening them by more than two inches, you might end up changing the leg shape of the jeans. Also, if you’re tailoring jeans that are faded or distressed, you want to make sure that cutting the length won’t dramatically change the look.
1. What to keep in mind when buying jeans.
No surprise, celebrities are huge fans of getting their jeans tailored for the perfect fit. Kim Kardashian has spoken about getting her jeans tailored, so has Jennifer Aniston. Quite a few fashion editors also attest to being fans of Forever 21 denim then getting them altered (something that would cost far less than buying a pair of designer jeans).
You’ve probably spent your entire adult life searching for that perfect pair of jeans—not too long, not too short, hugs certain body parts in all the right places—but they’re pretty much an enigma for average-sized women. The solution? A tailor.
Particularly if you want to shorten your jeans, you are going to want to bring the shoes you most plan to wear with them to the tailor to help the tailor mark the jeans at the right length.
4. Altering the length is a cinch.
Sew along marked lines on each leg.
Lay the cut off portion on the bottom of the other leg to use as a guide, and cut it off as well.
To hem, turn and press the bottom edge of each leg 1/2″ to the wrong side. Turn and press again.
Today I’m sharing an easy tutorial on how to alter your jeans from bootcut or flared to straight or skinny! I picked up this pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans for $7.50 at Value Village. I loved the way they fit in the top, but they were too long, and I didn’t like the flair.
Grab a pair or two of bootcut or flared jeans, and let’s get started…
Try on your jeans (it’s easiest if you do this with them inside out) and, looking in the mirror, use a pin to mark where they begin to flare, or where you want them to begin to taper. I marked mine close to the knee, but if you’re pants are wide legged to begin with, or if you want skinny jeans as opposed to straight legged, you may want to mark starting at the mid-thigh or even higher.
If you are using part of the original hem, press the hem back into place and topstitch the area that was picked out. Or, re-hem with topstitching thread if your thread is not an exact match to the original.
First, you’ll want to make sure to use a denim needle (affiliate link) to sew through the thick fabric with ease.
Use a ruler and fabric marker to join the pin from the knee area to the mark at the hem. Repeat on the other leg.
Many women have no hesitation about taking a pair of wool trousers to the tailor for alterations in order to get a customized fit. So why do most of us expect to find jeans that fit us perfectly off the rack, no nips and tucks required? While it's important to shop for jeans that generally fit your figure well — especially in certain, hard-to-alter areas such as around the hips — there's plenty you can do to customize an almost-perfect pair of denim and create a made to measure look in jeans.
We've created this practical, money-saving guide to everything you need to know about altering jeans. You'll learn what it's possible to have tailored, how to hem jeans so they flatter your shape perfectly, and the one thing you should do before taking your jeans for alterations. We'll also tell you what you can expect when you take your jeans to a tailor, to prevent surprises. Plus, find out when it's better to buy a new pair of jeans, than spend your money trying to change a too-challenging pair.
Here's how you can taper jeans for a more streamlined leg look. Typically, the tailor will have you try on the jeans, then pin them along the inseams (the line of stitching running down the inner leg). They'll then be turned inside out and sewn to create a more slender ("tapered") leg opening. The extra fabric on your tailored jeans may be cut away, or just sewn inside if there's not too much of it.
You'll try on your jeans at the tailor shop, so the tailor can mark the correct length with chalk or pins. (Be sure to bring or wear the shoes you'll wear most often with the jeans, so you get the right length).
Continue to 2 of 6 below.
Shortening too-long jeans (hemming jeans) is generally the easiest alteration you can make to your denims. A tailor or seamstress can shorten or hem jeans, either by cutting off some fabric and redoing the hems, or by taking up the hems in a way that doesn't involve cutting the fabric. Here's how to ask for either treatment, to get the best results:
When you shop for jeans, it's great to know you can have them tailored if they don't fit perfectly. Just a word of caution, though — there are some things it's not easy, or worth your money, to have altered when it comes to denim. A pair of jeans should already fit you well in these areas:
However, many other fit issues — including a too-long length, a pair of jeans that gaps slightly at the waist, or overly baggy legs — can be fairly easily addressed by taking them to a tailor to take in (or remove) excess fabric. You'd be surprised at how doing so can make a pair of almost-perfect jeans conform better to your body, and create a made to measure jeans look.
If you'd rather not cut your jeans, you can ask a tailor to do an "inside hem". This involves folding under the extra length and stitching it in place, without cutting the fabric, to make jeans appear shorter. This is a good method to hem your jeans when you're not sure exactly how long you want jeans to be. Since it doesn't give you a finished hem look, though, it's better as a short-term solution — as when you're borrowing a pair of jeans from a friend and will need to return them.