Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jeans Waistband Alterations

The Simplicity jacket needs to have the sleeves added so no new pictures today.  Since I plan on wearing this upcoming jacket with jeans, I though I'd share how I just adjusted a few of my favorite jeans waistbands.  
If a jeans waistband is anywhere near my waist, then I get that large gap at the center back of my jeans.  I never tuck in a top so it's not very obvious to a casual observer but annoys the heck out of me.   I've tried several alteration techniques but have never been totally satisfied until I made this adjustment.  In a nutshell, it involves turning the back portion of that waistband into an elasticized version.  Here are the pics of how I did it:
I removed the very back center belt loop.  For me belt loops are entirely unnecessary....but your mileage may vary.
Using my nice, sharp seam ripper I gently sliced open a 1+" slit on the back inside of the waistband, about 4"-5" to the left and right of center back.  Note:  this is not a hole through the entire 2 layers of the waistband.  You are merely creating a starting point to slide elastic into the waistband casing.  No slit would be visible from the outside of the waistband.

I used a safety pin attached to 1" elastic (mine is from Pamela's Patterns  Fantastic Elastic and is elastic that can be cut to any width without unraveling) and fed it through the first slit down to the second one.  
Safety pin both ends in place and try on the jeans.  Pull the elastic snugly, repin and keep trying them on until the back waistband hugs your back waist comfortably.
Still needed more snugging for my back.

Once you are comfortable with the back elastic, zig zag over both ends of the elastic.  The zig zag stitches are not highly visible on denim twill fabric and will never be seen by the general public.

There's elastic in the back but when I am wearing these, it merely curves closely to my back waist without that previous gap.  Off my body you can see that I had to pull in a good amount of fabric to make this waistband customized for my body.

Should I be sewing my own jeans?  Maybe.  In the meantime, this alteration makes RTW jeans (which I can thankfully buy in longs) work just fine for me.  Hope it's useful for some of you who want to tweak the fit on your RTW jeans also.

In more local news, Debbie and Andrea, you asked where we live in SWFL.  We're in the north end of the Naples area, right on the Collier County northern border.  My American Sewing Guild chapter is in Fort Myers and I also participate in a local neighborhood group.  This past week I traveled to Fort Myers to participate in my first Community Sew Day.  Once a month the chapter gathers together to sew for local charities.  I went up with an ulterior bring some of my fabric stash to them.  The ladies were thrilled to see me carry in a large supply of children's flannels.  It was fabric that a local friend had gifted me but it had to leave me to free up some space in my closets  Among the charity sewing projects, these ladies make burp cloths and receiving blankets so flannel was divvied up immediately.  They also make children's clothing, walker bags, cool ties for troops, dog beds etc.  I was expecting maybe a dozen women to show up but there were over three dozen people sewing and serging and cutting and organizing.  Turned out to be an enjoyable and energizing day for me and a great way to start up my sewing mojo here in Florida.
Now, back to finishing up that jacket project.  Wishing you all a terrific weekend and time to work on a project dear to your heart.


  1. Glad you had a good time at community sew. I saw the bolts of flannel and know we will put it to good use!

  2. I have the same problem. What a great little alteration. I'm going to try it this afternoon. Thanks.

  3. Wow. Exactly the innovative. Out-side-the-box answer I was looking for. Thanks. I'll try it!


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