How to alter jeans that don’t fit (spoiler- it’s easy and soo on trend!)

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I LOVE vintage clothing! I love going to thrift stores and vintage shops to find unique pre-loved fashion, but when I’m being lazy I love to shop online for vintage. The only trouble with shopping online for one-of-a-kind vintage clothes is that you can’t try stuff on (obviously) before you buy, and even going off of measurements isn’t always perfect. I recently bought the cutest pair of vintage 70s jeans with embroidery details and wide leg styling thinking that the waist size would fit me perfectly, but it ended up being a few inches smaller than what was listed online. The zipper wasn’t even close to zipping, and I couldn’t return them (plus I didn’t want to!), so I thought I’d get creative and do a little diy. Here’s how I did some easy alterations to make the jeans fit in the waist…

What You’ll Need

Long story short, I basically removed the existing zipper and used fabric grommets to create a corset front. I did do a couple other tweaks to the seams and waist that involved taking apart a few sections of the jeans, but ultimately the alterations besides the front fly area were pretty minor! Here’s what you need and a step by step how-to for creating these corset jeans:

  • Small scissors or seam ripper tool (these are what I use)
  • Sewing machine (I’d recommend this one for beginners)
  • Fabric hole punch (I got mine from Amazon here)
  • Fabric grommets and grommet tool (I got mine in a set from Amazon here)
  • Rubber mat (like this one)
  • Hammer (Amazon has some for crafts here)
  • White colored pencil or fabric chalk
  • Wide ribbon (this is what I used)

Shop all supplies below:

Step by step instructions:

1. Use small scissors or seam ripper tool to gently remove the zipper from the jeans (it’s easiest if you turn the jeans inside out!).

2. Trim excess or leftover threads.

3. Using the sewing machine, sew down any loose flaps of fabric that previously attached the zipper for a clean base on which to put the grommets.

4. Using your colored pencil or fabric chalk and a grommet as a template, lightly mark the locations of each grommet on either side of the fly opening. (Hint- the more grommets that are added and evenly spaced, the better, as you really don’t want to be able to see through the corset once it’s done!)

5. Make holes on each mark and install the grommets with the grommet tool according to the packaging instructions.

6. Lace up the front of the jeans with the ribbon.

7. Enjoy your beautifully upcycled jeans!

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Xx Tabi

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