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In the survey I posted a couple weeks ago, I found that a lot of you are interested in my process. I’m going to do my best to share my process of altering and sewing. It does add time to my already limited sewing time, so I can’t always do it.
Last week Savers had a day where all jeans were 40% off. I went and got two pairs of kids’ jeans, a pair of jeans myself, and a baby bee costume for $11. I looked at a lot of name brand jeans and tried on lots of them. This is the only one that was good enough to take home even though it still needed alterations. This is a pair of Gap jeans that I got for $3.60, and it was the only one good enough to take home even though it needed some alterations.

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

When I’m trying on used clothing, I’m really picky about what I buy. It has to either fit perfectly and be within a certain color scheme, or fit me well enough that it only needs minimal alterations. These pants fit my hips, backside, and thighs well. These are the alterations I wanted to do:

  • Remove tab on the back waistband
  • Remove the red stitching under one of the destroyed spots
  • Remove the patch under the back pocket
  • Taper the legs

 

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial
How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

After removing the tab, the patch, and the red stitching, I pinned the legs. I pinned as tight as I could while still being able to get my feet through the hem (these jeans don’t have a ton of stretch).
Also, once I was this far, I realized that the waistband needed to be just a little bit tighter. Instead of doing a whole back seam alteration, I cheated. I did remove the waistband right above the back seam and took in the waistband. Then instead of redoing the welt seam I added a little dart that I hid underneath the welt seam.

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

I sewed the legs, cut out the now larger seam allowance, and finished the edges. Then I gave it a good press and this is the result. A great pair of jeans that fit me well.

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

I took a quick video of me walking and moving in the pants so you can see how they move. I realized I’ve always wanted to see people move with their clothing so I might be added videos.

Here are some close-ups of some of the details. I need to somehow fade this spot where the patch was so it’s not so dark.

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

There isn’t any rough edges on the side seams like ready-to-wear jeans because I took them in, so I’m going to take some sandpaper and rough it up a little.

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

This is the spot that had the red stitching that I removed. I added some navy blue stitching instead.

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

Here is wear I removed the bad tab. I didn’t want to remove the rivets because they are a lot of work to remove and I didn’t want big holes. I think the rivets add a cool look.
You can also see how the back seam leans to one side because I added a dart and hid it under the seam. It’s a cheater way, but nobody can see it underneath the belt loop.

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

And that’s how I made $3.60 Gap jeans work for me!

How to Alter Thrifted Jeans, DIY Tutorial

Author: Heather