Updated: Feb 24
If you are anything like me, it's impossible to find a pair of jeans that actually fit. Anything denim that can make it past Mount Saint Angie (my butt), is 2 - 4 inches too big in my waist. This creates an annoying gap which leads me into a day of constantly hiking up my pants, being uncomfortable and once again, proclaiming my hatred for dungarees. The frustration of finding a good fit lead to me giving up on jeans. Until one day. I was sewing a vintage-styled dress, chock-full of darts for my sisters city hall wedding. While I was pinning my seven millionth dart, it dawned on me that all I had to do with the stack of unwearable jeans I had, was to dart them at the waistband! It was a glorious discovery and a tailoring hack that I have been doing for over ten years now. This is going to change your relationship with your pants! If you are a novice sewer, fear not, it's as simple as sewing two little triangles! And once you get the hang of this, it's something you can do in 15 minutes! if you are so novice you don't even own a sewing kit, most dry cleaners will do this alteration for $12.00!
So break out your needle and thread and get ready to get jeans that nestle your lower back curve like most of the population would like to nestle The Rock.
But What Do I Need?
A Sturdy Sewing Needle
Large Dress Pins or Large Safety Pins
A Sewing Machine (some thin jeans can be done by hand, but to get a great and strong dart, you need a machine)
Try on the offending denim, pull at the back of the waist and measure how much you would like to take off to get a snug fit. Keep in mind, most denim stretches, so go tight!
Remove your jeans, turn them inside out and lay on a flat surface. You are going to make 2 darts on either side of the back center seam or back center belt loop. If a tag or label is in your way, remove it with a seam ripper. With your tape measure, measure out 1/2" from the center back belt loop, if there is no belt loop, just measure out evenly on both sides from the center seam. This is where your two darts are going to go.
Now we are going to pin our darts. Darts are essentially upside-down triangles folded in half and sewn together to create the perfect culo-clinging angle. To create each dart, you must determine how big they each should be. So let's, for example say you are taking 2" off your waistband, this would mean each dart would be 1" total, so each side of the dart would be 1/2". Gather your jeans and fold the first area you will be darting in half, I like my darts to be 3" long. Pull in the full 1" and pin in half, repeat on the opposite side for your second dart. Depending on the thickness of your jean you may need a large safety pin or dress maker pins. As you move down, pinning your dart , taper it in to create your upside-down triangle. Do this on both sides of the belt loop or seam.
Pins in denim can be a pain. Don't worry if it's bumpy and not perfectly straight, this is why we are going to baste it. Basting is just putting in a simple stitch to hold your material together without straight-pins. this makes it a lot easier to run through your machine smoothly, or if you are doing without a machine, it makes it easier to hand stitch. If your jeans are thick, you may need a thimble to push your needle through the denim.
After you have basted your jeans, remove the pins and try them on to be sure you have a good fit! Then run them through your machine, stitch them by hand, or take them to your local tailor or dry-cleaner so they can run it through their machine for you.
After you have sewn your darts, press the excess fabric down with your iron, this will make it more comfortable when you wear them! Don't cut out the extra fabric, denim frays!!!
Take Note: Don't panic if your darts aren't perfectly straight, your culo is going to be looking so good, no one will notice a crooked dart!
Love the idea but much more of a buy n' wear person? Check out CoCo Cooper, the best jeans I have come across for curvy gals!! I love them. AND to make it even better, the hem on their cropped style is perfect for the under 5'2 crew, it lands right at my ankle. Which is amazing, because hemming jeans is a whole other post!