What do you do when you buy new jeans, give them to a seamstress to hem, and a year later pick them up to find nothing has been done?
My friend did just that and now she needs not only the hems shortened 2 inches but the waist enlarged 1-2 inches as well. OK, now I hear you all moaning and saying, jeans waistbands cannot be lengthened or altered as they are in one piece….BUT…let’s get creative shall we?
First I cut 1.5 inches off the length knowing that I could open up the previous stitched hem and find another 1/2 inch inside…a bonus when you need it! Now let’s start on the one pair that needs only one inch…well it might as well be 5 inches for the messing around but here goes. I start with this scene and seam:This is the right side that I will not be opening up. On the left side I am cutting right through the waistband to the side seam double stitching. Then I remove 2 rows of that topstitching and allow the side seam to open to a wedge. A patch is inserted, one side sewn to the raw edge and the other side just tucked under the folded edge of the previously top stitched seam edge.
The only issue is what to do with the remaining raw edge on the waistband…well I just zigzagged over it to flatten it and re-stitched the double row down the side seam. Not too bad so far…but wait…what about the inside? Well, the patch folded over the top and flipped down at an angle inside so it was hand sewn to secure the edges and then the waistband topstitching was done to finish.
I am lazy so I fill the bobbin with thick jeans thread and sew from the wrong side using regular poly thread in the top spool. Then when I get to the end where it joins the old thread, I don’t back tack and make a clump of thread, I stop, cut a long tail and use the poly thread to pull the jeans thread to the wrong side of the garment and tie them together with a surgeon’s knot and snip off.
The other pair of jeans was needing 2 full inches but there were 2 sets of sewn down pleats so we could “borrow” from one, flatten it out and gain the inch on each side…OK Mrs. Mole…what happens to the waistband? Well remember I had to cut another 2 inches off the hems and I had a nice piece to attach at center back. Yes, I had to remove the entire waistband and release all the belt loops from the pants body but this is not so bad.
The other issue with these pants was the zipper was broken…brand new but broken so it had to be completely removed and replaced…heck, the waistband was already removed so at least that was the first step. Then baste the new zipper to the over flap for double stitching on the right side. Open the slot between the two edges on the under flap and slide the new zipper in there to be top stitched down.
Then tuck everything down inside and do that double curved top stitching around the fly to make it look like the original and attach the waistband again. OH…almost forgot…to reduce bulk my client wanted me to remove the pockets…quite a frequent request so I serged off the inside pockets and stitched the openings closed. Belt loops were re-attached using a small straight stitch, not a bar tack…who needs bulk?
Last pair of pants were standard ladies pants from Kohl’s Apt 1 brand. They needed 2 inches to the waist as well and guess where I found it? The waistband was more like a man’s so it could be let out all in one seam but when I opened it up I was surprised, well not really, to find the center back seams were sewn way off…can you see? But now they are equal on the raw edges…yahoo!
You never know what treasures you will find in RTW…small joys for the seamstress.
Wishing everyone happy sewing times, only small problems and better weather for our friends on the East coast of the US…wrap up or stay in and sew!