Refashioned: Make Skinnies Bigger


I have a problem when it comes to skinny jeans. My legs are nowhere near atrophed enough. If I want my pants to fit in the legs, I sacrifice the fit in the waist. If I want my pants to fit in the waist, I feel like a stuffed sausage. I find this terribly annoying, I mean COME ON!! My legs are pretty small.

I doubt I’m the only one with this problem. Or am I? I bought these PacSun jean leggings through Groupon at an insanely low price ($5? I’m in.). I was concerned that the fit was going to be a bit tight on my legs, but I ordered just as the size chart suggested. Sure, I fit in my jeans, but they weren’t very comfortable. In fact, they’re too loose in the waist & a bit too tight in the legs.

I’m sure I could’ve taken them back for a bigger size, but unfortunately I had already ripped off the tags. Instead I decided to make them bigger & thankfully it worked! Here’s how:

  1. turn your jeans inside out – make sure there’s at least one non-felled seam down your pants
  2. sew along the inside edge of the surged seam
  3. unpick the inner seam & remove any stray threads
  4. launder & wear

This little tip will give you about 1/4-1/2 inch of extra leg room in each pant leg! Easy peasy! You just need to know how to sew in a (relatively) straight line. For best results, do this on a dark wash pair of jeans. If you do have lighter washed jeans & you want to cover up the unpicked line, you might want to try a tuxedo approach like these J brand skinnies (as seen on Taylor).

See how you can’t even tell that I added 1/2 inch of leg room in my pants? I know for sure I’ll get a lot more use out of these ridiculously cheap jeans.

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    1. You are an awesome seamstress! I cannot believe you did this to your jeans – what an inspiration :)

    2. This is so smart, thanks for sharing!

    3. Good call, I have the same problem! I think it’s cuz skinny jeans (especially cheap ones) are often made for skinny teenagers with no muscle or extra fat!

    4. mandie says:

      you are a swell smarty pants. pun intended. ;)

    5. Jen says:

      Great tip – I can never find skinny jeans to fit but like the look of them so will definitely try this. I love your outfit and the glasses in this pic!

    6. June K says:

      You are truly amazing. I’ve seen all the things you can do with alterations and re-designs. I wish you lived here so I could have my current clothes made to fit.

    7. Heidi says:

      You are so clever, Melissa! I always just assume I can’t make something bigger.
      Of course, when it comes to pants, I usually have the opposite problem thanks to my ‘child-bearing hips.’ (Those are not even my words, but they totally fit.)

    8. Kelley says:

      Man I gotta get me a pair of those BonLooks! They are stinkin cute on you!

    9. Nice to know I am not the only one at issue with skinny jeans. Love your tutorials. I have found the greatest success in taking in rather than trying to grow fabric (lots less unpicking and the wash of your jeans is not as noticeable). I take a pair of jeans that fits my rear and then take in the legs to make skinny.

    10. Nice to know I am not alone on the skinny jeans issue. I have more luck finding a pair that fits my rear and then take in the legs (less to unpick and the wash of your jeans isn’t as noticeable). Just ran across your site, love the tutorials.

    11. total nerd, your site said it didn’t post, so I re-posted. feel free to delete

    12. tammie says:

      oh my gosh, melissa, i’ve seen you in person at alt, you are so tiny, i can’t believe you even had to do this! but great idea ;)

    13. Witty! I recently made some skinny jeans out of bootcut jeans I think you have done this before too. I used to think that denim could not be easily altered. I was wrong! YAY for tailoring AND no bill! :D

    14. Johanna says:

      Great idea! — as I have had zero luck finding skinny jeans that fit me right. I actually have trouble finding any jeans that fit me well. So I was so happy when I found this idea on Pinterest recently:

    15. Tricia Lynn says:

      Great idea! I’ve read some tutorials on how to make skinny jeans out of regular jeans, but now I can make too skinny jeans into something I can wear! (I too have issues, i.e. a big b-hind)

    16. […] her sewing skills and for jeans that were only $10. I’ve also tried the elastic approach and making my jeans bigger, but I wanted something easier. Yes. Even […]

    17. Miche says:

      This is incredible! I have the worst time with skinny jeans (but I LOVE them), I can’t wait to try this out!

    18. CCFUTRELL says:

      O…M…G!!! I am TRYING THIS ASAP!!

    19. Emily says:

      I have fall flat seams on the outer sides of my skinny jeans but a basic stitch on the inside seams… should I restitch the inside seam or try the tuxedo approach on the outside seams?

    20. […] Make Too Tight Skinny Jeans Bigger //Melissa Esplin  […]

    21. […] to it. Luckily in my hours of searching google, YouTube and various blogs, I stumbled on an older post (old enough that the images were no longer available) that explained a way to get 1/4 – 1/2 […]

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