how to fix your jeans waistband {no more jeans gap!}


So, as strange as it is to be talking about this online, I’ve got some junk in the trunk. I’m ok with that, but there is one problem: when I find jeans that fit well in the bum and thighs, they’re a little too big in the waist, which leads to another annoying problem…the waistband never lays flat against my back. Instead there’s that terrible gap, which looks bad AND leads to even more problems when I sit down. I’m a 38 year old mother of five. No one wants to see that. But luckily, there’s a super easy fix.

No more jeans gap! How to fix the waistband of your jeans so it doesn't gape in the back and show too much when you sit down. This is genius. Easy sewing tutorial.

Before you get worried that I’m going to share a complicated process that includes unpicking the waistband and the belt loops to tailor your jeans, let me just say I don’t have time for that. Yes, that would be the best way to do it (and here’s an amazing tutorial if you aren’t as lazy as I am). But if you’re looking for an easier way you’ve come to the right place, and this place is going to use elastic to make your jeans fit better!

Yes, I know, we’re supposed to despise elastic waist jeans with the heat of a thousand suns because even though many of us actually are moms, we’d never be caught dead in mom jeans. But again, don’t worry – I’m not going to turn you into a relic of the 80’s. We’re just going to add enough elastic to tuck the waistband up snug against your back. When you’re wearing the jeans the waistband will still look pretty smooth, so no one will even know the elastic is there. See? I’m even showing you this embarrassing picture (which proves that my choice to never tuck shirts in is a good one) to prove it. This is after I slid some elastic into the waistband:

No more jeans gap! How to fix the waistband of your jeans so it doesn't gape in the back and show too much when you sit down. This is genius. Easy sewing tutorial.

It’s super, super easy. And so worth the effort to know you won’t be flashing anyone when you sit down. All you need is 10 inches of so of 1 inch elastic and two colors of thread – one that matches your jeans, and one that matches the topstitching on your jeans. And a denim or heavyweight needle! Never try to sew on jeans without one unless you like breaking things.

Start by grabbing a seam ripper and unpicking the lower line of stitching on your jean’s waistband in the areas shown below:

Thread a safety pin through one end of your elastic…

…and thread the elastic up into the waistband and back down the other unpicked spot, like you see below. Try on your jeans and pull the elastic to tighten until the back of the jeans sit flat against you and the waist feels comfy (remember to sit down to make sure you aren’t pulling it too tight).

***Remember, the waistband will look quite gathered, but once the jeans are on the gathers will be much less noticeable***

Once the elastic is as tight as you’d like, sew a line up and down three or four times at each end to secure the elastic. Use the thread that matches your jeans for this. As you can see in the photo below, you can barely see the stitching, and it’s even less noticeable once the jeans are on.

Once the elastic is secure, you can trim off the excess of each side, switch out to the thread that matches the topstitching you unpicked, and sew back over that part you unpicked to close the waistband back up. If you look really closely you’ll probably be able to tell that your stitching is a little smaller than the rest of the topstitching, but no one else will every notice.

No more gap, and no more too much on display when I sit down. You (and everyone else who didn’t want to see that) are welcome 😉

No more jeans gap! How to fix the waistband of your jeans so it doesn't gape in the back and show too much when you sit down. This is genius. Easy sewing tutorial.

Comments

    • 2

      Mary Lou McCullagh says

      I do this an easier way. On the INSIDE of the waistband make 1 inch slits on each side with a seam ripper. Thread the elastic through as instructed and secure the ends. Use Fray Check or nail polish to keep the slit from fraying. Works great and is easier to remove elastic if you gain weight.

      • 3

        Janet B. says

        I’m going to use your slit the inside waistband idea tomorrow, I’ll be able to wear my pants without the stretchy belt now. Many thanks!

  1. 4

    Janice says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I’m 52 & it’s so gross to have my pants gap so badly in the back!!!
    Now to fix them!

  2. 8

    Judy says

    This works miracles for kids’ pants also. I’ve done a gazillion of these over the years, and your tutorial is easy to follow and perfect!

  3. 9

    cHRIS says

    Did a horribly poor job on a pair of jeans yesterday so will now go back to them using your great advice and do them properly. Many thanks for such great advice.

    • 10

      cHRIS says

      Did a horribly poor job on a pair of jeans yesterday so will now go back to them using your great advice and do them properly. Many thanks for the invaluable tip.

  4. 11

    says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, Im a beginner and this was so easy to follow! I have had this pair of pants for over a year and now I can finally wear them😊
    Thanks again

  5. 13

    Dawn McElhaney says

    I really liked your tutorial. I have been sewing most of my life and have been doing clothing alterations for 25 years. Your directions are simple and clean. I have looked at many different posts about this subject but yours is the best I have seen.

    • 14

      Dawn McElhaney says

      You can also extend the elastic around the front for a little more control. String the elastic through the belt loops to get the length correct. Make sure not to get a twist in the elastic as you insert it. After you secure the ends also stitch through the elastic near the center back. This prevents a future twist.

  6. 15

    Carol says

    Oh My!, I am so glad a came across your site. This is the perfect solution for my child with special needs. He is 10 and want him to be able to easily pull his pants on and off without messing with the snap or button. I am going to try this all the way around I hope it works.

    Also, doing all of my pants and jeans like this too.

  7. 17

    Joy says

    YOU are one very clever lady – Now why didn’t I think of that???
    I am so fed up with my jeans bagging at the waist, I bought a belt, but that just digs in my tummy at the front. Yes I know there is far too much of me really that’s why the jeans bag and the belt digs in.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. 18

    says

    This is freaking genius!!! All of my jeans have gappy waist bands and it drives me nuts!! I hate belts, so I never wear them and usually just end up hiking my pants up all day long. Classy! I just fixed one of my pairs with this method and IT”S AMAZING!! Thank you sooooo much!

  9. 20

    Joy Wheeler says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful tip. I recently made the adjustment to a jeans skirt, and hey presto! Did I feel clever

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