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Shortening the crotch in jeans

I joined this community for inspiration because it's awesome, but I do have a sewing-related problem that I need help with! I checked the memories but couldn't find what I need...

I have a pair of jeans which are about a size too big for me - that's fine because I like the bagginess, but they are just too roomy in the crotch. They hang too low and I'd like them to be more snug. I've never made pants, altered a crotch OR sewn with denim before, so I'm not certain how I should go about it.

The jeans are just an old pair that I bought at a garage sale for less than $1, so I'm not worried about screwing them up... but I'd like to be able to wear them comfortably, and I do have some other pants with too-low crotches, so this would be good practice as well.

Any tips, advice, tricks, etc? Thanks! :)


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 17th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
To shrink a crotch line you actually need a shallower 'scoop' to the pattern, which is really hard to do in pants that are too big, and easy to do in pants that are too small, as odd as that sounds. I recommend taking them apart and playing, but I have no better suggestions. SORRY! Good luck! Let us know if you find a good fixer! I'd love to know! =o)
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
There's a really easy way to do this, relatively speaking. Denim is very tough and you're going to be stitching through multiple layers so I hope you have a good machine.

1) Open the crotch zipper up and leave it open so you don't lose the zipper head because you will be...

2)Cutting the waistband off. First you'll need to detach the bottom of the belt loops, then just cut it close to the bottom of the waistband seam (keeping the waist band intact). You're going to need a pair of tough but trashable scissors to do this. Don't use expensive sewing scissors because you will ruin them.

OK, so now you have one intact waist band and belt loops and one pair of jeans w/out a waistband. You can go one of two ways, depending on how good you are at sewing.

3)You can leave the waistband off altogether and just finish the top of the jeans in some kind of fun colored bias banding that you purchase at the fabric shop or you can create your own out of some cool fabric you already have.

4)take the old belt loops off the old waistband and topstitch them back onto the jeans in the same manner they used to be.

5)bartack the top of the zipper fly and then sew on a sturdy hook and bar closure.

Done; you've just raised the crotch by about an inch and a half or two inches. If you did a good stitching job it will look pretty cool.

The other, harder way, is to take the old waistband that you just cut off and open it at the bottom and sew it back on to the jeans about an inch lower, trimming off the top of the jeans by and inch before re-setting the waistband. You will not have made the jeans any tighter but you will have raised the crotch.

Good luck.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the super-late reply... I've decided to use this method since the jeans were too long anyway, and it's working fine so far - I haven't got around to sewing everything back together yet since I had to buy more cotton thread, but fingers crossed I don't screw up. :)

After removing the waistband I ripped out part of the side and back seams so I can take them in a little - that way the waistband will be snug (I've done something similar with skirts and it's worked out well). So far they fit great, just with the pins in, and this method has been pretty easy and quick, so THANK YOU! :D
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
It's hard to do. For some reason, it's one of those things that is much harder than it seems like it should be. I recommend that you unpick the crotch seams (both the inner leg seams and the crotchal region, in four directions) and try to pin it together, taking in excess. Try it and see. You'll have to play around with it a bit, and the $1 garage sale pants are a good experiment pair. Good luck!
Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip! I've decided to use I decided to use r0ck3tsci3ntist method for the jeans (ie, shortening the waist), but I have some other pants that need altering, so I'm gonna have to learn how to take in the actual crotch too. :)
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
I've actually done this to several pairs of jeans, either to make up for my actually getting in shape, but also to convert flair leg jeans into skinny jeans (This is in part because I'm poor, and also because it's been a great way to learn). No matter how you do it, it winds up being a lot of work.

This only works on jeans that have higher waistlines since in effect you're shortening the "rise" in the jeans ("rise" is th distance from the highest point of the inseam up the front --or back-- to the top of the waistband). It also only effects the rise, if the waist is really large on you you may wind up having to take the jeans completely apart (which is a total pain in the arse!).

But, if all you want to do is alter the rise, what I've done for the most part is...

1, Put on the jeans to be altered and drop them on my hips until they fit comfortably on my hips.

2, Gather the crotch area (keeping the fabric in front and in back even with the inseam as the lowest point). Get a measurement of how much I want to take the inseam up.

3a, Take the jeans off, and start splitting the seam.

3b, I've noted that most jeans have several seams that make up the inseam (this usually includes a serged seam and one or two other "in line" seams). So.... Pay attention to how the inseam is put together as different manufacturers have different stitching patterns --make notes if you need to.

4, Keep the front and back sections oriented as they were when they were sewn originally but with the pants turned inside out. Make sure the "butt seam" and the seam that feeds into the fly are in line as well and "baste" the meeting point of these seams at the new level you want the crotch to maybe about an inch on either side of the crotch. Run the seam parallel to the original seam . Just a couple stitches by hand or some longer ones on a machine, but don't go crazy with it.

5, Try them on and if necessary, adjust the height of the inseam.

6, I've generally taken measurements of my leg based against the top of my inseam and worked them out on the jeans I'm working with in a light colored pencil.

7, Once you've got the shape and dimensions figured, and marked out, pin them and try them on. Make any adjustments you need at this point.

8, Duplicate the original seam pattern (this generally is based in a serged seam as the primary seam). Keep in mind, the back half of the jeans is actually going to have more fabric to it than the front. So line up the original inseam stitched lines and work from there.

9, You may have to open up the cuff seam a bit on either side of the inseam in order to get a clean edge. Or.... you can easily enough just raise the cuff, you will in effect be increasing the inseam of the jeans so be prepared for that.

Good luck! Have fun... and be patient.

Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I decided to use r0ck3tsci3ntist's method for the jeans, which will shorten them because I'm basically just lowering the waist - but they were too long to start with so that's okay. :)

However I have some old gauchos that are too big now, so the crotch hangs too low... they're just the right length, and I don't want to shorten them, so I'll have to learn how to take in the crotch this way. :)

Crotch's have always intimidated me, which is the main reason I've never made pants... but I have some cool patterns so hopefully this will help me get over that! :)
Jan. 19th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
I love your icon :D
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )