How to Make Jeans Thinner Around Ankle

Many people have a stack of folded, unworn jeans in the closet that they no longer wear due to styles that no longer suit them. Instead of discarding your unused jeans, you can have your jeans altered or alter them yourself. While taking your jeans to a tailor may be a simple solution, it can be expensive. Some alterations you can easily make yourself, such as taking in your jeans at the bottom to make them thinner. This saves you money, and allows you to use those jeans in the back of your closet.

Things You'll Need

  • Jeans

  • Chalk pencil

  • Mirror

  • Quilting-size sewing pins

  • Jeans-colored thread

  • Heavy-duty sewing needle (size 16 or larger)

  • Sewing machine

  • Scissors

Step 1

Wash, dry and iron your jeans so they are clean and as flat and straight as possible. Turn your jeans inside out.

Step 2

Try your jeans on in front of a full-length mirror, if possible. Face the mirror and bend over to grab the inside seam at the calf of one of the legs of your jeans. Adjust the jeans with your hands until your jeans are as tapered at the ankle as you want them to be.

Step 3

Hold your chalk pencil in your writing hand. Hold the excess jeans fabric in the other hand. Draw a line down the inner seam of your jeans, at least 1/2 inch away from your leg, on the edge of the excess fabric closest to your leg. This chalk line marks where you will sew your new seam. Repeat on the other leg.

Step 4

Take off your pants and lay them flat on a table or other hard surface. Place pins sideways through the chalk mark lines that you drew on the jeans. The pins will keep your fabric in place.

Step 5

Insert your heavy-duty sewing needle in your sewing machine. Thread your upper sewing machine with the jeans-colored thread. Wind a bobbin with the thread and insert your bobbin as well.

Step 6

Set your sewing machine's tension to a medium setting and set your stitch length to a long or medium-long setting. Sew down the chalk line on both legs of your jeans. Backstitch at the both ends of your seams. Remove the pins and cut off any threads.

Step 7

Try on your jeans to ensure that the jeans fit at the calves and ankles the way you want them to. Make any adjustments and re-sew if necessary. When the jeans fit as you want, cut off the excess fabric with your scissors so that only 1/4 inch of excess fabric remains.

References & Resources