I love jeans or pants that fit me nicely…but then when I bend over or crouch down they shift and they appear ill-fitting and unkempt. I bought two pairs of soft stretch corduroy jeans at Gap last year and was in love. But I forgot to bend over and squat down in the dressing room so home I go unaware of the frustration that was about to befall me. I quickly discovered that though the jeans fit me perfectly everywhere while I stood up, sitting down awakened a rebellious beast within their fibers that was determined to make me feel frumpy. I considered returning them, but the colors were nice and the length worked for my 33-inch inseam so I wanted to make it work.
Frustrated by low-rise jeans not staying put, I sewed on a higher stretchy waistband that keeps them put and gives a smooth silhouette when wearing tees. I thought about pants I owned that didn’t budge and remembered new workout leggings I bought, so I put those on and the cords overtop to see if that kept the corduroy jeans from budging. I did my best to make the pants shift, but they stayed put.
The trick then was to pin them together. I put the workout leggings on my dress form mannequin then the corduroy jeans on top, lining them up at the waist so there was a little more of the leggings above the jeans’ waistband. I made sure the dress form was at my waist and hip measurements so the leggings and jeans were stretched accurately. Then I carefully pinned. When done, I slowly removed them from the mannequin and this is how it looked. The puckering is because I’m sewing two stretch fabrics together, so the pins are holding them in place from being stretched and when they’re not it looks weird. This isn’t an issue since people will only see the jeans being worn (and stretched over my own hips/legs) so the puckering won’t show.
You can see here that I left that little bit of workout leggings waistband above the jeans’ waistband. This means it covers my rear smile and also holds the jeans onto my natural waist instead of down low on my hips.
Now, to replicate this without the pins.
I took to the sewing machine and chose to sew the pants lower than just the waistline and in two places to make sure there wouldn’t be tugging or fabric pulling. Also, leaving the stretchy workout pants waistband higher on my natural waist meant it pulled things in a bit so no lumpy appearance with
I used a matching mustard yellow thread and it is only visible close-up. And if anyone is looking at my pants that closely, they shouldn’t be saying anything negative about my stitchwork.
I drew a diagram of where I sewed. The stitches along the zipper a mistake (oops!) because I thought I was drawing on the back of the pants, not the front. So ignore that please.
And what the jeans look like inside-out so you can see where I cut the leggings off to avoid bulkiness. There are no lumps or lines when I wear them and the fabric isn’t fraying at all. For the second pair, I actually left the whole section around the top and just cut the legs off. This was just because I was running late to pick up LB and thought I’d go back and trim more accurately later, but after I wore them I loved the extra light layer of stretch. It not only acted like extra insulation (these are my go-to winter jeans), but also pulled things in nicely for a lovely shape. But that was done on the teal pair, which are darker and didn’t photograph as well, so only the tan/mustard pair are pictured in this post.
And they’re all done in under three hours (pinning half that time).
What is your favourite pair of low-rise jeans that you love and hate at the same time?