How to Remove a High Waistband on Jeans

A waistband on jeans this high can be uncomfortable, but it is easy to remove.

Photo: Roger Kisby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

With styles of the seventies back in full force, one of the mainstays of that decade's fashion scene, the high-waisted jeans, has also returned for a new decade. Not all of us can wear them exactly as they come -- those of us with shorter torsos often find that the waistband can hit us in the ribcage. Not cool. But it's easy to make an adjustment and remove that waistband, and you'll be happy you learned the next time you wear those jeans and you can actually breathe.


Get comfortable, sit on the couch with your jeans and grab a seam ripper. Carefully use it to snip the stitches that are holding the waistband to the top of your jeans. Depending on the stitching, you may have to take out one or two rows of stitches. This is not hard to do, but it can be time consuming, which is why crashing on the sofa is a good idea.


After the waistband is off, pull out any loose threads that remain in your jeans.


Take you jeans over to the ironing board and press under the top edge of your waist, creating a 1/2 inch seam allowance on the inside of the jeans.


With the top edge firmly pressed under, stitch along the waist of your jeans to permanently secure the seam allowance into place. This will give you a nicely finished top edge of your jeans.


Since the waistband you removed also has the snap on it, you'll need to add a fastener to your new lower waistline. It's best to use a large hook and bar, a good size is one for coats. Stitch the bar just to the right of the zipper teeth, about 1/2 inch below the waistline. Sew the hook on the inside of the fly, hook facing downward, where the fabric overlaps the zipper. Make sure that it is also 1/2 inch below the waistband so that it lines up perfectly with the bar.

Things You'll Need


1.Seam riper

3.Hook and eye

5.Thread that matches your jeans

2.Sewing machine

4.Hand needle

6.Iron and ironing board


Tips & Tricks


After you've removed your waistband, don't close the zipper--you risk pulling the little tab off the tracks and if that happens, you'll need to replace the zipper.


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