Purchasing new jeans to keep up with the latest styles gets to be expensive. If you have boot- cut or wide-leg jeans you no longer wear, a few changes will convert them into skinny jeans. If you aren’t confident in your sewing skills, buy some cheap jeans at a garage sale or secondhand store to practice. Once you convert the jeans, the excess fabric is cut away, so convert jeans you no longer want to wear as they are.

Things You'll Need


No-Sew Jeans

Turn your jeans inside out and put them on. Sit on the floor with your legs flat against the ground. Straighten the jean legs so that the outer seam is against your leg and the jean legs lay flat against the floor with the inner seam on the inside edge.

Draw a line down the jean leg about 1/2 inch from your leg from the knee to the ankle. Make sure the line leaves enough room for you to get the jeans on, but is not too loose. Take the jeans off, flatten them so that the seams are on the outer edges and pin each leg closed along the line you have drawn. Put the jeans back on to check the fit. If they are too tight, adjust the pins.

Cut along the pin line once you get the pins set where you want them. Be careful and make a straight cut. Remove the excess fabric. Measure the length of the cut from the ankle up. You will need two zippers each the length of the cut. Use navy plastic tooth zippers to blend in with the denim, or any other color you wish.

Apply fabric glue along the length of the left side of the zipper. Press the left side of the cut leg onto the glue with the zipper opening at the ankle end of the leg. Get the fabric right up to the edge of the teeth. Glue the right side of the zipper to the right side of the cut leg the same way. Repeat on the other leg. Let the glue dry. Turn the jeans right side out and wear.

Hand-Sewn Jeans

Turn your jeans inside out and put them on. Sit on the floor with your legs flat against the ground. Straighten the jean legs so that the outer seam is against your leg and the jean legs lay flat against the floor with the inner seam on the inside edge.

Draw a line down the jean leg about 1/2 inch from your leg from ankle toward the crotch. Make sure the line leaves enough room for you to get the jeans on, but is not too loose. Take the jeans off, flatten them so that the seams are on the outer edges and pin each leg closed along the line you have drawn. Put the jeans back on to check the fit. If they are too tight, adjust the pins.

Sew the leg along the pin line. Use navy thread to blend with the denim. Use small stitches and double stitch to make the seam stronger. When the leg is sewn, try on the jeans to make sure the fit is comfortable. If not, remove the stitching and start over. If they fit well, sew the other leg in the same manner.

Cut the excess fabric along the line you have sewn. Leave about a 1/4-inch seam allowance when cutting the fabric. Turn the jeans right side out and wear.