Denim trends are ever changing, but one silhouette that seems like it’s here to stay is the skinny jean. If you want to slim down old pairs of boot-cut or wide-leg jeans, you can do it even without a sewing machine.

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. Pull the excess fabric on the inside of the leg so that the outer seam is against the outside of your leg.

Draw a line down the excess fabric, about 1/2 inch from the inside of your leg, from the knee to the ankle. Take the jeans off, flatten them so that the seams are on the outer edges, and pin each leg closed along the drawn line. Put the jeans back on to check the fit. If they’re too tight or too loose, adjust the pins.

Once you get the pins set where you want them, make a straight cut along the pin line. Remove the excess fabric. Measure the length of the cut—you will need two zippers each this length. Use navy-blue 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. Apply the zipper to the left side of the cut leg, 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. Pull the excess fabric on the inside of the leg so that the outer seam is against the outside of your leg.

Draw a line down the whole inseam, about 1/2 inch from the inside of your leg. Take the jeans off, flatten them so that the seams are on the outer edges, and pin each leg closed along the drawn line. Put the jeans back on to check the fit. If they’re too tight or too loose, adjust the pins.

Hand sew the leg along the pin line. Use navy-blue 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 the jeans fit well, sew the other leg in the same manner.

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