How to Fix the Waist of High-Waisted Shorts to Be Smaller

Written by heather berkowe
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How to Fix the Waist of High-Waisted Shorts to Be Smaller
A pair of high-waisted shorts can be taken in to fit a slimmer tummy. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Shopping for a pair of high-waisted shorts can be frustrating. Rather than buying shorts that are too small on your butt, you buy the ones that fit that area, but are big at the waist. What you need is a pair of custom high-waisted shorts. With these steps and a little sewing, you can finally have the shorts that fit all of you.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • White chalk

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    Prepare the Shorts

  1. 1

    Put on the shorts inside out, and buckle them up.

  2. 2

    Pinch the excess fabric from the left side at the top edge on the side seam. Leave the same amount of fabric on the right side.

  3. 3

    Pin the excess fabric from the top edge down to the side seam, keeping the side seam on the fold of the excess. The excess should dead-end into the side seam, creating a dart. If it doesn't, continue to pin lower until there is no more excess to pinch at the side seam.

  4. 4

    Repeat the pinning process on the right side of the shorts, so that both sides of pinning are even. Carefully remove the shorts.

    Mark and Sew the Shorts

  1. 1

    Lay the shorts on a flat surface, keeping the shorts inside out.

  2. 2

    Mark the shorts with the chalk at the pin line. Your line should be straight and clean. Remove the pins.

  3. 3

    Insert the double-threaded needle into the fabric at the top of the left side where the marked line begins. Loop the needle over the top of the pant waistline edge and insert the needle where you've just inserted it, creating a looped stitch. Repeat the looped stitch at least three times.

  4. 4

    Use a small running stitch to sew on the marked line to the side seam. The end of the line should dead-end into the side seam. Make three more looped stitches over the side seam. Knot and cut the thread.

  5. 5

    Repeat the marking and sewing on the right side. Brush the chalk marks away with a towel or your hand. Turn the shorts right side out.

  6. 6

    Put the shorts back on, checking for fit. If they do not fit, take out the stitches and start again from Step 1.

Tips and warnings

  • Double threaded: Thread the needle and pull the thread all the way through, creating two threads at the bottom. Cut and knot the end, creating a two-ply thread.
  • A running stitch is a stitch where the needle is inserted through the top of the fabric, then through the back about 1/4 inch away, parallel to the fabric edge.
  • A sewing machine can be used for any of the sewing. Back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitch.

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