How To Tailor Jeans
How To Make Jeans Smaller
It's not very difficult to tailor your jeans, but you need to know some basics.
First, fold the pants so the inseam and the outseam are together. The fold that runs up and down the center front and center back of the leg is called the "grainline". Mark its position front and back along the leg, hem to crotch level. Next, fold the pants leg so that the hem is at the crotch level. Mark that crossfold.. that's the "knee line".
Two rules for all pants:
The grainline has to be straight up and down the center of your leg, otherwise it barberpoles around your leg while you walk. If you've had a cheap pair of pants do that, it's because the fabric was cut "offgrain". When you make changes to pants legs, *you must keep the grainline straight and centered*.
Above the knee fold, you can reshape either or both side seam and inseam as needed, provided the grainline stays straight down the middle. Below the knee line, you must make changes symmetrical to the grainline -- so if you want to take an inch off the inseam below the knee, you must also take an inch off the outseam.