Sunday, September 9, 2012

How to Hem Your Jeans and Keep the Original Hem

I am a short 5'3".  This often causes problems in the jeans department.  Last year (yes, a YEAR ago), I bought a pair of nice Hydraulic brand jeans for just $15!!!  For that price, I happily rolled the too-long bottoms each and every time I wore them, which was a lot.  Today, I stumbled upon a tutorial to help me hem my own jeans, and keep the ORIGINAL hem intact.  Here I will give you step by step instructions with pictures to see how you can hem your own jeans in under 30 minutes!

First,  decide how much you want to cut off.  Although I typically roll the bottom 3 inches up, I wanted my jeans on the longer side since I often wear them with healed boots, so I went with 2 1/2" as my "cut-off" length.  Divide your cut-off length in half.  Since mine was 2 1/2", that meant my new measurement would be 1 1/4".  Measure from the EDGE of your hem (don't include the hem length in your measurements as we are keeping the hem!)  Mark with a sharpie.  Do this all around the hem.  Do you see my sharpie mark below?

Now, fold on the marked lines.  If you have pins, you may want to pin it to keep it straight.  I couldn't find mine, so I just free-handed it.  See the sharpie marks in between my fingers below?  You want to fold along those marks.

Now, using a matching thread, sew very close to the original hem.  They do make extra strong thread for jeans, but I didn't have any, so I just used a tan colored thread.  

Here is what the jeans look like once you finish that first stitch around your jean hem.

Now, to avoid your hem flipping out on you, you will need to add another straight stitch around just above your hem.  If you don't want to see this extra stitch, you can either use a thread that blends in, or just iron your jeans flat regularly.  I hate ironing.  That would never happen in my house!  And so, the completed second stitch...

Alright, now your hem is done.  You have extra fabric on the inside.  At this point, I double checked that all the stitches were perfect and even, and that they length was good with my shoes.  Once you make a cut, you can never go back!  Note: if you are hemming a child's pair of jeans, you may want to leave the extra fabric on the inside to let out as they grow.  Adults rarely grow, and so I felt good cutting off the inside extra fabric.  Cut off the extra, being VERY careful not to cut your newly sewn hem...

Here is what the inside looks like once you have cut off the extra fabric:

Fold your jean bottoms right-side out.  Here is what they should look like:

And the finished product on me:

And another shot:

Not too bad, huh?  I have never known how to do this before!  It was so easy, and took me less than 30 minutes to complete.  What do you think?  Does it seem doable?  Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!


  1. Wow, nicely done! *high-five* You are a brave and talented lady. That's a great tutorial. I've seen it floating around for awhile. I don't have any jeans that I need to hem. My problem is finding them long enough! Is there a tutorial to ADD an extra inch or two? haha.. Maybe those bell bottoms with the crazy added fabric on the bottoms should be brought back to this decade?

  2. Thanks, Jami! I guess I shouldn't sulk in my shortness and the problems it causes with jeans because at least I can hem them now! And as far as bell bottoms go, no, please don't. Just wear high waters and say it's on purpose. Yeah. That's much better than bell bottoms!

  3. I just bought a pair of jeans that was hemmed at exactly the right spot for my short lil legs. It is really so nice to not have jeans that drag around in the mud so I'm going to have to come back here and check this tutorial out one of these rainy days this year. Thanks Jess. Once again you are a Rock Star!

  4. Thanks, Noel! I certainly feel like a rock star now that I can wear heels with my jeans and not trip flat on my face (multiple times, ahem) from getting a heel stuck in the "rolled-up" part.



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