08 August 2011

how to hem jeans: a DIY for short people!


This weekend I figured out how to do something that will change my life forever! And I am not exaggerating! I successfully hemmed two pairs of jeans without having to lose the original hem, resulting in jeans that DON'T look like they have been altered! At 5’2” there are very few times that I put on a pair of jeans and they fit perfectly. They are almost always way too long. Over the years I have tried to fix pants by cutting length off and making a new hem, only to have it look so obvious. Sure, a tailor is an option, but adding that extra cost is less than desirable, and I always felt like this was something I should learn to do myself. I recently found a pair of jeans that I loved and couldn’t pass up, but were definitely going to need to be hemmed. Days later I happened upon a tutorial on how to keep the original hem, so I felt like it was as good a time as any to try this out. It worked beautifully and I am not sure there are words that express how exciting this is!! For all of you other short friends of mine, here is the lowdown:

Put on the pair of jeans and roll up the cuff to the desired length. Pin it in place. Take the jeans off and measure the length, but do not include the hem in the measurement. Divide that measurement in half and this is the number you will use to pin the final sewing length. For example, I rolled mine up about 4.5 inches (I told you I was short!) and the original hem was about ½ inch. So I was really only working off of 4 inches. I divided that number in half and was left with 2 inches. I moved the amount rolled up, down to 2 inches and pinned it there. Using a thread that matches your jean color, you then stitch right underneath the hem. Try them on before you cut off the excess fabric to double check that the length is correct. Once you cut the extra folded fabric off, iron the hem down. It will barely be visible that there is a seam above the hem, and who looks that closely anyway?!

Top shows the original amount that I rolled up (the 4.5 inches), and the bottom
shows the amount divided in half and pinned (2 inches)


Measuring and pinning around the whole hemline


Stitch right below the original hem


Finished stitching


Cut the excess fabric off


Finished! You can't even tell they have been altered!

13 comments:

Kim Trimm said...

omg, this is awesome! thanks for sharing. can't wait to try it!

kasey @ girl in the gray house said...

NOW THAT IS A GREAT IDEA!

Judy said...

I need to do this. At 5'8" I still find that some jeans are to be worn with high heels only. In order to not walk on them I need to take up the hem. I sew and am so glad to see this....gonna try this today!!!!!! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I tried it and it worked wonderfully! Thanks for sharing your tutorial! Much appreciated!

ETHEEA said...

I tried this by hand once and I must say it was a total fail. After seeing this post, I will have to try it again

Anonymous said...

I did this and it works fine except when you wash them the part that you cut off ravels and you have trim all that off each time

Marta Salas said...

I tried it work out great. I hem 3 jeans in a hour.

Anonymous said...

wow i was looking for this,thanks my sons jean need trimming i'll try ur trick...

Anonymous said...

Another way is once you have it pinned as per above, try on and make sure you are happy with the length. Use over locker to cut and sew and therefore no raw edges, then top stitch across the hem so it sits flat. :). I find it looks better and doesn't have that annoying habit of folding upwards

Anonymous said...

I tried this method of shortening my new jeans and really like it. It's relatively easy to do. I did zigzag the raw seam so it wouldn't ravel. You can't tell they've been shortened unless you are within 12 inches or so from it. Beats having to buy heavy jean thread, breaking needles, snapping thread or tangled thread.

Anonymous said...

I tried this method of shortening my new jeans and really like it. It's relatively easy to do. I did zigzag the raw seam so it wouldn't ravel. You can't tell they've been shortened unless you are within 12 inches or so from it. Beats having to buy heavy jean thread, breaking needles, snapping thread or tangled thread.

Bev Phillips said...

I like to shorten my jeans after washing in case they shrink.

The Cowgill's said...

This is how I hem my jeans. Works great. Only issue I have is that pants that have a thinner hem want to roll up after you do this. Ones that are thicker- like 1 1/2 to 2 in usually stay in place.

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