Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How to Hem Jeans in 3 Easy Steps

**warning: this post is mostly for short people**

I never think of myself as short (I'm almost 5'3'') until I stand next to someone other than my kids (which doesn't happen all that often). Or until I go shopping for jeans. This year for Christmas, I invested in a good pair of jeans. I love them. But, like most pants, they were about 2 inches too long. Since I am not a heels and jeans kind of girl, they had to be hemmed.

This is how I did it:

Step 1: Determining the amount the jeans need to be shortened.

Try on the jeans with the shoes you will usually wear them with and cuff at desired length. (Make sure the cuff ends exactly where you want the finished hem to be.) Pin the cuff and remove the jeans. Measure the length of the cuff, including the original hem. Now, divide that measurement in half and re-pin the cuff using the new measurement as the length of the new cuff, this time ignoring the original hem. (see photo above)


Step 2: Sewing the new hem

Once the new cuff is pinned, it is time to sew. I like to use the zipper foot on my machine for this step. Sew the new cuff in place as close to the original hem as you can.


Step 3: Finishing

Now that you have sewn the cuff in place, you have a little fold of extra jean on the inside of the pants. This can be trimmed off, or tacked in place. I prefer to tack it in place so I don't have to worry about unfinished ends raveling. (But before you do any of that, try on the jeans, again with your shoes, to make sure they are the right length.) To tack the fold in place, turn the jeans inside out. Press the fold in the direction of the waist of the jeans. Sew a few stitches at the side seams to hold the fold in place and out of the way of the hem.

To see your handiwork, turn the jeans right side out and ta-da! You have a "new" hem. Because we sewed the cuff in place close to the original hem, there is a seam there, but it is not very noticeable.


My finished product:

46 comments:

  1. This is a great tutorial, thanks Steph! Because of my long torso, I generally prefer tall jeans, so I have to hem them too... You made it "seam" very easy, so next time I will try it myself!

    Happy New Year!

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  2. Not confusing and I'm excited about this...we have a lot of too long jeans at our house.

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  3. fabulous! i love that you're able to keep the original hem of the pants, but still shorten them.

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  4. Looks easy. I think we must be about the same height.

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  5. I'm the same height too. Sometimes I try to get away with buying "Petite" (which cracks me up because petite to me means its for a tiny little person and I am NOT tiny...just short) but the petite size is about 1/2 inch too short!

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  6. I have the hardest time finding TALL jeans. Ugh. I hate it.

    Cute tutorial though! :)

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  7. ummm... you are amazing!What a fancy sewin'lady!

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  8. I have just the opposite...I don't genearlly think I'm a tall person until I buy jeans, and then wear them with heels, and then see pictures of me with not as tall people. Soooo, if you ever have a "How to stretch jeans in 3 easy steps" post, please let me know. :)

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  9. Awesome! I hemmed jeans the hard way yesterday. Cut, fold under, press, sew with jean thread...you get the idea. But I was doing it for my very picky brother. This was is perfect for my jeans! I will try it next time. And I am a huge fan of pinking shears because I can cut off the excess and not worry about fraying.

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  10. robby is going to love you for this post. :)

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  11. you did an awesome job, steph. i had to look really hard to see the new hem/seam. woohoo for new jeans!

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  12. I'm short! Can I send my jeans to you??

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  13. You are awesome and I am bookmarking this post.

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  14. Cool! I have been wanting to know how to do keep the original hem for awhile now. Tired of paying others to do it. Thanks!

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  15. my husband always says i should just tell people i am 5'3, because he thinks it's ridiculous to say 5 ft. 2 and a half. i love the tutorial. i just figure someday when i am thin and have the cash i'll pay for good jeans and have the lady at nordstroms do it.

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  16. Have to try this! I have such a hard time finding "short" jeans- and even they are usually too long.

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  17. Genius.

    Love,
    A Short Person

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  18. guy steph you always get so many comments!

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  19. Thank you so much for posting this! I have the same problem and was wanting some step by steps on how to do it.

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  20. Great instructions...now I just need a sewing machine. :-)

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  21. Unfortunately I will never have the need to hem pants. I only wish. It is an endless search for the longer jeans. You are so lucky.

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  22. You are a good teacher...I'll have to try that sometime. Your lemons look yummy-fun!

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  23. I LOVE learning new things! thanks!

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  24. I LOVE learning new things! thanks!

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  25. I just stumbled upon your blog and I THANK you for this fabulous idea. I am 5 '2 ==so I always need my jeans hemmed! This is brilliant idea! Your blog is very cute! you are a super mom!!

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  26. I have sewn all my life; why didn't I think of that? Thanks for sharing!

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  27. I have had a pair of jeans for 9 months and I have never worn them because of the length (I found them for an awesome price and the fit in the waist was perfect). I just finished hemming them and am so excited that I finally get to wear them. Thanks!!

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  28. Thanks for posting this great gem of knowledge! I've been meaning for weeks to take my husband's jeans to the tailors to have them hemmed when I heard that Ginger knew how to do it. She directed me to you and you've made it look so easy. I can't wait to try it!

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  29. This is exactly what I was looking for and I wasn't even looking! I came here for your onesie dress tute, thanks for the great ideas!

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  30. May I ask what brand jeans are pictured?

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  31. I know this post is almost a year old, but after just reading about this it makes jean shopping so much easier! Thank you for putting this up! I will definitely be following you!!

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  32. I know this post is almost a year old, but after just reading about this it makes jean shopping so much easier! Thank you for putting this up! I will definitely be following you!!

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  33. I found your blog through Nie Nie. This tutorial is awesome. I have three pairs of jeans that I have been needing to hem. This is much easier than the way I have always done it.

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  34. I found your blog through Nie Nie. This tutorial is awesome. I have three pairs of jeans that I have been needing to hem. This is much easier than the way I have always done it.

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  35. worked like a charm. thanks!

    on-hand modern

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  36. Thank you so much for the How To! I usually have my mom hem my pants and I hate that we always have to cut off the bottom hem! My legs are just a little to short 31in and I have a long torso. I think I am going to buy a sewing machine and give my poor mom a break!

    Thank you,
    Robin

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  37. Aah--I just did a blog post on this same topic and then my mom was like barefootinthekitchen (she actually said your first and last name) did a post on that two years ago! I promise I wasn't copying and am glad we are on the same hemming page. Just bummed that you figured out how to summarize it in three steps as opposed to my ten.

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  38. I'm 5'11" and one of those annoying people who has never had to hem jeans in my life but I wanted to say hi from TCB and congrats on your feature. I really am enjoying having found your blog!

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  39. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I blogged about it on my new little craft blog.
    http://tocraftortocook.blogspot.com/2010/02/hemming-jeans.html

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  40. Just found your blog today (through Clover Lane) and I love it! This is a great tutorial. I've got 2 pairs of jeans I need to do this with. I had even bought some cute black heeled boots to hide the fact that they were too long, but alas, they're not me. It's too hard to walk with 3 kids in icy parking lots here in MN.

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  41. thank you so much for this tutorial! i'm a novice sewer and could never wrap my head around this concept...you may have just changed my life!

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  42. I just found your tutorial today through Create For Less, and I LOVE IT! I'm only 5'3" so every pair of jeans I get has to be hemmed, but I always hate how I can never match the thread exactly so the hem always looks a little "off." Well, I'll never hem my jeans "the other way" again! THANK YOU!

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  43. Hi, my name is Armana.
    Thank you for your advice. I'm also short like you and mother now on I will help my children to wear their favorite jeans without worry.Thank you so much your tutorial again.

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  44. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  45. Your post has now inspired a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT1U9h-r-OI

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  46. I did this kind of alterations for The Buckle. If you have trouble getting your machine to sew over the multiple layers of french seams on the sides, just pound all the layers flatter in that part of the seam with a hammer before starting to sew.

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