Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Hem Jeans So It Doesn’t Look Like You Hemmed Them

I’m short.  There’s no getting around it, and I came by it honestly.  I’m 5ft even, and that’s just a wee bit taller than either my mom or my grandma was. 

One of the repercussions of being vertically challenged is that virtually every pair of pants I ever put on is too long, even the petite length.  So, I hem them.  Usually that’s not a big deal, except for jeans.  If you hem jeans like a regular pair of pants, you lose the original hem and the fading that came with it, and it just doesn’t look right.  When I was a teenager, I used to just cut the bottoms off and let them fray.  During some phases, I tight-rolled them.  Neither one is a look I want now.

Some time ago I got looking online and found an ingenious and quite simple solution to this problem.  I don’t know who originally figured this out, or even where I first found it, so I can’t give credit to any one person.  However, I found another tutorial here in case you would find it helpful to have more than one voice explaining it.

First, determine how much length you want to take off.  You can do this by putting on the jeans and putting a pin or chalk mark at the desired length.  (I like my jeans to hit just above the floor at the back of my heel; that gives me enough leeway that they aren’t dragging the ground if I’m wearing flip flops, and they aren’t riding high when I wear shoes with more height to them.)  Next, take them off and measure from the mark to the bottom edge.

Divide that measurement in half.  I needed to take 1.5” off, so my number was 3/4”.  Cuff the jeans and pin all the way around, measuring as you go.  Do not count the existing hem in your measurement!


As you pin, be sure to line up the vertical seams. 


Next, you’re going to sew the fold.  The needle should run right alongside of the manufacturer’s hem, without sewing through it.



Once you have sewn all the way around, you will have created a fold of fabric on the inside of the leg.


Press this fold up into the leg.  You will most likely have to iron this every time you wash the jeans.  You could try tacking it up with a couple of hand-stitches and see if that helps.  I haven’t done that, so I can’t say whether that would eliminate the need for pressing or not.



Now your jeans are the right length, and unless you show them, nobody will be able to tell that you hemmed them yourself!



If you are a tall person who never has any trouble finding jeans that are the right length, you will not be able to appreciate how awesome this is.  If you are taller than the average woman, and can’t find jeans that are long enough, I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.  If you are shorter than average, I think I may have just rocked your world!  I know I’m still geeking out about it!


hawkeyejlp said...

Love this method and have used it on occasion myself!

Holly said...

Hi, thanks for the tutorial. I have done this with a couple of pairs of jeans but the bottom always rolls up when I wash them. I iron them flat but after a couple of hours they roll up again. Am I doing something wrong???

Cannary Family said...

That's ingenious! I've never thought to do it that way - cause I'm hard-headed like that...I just had to hem four pair of jeans for my kid who is between lengths. I used the same size stitch and color of thread as the manufacturer. You can't tell, especially after I wash them a few times, but this would have saved me some cutting and pinning...drat. next time!

Sheri said...

Cool! I'm actually only 5'2" and petites are always too short for me, but regular length are too long...what's with that?!?! Glad to know how to hem them easily now.

Marge of Emmas Nook and Granny said...

Great idea! I too need to shorten jeans. I haven't tried this method yet, but will next time. I'll bet a couple little dabs of fabric glue will keep the folded part in place.

Lisa said...


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Great tutorial, Holly! My jeans are great with boots and heels, but they drag and get so ripped up on the hems if I wear flats or flip flops. Thanks for the tip. :)

Mom to Many said...

Great idea!


Mom to Many said...

Lol! Maybe the ad will not still be there when you get this. (below) Butt.... Lol! It's about getting a bigger butt instantly with jeans that make your butt bigger? I can't imagine wanting a bigger butt. Lol!

Melinda said...

Great job! You can't even tell! :)

chinamommy said...

i'm 4' 11-3/4" you know how much this tutorial means to me!!

Alicen said...

See, I'm in the middle of needing regular length and tall, so even though I'm not on the shorter side, this is also very useful to me! Thanks so much for sharing!