Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to Hem Your Jeans

Several months ago our favorite baby sitter, Hailey, called with a simple request.

"I just got two new pairs of jeans.  Can I pay you to hem them for me?"

Sounds simple enough, right?  Well it totally made me nervous, and I told Hailey that I didn't know how to hem jeans.  I mean what if I messed up.  Hailey had a great deal of faith in my skills though, and when I told her I didn't think I could do it she came back with, "You can sew all sorts of dresses and skirts, but you can't hem jeans???"  She had a point.  I told her I'd give it a try.

I got Hailey's jeans hemmed, and I've hemmed a couple pairs since.  I'm NOT a trained seamstress AT ALL, but this is my method that has served me well.  I hope it can help you too!

Here we go:


iron/ironing board
sewing gauge
and most importantly
thread to match the color of the stitches in your jeans**

**This is one of the most important supplies.  Here's a picture of the thread I chose.

Not a perfect match, but pretty close.

Step 1 - Put your jeans on and figure out the length you want them to be.

Now when I'm figuring out the length I only care about the length of my jeans in the back.  I only use one pin as you see above.  **Remember to wear the tallest shoes you have that you plan to wear with your jeans.**

Step 2 - Measure and Iron.  Using your sewing gauge, measure the excess length in your jeans.  See picture below.

Using this measurement, work your way around the jean leg and iron up your hem.

Make sure that you make a very strong press.  I'm sure that isn't the right term, but I hope you know what I mean.  Remember I'm not a trained seamstress.  If you want to double check to make sure that you have the right length for your jeans, now would be the time.  Just put your jeans back on with your shoes and make sure you are happy with the length.

Step 3 - Cut.  Unfold your jean leg that you just ironed up.  See picture below.

See the pressed hem?  Now comes the cutting.  Measure 1 1/4 inches AWAY from your creased/pressed hem.  Then cut. DO NOT CUT ON THE CREASED HEM.  (I may have done this on George's $4 jeans from Target, and I may have gone to Target that very night at like 10 p.m. to buy another pair of $4 jeans to correct my mistake.)

Step 4 - More ironing.  Next your going to fold your cut edge into the ironed crease.

And press it.

Then fold it over it up one more time, and press again.  Make sure you make a very permanent press in this hem.  It will make sewing much easier.

Step 5 - Sew.  After all the ironing is done, sew around the new hem.  I hemmed the Italian's jeans, and right before I started sewing them he started asking me if I had the right kind of needle on my sewing machine to sew jean material.  I'm sure there is a special needle you could use, but I just use my regular needle that is always on my machine.  BUT, I manually turn my sewing machine needle through the sides of the pants.

You're done!  It's that easy.  Pretty failsafe if you ask me!

Now put on your jeans because you are done!


Annee said...

I think, I'm almost ready to try this! But I might need to read through it a few more times :)

Sarah said...

Very good clear tutorial. I will be using it, as i am currently wearing jeans today that are way too long. Thank you! I love the Bopeep skirt too.

Sanchez Family said...

cute shoes! Since I never seem to need a hem to be taken up, only out-I focused on your cute shoes! What do those look like in a size 10? Probably not so cute!

emily said...

holy crap. that's really easy! thanks for sharing!!!!

Sarah Foreman McKellar said...

This is a great tutorial. Oh how I wish I ever in my life had something that was TOO LONG! :) Being a 6 foot tall female, that is impossible. But I will hem for other people. Thanks!

Kate said... I've tried this method and it works great! I'm always chicken to cut my pants off b/c I'm afraid I'm going too short. This method is great if the hem is distressed.

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