Hemming Jeans Tutorial

Have you ever passed up a great fitting pair of jeans just because they were too long and you couldn't figure out how to shorten them without making them look dorky? Here is the procedure I use to hem my jeans:
  • First, put your jeans on and put on the shoes that you will most likely wear while wearing your jeans. With the help of another person, mark your jeans exactly where you want them fall (i.e. ankle, floor, etc.).

  • Second, cut along your marked lines on each leg. Trim excess length on hemmed piece to 1/4 - 1/2 inch above original hem. Save scraps to test the tension and stitch length on your sewing machine. *Finish raw edge on hemmed piece with a zig-zag stitch or serger (*not shown in photos).

  • Using a seam ripper, remove original stitching from the old hem. Be careful, you don't want to rip a hole in the denim!
  • Then, flip the piece with the old hem inside out. The inside will become the visible hem on the outside (hope that's not too confusing). Position onto the leg of your jeans by sandwiching the raw edge of the leg bottom between the hem fold, matching the side seams as closely as possible (I put the hem from the right leg onto the left leg and vice verse for easier matching). Pin hem into place.

  • Machine stitch along old hem line (it should be faint but still visible) using a wide stitch (3.5-4) and "Blue Jean" top-stitching thread. Make sure you have a heavy gauge needle for denim/upholstery --at least a size 16. Don't forget to test the stitching/tension on the scrap denim before you sew your new hems. Voila!
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  1. I found your blog from Connie Taylor's blog...we are old friends from Knox, Riley and soon Belvoir! I'm inspired by your jean trick, I'm going to have to try it, but it looks hard...is it?


    Heather Spencer lifeinoz@yahoo.com

  2. It really isn't hard at all. Just go slowly and try not to rush. Patience is the hardest thing, and it doesn't require much. Good luck!

  3. This is a great tip Sarah, now can you tell me how to make my pants longer? I was telling Brad how much I missed you all and now seeing all your projects makes me miss you so much more, we never go to play together. Hope all is well.