How to Hem Jeans

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How to Hem Jeans pin

It occurs to me that many of you already know How to Hem Jeans. If that’s the case then this post is probably not for you. However, for those of you who own a pair of jeans that extend beyond anything normal then this might come in handy.

Currently, I own two pieces of stretch denim fabric that are waiting to be sewn into jeans. Somehow, I can’t find the time to make them. All I need is a couple of days ~ one for cutting out and one for sewing. That’s it. Two days. In the meantime, I needed some new jeans. And, Old Navy came through. Sort of.

Learn the best way to hem your jeans. This method works great for shortening any garment with a double rolled hem. In the third photo you will understand why it’s so fast and easy. Best of all, it doesn’t leave bulk or create an additional seam at the bottom of your jeans. | Popular Pins

Really? If I was 6′ tall these jeans would still be too long. Nevertheless, hemming a pair of jeans is faster than making a pair of jeans. Here’s what I did.

First, I washed (in warm water) and dried the jeans twice. This prevents any further shrinking with future washings.

To determine the correct length I did two things. First, I put on the jeans and pinned them at a best-guess estimated length. The second thing I did was measure the inseam of a favorite pair of jeans. It turns out that my best-guess was the same as my inseam.

Using chalk, I marked where the new hemline would be.

marking hem

Using my chalk and a dressmakers ruler I made a made a mark 1″ below the new hemline. This will become the cutting line.

marking hem

You know, there’s an old saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” This rule definitely applies here. At this point I pinned the jeans up at the new hemline and gave them a quick press. Then I tried them on to make sure that this was still a good length.

Next, I removed the excess fabric by cutting on the cutting line {the one that is 1″ below the hemline}.

cutting away excess jeans

To hem jeans you need to make a double folded hem. To achieve this I folded under at the hemline and pinned. Then, I turned the jeans inside out and pressed down the hem.

folding hem

The next step couldn’t be easier. All I did was fold the cutting line under until it touched the fold line. Then I pressed and pinned.

pressing under double hem

Now it’s time to sew – almost. These jeans are actually black so I decided to use regular all-purpose thread. Depending on the top stitching on the jeans, a heavy duty jeans-weight thread might be a good choice. Another important thing to have is a jeans needle in your machine. I used a Schmetz Jeans needle in a size 100/16. When you sew over the leg seams you will thank me for suggesting using a Jeans needle.

schmetz denim needles

For my presser foot I used the Edge Stitch Foot and set it 3mm from the edge. If you don’t have an Edge Stitch Foot an All-Purpose foot will work fine.

sewing hem
hemmed jeans

How easy is that. Hemming this pair of jeans only took about half an hour. They are perfect until I can get those other two pairs sewn up.

I’ll do that right after I get a pedicure.

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  1. I rarely find jeans the proper length and find that no 2 pair seem to be top stitched in the same color. I learned to top stitch using 2 threads to get the same effect as the heavier thread the manufacturers use. I just load 2 bobbins and set them on my top spool and feed the 2 threads together as one.

    1. Ooh that is a great idea. I’ve been hemming jeans since I could run a machine and my sadness is that no thread ever looks like the stuff they use for the original hem. I have never thought of using two threads. Now I need some jeans to try it with! Easier to align the planets than to find jeans that fit…..

  2. At 5′ 11″ and an average torso length, I rarely run into any use for this knowledge… hahaha – but occasionally when I buy my special amazon woman pants online, they end up being too long. I’ll have to try this the next time that happens.

  3. This is great! Hubby has a hard time finding pants the right length so he takes them to the mall to be hemmed. Now I can feel comfortable doing it and saving some cash! Found from nifty thrifty 🙂 Come hang out sometime at our Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  4. Nice tute for beginners. However, I see that you sew with a Bernina. It definitely sews over those heavy cross seams better than some of the cheaper machines. Another trick if you don’t have an edge stitch foot is to put a thick piece of cardboard behind your presser foot so that it is lifted to go across the cross seams. I love Helen’s tip too for doubling the thread!

  5. Great tutorial! I have the same problem–most pants are way too long for me! I’ll pin this and hopefully I’ll get to work on shortening some of my pants. By the way–your piggies aren’t ugly!

  6. Can you please suggest a sewing machine which works good on all fabrics and is convenient to use , available in India.

    1. I would check different manufacturers such as Bernina, Babylock, Brother, etc. to see if they have sellers in India.

  7. My husband is short, I’m shorter, but has legs are shorter than mine so I always have to hem up his jeans. Wrangler brand fits him best but he can’t get them short enough. Wrangler brand jeans are made of very heavy denim so it has always been a difficult job to hem them especially sewing over the flat-felt seam that has been turning under twice. I’ve even resorted to using a hammer to pound down that lump before sewing the hem. However the other day I had a “wahoo” moment when faced with heming another new pair of his jeans. I trimmed off the extra length leaving a 1″ turn under. I then serged the raw edge and then used my sewing machine to sew the regular him. It was so easy I couldn’t believe it and they look so much flatter and neater than with the older method.

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