Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Hem Jeans like a Professional

I am 5'2" necessitating LOTS of hemming and shortening of pants, skirts, and dresses. I just can't find anything the right length. If you've ever priced the cost of professional seamstresses (and add in the time it takes to get your clothing back), it costs a fortune to have everything you buy hemmed. I learned years ago how to hem pants and skirts, but jeans always gave me grief. A couple of years ago my older sister showed me a pair of her jeans that she had hemmed professionally, and it was easy to see how it was done. The difference is that jeans typically have a worn edge. The hem is decorative, so cutting that edge off to shorten them takes away part of the character you're paying for. So I developed a tutorial for hemming jeans the way professional would. Hope you find this helpful!

What you'll need:
sewing machine
dark thread to match the jeans
straight pins
measuring tape

The Process:
You'll need to measure the desired length of the jeans. The easiest way I've found to do this is to have the person stand on a chair and scoot back so the heel of their shoes is even with the edge of the chair. It might be helpful to note that you definitely need to have them wear the shoes they'd typically wear with the jeans. I prefer to hem the jeans to the ground. So, using a safety pin or water-soluble marking pen, mark the desired length (in my case, where the shoe ends and the chair begins).

Next, measure the amount you'll need to shorten them from the edge of the current hem to the mark you've made. In the jeans in this tutorial, they needed to be shortened 2 1/2 inches.

Lay the jeans flat on a hard surface, and measure up the desired length (2 1/2 inches here) from the stitching on the current hem. Since the current hem will remain in place, that half inch or so will also remain. So, if you measure from the edge of your jeans, they'll still be a half an inch too long after hemming. Make sense? Now place a straight pin to mark.

Next you'll fold the edge of your jeans up into a cuff matching the current stitching to just above the pin like this. Pin in place.
To check your accuracy, divide your total amount needed to shorten (2 1/2 inches for me) by 2 (equalling 1 1/4 inches in my case). Measure from the fold to just under the current stitching making sure this amount is half of the amount you need to take it in.

Next, keeping this length consistent, pin all the way around the cuff. Measure as you go to make sure you're still consistent. Repeat these steps on the second leg.
When both legs are securely pinned, move the pants to your sewing machine. Carefully stitch in the ditch just along the fold of the current hem. Make sure to get as close to this fold as possible being careful not to sew on top of it or across the current stitching.
Stitch all the way around backstitching where you stop and start. Repeat this step for the other leg.

Remove your jeans from the machine, and turn the cuff up to the inside of the leg like this.
With a steaming hot iron, press this new seam from the inside all the way around each leg.

Now turn the pants inside-out revealing the new cuff on the inside of the leg. Using super sharp scissors, cut the cuff about a quarter inch from your stitching.
Turn the jeans right-side-out, and iron again if necessary to reveal your finished hem.

Easy, and your seam is almost invisible!

As always, please feel free to comment with questions, and I'll do my best to answer.

As seen on


Anonymous said...

This is SO helpful! What a great tip! Thank you for posting this.

Bryan said...

first off, thanks for posting this tutorial. i was just wondering if you could recommend a price range for a good sewing machine for tailoring jeans. i don't mind paying a lot but i want to get away with paying the bare minimum for good quality. thanks in advance!

Alicia said...

I have a Brother sewing machine that I got as a gift 12 years ago. It was from Sam's Club way back when and came with a handful of accessories for a great deal. I haven't had a single issue with my machine, and I've never had to have it serviced. I recommend with any machine reading the manual front-to-back to become really familiar with the machine. This way you can do minor things like cleaning yourself.
I can't find my exact model, but this one:
gets great reviews. You can find it at Walmart for right around $150. I'd say that is about the cheapest you'd want to go.
Good luck!

booturtle said...

Simple but so smart! I've never once attempted hemming jeans and I'm far too cheap to pay to have it done. Regular jeans are too short but longs are too long. Now I know what I can do. Thanks for sharing! said...

this is brilliant! thank you, def bookmarking this!

Anonymous said...

I found a brand new pair of jeans for my husband at the thrift store but the legs are too long- thanks for showing how to do this !!

Quilts and Cats said...

That is fantastic. It sure beats sewing over all the layers of the side seams with a "seam jumper". This is one of those times when you say to yourself..."Why didn't I think of that!" your blog, too.

Brenda S. said...

Fabulous! I have hemmed many jeans and this is brilliant. I have a pair of jeans that are still in the closet because I just don't want to hem them. Now I do using your method. Thanks for sharing!!

The Purds said...

This is a great tutorial. I do alterations as a living and would like to suggest a couple more steps. Serge or overcast the cut piece inside your jeans. Also,to hold your new hem in place, topstitch the fold down very close to the edge with thread that matches the color of your jeans. This is what we do when putting in an "original" hem at work! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

What a great way to hem. My husband always needs his pants shortened and I hate doing it. This way seems alot easier and looks better than the way I do it. Thanks for sharing. You've made my day!!

Jan said...

Great tutorial, I just have one suggestion, you might want to use the zipper foot instead of the regular presser foot. That will enable you to get very close to the fold of the original hem without having to have part of the foot up on that heavy material.

Alicia said...

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and suggestions. I'm going to work on updating this tutorial with your additions soon. Thanks again!

daff said...

what a Brilliant woman you are ...
Thank you. thank you. xxx

Anonymous said...

You rock!

liniecat said...

Priceless! Thank you so much, would never have thought of doing it that way but it makes great sense.

Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this
Great tutorial
Thanks again,love your blog

Stacey,momof 2 said...

This is a GREAT idea.. but at our house we have legs that are too long... I wonder how this concept would transfer to adding length.

Anonymous said...

How do I love thee? let me count the ways!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you SO much for this. I am 5`1 and have the same problem. Now I know how to fix my jeans!!!!!!!

Rebecca said...

What a useful, practical, AMAZING tutorial. I'm 5ft tall and sometimes even the petites are a little too long (assuming they fit the other parts of me!).

I probably have five pairs of jeans in my closet I can practice this on... Thanks!

Anonymous said...

My daughter does hems the jeans that customers purchase at a high-end jeans store and this is pretty much how she does it. She topstitches in addition to ironing the hem.

Emily said...

Awesome! Your jeans turned out much better than mine did. :) Any suggestions for non skinny jeans?

SHEILA said...

I have been hemming my pants and jeans for years, and never thought of doing it this way. Great tutorial!

Deborah said...

Fab tutorial, thank you! I've got to turn up a pair of jeans for my dad so will try out this method :-)

Just one question - when you cut off the excess fabric inside, do you overlock this cut edge or leave it raw?

Thanks again!

Nonna and Pop said...

This is really very helpful! Thanks for sharing.
I also want to know what you did with the cut off edge.

Ayala Levinger said...

Can't believe it! just on time! I must shorten a new pair I recently bought and wondered what was the best way!!
Thank you!!

Maggi said...

Thank you. It's a great tip. Next time I will use this method :)

Anonymous said...

AMAZING! I've always wanted to do this, But I guessed at cutting before sewing which made the outcome not so awesome :(
I suppose this would really only work well with straight leg jeans (not flared or tapered leg) but I am so happy you posted this. Thank You!!!!

Anonymous said...

How do you hem a pair of flair Jean? the original hem is larger than the the new hem line.

Thank you

Lady T said...

Fabulous tutorial.

Sassy T said...

Am going to try this on my denim skirt, it is an old one so not too bothered if it doesn't look good. Moreiver am a beginner so may go wrong because am a novice.

Sassy T said...

I forgot to ask, what size straight stitch did you use?

Sassy T. said...

Am a novive and in addition to my above question, I was wondering whether you need to use a special foot.

Villainous Vixen Designs said...

this is so fantastic! i had just recently purchased some jeans that need hemming, and i'm so excited it's so easy! thanks!

Farnazstudios said...

Oh my god you save my life I wanted to know how they hem Jeans what a easy and smart way .

Susan said...

Just finished a pair of jeans using your technique...worked like a charm. Thanks so much!!!

Nikell said...

I've found this to be the best how-to for hemming jeans. I'm 5'2" and this will help with all my jeans in the future. Thanks for sharing (^_^)

Pasta said...

I had a pair of extra long boot-cut jeans which is a tad too long for my current favorite shoes. In the old days, I would cut off the hem, iron, pin and sew with a different thread (than original). Tried your method this time, but kept the extra fabric inside. This way I can let it out in case I'll be wearing heels again. Your tips work great! Thanks!

Carol A. said...

Just tried this-it was so easy and worked out great. I did use a zipper foot for stitching. My husband will no longer have to tape up his jeans because I hate to do them.We both thank you.

barbara donelson said...

I have been hemming jeans for 40 years and I cant recommend this because the hem will curl up after each wash and you will have to iron it back down each time....i will say that you can opt not to cut off the extra and use fusing web to fuse in place to keep the hem straight so wont flip or curl.

Anonymous said...

This has to be the best tutorial and method for hemming jeans ever found. FINALLY! I can buy jeans that fit without worrying about length! (I am almost 5' tall but all jeans are made for taller people) The only difference is that I used the zipper foot - it allows a much closer & easier stitch alongside the original hem THANK YOU!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Just bought jeans for my son and need to hem. I'm not a great hemmer, but do sew and I LOVE your tutorial.
One question: would you recommend air drying? Does this new hem need to be pressed after every wash?
Thank you so much. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank you for posting this & leaving it up. As another short woman, I am always hemming up my pants. I just used your information tonight!

Rosanne Wise said...

WOW! I had a pair of pants to hem up and as usual dreading it. After seeing this I tried it and I couldn't believe how easy and great the pants ended up looking. Thank you so much for this idea

Anonymous said...

I've tried this for a young boy's pair of jeans, but used a double row of basting stitches for the stitching seam (to make it easier to undo if needed) and just hand stitched a hem on the inside fold to keep the extra material there, to get more use out of the jeans. I also used spray starch to get a good press. Also, if the material is too thick at the intersections of the seams, you can just cover the material with a pressing cloth and use a small hammer to pound it to make the bump flatter.

Anonymous said...

I've been doing this for a few years now. Instead of using a clothes iron I just use my flat iron. Same results and no bulky iron to deal with

Marsha D said...

this is a great way to hem.....i also hate the thought of shortening a pr. of jeans.......this works wonderfully and if you do not want to cut off the excess i just turn the excess inside and press and then i stitch down the side seams and it seems to work out alright and you do not have to worry about the hem turning when you wash.....thank-you for the idea!!!!!

Rebecca Balent said...

What she didn't mention is how to deal with the bulk of the flat felled seam on the inside of the leg. I have found that pounding it with a rubber mallet makes it easier to sew, and once it's turned back to the outside, pound it again so it doesn't want to roll back up.

Unknown said...

Find Fresher jobs at jobs acid .It is Jobs portal if you are searching fresher jobs then jobs acid is the right place for fresher.
Fresher jobs in durgapur
Fresher jobs in agartala
Fresher jobs in amritsar
Fresher jobs in allahabad
Fresher jobs in ahmedabad
fresher jobs in greater noida
fresher jobs in ghaziabad
fresher jobs in noida
Fresher jobs in bangalore
fresher jobs in chennai
fresher jobs in delhi
fresher jobs in pune
fresher jobs in chandigarh
fresher jobs in gurgaon
fresher jobs in hyderabad
fresher jobs in indore
fresher jobs in mumbai
fresher jobs in faridabad
Fresher jobs in andhra pradesh
Fresher jobs in alwar
Fresher jobs in andaman nicobar

Unknown said...

Find latest opening of Fresher jobs at jobs acid .It is Jobs portal if you are searching fresher jobs then jobs acid is the best portal for fresher.
Fresher jobs in bangalore, kolkata
Fresher jobs in bhiwani
Fresher jobs in united states
Fresher jobs in bhubaneshwar
Fresher jobs in bhuvnesver
Fresher jobs in bokaro
fresher jobs in mehsana
fresher jobs in bongaigaon
fresher jobs in jaipur
fresher jobs in kolkata
fresher jobs in bilaspur
fresher jobs in shimla
fresher jobs in srinagar
fresher jobs in surat
fresher jobs in thane
fresher jobs in tirupati
fresher jobs in dhanbad
fresher jobs in dibrugarh
fresher jobs in karnal
fresher jobs in panchkula
fresher jobs in pantnagar
fresher jobs in salem
fresher jobs in shillong
fresher jobs in haldwani

Unknown said...

Event Service Provider
Wedding Planners in India
Catering Service Providers
Photography Service Provider
Videography Services
Event Service Provider in bangalore
Wedding Planners in bangalore
Catering Service Providers in bangalore
Photography Service Provider in bangalore
Videography Services in bangalore
Event Service Provider in mumbai
Wedding Planners in mumbai
Catering Service Providers in mumbai
Photography Service Provider in mumbai
Videography Services in mumbai
Event Service Provider in chennai
Wedding Planners in chennai
Catering Service Providers in chennai
Photography Service Provider in chennai
Wedding Videography Services in chennai
Videography Services in gurgaon
Event Service Provider in gurgaon
Wedding Planners in gurgaon
Catering Service Providers in gurgaon
Photography Service Provider in gurgaon
Event Service Provider in delhi
Wedding Planners in delhi
Catering Service Providers in delhi
Photography Service Provider in delhi
Videography Services in delhi
Event Service Provider in noida
Wedding Planners in noida
Catering Service Providers in noida
Photography Service Provider in noida
Videography Services in noida

Unknown said...

packers and movers in agra
packers and movers in ambala
packers and movers in asansol
packers and movers in bangalore
packers and movers in bhiwadi
packers and movers in bikaner
packers and movers in chhattisgarh
packers and movers in dhanbad
packers and movers in firozabad
packers and movers in gujarat
packers and movers in haldwani
packers and movers in hyderabad
packers and movers in jammu

Unknown said...

MCA institute in Ghaziabad
LAW college in ghaziabad
Top MCA institute in Ghaziabad
Top law college in ghaziabad
Top MCA College in Ghaziabad
Top LLB college in Ghaziabad
LLB Institutes in Ghaziabad
Best MCA Institutes in Ghaziabad
LLB college in Ghaziabad
Law institute in ghaziabad
MCA college in Ghaziabad
BTC college in Delhi NCR
BTC college in Delhi
BTC college in Noida
BTC college in ghaziabad
BTC college in NCR
MAM college in Delhi NCR
MAM college in Noida
MAM College in Ghaziabad
MAM College in NCR
B.ed college in Ghaziabad
BCA college in Ghaziabad
MBA college in Ghaziabad

Unknown said...

MCA institute in Ghaziabad
LAW college in ghaziabad
Top MCA institute in Ghaziabad
Top law college in ghaziabad
Top MCA College in Ghaziabad
Top LLB college in Ghaziabad
LLB Institutes in Ghaziabad
Best MCA Institutes in Ghaziabad
LLB college in Ghaziabad
Law institute in ghaziabad
MCA college in Ghaziabad
BTC college in Delhi NCR
BTC college in Delhi
BTC college in Noida
BTC college in ghaziabad
BTC college in NCR
MAM college in Delhi NCR
MAM college in Noida
MAM College in Ghaziabad
MAM College in NCR
B.ed college in Ghaziabad
BCA college in Ghaziabad
MBA college in Ghaziabad

Unknown said...

PGDM college in Ghaziabad
LLB college in Noida
MCA college in Noida
BCA college in Noida
B.ed college in Noida
LAW college in Noida
PGDM college in Noida
MBA college in Noida
MCA college in NCR
BCA college in NCR
LLB college in NCR
B.ed college in NCR
LAW college in NCR
MBA college in NCR
PGDM college in NCR
MCA college in delhi
BCA college in delhi
LLB college in delhi
PGDM college in delhi
B.ed college in delhi
MAM college in delhi
LAW college in delhi
MBA college in delhi

Unknown said...

BTC college in ghaziabad
BTC college in NCR
MAM college in Delhi NCR
MAM college in Noida
MAM College in Ghaziabad
MAM College in NCR
B.ed college in Ghaziabad
BCA college in Ghaziabad
MBA college in Ghaziabad
PGDM college in Ghaziabad

Unknown said...

WOW! That was amazing! I shy away from jeans because the fabric is too heavy for my machine and I dont want to break my needles. I will try this, Love it!! thank you :-)

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me how to do this using hem tape :)

Viral News said...

Find vehicle transportation company in dilshad gargen.
Car and Bike Transport in Dilshad Garden

Anonymous said...

Also if you don't have a serger, use pinking shears to cut the excess fabric off.

Anonymous said...

Top stitching will stop the hem from curling

Shalu Chaudhary said...

Agarwal Packers and Movers is one of the first-class movers businesses across in India. If you're shifting with households items from one area to another then pick the quality choice for Movers with Agarwal Packers and Movers. They have a very Expert team member who is always geared up to transport on.

Agarwal Packers and Movers Customer feedback
Agarwal Packers and Movers Customer Review

Unknown said...

Top Managements colleges - Achieveaim is an organization facilitating Educational items and administrations provide Top managements Colleges. Achieveaim faultlessly takes part in getting down to business the eventual fate of various understudies and sharp students over perceived information brings up out ideally for the huge number of our guests every month, empowering us to make a refined stage showing affirmed items for the understudies to help them find through the profession designs, grounded on their interests and abilities.

Top Managements colleges
Best Universities & Institutes in India
Find Top Bschools & Engineering Colleges

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much for posting these detailed instructions. I'm short and have always had difficulty getting the right length of jeans/pants. Wish I had known this years ago! This is a real blessing!!

packers service in noida said...

Welcome to home shifting service in delhi ncr we are also a home shifting company in delhi ncr, we are providing you all kinds of services which are related to home shifting,packing and moving, we have more then 15 year well experience in the field of same service if you need a cheap and best home shifting company in delhi ncr you can click here -

Ashoka Packers and Movers said...

If anyone looking for packers and movers services in Hyderabad then choose Ashoka Packers and Movers service. They are one of the best shifting service providers.

Packers And Movers Kphb Colony Hyderabad
Packers And Movers Mallapur
Packers And Movers Hyder Nagar

cara menggugurkan hamil said...

Ada beberapa alasan kenapa perempuan ingin melakukan cara gugurkan hamil seperti anak masih kecil , mementingkan karir , masih sekolah , hamil di usia yang terlalu tua dan sebagainya . Akibat pergaulan bebas para remaja dapat berujung kehamilan dan mengambil tindakan cara menggugurkan hamil muda . Jika sudah mengalami telat haid , mereka bingung dan berpikir untuk cara melancarkan haid kembali . Dan biasanya mereka tidak berpikir panjang dalam mengambil keputusan , cara menggugurkan janin menggunakan bahan alami seperti asam jawa , maupun buah nanas muda dan sebagainya mereka pilih untuk mengatasi masalahnya . Menjaga pola makan sehat sangat penting sekali karena tubuh sangat membutuhkan nutrisi yang baik . Perlu kamu ketahui ciri-ciri tanda tanda hamil . dan kira-kira apa saja perbedaan antara pada wanita biasa dan wanita yang sedang memiliki tanda-tanda hamil muda .

Jones Morris said...

This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works. wedding video

SDM Packers Movers said...

At the same time, local movers could cost with the aid of the hour, long-distance movers will charge through the pound. So, it is a good inspiration before hiring a moving manufacturer to clean out something you do not always need movers and packers to trouble with. Have a storage sale earlier than your dwelling movers exhibit up in order that you are now not paying a mover to hold something you can just throw away as soon as you're at your new home. “SDM Packers and Movers in East Delhi “is an incredible firm for all these services. For more information call us- 9910536479.

Packers and Movers in east Delhi
Best relocation service in Delhi
transportation-services in east delhi

SDM Packers Movers said...

There square measure several moving firms or agencies in India giving problem free shifting and relocation services. However checking out a right, economical, reliable and really skilled moving agency is additionally a matter of truth. It's additionally a giant endeavor and may be think about this the way to opt for a right one to form shifting hassle-free. So, before going with anyone of movers in India you need to do some analysis works to search out a right moving service supplier. During this article I’m revealing some tips and tips which can assist you to search out right moving agency for your home shifting. For more information call us- 9910536479.

Home shifting services in east Delhi
Best relocation service in Delhi
transportation-services in east delhi

SDM Packers Movers said...

In order to create positive that relocation method does not become a distressing and annoying task for you. You'll be able to rent full services of knowledgeable packers and movers. There square measure many moving corporations in Republic of India which offer made-to-order and full moving services among the country moreover as international shifting services. For more information call us- 9910536479.

packers and movers in shakarpur
Best relocation service in Delhi
transportation-services in east delhi

Mahi Negi said...

Noida Packers and movers are one of the best packers and movers in Noida which is tende to provide you best packers and movers services if you are looking for a Packers and movers in Noida so we welcome you and make your assure you that if you join us so your shifting will be best.

SDM Packers Movers said...

India's No. 1 packers movers company in Delhi kindly visit our website below

Local Packers and Movers in East Delhi

SDM Packers Movers said...

SDM Packers and Movers Pvt Ltd offer national and foreign Packers services at Akshardham to help you make good and honest movers and Packers Corporation. We provide assist you in choosing best Packers and Movers companies in Delhi affordable prices after realizing the precise requirements. Thin customers are fantastic on account of their cut prices, improved manageability, tighter safety and higher ease of use. For more information call us- 9910536479.

Packers and Movers Services AksharDham
Packers and Movers Services East Delhi

SDM Packers Movers said...

Have you set to maneuver to a replacement place? Area unit you trying to find the simplest packers and movers? You do not worry if you have got chosen the SDM packers Movers Services Vinod Nagar East Company for your move. It's currently become straightforward to search out the simplest packers World Health Organization will suit all of your specific necessities. For more information call us- 9910536479.

Packers and Movers Services Vinod Nagar East

SDM Packers Movers said...

Packers and Movers at Adarsh Nagar is one of the greatest transportation service supplier company at Adarsh Nagar. Sdm packers and movers in adarsh nagar are having actual players of specialist in packing, handling, transportation of your luxury goods with proper attention. We know all the latest sifting method so your goods can be shifted with complete protection without any damage. For more information call us at 9910536479.

Packers and Movers Services Adarsh Nagar
Packers and Movers Services Delhi
Packers and Movers Services Ajmeri Gate
Packers and Movers Services Anand Vihar
Packers and Movers Services Mayur Vihar