Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tutorial: Hemming your own jeans

I love jean shopping.... but the worst part of buying jeans has got to be having to take them to the tailor to get hemmed... It takes forever to get them back (I'm more for instant gratification. WANT TO WEAR NOW.) and then it usually costs $20+ for the original hem.

I was complaining one day to my crafty friend about having to find time to get my jeans hemmed, and she was like, "Oh! Want me to do them for you? I can totally hem your jeans. AND, there's no cutting involved, so if you don't like it, you can just take it out. It looks nice!"

I was thinking, "yeah, right. It's going to look like when I was in middle school, and we used to staple our JNCO jeans at the bottom." (don't hate. it was cool back then)

But no, I was wrong. Close up, you can see the stitching, but it's practically the same thing as the tailor's "original hem," and really, no one will be the wiser.

Here's why this hemming method is awesome:
  1. It's super easy to do, anyone with a sewing machine can do it.
  2. There's no cutting or permanent altering of your jeans, so if you end up not liking the length, you can take it out and re-do it.
  3. Only takes about an hour to pin, iron, and hem. So fast!

So here we go:

1) Wash and dry your new (or, in my case, old) jeans. I used the same pair that my friend had hemmed for my "tall shoes" that I never wore, so now I'm re-hemming them so I can wear them with my normal shoes. I just ironed out the crease the old hem left.

This is the original hem - when I bought the jeans

2) Put on your jeans, and the shoes that you intend to wear with them. It's easier if someone helps you, but you can totally do it yourself too. Just bend down without bending your knees, and fold in the jeans to the approximate length you like. Pin in place.

After folding them roughly in and pinning

3) Take off your jeans, and flip them inside out. Trust me, I tried hemming them without flipping them inside out and it took me FOREVER and I was getting it all crooked. Flip them inside out so you can make sure that the hem is even all around. I used this little measuring tool, I have no idea what it's for or what it's called, but it came in a sewing kit I bought. It's nice for making sure the hem is nice and even.

Measure to make sure the hem is even all around

4) Iron your hem down.

5) Flip your jeans to the right side out. Now this is the tricky part. Pull out the hem, right side out, half-way, so that the bottom of the hem peeks out under your ironed crease. Does that make sense at all? No? I'll try to illustrate it. I'm not an illustrator by any means, and I don't want to spend an hour on these, so sorry for these crude rectangles that are supposed to represent pant legs. I don't know why the numbers don't correspond to the instruction numbers, but I don't feel like going back and changing it.

Uh... does this make sense?

Like this! Now pin it down.

6) With a blue thread that matches your jeans and your sewing machine, try to sew as close to the edge of the crease as possible, stitching the original hem to the crease.

Sew sew sew

The thread should be barely noticeable, unless you look up close. If there are gaps where the sewing machine slips off the crease (I do it all the time), just go back and touch those parts up.

Finished hem!

Ta da! Easy, wasn't it? And it looks just as good as the tailor's "original hem," right? AM I RIGHT?



  1. thanks for the tutorial!! i actually do this all the time with my jeans and i feel so sneaky cause it's such an easy alteration yet looks pretty good! :)

  2. I do this too! So simple and saves $$ from professional hemming!

  3. JNCO jeans! hahahahah! I used to wear those!

  4. I do this too! So simple and saves $$ from professional hemming!

  5. What an awesome glad I found this! I'm a follower now (discovered you on Everybody, Everywhere...or whatever it's called :)

  6. I loved your idea !



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