• How to Hem Jeans and Keep the Original Hem

    by Polly on June 8, 2012

    How to hem your own jeans and keep original hem

    In one of my garage sale outings, I swung by a small sale that had a few toys I was interested in. I’m so glad I stopped because the mom selling the toys was also selling a few items of clothing. I spotted some Big Star jeans I liked and saw they were exactly my size… for a dollar! One dollar for Big Star jeans? Yes please! I knew they were a bit too long but I didn’t let that stop me.

    Being able to hem my own pants and jeans has proven to be a very useful tool to have. Especially when you garage sale shop as much as I do. I like to keep the original hem on my pants- especially jeans so I’ve learned a quick and dirty way to do this. Here’s my trick:

    How to hem jeans and keep the original hem

    Step One: Measure how much length you want off your jeans

    Put on the shoes you’d most likely wear with your jeans. Now fold them up to the length you prefer. As you can see, this pair of jeans was 3 inches too long. (Ya ya… I’m short, I know).

    How to hem your own jeans and keep original hem

    Step Two: Measure and pin HALF of the length you want cut off… NOT including the hemline.

    OK- pay attention to this. Whatever your measurement was above, take half that amount and measure it out on the jeans. DO NOT INCLUDE THE HEMLINE in your measurement. See the picture below to help you understand what I mean.

    How to hem your own jeans and keep original hem

    All pinned up and ready to sew!

    How to hem your own jeans and keep original hem

    Step Three: Sew along hem line of jeans

    With blue thread that somewhat resembles the color of the jeans, sew as closely to the hem as possible. Make sure to double back when you start and when you finish.

    How to hem your own jeans and keep original hem

    Step Four: Cut off excess material

    Now that you’ve sewn all the way around, cut off the material below your stitch line.

    How to hem your own jeans and keep original hem

    Use an iron to flatten out your new hemline!

    As you can see below, I’m not a professional (or a perfectionist). This happened because I wasn’t very careful about keeping the seams lined up when sewing. Dang!

    How to hem your own jeans and keep original hem

    Regardless of my little mistake, I think they turned out pretty good. I doubt anyone will be looking that closely at the seams of my pants.

    How to hem your own jeans and keep original hem

    Perfect fit! I’m pretty proud of my one dollar jeans.

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    { 13 comments… read them below or add one }

    Savannah Kvanvig June 11, 2012 at 1:42 am

    The jeans are fabulous! You are going to be soo stylish! It was really nice to meet you tonight. Thanks for being so welcoming. You made me feel right at home. Hope to see you around:-) -Savannah


    Polly June 11, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Haha- thanks! It was nice to meet you too, Savannah. Looking forward to seeing you around more!


    michelle August 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Great tutorial! Wish I had seen this before paying $20 to have a tailor do it! Will be trying this next time :-)


    Polly August 9, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Yep. I’ll never pay a tailor to hem pants again!


    Rachel September 22, 2012 at 12:43 am

    This is awesome. I’m 5’3″ and there are NO jeans out there that are the right length for me!!! I’m pinning this to my “genius” board. :)


    Polly September 22, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Ditto! Power to the short people!


    Darlene September 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I just did this and it really works! I am amazed and will surely be using this technique again. Short people live in our house. I only wish would have known this a long time ago. Thanks!


    Polly September 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I’m glad it worked! It can be a HUGE money saver for the shorties!


    Jenn April 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks for the how to. I did this for my son’s pants but I didn’t cut the excess off so as he grows I can take the hem out… If they last that long.


    Rachel April 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Resourceful idea!


    Kim December 5, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Hi there! Since it’s been a while since this has been posted, I was wondering if cutting your jeans made the fabric fray at the cut at all? I wasn’t planning to cut mine, but taking off 4 inches made it pretty bulky/stiff in there :P


    Polly December 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    You know, it has frayed a bit but all I have to do is trim off the strings.
    One flaw in this way of hemming I have found is that it makes the seam a bit weak. So if you are short like me and still occasionally step on the back of your pants when you walk, the seam starts to give a bit.

    I guess when you cut corners, you pay a little price in the long run, huh?


    Millie Utt February 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Cut the excess material off with pinking shears, this will stop the raveling…


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