The Best Way to Hem Jeans

The Best Way to Hem Jeans

Have you ever gotten your jeans professionally hemmed? It looks all neat and tidy and they even manage to keep the original hem. If you have basic sewing skills and a sewing machine, then hemming your jeans is easy. Save yourself the alteration charge. Learn to shorten your jeans and keep the original hem. This is the best kind of project because it takes about 15 minutes. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Jeans that are too long
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Stitch Witchery double fusible tape (optional)
First, try on your jeans and figure out how much length you’d like to take off by folding up the cuff and measuring from the edge to the fold. With today’s pair I wanted them to be two inches shorter.
Take your measurement and divide it in half. This is how much you’re going to sew away. Remove your jeans (and continue crafting without pants if you’d like) and now fold up the edge of your jeans till the fabric below the hemline measures half of what you’d like to remove. In my case, I want to remove two inches, so I make sure there is one inch of fabric folded below the hem. Pin in place.
the best way to hem jeans

Start your seam in the inner leg and sew right below the edge of the original hem. Repeat with other leg.

the best way to hem jeans
You are now basically done and if you are truly lazy you could walk away from this project now. But why not make them look perfect? It will only take a few more minutes.
Turn your jeans inside out and iron the fold you just made. Iron the whole “flap” you just created upward. Take your Stitch Witchery and cut a couple of strips that are long enough to be tucked under the flaps. You may need to trim the tape if the flap is narrower than the tape’s width. Sorry, no photo, but it’s really not that hard. You’re just fusing the flap to the leg so it doesn’t flop around when you wear the jeans. Press your hot iron on the flap, using steam, for about 20 seconds and *PRESTO* your flap has been fused to the leg.* I love Stitch Witchery. It’s one of my favorite sewing notions.
the best way to hem jeans
Now, admire your professionally hemmed jeans and how you saved, like, $15.
The best way to hem jeans
*If you are shortening your jeans by a lot, such as more than four inches, I would consider cutting the flap till it’s about an inch wide and running a zig zag stitch around the raw edge (which used to be a fold). Then fuse this flap to the leg.

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