I've found a way that works to keep the original hem when I hem my pants! I don't know exactly how they do it at Macy's or Nordstrom's when you buy a pair of long pants, but this works for me and I've done it to two pairs of nice jeans. They look great!! Yes, it does take a bit longer than some other methods but this one works for me!
Cut jeans 1/2 inch longer than desired finished length. Then cut 1/2 inch above the original hem.
Unpick the original hem stitching and pull out loose threads.
Turn the hem wrong side out and measure on new jean length. This is to see how much of the original hem needs to be taken in. Pin the amount of fabric that needs to be taken in (bottom right) Flatten out the hem (top right photo) and get ready to stitch.
Sew where pin was placed - taking in the hem (generally about 1/4 - 1/2 inch). Take out the old stitch and open up seam.
Pin hem to bottom of jeans - right sides together. Make sure the seams on the inside and outside of the legs match up with the hem seams. Sew hem to pants. **Notice where the stitch line is (top right photo). It will be just above the original seam line. You need a bit of space to open the seam up and stitch the final stitching.
Once the hem is sewn to the jeans, turn the seam around and fold the seam allowance into the hem. The un-sewn side will fold into the inside of the jeans. Pin in place (bottom right photo).
Make sure you have a denim/heavy weight needle in your machine. This is the point I get to where I discover a smaller needle will not handle the thickness of the fabric. Change your thread to a thick top stitching thread as well. When your needle and thread are set, go ahead and stitch your top stitch finishing off the hem. Stitch right above the old stitching.
- The thickness of the hem is a bit heavier on the bottom of your pants.
- The first 6 steps can be done with a medium needle and regular thread. Be sure to change thread and needle on step 7.
- You may need to cut off some of the seam allowance in step 6 if the hem of your pants were small. You want to least amount of bulk as possible.
- Be sure to catch both sides of the hem when top stitching. It's easy to miss the inside hem sometimes, you can either unpick it and do it over, or hand stitch the hem to the pants in the spots you missed.
*** You can also check out another one of my posts HERE with ANOTHER way to hem jeans keeping the original hem. ***