Monday, September 21, 2009

Hemming Jeans - keeping the original hem when hemming jeans

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!

Step 1:
Cut jeans 1/2 inch longer than desired finished length. Then cut 1/2 inch above the original hem.

Step 2:
Unpick the original hem stitching and pull out loose threads.
Cut off hem - before and after stitching was unpicked.

Step 3:
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.

Step 4:
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.

Step 5:
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.

Step 6:
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).

Step 7:
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.
Finished hem, ready to wear.


- 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. ***


Julie said...

I was just trying to remember the steps you taught us at Enrichment, and it's funny that my google search brought me to your blog! Thanks for the great pics. I found a $7 pair of jeans that are way too long--here goes nothing! :)

p said...

Woops! Sorry Heather! I don't know how I posted my original message in the wrong place lol! Can you move it here?

It makes sense now what you did. It's just kind of hard to follow at first.

I just found a video on youtube showing this method but he skipped some major steps to shorten the video.
Have you seen?

Thank you!

Heather said...

I had never seen that video. I figured the steps out on my own by looking at a pair of jeans that were hemmed this way. It's the same steps I talk about though. Thanks for sharing. I hope you figured it put to hem you own jeans.