This instructable is to show you how to shorten your jeans without changing the look of the jeans. I have short legs and it is very difficult to find jeans short enough to fit and this is how I modify them.

This instructable assumes that you understand basic sewing concepts.

Sewing tools required:
-scissors (good sewing scissors that can cut denim),
-a straight edge ruler
-marking tool (tailors chalk, or sewing marker - a regular pencil/pen can work too)
-seam ripper
-sewing machine with heavy duty needle (size 16, 18 or a denim needle)

Step 1: Determine desired length

The first thing to do is determine how long you want your pants to be. Put the jeans on and wear the shoes you will likely wear with the pants so you don't make them too long or short.

I have turned the extra fabric to the inside. I placed a pin at the outside and inside seams of each leg to mark the length I want. Be sure you do this to both pant legs.

Take the jeans off. At this point you need to determine the line you will cut to shorten the jeans. Lay the pants out flat. Compare the insides of each leg. If your pins aren't exactly aligned, place a new pin half way between the original pin on both pant legs to find the average desired length.

Compare the outside leg seams in the same way, adjusting the pins to find the average.
<p>Extremely clever!!! Saving you for future reference!!!</p>
There are much easier ways to do this. Fold the pants up half the length you want to shorten minus the hem, Sew just above the hem in blue thread and then cut off the remainder. Simple and looks like professional.
Really Nice instructions but Why would one want to go to all this trouble just to have a hem look like it wasn't hemmed? So people look that carefully at a pant leg?
Thank You! I'm too short for average, too tall for petite... this is perfect! Now, if I can just find enough time around kids, school, art, :) Heck, I'm worth it.
Nice job!
&nbsp;yes great technique,<br /> i don't think its necessary to rip the old hem at the finishing too,<br /> if you rip them you have to find the same yarn used for the outer sewing in the jean,and sometimes this is not easy.<br /> i think maybe its better if you rip the secret sewing in the side of the leg of the jean a few inches kai you do the same in the cutted finishing and then sew them together.Then you just sew the hidden side again with any colour of yarn you have,cause is hidden and won't make a difference.<br /> This way(if you rip the side),it will fit perfectly,because elseway if you fold the cutted finishing over the jean,it won't fit 100% right<br /> This happens cause it's usually exactly the same width,and when you fold two round clothes with the exaclty same width,the inner part wrinkles/folds a little.
presser foot question: in the 5th step, image #3 (I think) You show a close-up view of the final sewing phase. Your presser foot looks unique. Is this a stepped foot or something like that? BTW: folding up the seam allowance into the existing hem is brilliant! Thanx!
I keep the Blind Hem foot on my machine for all my sewing. It is just personal preference - the shape of the foot seems to work best for most of the fabric I sew. And, thanks! :)
I have read about this in other sewing books, but it never made sense before - The pictures really help me to understand and your step by step is great! thanks for a great Instructable.
Very nice instructable.
In step 3, you advise ripping out the old hem. And then in the last step, you sew it up again. I can't figure out why. Why not leave the old hem intact? (That's how I do it)
I tuck the raw edges inside the hem and re-sew it for a clean seam finish. I just added one more picture to the last step to show the inside of the pant leg so you can see how looks with this technique. This way you don't have extra bulk at the bottom edge with an extra seam finish.
Ah. That makes sense. Thanks.
Hey, now this is my kind of stuff! Great instructable. I'm not necessarily a short-legged person, but I've been doing basically the same thing for years to modify second-hand pants. Good work! What kind of machine is that you have?
Thank you! I have a commercial grade Singer machine (CG-550 specifically).
wow! this is such a great idea. never would've thought of doing that to make them not looked "shortened". great job!
Thank you!
Wonderful! Thank you ever so much.
I'm glad you like it!
reusing the original hem is brilliant! It does not look "hemmed".
It is so great to be able to shorten my pants so they fit right and don't look like they were altered. I'm glad you like my Instructable!
Great instructable! You don't know how many sewing machine needles I have broken (or shades of orange thread I've purchased) in trying to shorten a pair of jeans. This makes so much sense! (Last week a coworker told me their tailor was going to charge $24 for this technique) Thanks for sharing!
Thanks! I was excited when I figured out how to shorten my pants this way. Good luck if you try this for yourself!
Hmmm, this is an open seam hem transplant. Dr. Jeanvik would be proud. The missus always had a tough time finding the right jeans since most stores did away with the petite section.
My pants are always too long too. I hope this helps!

About This Instructable


171 favorites


Bio: I'm a visual artist and fashion designer. I make pretty things. I post pictures of what I make on my website: http://theantibromide.com
More by antibromide: The Makeup Box Zebra Cookie Cake Christmas Cookie Forest
Add instructable to: