Hemming Jeans the Easy Way

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Introduction: Hemming Jeans the Easy Way

I can't even begin to tell you how many needles I've broken while trying to hem jeans. At one point I was going to don safety glasses to protect my eyes from flying needles! But no more! I thought there has to be a better way and today I will show you just what I do. I consider this my 12 Step Program to Hemming Jeans.

Step 1: Measuring

Start out by measuring from the inner crotch to how many inches long the legs need to be. My husband has short legs and needs his pants to be 27 inches. I need one inch to fold up so I mark 28 inches with a Sharpie.

Step 2: Ruler

Mark straight across with a ruler.

Step 3: Cutting

Cut and save the piece.

Step 4: The 2nd Leg

Use it to measure the second leg, mark and cut it.

Step 5: Serger or Sewing Machine

If the only reason I bought my serger was to hem jeans then it was money well spent! Serge all the way around, just barely trimming. Yes I know it's white thread, and I know I should change it to blue, but I hate changing it and besides who's going to see the inside of Hubby's pants? If you don't have a serger I'm sure you could do a zig-zag stitch using your sewing machine. We just want to stop the fray.

Step 6: Pinning

Remember that extra inch when you measured? Fold the jeans up one inch and pin.

Step 7: Pin All the Way Around

Pin all the way around.

Step 8: Lay Flat

Make sure everything lays flat.

Step 9: Stitching

Use your sewing machine, and with blue thread, stitch all the way around. I like to follow the serger line.

Step 10: Ironing

Iron everything flat.

Step 11: Optional (for Looks)

This step is purely optional but it will look more professional if you do it. Change your thread to gold and, using your sewing machine, sew around about a 1/2 inch from the edge.

Step 12: Backstitching

Because the hem is only doubled over you can even backstitch over the seams, something I could never do if I had them folded up twice without risking a broken/bent/flying needle.

Step 13: Finished

Finished.  After a few washes the hem looks even more authentic, and if you're impatient you can rub sandpaper or a nail file over the hem for that original look.  I'm sure there are a zillion different ways to hem jeans but this is what works for me. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial :)

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    46 Comments

    Great post! This is how I hem all of my pants made from patterns.

    This is terrible advice. I'm a seamstress, and you should NEVER cut the fabric off any pants you are hemming. For one thing, if the person you are hemming the pants for is still growing, they will be SOL and you'll have to buy an entire new pair of pants. Secondly, it ruins the jeans, and if you mess up the length, you'll be screwed. Instead, remove the original hem, measure the correct length you want to take up, make sure the measurement is accurate all the way around, and sew away. I've hemmed about a hundred pairs of pants. It's not the "easy" way, and it can be time consuming, but you'll be saving yourself a huge headache in the long run.

    I had to laugh at your response on this and am still laughing, but in friendliness. Not picking on you, but my husband has dwarfism in his legs. What do I do with the extra foot of material? LOL

    I hem my sons sweatpants pretty much the same way and use the extra material to make caps for him, they were popular in school for awhile. I don't think it would work for jeans though... You could use them for patches.

    Firstly, my hubby is 51 so the chances of him growing anymore are pretty slim to none.
    Secondly, don't screw up the length, if you measure properly you won't be screwed, as you put it.
    Hemming "about a 100 pairs of pants" doesn't make you an expert and there is more than just your way.

    My dear husband used to repair his work pants with fine steel "parts wire". Sometimes he would fix a long rip, then get machine oil and grease on it. I had to remove the wire before I could wash his pants; then sew it up afterwards.

    Oh my I saw a tip and tried it and it was so nice. You take a hammer or rubber mallet and hit the rolled over jean edges on the hem. It softens the seam and threads and works so much better.

    Will try it that way next time - will save needles, I'm sure.

    This is great - I'll try it with my 1896 Singer flying shuttle sewing machine !

    You will be HORRIFIED at this next disclosure ! I wear black jeans as workwear, and was in a hurry to shorten them one morning. No time to get the sewing machine ready. I turned them inside out, put super glue all around the bottom quarter inch, folded the hem up and held it until it dried ! It worked ! For fabrics, only do it on one surface, though, and for hems the glue has to go all around the hem to stop the feet from catching in the hem when putting them on !

    But my best jeans, I will hem in the way you describe - I promise !

    LOL! Actually my Dad used to use Speed Sew on his jeans! I came in one day and he was sitting on a telephone book with his jeans underneath and I said "What are you doing?" I guess once he spread the gluey stuff on he wanted to make sure it was good and stuck, lol.