Hemming Jeans the Easy Way

581,187

254

59

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 :)

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Lighting Challenge

      Lighting Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge

    59 Discussions

    0
    bookfloozy
    bookfloozy

    9 months ago

    Thank you! This is exactly what I needed! And worked perfectly.

    1
    Alaskan Bev
    Alaskan Bev

    1 year ago

    Betsy, the writer is not hemming the britches for one of her growing kids, she says in Step One, "My husband has short legs..." I suppose he could change size or shape in girth, as many of us do as we age, and he could even lose an inch or two in height, as I have done, but the writer will probably do just fine with the excellent 'ible she has put together for us.

    1
    BetsyR14
    BetsyR14

    3 years ago

    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.

    0
    myinsrructables
    myinsrructables

    Reply 1 year ago

    Regarding your comment about never cutting the cuffs off. Im very glad you do not hem MY pants! You obviously don't alter your own pants. Nothing worse then putting a leg in, it catching on the under-turned fabric, and hearing that Rrrriiippppp of the new seam. I want my jeans finished properly, to be as if I bought them the correct length. Im in my 50's and I don't expect any growth spurs anytime soon.

    0
    PatriciaS179
    PatriciaS179

    Reply 1 year ago

    Why not? Is that some sewing law? I'm 5'2" with a 24" inseam. I WISH I might grow, but I'm 67 and I've pretty much given up on it. I've been cutting about 4 inches off pants for more than 50 years and lightning hasn't struck me yet. If I didn't cut those 4 inches off, the hem would be three quarter inches thick! Unless I don't understand what you are suggesting...but most pants are made with a 29 inch inseam, right? Minus the 24 inches I need with a one inch hem when I'm done, what am I supposed to do with the extra 4 inches?

    4
    adamhe
    adamhe

    Reply 1 year ago

    This was not a very nice reply. I loved the instructable. I have short legs and have had to get my pants hemmed forever. I'm now 52 and there's no chance of me growing into a longer length, so no need to save extra fabric. The shortest jeans in my size (I'm not thin) are 30" inseam and I need them (now) at about 27" (used to be about 28.5" when I was in my 20s). There's no need to keep the extra 3" of denim.

    2
    DeniseK54
    DeniseK54

    Reply 3 years ago

    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

    1
    kansasa
    kansasa

    Reply 3 years ago

    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.

    8
    kansasa
    kansasa

    Reply 3 years ago

    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.

    0
    SunflowerSeed
    SunflowerSeed

    1 year ago

    Nice pictures and write up but this will guaranteed break many needles...

    0
    grannyjones
    grannyjones

    4 years ago

    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.

    0
    JeffH18
    JeffH18

    Reply 1 year ago

    Wow! That's a hard core way to repair rips and tears. I guess it worked for short-term use though.

    0
    JeffH18
    JeffH18

    1 year ago on Step 13

    Very helpful! The photos are so clear they really help. I have a pair of unhemmed jeans I've been scared to try, and reluctant to hire it done. Now I can give it a try.

    Thanks so much!

    0
    Italiankiwiblog
    Italiankiwiblog

    1 year ago

    I have to hem my jeans on a regular basis thanks to living in a country that's not my own where all the women are super thin with long legs! The tip of not double-folding the edge and zigzag stitching it instead is a great one! that may save my broken needle problem too!

    1
    bldemakr
    bldemakr

    1 year ago on Step 13

    You need to just get a Dritz "Jean a ma jig" makes life in the hem world very easy !!!

    0
    Phil Dodd
    Phil Dodd

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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 !

    0
    adamhe
    adamhe

    Reply 1 year ago

    I used to regularly just fold my jeans under and then use a staples. After a few months of that, and making sure the length was correct, I would then usually bring them to a tailor to hem along the created seam. Sometimes it would be a year before I got around to the real hemming.

    0
    kansasa
    kansasa

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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.