I have bought a LOT of jeans for myself (and my kids) from thrift stores over the years, which has probably saved me thousands of dollars! But one of the things I’ve always struggled with is getting them the right length. Because let’s face it, if you have to do a DIY hemming job on jeans, it’s going to be obvious to everyone who sees them. Even if you can find some of that signature tan/gold thread…(believe me I’ve tried!) But after you learn this hemming trick that Kaitlyn is sharing with us about today you’ll never have that problem again! Trust me, it’s a game changer! :-)
I have seen tutorials for this hemming method floating around Pinterest for a couple of years now. I’ve pinned it multiple times but have never gotten around to actually fixing my pile of too-long jeans. I am a novice seamstress and knew that I would somehow manage to mess up even one of the easiest of sewing tasks. When I finally put this post on our blog calendar I knew I would have to conquer my fear of the sewing machine and I’m so glad I did. This method is very simple, even for the most timid of seamstresses. Now I can finally stop rolling up all of my jeans!
Start by trying on the jeans to figure out where you want to hem them. I recommend putting on the shoes you will wear with the jeans most often so you can see what length looks best with them.
A general rule for skinny jeans is to hem them at the top of your ankle. You want a little bit of skin to show between the bottom of the hem and the top of your shoe. Straight leg jeans look best at the bottom of the ankle and bootcut and flare jeans should be about 1/4-1/2 inch off the ground.
Fold the hem up then take the jeans off and pin the hem in place.
UPDATE: After reading some of your comments I realized I left a very important note out of this tutorial! When you fold up the hem of your jeans the new length will be in position “1” not in position “2.” Remember that when determining where to sew or your jeans might end up much shorter than you meant them to be.
When you’re pinning, make sure to line up the side seams of your jeans.
Now it’s time to sew! You can use whatever thread you would like because the new seam won’t show.
Remove the front piece of your sewing machine so that the hem of the jeans will fit around your machine. That might seem totally obvious to a lot of you but I didn’t know that little trick until today. I told you I’m a novice. ;-)
Carefully sew the new seam right below the original hem.
For some reason when I originally read other tutorials for this method I thought you were supposed to sew right on top of the original seam. So I did that on my first try and it did not look right (as you can see!) Then I had the joyful experience of ripping out that seam.
Make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did! See the white arrow above? THAT is where you sew.
Once you finish sewing the new seam you can fold the excess fabric up into your pant leg or you can cut it off. It’s really just personal preference. I do recommend trying the jeans on before you cut off any fabric just to make sure you like the new length.
If you do cut the excess off you’ll want to use some fray check on the edge or a zigzag stitch. One word of caution – it is a pain to do a zig-zag stitch on skinny jeans! The ones I hemmed were very skinny and just barely fit around my machine. So it was very difficult to feed them through my machine and keep my stitch in a straight line.
You can tell from my mangled zig-zag stitch that I was only barely successful. ;-) No worries though….that part won’t ever show!
Finally, turn the edge back under so you can see the original hem. Then iron the hem down. This step makes a huge difference! Before I ironed mine I didn’t feel like it had turned out that well. But once the little bit of extra fabric was ironed down you could barely tell I had done anything.
And there you have it! If you look really close you can tell that there is a bit of a fold right above the hem but nobody would be able to see it from far away.
Hemmed without looking hemmed! Success!