Sunday, January 22, 2012

how to hem jeans


i am by no means an awesome seamstress.  i have a pretty basic little sewing machine and some skills at figuring out what i want to accomplish, some things learned from tutorials or my mom & grandma and other things learned by trial and error (and trust me, there have been a lot of errors!). 

 do to my height & shape (for those of you who don't know me personally, i'm 6'1" and quiet pear shaped) i've had to alter many pieces of clothing over the course of my life.  and in the past couple years, i have had friends ask for help with altering clothes to help them fit better, as well.  i'm always happy to help out and things usually turn out pretty good, as long as you don't inspect the inside of the garment too carefully.  ;)

so i would like to help some of you out today and show you have to hem a pair of jeans.  

now, i personally have never needed a pair of jeans hemmed (remember, i'm very tall).  in fact, i've ripped out many hems to try and gain that extra inch or so.  but, i have hemmed jeans for some of my shorter friends.  and this last time i took some pictures to show you how i do it.  


now when you hem jeans it can be done in 2 ways.  you can cut off a chunk of fabric, fold it up and hem it.  or you can fold it up first, sew a hidden seam, cut out the excess and press it down, maintaining the original hem.  i prefer the second because it is less noticeable that the jeans have been shortened.  so, let me walk you though it with pictures.

first, try on your jeans and decide how long you would like them to be.  keep in mind the shoes you will be wearing with the jeans.  example: are these casual jeans worn with flats & tennis shoes?  or are these dressy jeans that you will pair with pumps & high heel boots?  once you have figured out how long you would like them, mark it with chalk.

next, we are going to mark where you will actually fold the hem up to and pin it so it can be sewn.  for all you math brains, your formula is...

amount to be shortened + (original hem x2) = where to mark/fold hem to


on this pair of jeans i wanted to shorten them by 3 1/4 inches


the original hem was 1/2 inch, so doubled is 1 inch


so, 3 1/4 + 1 = 4 1/2 inches is where i mark.


and i fold up my hem to the marks i just made.  


with a denim needle in your sewing machine, run a straight stitch right next to the hem.


now cut off all the excess below your new seam.  


run a zig-zag stitch over the rest to help strengthen your seam and prevent the cut from fraying.
last, press down the original seam so that it shows on the right side of the fabric.  


done!  a pair of jeans that now hits at the perfect length.  

 p.s. yes, upon super close inspection a person would be able to tell that these jeans have been shortened. but if your that worried about it, then... well... i don't know what to tell ya.  :) 







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