Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hem Jeans Like the Pros!

Get someone to mark the hem for you, or you can match the length of a pair of jeans that are already the right length for you. Once you've got your jeans turned up to the proper length, measure the portion that needs to  be hemmed, from the fold to the bottom of the existing hem.  This pair is six inches too long.

Make a fold and measure from the fold to the upper edge of the existing hem, exactly HALF the depth of the total amount of shortening needed.  For this pair, that means three inches.

Do the same thing at the other side seam. For flared and some bootcut jeans, you may also need to measure and mark/pin at the center front and back in addition to the side seams.

Begin at the side seam with the most rows of topstitiching.  Make sure you have the stitiching lined up (in this photo, I have lowered the presser foot on the existing hem only to hold it in place), and sew as close as possible to the upper edge of the existing hem without catching it in your stitch line.

Trim off the excess with pinking shears, by serging off, or cutting with regular scissors and applying seam binding.

In this photo you can just barely see the line of stitching that effectively moves the original hem up the leg of the jeans.

Turn the original hem down, and topstitich with either matching or invisible thread. Start on the side seam with the most rows of topstitching.

Many thanks to a client with rather short legs who unknowingly allowed me to use her jeans for this post. :)


  1. What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing. This is something that I have to face constantly as I am just too short for store sized jeans. I will have to try it this way next time.

  2. I am just beginning to think that I can sew, and will definitely refer back to this post (I'm pinning it on Pinterest) thank you so very much!

  3. I just hemmed a pair of jeans using your tutorial. They look better than any pair I've hemmed before! Thanks so much!