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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sewing 101: Hemming Jeans

Who needs help with basic clothing mending?  I’m always amazed at how many people ask me how to fix something easy.  Or at least something I think is easy.  If you don’t know your way around a sewing machine, even the simplest alteration can seem intimidating. 

So, hows' about we start a series called “Sewing 101” where we’ll go over basic clothing mending and alterations?  Oh do, lets! 

This series will save you big bucks and make your wardrobe last longer.   

I’m short. Very short.  Finding pants with a short enough length is hard for me.  Oddly enough, my legs are too long for a short inseam, but often too short for the regular inseam.  I usually fix this problem one of two ways.

Exhibit 1.  Walking off the extra length.

hem 1

Easy, but hard on the pants.

Exhibit 2.  Shortening the pants myself.

hem 2

Practical, but not very cute.

What is a short girl to do?  I recently learned how to tailor suit pants with a cuff, and applied the same technique to jeans.

hem 3

Here’s how to do it:

Start by finding your desired length.  Roll the pant leg into a cuff and pin in place.

hem 4

Be sure to use a thread that matches the jeans.  I used navy.

hem 5

hem 6

hem 7

hem 8

And that’s it! 

hem 9

Easy peasy and perfectly altered!  See?!  Nothing to be afraid of!

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  1. would this work if I was ahving to do it by several inches? my son meeds a 7 around the tummy but a 4 in length....I bought some painters pants and cut them to the right length and then let them fray, looks cool but very casual. I want him to have some dress pants and I am so terrified of how tiny the legs are on the inside...

    1. Crystal,

      You can always cut off the excess fabric rather than sewing it down to the pant leg. Just be sure you either serge or zig zag stitch around the raw edges so it doesn't fray as much. I would still leave a bit of fabric to sew down to the pant leg so that if it does fray, it won't be hanging out of his pantleg. As far as the tiny pantlegs go, you can hem them as much as you need, but if the pants have a tapered let it won't line up right. No worries. Just take in the inseam of the pants so that everything lines up nicely. Does this make sense? If not, let me know.

      If the dress pants don't have a hem like the jeans do, it would be a lot easier to just trim off what you don't need and hem the pants as you normally would; just like I did in the second picture. This tutorial shows you how to hem your jeans if you want to keep the original hem. If keeping the original hem isn't important, then I'd recommend doing it this way.

      You could also sew in a cuff and not cut off any extra fabric. You can let the cuff out as he grows.

      If this didn't answer any of your questions, Let me know. If you still need help, feel free to ship the pants to me with your son's measurements, and I'll just do it for you! :)

      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Great tutorial, really need to do some heming for my husband's jeans but have been putting it off as afraid to cut them, will be trying this out, thanks.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. If you are too tall for the "short" jeans, then you aren't "very short" lol... Thanks for the great tutorial, though :) I will now go hem my "short" jeans.


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