Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hemming Jeans

We have a running joke in our house that "if only" my husband knew somebody who sewed, then we could solve all his wardrobe issues. This is a joke because I rarely take the time to alter garments for him, as much as he needs it (bad wife!). He has a pair of brown jeans that he wears often, which were too long. No more!


This is how he was wearing his jeans. Rolled up. I THOUGHT it was because there was snow outside and he was trying to keep them dry...but then there wasn't any more snow. And they stayed rolled. I finally got around to hemming them when I realized I had brown thread on my sewing machine. LazyBeth for the win!

Finished hem.

I learned this hemming technique in the Craftsy class Tailoring Ready-to-Wear, taught by Angela Wolf (affiliate link). Yes, you can simply rip out the hem and then sew it again, which works fine for dress pants. But Angela shows you how to alter a jeans hem so that you can keep the original distressed edge. The final product keeps the original topstitching, so all of your sewing is inside the pants.

The technique is hard to explain in photos, but the Angela does a great job with her video in the class. You basically sew just inside the original hem with a zipper foot, so that you're getting as close to the original hem as you can, removing the fabric above it. You remove the excess fabric and then finish the raw edge.


By the way, I'm not very good at serging in-the-round! Especially over the thick double-folded jeans seams. While I'm at it, my regular sewing machine wasn't that good at dealing with the bulk, either (even with a jeans needle).


The trouble with my machines meant that this project turned out to be more time-consuming than I thought, but it was worth it in the end. I do have one tip: make sure the jeans are freshly washed, and that your subject sits down to test the new hem length. After washing, these "tightened up" a bit, as jeans tend to do, and when my husband sits down they're a touch short. But he's happy he doesn't have to roll them up anymore, and I'm happy I did some self-less sewing for once!

6 comments:

  1. Well I would of never thought to do it this way! Neat!!

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    1. It's probably even a little faster since you don't have to rip out the original hem. And yeah, I wouldn't have thunk it either!

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  2. What keeps the hem from flipping up to the outside? You made me laugh, my husband says the same thing - his latest is wanting me to sew seat covers for a car. Uh . . . no.

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    1. You cut off the excess and then finish the cut portion. It should end up shorter than the original hem. Then press aggressively, of course!

      Car seat covers sound like a nightmare. I don't even like the idea of sewing pillows!

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  3. Thank you for posting this! I found your blog after we both won something on Stitch Parade's blog stash swap :) I've had a pair of super comfy black jeans that I can only wear inside boots because I haven't hemmed them yet - this is excellent timing :)

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    1. Haha...haven't we all tried hiding something like that!?

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