The Not-So-Nerdy Way to Hem Jeans
I’m in need of some shorter-inseam jeans to wear with comfortable shoes for walking I’ve been doing around campus. I have avoided hemming what I have because hemmed jeans look so nerdy. I remembered hearing a friend say she only buys jeans at the Buckle because they hem jeans for free and keep the original hem. (Hem, hem, hem, any synonyms for this?)
I did some googling around and found some references to this technique, so I thought I’d give it a try. I was very impressed with the result! Here’s what I started with:
My sloppy, slouchy jeans need some help before I can wear them with comfy flat shoes.
I started by turning up the original hem to the length I liked, barely touching the floor.
I measured the space between the fold and original hem, as pictured, and found it to be about one inch.
I took half of this measurement and marked and pinned one half inch from the fold all around.
I didn’t have matching thread, but it doesn’t show so it doesn’t matter!
I used a zipper foot to sew close to the original hem, although this is not necessary. A regular foot or even handsewing works just as well.
I turned the fold up into the pant leg…
… and then pressed in place.
Ta-Da! Shorter jeans without the nerdy-ness!
Are you ready to hem your jeans the “cool” way? Here’s a quick recap:
1. Try on your jeans and turn them up to the length you would like. Measure from the fold up to the edge of the original hem.
2. Divide the measurement from number 1 by two. Fold the jeans up, right sides together, to this measurement and pin in place. (My original measurement was 1 inch so I folded up 1/2 inch)
3. Sew around very close to the original hem.
4. Press the fold up into the pant leg.
This method of hemming is far superior not only for aesthetics, but for practicality. You don’t have to worry about matching thread colors as it doesn’t show. You can sew by hand because your stitches won’t show. You can alter cheap jeans from Goodwill that you may not have otherwise bought. Also, the hem can easily be undone for children who have a tendency to grow up before out. Too bad this isn’t the case for 21-year-olds, eh?
Some fun facts about this post:
I pinned the hem in place and draped the jeans across my chair. I came back a few minutes later and plopped down in front of my sewing machine. Guess which part of the jeans were on the seat? Now I’ve been sewing for years and years and have pricked my fingers with pins and stepped on pins, but WOW! Sitting on pins definitely hurts the worst.
Also, I did this while my roommates were away. Next time when you’re bored, try taking profile view pictures of your own feet.