Elsa Douglas

How To Hem Your Jeans

Those who buy and wear jeans, at least once in life face the problem: perfect fitting jeans are a bit too long. The manufacturer is right, he does not know the height of the customer, if the jeans are a bit long, you can always hem them, unlike if they are short. If your jeans are too long, you have three options: cuff them and wear like this, bring to the tailor’s shop or hem them yourself.

You will need:

  • jeans;
  • few tailor's pins;
  • chalk;
  • a ruler;
  • scissors;
  • thick thread matching the jeans’ original stitching;
  • denim sewing needle and, preferably, a small plastic device for sewing thick fabrics at seams (sold in sewing equipment stores).

1. Try on a pair of jeans with the shoes with you are most likely to wear them, fold up to the desired length and secure with a pin. Take off the jeans, make a chalk mark in the place of the pin and measure the distance from the chalk mark to the bottom edge of the jeans.

2. Make marks at this distance (in my example, 4 cm) at the side and leg seams and in several places between them, then join them into a straight line. Trace a second line at a distance of 3 cm from the first one, closer to the bottom edge of the jeans. Fold the jeans, combine seams, pin them at the top to prevent from shifting, spread on an even surface and measure the same line on the second leg, making marks on seams and in between.

3. Carefully cut off the bottom of the jeans on the second line, the first line remains at a distance of 3 cm from the cutting line.

4. Cut around 1.5-2 cm of allowance in a triangle from the top to the bottom cut on the side and leg seams. It is necessary to reduce the thickness of the seam allowance and facilitate sewing thick material.

5. Fold the jeans inside on the chalk line, first on 1.5 cm then again inside on the chalk line (thus, an open cut will remain inside) and secure with pins at a distance of 2-3 cm one from another.

6. Fill the selected thread in the sewing machine, and, if your machine has this option, put the free arm platform.

7. Set the stitch length the same as in the original hem (I have 3.5 mm) and lay the line on the right side at a distance of 1.2-1.3 mm from the bottom line. Gently remove the pins (to avoid hem shifting) when they are 0.5-1 cm before the foot. If you leave the pins and sew on them, the needle may hit the pin and break.

8. When you sew on the seams (despite the cut corners of allowances they remain thick), you need to put a plastic corner before the seam. It has a function of supporting the foot; sewing on a firm surface it will not hang in the air and skip seams and will create a beautiful neat stitch. When you are finished sewing on the seam, remove the corner and go on. You can do without a corner, but then there might be skipped seams in the stitch.

9. Fasten the thread and hem the second leg.

Your jeans are ready to wear. Now, that you know how to hem jeans, you don’t need the services of a tailor.


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