Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hemming Jeans

My older brother isn't a tall guy, but he also likes a deal.  He shops thrift stores and other places to get pants, and more often than not they're too long for him.  I've hemmed some jeans for him before, but I didn't like the home-stitched look that they had.  So I started brainstorming how I could keep the factory hem and shorten the pants.  My results look like this:
Hemmed on the left, unhemmed on the right.
I'm going to show you how I did it!
**NOTE** this won't work as well with flares because depending on how much you're taking off, the bottom isn't going to match up with where you sew it (because it's bigger around), so it's preferable to stick to straight leg or a slight boot cut.**

First, you need to find out how long you want the jeans to be.  I like to measure down the side seam from the top of the pants to the floor (or however long you want them to be) and use that number.  Then I make sure to cut off the same amount all the way around the bottom.  Usually the bottom hem of jeans is about 1/2" wide.  So mark how long you want your jeans, minus half an inch.  Bring the bottom of your jeans up to your mark and pin all the way around.

Next you want to bring out your zipper foot and place it as if you'd be installing a zipper to the left of the needle.  Line up the top of the hem with the edge of the zipper foot and sew all the way around

Now you need to trim the excess fabric (make sure you leave 1/4" to 1/2").  Serging would be ideal, but my serger didn't like that many layers of heavy fabric and it got hurt :(  By the way, if anyone knows how to straighten a crooked presser foot on a Brother serger, please let me know!  Second best would be pinking shears, a zig zag stitch, anything really to prevent fraying.
Chop chop!

Ok now, go to your ironing board and have your iron on high (or your cotton setting) with lots of steam, and press the heck out of the bottom, with the raw edges pointing up the pant leg.
Almost done!!

Now put your zipper foot to the other side and line up the edge with the edge of the factory seam.

The last step is to just topstitch all the way around, and you're done!!  From a distance you won't even be able to tell the pants have been hemmed.  I did a second set of pants for my brother that had some red stitching detail on the pockets, so I did my topstitching in red, and it looked awesome and blended right in with the style of the pants (unfortunately I did not get a picture).  

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I am so happy I ran across your blog. I was just checking a few things online and then was about to go hem some pants that I just purchased. This way looks great, Im going to try it out.


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