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How to hem jeans and keep original hem

Jan 30, 2012
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Hemming jeans is simple… unless you want to keep the original hem. Those creative jeans companies usually use heavy/thick gold thread to decorate the inseams, outseams, waistbands, hems, and various other areas of the jeans. The thread is very pretty but it is not conducive to hemming. If you hem jeans the usual way by cutting the desired length (plus seam allowances), turning the hem back twice, and topstitching it with dark blue thread to match the jeans’ color, the hem will look like it has been hemmed. Construction-wise, the hem won’t look similar to the rest of the pant.

Not to worry though. I will show you how to hem jeans AND keep the original hem (yay!). I learned this trick while working at a tailor shop two years ago with one of the craziest, most esoteric, most erratic yet wonderful woman (she was an amazing tailor and taught me loads). The process is super simple and requires, at most, two more steps than a normal hemming would.

Step 1 – With the desired hem length already marked, mark 5/8″ below this line as well as 5/8″ above original hem

Step 2 – Cut along both lines

Step 3 – This is not a step but I wanted to show you that after you cut along lines in previous step, you would have 2 separate pieces – the pant and the hem

Step 4 – With right sides together and inseams and outseams aligned, pin the pant to the hem

Step 5 – Sew ½ from edge (I used a narrow foot so that I could get close to original hem but you can use a regular foot) and finish raw edges with either a zigzag stitch or overlock/merrow (not pictured)

Step 6 – With seam allowances facing up, understitch 1/16″ to 1/8″ from seam (I used an edge stitch foot but you can eyeball it)

Step 7 – Press jeans (not pictured) and voila, your jeans are hemmed with the original hem! Hip, hip, hooorray!! Now go wear your sassy pants!

For more how-to’s and other great sewing and design stuff, check out my blog….   

I promise you’ll love it 🙂

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  1. Mamato8 May 5th

    My boys bought me a spool of the that thick gold Jeans thread to hem up Jeans. I think I have Coats and Clarks, but I know that Gutterman has it too. It works! Your trick only works if the pants don't have much change in width going down the pant legs. Nifty trick though!

    I would be interested in seeing what other tricks you have!

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. User avater maddie964 February 6th

    I'm glad you enjoyed! Hopefully I'll have some fun tricks in the future :)

    Sincerely Always,

  3. ModaOri February 6th

    Thank you for sharing.
    I'm going to do them to my daughter's expensive jeans.
    She can only wear them with heals and she's been after me to fix them. I didn't want to take the original look away and with this technique I don't have to worry.

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