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Hemming Jeans/Jean Hem

Millineress | Posted in General Discussion on

My step-daughter is forever needing jeans hemmed, but they always come out with a “flat” ordinary-looking hem, not the “fluted” or wavy hem that is on purchased jeans. I’ve noticed signs at repair shops advertising a “Jeans Hem” and a higher price. Since I am trying to instill the importance of doing for oneself when possible AND still making “Step-Mother of the Year” (Mother’s Day is on Sunday… do we get our own day?), I want to sew the hem myself, but have her happy with the results.

Does anyone know how to achieve a traditional jeans hem? I own several machines, including an industrial, if a special machine is required.


  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    I'm a bit confused....the only "wavy" or "fluted" hem I've ever seen on jeans is on my pair of stretch jeans. When I made jeans from stretch denim, the hem was a bit wavy due to the fabric stretching under the presser foot. Otherwise, my Levi's 501's do not have a wavy hem - it is very flat.

    1. Millineress | | #2

      The hem (or sometimes the side seams) has a "valley and peak" pattern to it. On the raised parts, it is slightly lighter in colour, and the lower parts are a deeper blue. When you run your fingers over it, it feels like corrugated cardboard that has been worn down a bit.

      I called the dry cleaners to ask what the "jeans hem" is. Apparently, it is more commonly called a "Euro hem". They cut off the original hem, shorten the pant, then reattach it, so that the bumpy feel and uneven dye look is preserved.

      1. FitnessNut | | #3

        And here I thought it was just something that developed over time, with wear! Honestly, the jeans I buy don't look like that when new at all ;-)

    2. kjp | | #4

      The hem finish won't give you the results you want (although the dry cleaner's method will be close).  Modern jeans are put through fading processes after construction to mimic the years of wear it took to fade jeans.  You may have purchased a new pair of jeans for her and found remnants of the pumice used in the process to fade them.  I doubt you want to put that through your washer, but you could try to weather the hem using a non-clorine bleach and a pumice stone or light sandpaper.  You won't get as much fading, since the jeans are probably already faded.  You might not get as much rippling, either, since the jeans may not shrink anymore.  Another trick to get great looking jeans hems is the thread.  You want to use a heavy "jeans" or topstitching thread.  Regular sewing thread is too fine. 

      Good luck!

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