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Original Hem

There are many ways to hem jeans. If you would like to preserve the distressed look at the bottom of the jeans, keep the original topstitching, and don't mind a little bulkiness on the inside, then this is the hem you want!


First, you'll need to know how much to shorten the hem. You can do this by trying them on, folding them up, pinning them, and walk around a little bit. If you are happy then you are set. If not, readjust and try again. Another way is to measure the inseam of a pair of jeans you like the length of and go with that. That's what I did with these jeans.

I folded them up and measured half the amount that needed to be shortened. I measured from bottom of original hem to the fold. This is important so you end up with the desired length. Think of it as you are measuring the amount that you are taking out of the jeans. I pinned it to hold everything in place.

I chose a thread color that matched the jeans and could just blend in and not standout much. A zipper foot is great for this next step as it allows me to get close to the edge and sew. The sides are kind of bulky, so I sew slowly over the bumps, moving the hand wheel by hand if necessary. For this one, I did not cut away the excess fabric as it was not much and thought this would look nicer. But if you have quite a bit of excess fabric, you can cut and zig zag stitch the raw edges or you can use the serger for a more professional look. That will just keep it from fraying over time as it gets washed and dried.

On the right side, I sewed down the hem close to the edge to hold it in place and keep it from flipping over. From afar it is not noticeable. A regular foot is just fine for this step.

It is so important to have the correct needle. I forgot to change the needle to a size 100 and it broke on me. It happens. Goggles or glasses are a good idea.

The last step is to tack the sides. I do it right on the seam so it holds well and is not noticeable. Just forward and backward a few stitches.


And that's the original hem! You can give it a press and get some of the waviness out. I hope you enjoyed this behind the seams.

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