How To Hem Jeans With Original Hem
Shortening or making a pair of jeans means you need to know how to hem jeans with original hem techniques if you want professional results. The jeans hem will be three layers thick when you are ready to sew. You will need a heavy duty or industrial sewing machine with a denim needle installed when sewing through the thick, folded denim. Also, use denim thread that matches the color of the top-stitching, or exposed decorative, thread on the jeans. Denim thread is coarser and stronger than the thread used for sewing lighter garments.
- Straight pins
- Ruler or yardstick
- Tailor’s chalk
- Ironing board
- Sewing machine
- Put the jeans on and place straight pins around the leg bottoms where you want the bottom of the hem to fall. You will probably need help for this step because the jeans will ride up when you bend over. If you do not have an assistant available, you might have to reset the pins more than once until you get them in the right place.
- Measure one inch below the pins and make a small tailor’s chalk mark. Make sure the mark is below the pin, because if it is placed above the pin you will be cutting the jeans too short.
- Place the yardstick across the marks. Draw a tailor’s chalk line along the edge of the yardstick, lined up with the chalk marks. It will not hurt anything if one of the marks does not line up exactly.
- Cut along the tailor’s chalk line using the scissors.
- Measure 3/8 inch up from the cut edge and fold the fabric under.
- Place the jeans' legs on the ironing board and press the folded edge.
- Fold the edge under a second time, this time making a half inch fold. The raw, or cut, edge of the fabric will be completely wrapped inside the folded fabric.
- Hem the jeans, making an original-style hem, using the sewing machine. Position the folded edge under the sewing machine’s presser foot so the needle point hits the fabric 3/8 inch from the leg bottom. Sew all the way around each leg’s hem.