Pintested: How to Hem Jeans and Keep the Original Hem

As someone who is short, I’ve resigned myself to a lifetime of trying on and buying jeans that are at least two inches too long for me. And some are even worse, going all the way down over my feet! Most of the places I shop at (Forever 21 and H&M in particular) use a 32 or longer as their standard length, when really what I need is a 30.

When I saw this pin for hemming jeans without losing the original hem from, I was pretty stoked. The tutorial itself seemed pretty darn simple so this week when I found myself with my mom’s sewing machine (thanks mom!) I decided it was time to give it a whirl.

For this tutorial you need jeans to hem, thread, zipper foot, pins, measuring tape/ruler, and a sewing machine that can handle sewing through a double layer of jeans.

I started off by trying on the jeans I wanted to hem –

Jeans before hemming

look at that bunching around the ankle… so sexy

Yikes! So I folded them up to the length that I liked and measured, this pair ended up being 2 inches. Per the tutorial I divided that number by 2 and repinned, so that they ended up being pinned 1 inch up (ignoring the original hem).


do you like my filing system in the background? ;)

In the top of the photo you can see one leg pinned waiting to be sewn, and at the bottom you can see the first finished leg. I think I used black thread on the bobbin and lighter thread in the spool because I am just that lazy. You really can’t see the thread in the finished hem so it didn’t matter.

Jeans Hemming

look at that! hemmed jeans!

When you’re sewing you want to get as close to the original hem as you can WITHOUT sewing on it, this is why the zipper foot is so awesome for this job. After you sewing you flip the jeans back the right way, and you’re left with shortened jeans that still have the original hemmed look.

If you’re happy with the length, go ahead and iron the jeans, and voila – you’re done!