Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hemming Jeans: Tutorial

This is a quick tutorial for how to hem jeans - this is pretty much just for shorter hem-jobs.  If you were going to cut off more than 5" or so, you'll want to also taper the leg of the pants (use the side that doesn't have the topstitching - I did that last year for my son).

First, get your victim to put on their jeans, and mark the desired hem.  I'm hemming jeans for a 12yo boy - so I want them to be as long as possible while not getting walked on.  I figure he's going to grow, you know?

Having marked the hem....

I then measured the distance between the bottom of the pre-made hem and the fold line, and cut off the pre-made hem.  (I might have been persuaded to seam-rip this out if it was very close or a fine bit of fabric - but I'm shortening them quite a bit and they're jeans).

After I trimmed off the unwanted bits, I put a quick faux-serged hem finish on my raw edge. 

It's stitch #7 on my machine, but anything that covers the raw edge would be fine.  Zig zag would be fine:

After finishing the edge, turn the pants inside out and fold up the hem the desired distance. 
It was at this point that I realised that it would be terminally UN cool to have a hem that far up the pant leg - so I set my hem stitch to about 1/2" from the fold.  Of course I'd made a gold-colored bobbin, so I wouldn't give the whole thing away with the wrong color topstitching.  (Okay.  I bought the topstitching thread for my own denim project - but I'm sharing).

I then finished the jeans with a quick blind-hem to hold the top of the hem up. 

And then I realised that - although I've followed the correct procedure for pants that one might wish to re-do the hem on  (12yo boy, remember) I'm not sure about the quality of the fabric (see pictures one and two - the jeans developed frays during their first wash cycle.  Oh well, it's never a bad thing to do things the right way - it's good practice if nothing else.  And hopefully this will keep the bottom of the jeans from doing that annoying little rolling over thing that denim always does to me when I sew it myself.


Hemming two pair of jeans probably took me less than an hour, start to finish, including taking pictures.

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