How to Shorten Your Jeans AND Keep the Original Hem

Keya Harper
by Keya Harper
6 Materials
10 Minutes

If you just turn up a simple hem on jeans as you would do on a skirt, it never looks right.

Trying to copy the original hem using a domestic sewing machine doesn’t work either.

So here’s my quick and easy hack to hem your jeans and keep the original hem intact.

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Tools and materials:

  • Jeans to hem
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (optional)
Marking the hem

1. Mark the hem

Draw a line across the leg of your jeans on the right side, front and back, at the finished length you want.

Turning jeans up

2. Turn up

Turn up your jeans from the inside.

Turning jeans up

You want the stitching line of the original hem to cover the mark you drew.

Setting up the sewing machine

3. Set up your sewing machine

Remove the main bed of your sewing machine so you can use the free arm.

Slide the leg of the jeans over the free arm, with the right side of the leg uppermost.

Stitching the hem

4. Stitch the hem

Sew around the leg of the jeans, just below the original stitching line and as close as you can get to it.

Trimming the excess

5. Trim the excess

Cut off the double layer of fabric below your stitching line.

You can also use a serger for this, so the edge is overlocked.

If I’m not using a serger, I leave about 1/8” (0.3 cm) of fabric below my stitches.

How to hem jeans while keeping original hem

Flip the hem down and there you go!

How to hem jeans while keeping original hem

If I’d taken a bit more care to keep the inner seam lined up, it would have looked even better.

I hope you found this helpful. Why not drop me a comment below and let me know?

Next, learn How to Sew a Patch Pocket.

Suggested materials:
  • Jeans to hem
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
See all materials

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