How to Sew a Euro Hem on Jeans

by Elise
1 Hour

Sometimes when you hem jeans, a simple double-turned hem is fine. But other times….hey, the stitching on your sewing machine looks nothing like the decorative stitching on the rest of the jeans, making it obvious you hemmed them at home. If only there was a way to keep the original hem AND shorten your jeans.

Behold, the Euro Hem.

What is the Euro Hem? Essentially, you cut off the original hem and sew it back on as discreetly as possible, so you can only see the original manufacturers’ stitching.

Neat huh? And it isn’t as advanced as it might sound.

Finished Euro Hem.


  • safety pins
  • straight pins
  • Ruler
  • Fabric Scissors OR I like to use a rotary cutter and mat
  • Sewing machine

Mark your hem

First, mark the finished length of your jeans. Then lay them flat and add a 1″ seam allowance. Cut along the seam allowance.

On the piece you cut off, trim it so it is 1″ wide.

If you are only hemming your pants less than 2″, you can skip cutting off the hem and instead fold the top of the original hem to your desired length, then pin and take to the sewing machine.

I’m going to call this piece the “hem strip”.

Flip the hem strip inside out, and pin to your jeans. Make sure you match the side seam stitching between the two pieces.

Hem strip pinned to cut jeans leg.
Stitch your hem

Now take your pants to your sewing machine. Using thread that matches your fabric, you are going to sew as close to the original hem as possible. I find it easier to use a zipper foot for this step, as it allows you to get as close to the original hem as possible. It’s also easiest to start sewing on the bulkiest part, usually where the side seam is, so your machine isn’t fighting to go over a big bump. If you have sewing needles specifically for denim, use them.

Use your zipper foot and get as close to that hem as you can.

Press your stitches, putting the iron on the inside of the jeans. Then flip the hem down and check your work and press, so the seam allowance is up inside the pant leg.

Press finished Euro Hem

Trim the seam allowance down to 1/2″. You can stitch the seam allowance in place by stitching in the ditch in the side seams, so the seam allowance is stitched staying up.

Press your completed hem.

That’s it! Now you have a professional looking pair of hemmed jeans.

If you liked this tutorial and would like to learn other ways to shorten your clothes, I have a short ebook The Beginner Sewists Guide to Hemming. It includes this blog post plus the post How to Sew A Cuffed Hem, and two basic hemming techniques in one convenient PDF download. To find out more, click here.

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