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Nothing ruins the look of jeans like a cut that’s just too long. Folding jeans is a quick solution but it doesn’t always look as neat or as put together as the original hem, not to mention that you have to do it every time you put your pants on. You can hem your jeans so that you maintain the original, finished look of the hem without having to rely on a frayed cut or your own home stitching to replace the hem. This is a very simple trick that can be done either by machine or by hand and requires only beginner-level sewing skills.
It is important to note that it’s only possible to keep the original hems of jeans that have straight, skinny, or tapered legs. A flared leg, such as a bootcut or bell-bottom, is too wide to make keeping the original hem possible.
How to hem jeans with original hem
In order to shorten your jeans with the original hem, you will need a needle and thread and/or a sewing machine, scissors, pins, a ruler or measuring tape, and an iron.
Step 1: Try your jeans on as normal. Fold the hem up on one leg to your new preferred length. You can also mark this new hem with chalk, a fabric pen, or pins. Remove your jeans and lay them out on a flat surface.
Step 2: On the flat surface, replicate the marking of your folded/marked leg onto the opposite. You can use a ruler to measure this out to ensure the most symmetry. Fold both hems up to your marked point and pin in place.
Try them on once again to ensure you’re happy with the length. Fortunately, this method does allow for alterations in the future should you change your mind.
Step 3: Remove your jeans once more and sew the fold in place. You are going to stitch below the original hem of the jeans. You can complete this with a sewing machine. Check the make of your denim to determine whether you need a sturdy denim needle or a ball point needle if you’re working with denim with stretch. If you are hemming your jeans by hand, it’s best to use a small backstitch to secure the hem. You may opt to double up on thread for extra strength.
Read: How to Alter Jeans
Step 4: You can opt to cut off all the fabric below your stitching line and either overlock or overcast stitch it. You can also leave it raw. You can also keep the excess fabric. Either way, turn the excess fabric up into the inside of the denim so that the outside of your hem only shows the original hem and the fold from your seam.
Step 5: To make your new hem look seamless, iron this in place. You can do a blind stitch to keep the excess on the inside of your jeans or put in a few tacking stitches at the side seam. And that is how to hem jeans with the original hem.