Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Original-Hem Jeans Tutorial in 30 minutes

So if any of you have not noticed by now, I am extremely short. And all of my life, because of my shortness, I have been plagued by pants being too long for me and my short legs.

Now, there are three options in a situation where your pants are too long:

1. Pay to get them hemmed professionally
2. Cuff them (if they aren't too long to look ridiculous)
3. Wear them long until they get all ripped in the back and start trailing long threads of jean pieces behind you as you walk {my personal favorite}

As of today I have found a fourth option:

4. Hem them yourself and look fabulous

My sister in law was nice enough to show me this technique and I am happy to say that it will forever save me from the way-too-long-jeans faux pas!

And now, I am showing it to you!

For starters, you should know that this isn't where you actually sew an original hem yourself. It's kind of a "cheat so no one even notices that you cut and sewed the pants yourself" technique.

And bear with me, this is my first tutorial!

Items needed:

Sewing machine
Thread that matches your jean color {this makes it look the best because some of the sewing is on the outside of the jeans}
Zipper foot {for best results}
Ironing board
Seam ripper {ha ha- for those "oops" moments}
Diet Coke with Vanilla {but of course}

First, you take your way too long jeans {and thanks to my sister for being the model and for letting me hem her jeans}:

Then you cuff them up to where you want them to be. The main choice I had to make is to either make them Heels jeans or Flats jeans length-wise. Sometimes you can get away with something in the middle than can go for both, but in my case, it's one or the other. These are going to be Heels jeans.

Another choice both my sister and I had to make when choosing the length is whether or not to keep the lengths the same on both legs. Both of us had significantly different measurements on each leg {because one leg is apparently longer than the other}. We both decided to keep the lengths the same. But if it really bugs you, you can make one longer to fit your longer leg ;)

Next, you take off the jeans and measure the length that you cuffed up.

Then you need to re-fold the cuff to half of the length you just measured. For example, the original length we measured was 3 1/2 inches. So, when we re-folded the cuff, it measured at 1 3/4 inches.

Then you need to pin it. I measured it once at each seam and once at each middle in between the seams and pinned it.

Now, you sew the pants with a zipper foot {this way you can get right next to the original hem line} all of the way around.

**Be careful not to stretch the material. It will bunch up and then it will look off when you're done. Just let the machine pull it.**
I tried to line up the inside bottom hem as best as I could but it was tricky. Just do your best.

Once you have sewn all the way around, fold the cuff back down and iron it flat.

Now, on the outside of the jean, you need to sew all the way around on the opposite side of where you just sewed. This is where having a matching thread is really important. Ours wasn't exact and while it's not very noticeable, it's even less noticeable with a properly matching thread. {we didn't want to make the trip to Joanns today}

Now, fold the cuff back up. Here is where it can get tricky. If you have an awesome serger like my sister in law, you can cut and serge the left over fabric {or have your serger cut it for you!}. If you don't, you can cut off the extra fabric and zigzag stitch it over the edges like I did. Either way, the most important thing is to be careful while serging and sewing and make sure that you don't sew or serge the fabric back onto the jeans. I knew about this being an issue going into it and it still got me! My solution was to double fold the cuff back so I could make sure that I was only sewing the extra portion together, and not sewing the extra portion back onto the jeans!

Fold it back down and iron again!

I told you it would only take 30 minutes!

The only other thing I noticed with this specific pair of pants is that the wash may be lighter or darker where you sew it together, depending on how high you hem them. So be careful if the bottoms are darker or lighter, it will make it more obvious.

Can you tell that it's cut? I can't! :)

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial! Let me know what you think.
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Michelle Paige said...

Great tutorial, can't believe it's your first one. I need to try this!

Sarah said...

Yay for my awesome hemmed jeans! Thank you again, so much! I am so excited to wear them!

Chef in Training said...

wow! you did such a great job on these! I am so impressed! They look great! You have an amazing blog! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment! I love making new blog friends! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would follow my blog too! Thanks!

restlessrisa said...

Well done!!! I never have this problem, but I am forwarding this to my neighbor :)



Alicia said...

I love it! Thanks for posting this! I'll have to go through my dresser and find a pair to try it on.

Sara Shoemaker said...

oooh I love your new header! and this is such a great tutorial, looks like you totally bought the jeans that way. and yes we did go tubing and it totally owned me, I got scraped up pretty bad! but it was totally worth it. what a funny story though hahah!

Sommer said...

Yours turned out great! I tried this technique with my daughters jeans and it was awkward because the pants got slimmer as they went up so my inseam didn't match up perfectly. Maybe its not good for kids jeans? I hope you will show this off at my VIP party today!

BluBabesCreate said...

Oh woman thank-you! at only 5'6 I continually run into this problem. Come see a painted toilet seat and thanks for the comment on the doll!

Jamie said...

great job! this is so awesome... i tried to do the same thing to a pair of jeans once and jacked them up so badly!!! i'll have to follow your tutorial next time :)