How To Hem Jeans Your Guide [May 2021]

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Tailoring your jeans is a must for the most chic among us, but as you know it can be an expensive and time consuming chore.

I’m sure many of you have thought “just a little shorter” would do the trick, but the thought of taking your jeans to tailor feels a little overdone.

In this article, we will show you exactly how to tailor your jeans using the original hem.

It’s simple, a good skill to know, and saves you the time and expensive of the tailor.

What You Will Need To Hem Your Jeans

hemming jeans, to hem, jeans to hem

Jeans Before Hemming

Having a small tailor’s tool kit is a best practice to have.

It’s inexpensive and comes in handy if you ever need to fix a small issue before going out.

Here is a sewing kit from Amazon

If for some reason you want to get each part individually, tailor’s kits usually have the following

  • Tape measure (not the construction kind)
  • Pins/Safety Pins
  • Needle & Thread (or sewing machine)
  • IronJean Patches
  • Steps For Hemming Jeans + An FAQ

    Step 1 – Lie Your Jeans Out On A Flat Surface And Measure The Inseam

    Measure the inseam

    Note down how much you want to take off of the length and half it.

    Always remember not to include the actual hem itself in your measurements as you will not be taking any off the hem.

    It’s easier to do one leg at a time so you wont have to undo both if any mistakes are made.

    Step 2 – Fold the hem of your jeans inside out to the length you have measured

    measure cuff of jeans

    In the example above, this would be measuring 1″ of the fold as I am taking off 2″ in total (do not include the hem itself in the measurement).

    Re measure from the crotch to just under the original hem that has been folded outwards and make sure it is your perfect length (minus the hem width itself).

    Do not measure right to the end of the jeans where the fold is, your jeans will not be this long as you are not sewing at the bottom of the fold.

    You might want to get an iron and make sure that the fold is flattened down.

    I personally use an old hair straightener quickly (be careful not to press it down for a long time so you don’t burn the denim) as it’s easier to put the plates each side and flatten it.

    Make sure the seams on the left and right side of the leg match up correctly to the hem once it’s folded.

    Now put some pins in all the way around to hold your fold in place.

    Step 3 – Sew All The Way Around The Hem

    sewing around the hem of your jeans

    I have drawn some pink stitch marks on the image so you can see where to sew.

    You need to sew right under the hem, not on the actual hem itself.

    Sew just under it so you are only going through 2 pieces of denim (the folded bit).

    You can either do this by hand with a simple forward stitch secured at both ends or with a sewing machine.

    I personally do it by hand as it’s easier for me and it’s easier if you wish to let the hem down.

    It doesn’t matter which colour thread you use or how neat your sewing is as the stitching will be on the inside of the jeans and invisible on the outside.

    Be sure not to sew the leg opening together so opening ends up closed.

    Step 4 – Take Out All of the Pins After Sewing

    hemmed jeans, tailored jeans

    After sewing your jeans

    Now comes the tricky part.

    Fold the hem back down/in so the folded part you have sewn goes back inside the jeans.

    Get your iron or old hair straightener in my case and flatten it all out, you need to make sure you have flattened and pressed the hem down all the way around.

    If you have done it correctly it should look like the image below.

    tailored jeans, hemmed jeans

    Finished Hem on Your Jeans

    Wrapping Up on Hemming Your Jeans

    Now you have a pair of original hemmed jeans.

    Since we didn’t cut the hem off and re attach it this is a perfect way to let the hem down again back to the original length if you need to.

    Have a suggestion? Email me at

    does hemming tape work on jeans?

    Nippies has actually created the first ever denim only double sided hemming tape for those who need alterations in a flash. It is also a tape that does not require that you iron it for it to be activated and work. It is also very affordable at about $12.00 for it.

    Can you hem skinny jeans?

    As a rule, for skinny jeans, you hem them at the top of your ankle.
    Fold them up and pin them in place.
    You can use any color thread that you want because you wont see the seam.
    You can also remove the piece from your sewing machine so you can put your jeans can fit on the machine.
    Be sure to sew the new hem under the original seam.
    Once you finish sewing, you can either cut off the excess material or roll it up under your jeans.

    What Kind Of Thread Do You Use To Hem Jeans?

    When you pick the thread to hem jeans, they made thread in the golden color of most jeans stitching. It is also cotton thread that is polyester covered to ensure it is durable and can get through the denim without breaking.

    How Do You Hem Jeans By Hand?

    You fold the jeans up to the desired length and pin the jeans. You use jean thread to ensure durability, and you follow the original hem and keep the stitching close to avoid fraying.

    How Do You Hem Jeans?

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