How to Hem Jeans

If you’re short like I am, this is for you! Here is a super easy fix that looks professional. Read below to learn how to hem jeans and keep the original hem.

How many times have you found the perfect pair of jeans only to have denim swallowing your feet?  My hubby knows my shopping woes all too well. I can’t find the right size, fit, color,  don’t like the style, etc. You add in length to the rest of criteria and it can be VERY frustrating.hemjeanspin

This week when I was shopping for jeans, I happened to find the perfect pair of jeans. They looked good, the right style, they fit in all the right places, not to tight, not to big, and definitely the right price! To put the cherry on the top, they were buy one 1/2 Off!!! I was in some desperate need of some jeans so I just happened to hit this at the right time. I found them at an outlet store for $20 (the retail price for these jeans are $49)!! EVEN BETTER! So I paid $20 for the first pair and $10 for the second pair. But the ONE problem was this, they were too long and they didn’t have ANY in short. There’s my clothes shopping woes!

A while back I had seen a way to hem your jeans and keep the original hem. With that in mind, I went ahead and bought them. The tutorial I had seen was super easy and I had the basics in memory. I figured even if I wasn’t able to keep the original hem, I could hem it the old fashioned way or roll them up.  I tried to find the tutorial of the original tutorial but I wasn’t successful. I did find some other tutorial using the same methods. I wish I would have pinned the article so I could give this awesome person some credit. So whoever came up with this is, YOU ARE A GENIUS!

How to Hem Jeans and keep original hem

Things you will need.

  • a good pair of scissors
  • ruler or tape measure
  • chalk, or something that you can mark fabric with that will wash away
  • straight pins
  • Denim needle or heavy duty needle
  • thread (I used white b/c that’s what I had. You could choose a thread to match the original stitching or a dark blue to blend in with the denim but you won’t see the stitching on outside of the jeans)
  • sewing machine


 Step 1

1.  I took a pair of jeans I owned that were right in the length and used them as my guideline. I laid my old jeans on top of my new jeans. I lined them up to make sure the inseam (center seam that starts at the crotch and goes down to the bottom of the pants)  lined up. I didn’t worry about the waist because they fit slightly different. I just made sure both pair of jeans were laying flat on the floor. I then measured from the bottom of the new jeans (bottom jeans in picture) to the bottom of the old jeans (jeans laying on top in the picture).1



Step 2

2.  I took the measurement from step 1 and measured from the bottom of the jeans upward. This is where I need my hem to be. I marked it with a piece of chalk.2 3

Step 3

3. Roll the jeans up like the picture below.4

You will roll them up to match the markings with the original hem. I simply folded the hem back to see the chalk markings to see how far I needed to roll upwards.5

Now Pin in place and measure. Take the measurement all the way around the pant leg and pin in place. Also make sure to match up the inseams.


Step 4

4. Now you will begin sewing both pant legs. I used a straight stitch. You will also need a denim or heavy needle. You might be able to use another type of needle but sometimes, you can break them. As you can see the picture below, you are going to sew very close to the original hem but not on the original hem. When I was trying to find the tutorial to give them some credit, I found a useful piece of information. **Tip**You can use a zipper foot and this will make getting close to the hem easier. In another tutorial, I saw where they used a straight stitch and and zig zag. You can use a zig zag stitch to give more structure and helps prevent the material from fraying. I almost used the zig zag stitch but I didn’t remember it being used in the tutorial. So it is up to you if you want to use it or not.

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Sew all the around the pant leg removing pins before they go under the pressure foot. My mom taught me how to sew and she always places the pins horizontal and sews over them. I’ve also seen others use this method but it doesn’t work me. I have bent a few pins doing this and my sewing machine doesn’t like it either. So I stick with removing the pins before they go under the pressure foot. Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and the end. This will prevent the thread from coming undone.


Check your bobbin before you begin sewing. I had sewed about 3/4 around the pant leg only to find out my bobbin was empty! Oops!

Step 5

5. Almost done! Now go try them on to make sure you got the length right. You can always use a seam ripper, pull the stitch out and start over if you need to. After you have checked them, (no really, check before proceeding!) take your scissors and cut close to the stitching. You could probably do this with a regular pair but I strongly encourage buying a sharp pair that is made for fabric. It just cuts smoother and easier. **Tip** Don’t cut so close that you actually cut the stitching. Yes, I did this one too and had to return back to my sewing machine to fix it!9 10

Step 6

6.  Fold the hem down and iron.  12 11

Step 7 **Update***

Take the jeans back to the sewing machine one more time. Top stitch on the top side of the jeans (part of the jean that everyone sees) right above the iron crease. This will keep the jeans from rolling up. I didn’t add the top stitch the first time I did this. Every time I would wash my jeans I would have to iron the hem down again which got REALLY annoying. Adding the straight top stitch worked like a charm. 13

That’s it! Super easy.

Leave your comments

I hope this helps all you short ladies out! And even those ladies that just need a shorter length! Let me know in the comments below if this works for you and your experience!

DIY girls skirt

DIY girls skirt

A few years ago, I made my oldest daughter a 4th of July pillowcase dress. The pillowcase dress now fits my youngest so I wanted to make my oldest a simple 4th of July skirt. I still had fabric left over from the pillowcase dress and I knew both my girls would love to match. Here is the tutorial I used as an outline on how to sew this super easy skirt. Dana Made it:  DIY girls skirt Tutorial 

4thofjulyskirt3 copy



First you need to take your measurements.


Measure the waist

Measure your child’s waist. My child’s waist measured about 24.5 so I rounded up to 25. Take that number and multiply it by 1.5. If you want a fuller skirt, multiply it by 2.

Your measurements : (Child’s waist )X (1.5) = Width of material

My Measurements: (25) X (1.5)=37.5


Measure the Length

Measure the length you want the skirt to be. I measured from waist to knees.  Then add 2 inches.

Your Measurements: (Length of skirt) + 2 = Length of material

My Measurements: (12)+ (2)= 14



The length of the elastic should be about 1/2 shorter that the measurement for the waist. When you overlap the elastic and sew it, the elastic will be about 1 in- 1.5 in. This will all depend on how much you overlap. You want the elastic to be smaller than their waist so it stay up. I originally cut the elastic 1 inch more than the waist measurement. I sewed the elastic together and before closing up the waist, I had my daughter try on the skirt. It was too loose. So I had to rip the seam, cut off some of the elastic, and sew back together.

Your Measurement: (Child’s Waist) – (0.5)= Length of Elastic

My Measurement: (25)-(0.5)=24.5 inchesskirt tutorial



Cut Fabric

Using the measurements, cut out your fabric of choice.


Iron waist and hem

Ironing Waist

From the top of the fabric where the waist will be, fold the fabric in 0.5 in. Make sure you are folding the fabric from the outside (the part of the fabric you want to show) to the inside of the skirt (part of the fabric that will not show). Now iron.

Now fold the fabric  over 1 in again. Make sure to keep the first fold inside the second as you iron. If you were to completely unfold both folds it should total to 1.5 inches.


Ironing Hem

The method for the hem is the same concept as ironing the waist. Fold the raw edge from the outside to inside. The first fold will measure 0.25 in. Iron.

Fold fabric over 0.25 in making sure to keep the first fold inside the 2nd fold. Iron. If you completely unfold both folds, it should total 0.5 in.


Begin sewing

Sew Inseam

Take your fabric and fold it in half  with the outside facing in. Match the two inseams up. This seam will run the length of the skirt (from waist to hem). Unfold where you ironed the waist and the hem before you sew. You can use pins to hold the fabric in place while you sew. Before you begin sewing, Sew about 0.5 inch into the fabric. I used the guidelines on my sewing machine to sew. *** At the beginning and end of each straight stitch, you will need to back stitch. This will keep the thread from coming undone.



Sew Hem

Take the fabric and fold the bottom (hem) to the inside of the skirt. This is where you previously ironed the hem. You should be able to clearly see the crease from where you ironed. The fabric will probably want to turn inside. Make sure you have both creases in. You do not want the raw edge to show. Now sew a straight stitch making sure to keep the raw fabric on the inside of the crease.




Sew Waist

Fold the fabric in using the creases as a guideline. Measure approximately 2 in (this doesn’t have to be exact) and mark them with pins. The pins will tell you when to start and stop sewing. You will need to leave a gap so you can feed your elastic into the waist. Make sure not to sew over the pins. I have been told you can sew over them but I have bent my pins doing this and my sewing machine didn’t seem to like it either.






Feed elastic and sew the elastic

Place large safety pins on each end of the elastic. The safety pins will help you feed the elastic into the waist. I just recently learned the tip to use one on each end. I was glad I tried it because as I was trying to adjust the elastic, the back end slipped in the fabric. Normally, I would have to re-feed the elastic back through.



Pull both ends of the  elastic out of the waist so you can get them under your pressure foot.  Remove the safety pins. Overlap the ends about 3/4 in and place under pressure foot. I used a zig zag stitch to hold the elastic. Sew forward and then backwards a couple of times. Now, pull on the waist so that the elastic disappears in the waist.IMG_1844IMG_1843IMG_1845




Now you can close up the gap. Sew the gap that you left open for the elastic.

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Hope you find this helpful! If you use this tutorial, please share your creations!