I have a new tutorial for How to Hem Jeans, it’s been one of my most popular sewing posts to date. It’s been featured on several different websites and blogs. Who knew jeans would be such a popular topic?
I have been blogging for 6 years now. Hard to believe it’s been that long! I have hundreds of posts on this website. I am in the process of refining my brand and developing my future goals. One of the things I am working on is adding video tutorials to some of my old posts.
You will need your jeans, tailors chalk (or a sharp #2 lead pencil), and a measuring tape or a ruler.
First try on the jeans (after they have been washed and dried), and roll up the hem to the desired length. I know you know how to do this!
Then, take off the jeans, and measure the amount you rolled up. It was 2 1/2″ on these jeans.
Turn the jeans inside out, matching the leg seams and smoothing out the fabric. Because denim is so heavy, you will need to work with one leg at a time. Calculate the amount of fabric to cut off by subtracting 1″ from your orgininal measurement, to compensate for the seam allowance needed for the hem.
I needed to shorten our jeans 2 1/2″, so 2 1/2″-1″= 1 1/2″ for my total.
Measure from the bottom of the pant leg and mark the distance with a piece of tailors chalk or lead pencil. My distance was 4″. Be sure your cutting line is parallel to the bottom of the pant leg.
Keeping the pant leg inside out, put the leg over the arm of the machine, turning back a 1/2″ seam allowance. Conveniently the presser foot is the same width. If you use it as a guide, you will not have to measure and it will save you time. Also, forget the pins. Pins ruin sewing machines, and you will be a much better sewer without them. They do not use pins in professional production because they would completely slow down the process. It’s the difference between sewing like a pro, and sewing like a homemaker. No pins.
Lower the presser foot and begin sewing, but do not start on the thick part of the side seam. Begin either slightly before or after the seam. Most machines will just sew right through the thick seam without a problem if they have a running start. Center your needle in the seam allowance, and continue sewing around the entire pant leg. When you get to the end, over lap the stitching slightly to lock it in place. Trim your threads, and remove the pant leg from the machine.
Here are my best tips and tricks for sewing with denim:
- Use a heavy duty needle for denim fabrics. I have broken more sewing machine needles than I can count by sewing jeans. Denim is by far the heaviest material I ever work with. Recently I noticed you can buy packages of needles just for denim, what a great idea! Pick up a package or two to have on hand when ever you need them.
- Always use a new needle for each pair of jeans. Needles get dull very quickly on fabrics like this. It will save you lots of headaches if you use a new, sharp needle each time you sew with denim. It may seem like overkill, but you just have to trust me on this one.
- Purchase 100% cotton thread for working on jeans. Thread that is designed for machine quilting works well, it’s strong enough to hold up during sewing on denim. I use black or navy for hemming, you don’t have to match the gold top stitching that most jeans have, in fact I think it looks better if you don’t.
- Don’t bother with pressing your jeans. Denim is heavy and hard to work with. After you have hemmed your jeans, wash and dry them as usual. They will look and feel great. The new stitches will blend in with the fabric like they were always there. Besides, pressed jeans are just weird.
- Help your friends learn to hem their own jeans, I am sure they will be grateful for your help!
That being said, it’s time for the tutorial! I had fun putting this video together, hope it helps you hem your jeans!
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