Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hemming with the original Hem!

I got a pair of cute Lucky Jeans from my sister.  She lost some weight and passed them my way.  The only problem...she is taller than me, so I needed to hem them and I didn't want them to look like a "homemade" hem job.  So my mom suggested the idea below.  Come to find out this brilliant idea, had been around before my mom and here is another tutorial you might find helpful.

Now for the supplies and steps:

Materials Needed:
Your Jeans
Measuring Tape
Sewing Machine (preferably with zipper foot, but not required)
Double sided Iron-on tape/adhesive (optional: see below)
Needle and thread (optional: see below)

Step One: Very IMPORTANT!! Wash jeans!

Step Two: Measure the height of the original hem.  Save this measurement for later. (Mine was 1/2 inch)

Put on the jeans with the shoes you'd wear them with.  Then fold the bottom hem up until you reach the desired length. Pin and measure this amount. (My cuff was 2 & 1/4 inches.)  This measurement is from the bottom of the fold up to the very end of the jeans, which includes the original hem. 
Then subtract the first measurement of your original hem.  (Mine is: 2 & 1/4 - 1/2 = 1 & 3/4).

So now I pin my jeans to this length, as shown in the picture below:

Step Three: Sew! This is best done with a "zipper foot" on your machine,  but I didn't have one and it worked just fine! If you have a zipper foot, place it as close to the original hem as possible and then stitch following around the leg. 
 Be sure NOT to sew over the original hem anywhere!
If you do not use a zipper foot, like me Do notice the placement of my sewing machine's foot. Seen above. It is on the original hem, so I had to be extra careful not to veer into it!

Step Four: Measure your excess cuff.  If it is 3/4 of an inch or shorter, go to step 5.
If it is longer than 3/4 inch you have a can cut the inner excess cuff off, or you can tack it under.

A. First, if you choose to cut, measure and do not cut shorter than 1/2 inch.  This allows for future fraying.
B. Tacking it: Place double sided iron-on adhesive between the excess cuff and the leg of the jeans.  Like you are "taping" it inside.  Then Iron as directed on its package.  After ironing tack cuff, with a few hand stitches, to each of the pant leg seems.  Both the inner and outer seem. Shown below:
Step Five: Finally, Iron the outside of the pant leg.  Smoothing and flatening out the seem! 
I hope these work as well for you as they did for me!  And let me know if you have questions.  Some of the directions can be confusing!  But it was really easy and took me half an hour (following option B: tack and ironing).


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  2. Hello Colleen,
    I love you tutorial and cant wait to try it since I am 5'2" and almost all my jeans are too long for me. I am new to sewing and so this will probably sound easy for you but, In your pictures when you sewed it looked like you had tacked the overlapping portion to the portion that was not overlapping it seemed like then it would be far too short when you cut it. Am I supposed to move the portion that is too long into half and then sew my jeans? I hope you can understand my question thanks again for this tutorial I cant wait to start.

    1. Rae,
      Thanks for your comment and as i looked back I can see how you might be confused. So to clarify, in the pictures above I didn't actually cut the extra off before I tacked it, but I have done it both ways.

      So here is the basics either
      1. You want to tack the extra material down. If it is a large fold, then you will have more to cut off. If it is only a small fold of extra material, you may skip cutting it all together and tack it.
      2. Or you can cut the extra off really short and close then iron it nice and tacking needed.

      I hope that helps make sense! But if that didn't clarify your questions, let me know!




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