My 11 year old has to have about 4 inches taken off the bottom of his jeans. What is the best way to hem them? I have tried the sewing machine, but always end up with a mess when I go over the seam welt. Any ideas? Thanks.
By Jill from nw PA
Several years ago I bought something that you slip under the pressure foot of the sewing machine, as you approach the seams in jeans, when you are hemming them, it helps a lot. That particular area still doesn't turn out perfect all the time, but it is a definite improvement. A lot depends on the heaviness of the fabric. I'm sure this little thing-a-ma-jig can still be purchased if you look the right places. Before I got this little piece of plastic, I would hand turn the wheel on the machine through the seams. The stitches were bigger, but if the thread matches close enough who is going to notice. I also do my stitching, when I am shortening jeans on the right side of the fabric, because as a whole if you are going to get a big mess it will be on the side that you don't stitch on. (10/04/2010)
I, too, turn the wheel on the machine by hand when going over seams. That's what Mom taught me so the needle doesn't break. I did this just last night when I shorted the hem on a denim jacket. (10/04/2010)
Buy a "Jean-a-ma-jig" (I think that is what it's called). I got mine from JoAnn Fabric. You put it under your feeder foot as you approach the jean seam and sew a little slower. Works every time and the stitches look great. (10/06/2010)
I hand sew pants and jeans when they need to be hemmed. (10/07/2010)
It helps to cut away any bulk at the side seams before hemming. (10/08/2010)
I learned a neat trick from a seamstress in a fashion store at the mall who does mostly jean hems all day. She measures the finished length and cuts away the required inches plus about 1/2 inch. From the cut off bottom hem, trim the fabric close to the original hem, but leave enough of a fabric 'tab' to stitch back to the cut part higher up. Stitch the skinny original hem back onto the cut off pant sewing very close to the top edge of the store sewn hem. She uses a serger, but I've done it successfully with a regular straight stitch and zig-zag the raw edges. Press small seam up. You can barely see the seam since it's so close to the thick hem. Hope this makes sense.
The only problem with this method is that if you take off a lot of pant leg the original hem from the bottom may be larger around than the new pant length where you want to stitch it. :-) (10/08/2010)
I do jeans all the time. I make sure shortening them includes cutting the original hem off. I leave 1 full inch to fold under, gives you whoops room. I also press the jean/pants where it is to be finished at. Gives visual without a lot of pinning. I have that adapter to use for the sewing machine, found I did better without it. Slow down, have an 18 sized needle in it. Good thread, 100% cotton. I don't use the same color the thread was originally. I use the pant color thread. easier to hid the hem. I can also blind hem with my sewing machine, so that is an option too. But steam pressing of what you sew is important. It helps flatten it very well. Don't sew it till it is dry. (10/10/2010)
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