Hemming Jeans

Category Alterations
If your jeans need adjusting it is best to hem them properly after sizing. This is a page about hemming jeans.


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There is a way to hem jeans that preserves the original stitching. In my area it is called a "special hem", and costs a lot extra if the store or a seamstress does it. I Googled "hemming jeans like a pro" and found several tutorials. It is really easy and doesn't take long at all. I used a sewing machine, but you can do it by hand if you don't have one. Not only is the original stitching saved, but you do not cut any excess fabric away, which is a big help if you are going to pass the jeans on and the next person is taller.

Total Time: About 1/2 hour, including measuring the pants.


  • jeans
  • tape measure
  • marker
  • pins
  • thread
  • sewing machine (optional)


  1. With the right side out, fold the pants up so you can see how much you have to shorten.
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  3. Divide the amount you have to shorten by 1/2. Note: DO NOT include the existing hem in your calculations. Mark with chalk or a marker. I like to pin on the line I just marked.
  4. Stitch the cuff all the way around, getting as close to the hem edge as you can, without actually stitching into it. Some people like to use a zipper foot at this point.
  5. On the inside of the leg, finger-press the cuff upwards. Then use the iron to press it.
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  7. On the right side of the pants press with an iron.
  8. I like to put a few stitches in the cuff so that it doesn't fall down when I am wearing the pants, and doesn't flop down after washing.
  9. Enjoy your pants that now fit you perfectly!
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