Monday, January 9, 2012

TUTORIAL: How to hem jeans

Have you ever tried on a great fitting pair of jeans only to look down and see they are WAY TOO long? This happens to me all the time since I am petite. I used to shy away from long jeans and would simply keep looking for another pair, figuring I would wear boots all the time to give me a boost and not have to hem them. Well of course that only works for so long, right? Nowadays with skinny jeans being so "in" I had no choice but to face my fear and figure out how to alter jeans. Believe me, once you cut into your first pair and alter them yourself, there's no going back! You won't need to get them professionally altered, rather, you can do it yourself every time!

Here goes!! Don't be afraid to cut your jeans, girls!

How to hem your jeans

Gather materials:
*Jeans that need altering / hemming
*Denim needle for your sewing machine (or a size 90/size 14 needle...see below)
*straight edge ruler
*thread (I usually go with a goldish color)

1. Figure out how much shorter your jeans need to be and subtract 1 from that.
*These jeans needed to be 2 inches shorter, so 2-1 = 1 inch.

2. Using your straight edge draw your cutting line at this new number. (I am drawing my line at 1 inch.)
I always use a sharpie.

3. See the line? Repeat for the other jean leg.

4. Cut along the lines - don't be scared, just do it!!
I figure I won't wear these jeans as long as they are now anyway, and definitely won't roll them!
So what have I got to lose?
**Save one of these pieces to test your needle and thread tension in a few steps.

5. Fold up a 1 inch hem and press with an iron. Do not pin yet.

6. Take the top (cut end) of the jeans and gently fold it down with your fingers to meet the fold you just pressed with an iron. This will give you a 1/2 inch folded hem.

7. Continue and pin all around. Repeat for other leg.

8. Insert your denim needle (or larger sized needle since denim is thick).

9. Test your bobbin and thread tension on the scrap you saved. Sew on it in a straight line.
Play around on the scrap until you feel comfortable with the tension and stitch length. I use a 3.0 stitch length.

10. Sew along the pinned edge and remove the pins as you sew. Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance, or simply stay as close to the folded edge as you can. Repeat for both jean legs.

 HINT: when you come to your side seams you want to keep your presser foot flat as it sews. If it tilts up and then down your stitches will not be even. I just lift the jean material behind the presser foot as it goes over the "bump" of the side seam. This keeps it flat on the material and it keeps sewing smoothly.

You did it! They may not be perfect the first time, but you definitely won't be stepping on them anymore!
Go sport your new jeans and don't be afraid of long jeans ever again!! You can hem your jeans!

Enjoy and Happy Sewing!
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