After Caleb was born I bought some transition jeans and did this hack job when I hemmed them. This time around I thought I’d better try to do it right since my new jeans are from Banana Republic and cost $89.50. Seriously? Yes. And I’m so worth it. Well, not really. I got them on clearance for $17.99. Fantastic, huh? At first, I just folded them under and sewed a single seam. It took about 2 minutes and it looked horrible. They went from looking like $90 jeans to looking like they were $17.99 jeans. So, I ripped it out and I’m very happy with the results, so I thought I’d share.
First turn the jeans inside out. Fold up the bottom and iron. To calculate how much to fold up to this: (where x is the length you want to shorten by)
(x/2) + 0.5″ = amount to fold up
I needed to shorten these jeans by 2″. So, 2/2 = 1″ + 0.5″ = 1.5″
You can see above that I measured 1.5″.
Now listen up because this is where I deviated from the jeans hemming tutorials I found online. You don’t want to sew right up against the edge of the hem.
Notice I am NOT using a zipper foot. I’m using the standard foot for thick fabric. That’s a B foot for Vikings. I scooted the needle as far to the left as I could.
You want the stitches to be 0.75″ away from the edge of the jeans (not the fold).
Make sure that you sew through both side seams (there is a picture at the end demonstrating one leg having this done and the other not). It’s probably a good idea to turn the needle with the knob instead of using your presser foot. It’s a lot of denim to sew through!
Should look like this when you’re done.
Turn the jeans right side out again.
Using similar color thread as the original, stitch a new seam as close as possible to the fold edge.
Here’s the problem. My New Year’s resolution is to not sew through 10 layers of denim anymore. So, I did not sew over the inside side seam.
I did sew through the outside side seam, but I turned it by hand instead of using the foot pedal.
Go over the stitches a second time. Trust me. It’ll look better.
Here’s a look of the inside.
The finished hem.
The inside seams. Notice that the one on the left looks better. That is because I sewed through the inside side seam on the first round of stitches (the first fold). I didn’t do that with the right side.
Here is a look of the first side completed.