Alteration: My new favorite way to keep original hem on jeans

I am short. There is no other way to put it. I’m barely 5′ tall. I think I’ve only bought two pairs of used jeans in my life that were already hemmed to my length…ever…in my life!

My mom always hemmed my pants, even as I got older. Then, I started taking them in to a shop for alterations to keep the original hem which cost me $20/pair. I love how the original hem looks so I paid it. Well, recently I’ve tried a few different techniques and I’ve found one I really like. This is the tutorial I followed How to hem jeans

I started with a pair of new (used) jeans that fit great everywhere but in length.


I measured and pinned the jeans to the length I wanted them.

I needed to take off 4″ from the hem so I measured just over 2″ and pinned, measuring before pinning each time. Do not include the original hem when measuring. You’ll need to decide how much you want to take off then divide it in half and pin all the way around.




Now, sew very closely to the original hem, sewing to the right side of the hem. I reinforced this stitch and sewed around the hem twice because I wear jeans every day and need them durable.


Next, I cut off the excess. You can choose to keep it, especially if you’re hemming children’s jeans who may later need the length. I haven’t grown since 7th grade so I opted to cut off the excess material.


After, I ironed the hem to help it lay smoothly.


And now i have a great pair of jeans that aren’t drowning my ankles in fabric.



Optional: I prefer to do a top stitch right above the original hem to keep the bottom from rolling up after washing. This really does the trick (I’m way too busy/lazy to iron them each time) and this extra step keeps them flat. Make sure that you use thread that matches your jeans. I bought some jean thread that is heavy duty and matches really well; however, you do not actually need specialty thread, just make sure it matches and blends in.


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