How to hem jeans, Part 2

We’ve talked about this before, but I’m going to show you one more little “trick” that turns a good hem job into a great hem job.

First a quick run down on basic hemming. Try your pants on and have someone pin the cuffs at the level you want the pants to end up. On this pair it’s 2.5”.


Divide that measurement in half (1.25” on this pair) and measure from the edge of the factory hem that distance. Press all the way around.


Sew right up next to the factory hem. I like to start right before the most detailed side seam and make sure it’s lined up perfectly.


Go back to your ironing board and press the factory hem “down” and the part you just sewed “up”.


You can stop here if you want, but (especially after washing) you might find that the part you just sewed flips down and hangs out of your jeans or that your cuff flips up and makes the hemmed part visible.

Take your jeans back to the machine and stitch RIGHT on top of the seam line on both side seams.

(I left the thread tail on the 2nd picture so you can see where the stitching starts. Practically invisible, right?)

And here’s a look at the other seam:


Finished product?


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  1. I've been wondering for ages how on earth to hem things evenly! Now I know… Cheers!! x

  2. Pins, Curls & Bows says:

    What a fantastic finish – thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Pins, Curls & Bows says:

    What a fantastic finish – thanks for sharing! :)

  4. (un)Deniably Domestic says:

    Excellent! ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  5. My husband keeps asking me to hem his pants… I'm scared! You make it look so easy…..

    Semalee @ Nailing Jello to a Tree

  6. CoastalCody says:

    You are my hero…thank you for explaining this. Now I won't be afraid to buy a pair of jeans that are too long.

  7. I always need to hem my jeans, but rarely do because I have never been able to get them to look like the original. I am going to try your method.

  8. LIKE! this is always a problem for me. thanks for the tip!

  9. Thanks for this tutorial! I always have to hem my jeans but they never look right again. I will try this next time!!!

  10. I have been hemming jeans this way for a long time and it is the BEST way to do so. Other tutorials don't tell you to put the stitching down the sides and it just doesn't work. The side stitches are a HUGE must!

  11. Char…love the tip of going up the side seam. I don't hem jeans often, but I have used a blind hem…not as effective.

    Great tip!!!!

  12. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder says:

    I am seriously fasinated at how smooth that looks. Thank you!

  13. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder says:

    I am seriously fasinated at how smooth that looks. Thank you!

  14. Tiffany Sherman says:

    Too Cool and so easy! Thanks for this!!!

    • Candi Dunlap says:

      Thanks and appreciate so much the shortcuts. I was hemming jeans the same way and was going at it the long method. This way is so fast and simple!!

  15. Love the side seam tip. I've read other tutes that say to cut off the part that goes "up" on the inside once you've hemmed the pants so that it's not in the way.

  16. You have saved me so much time and money with this "the original" tutorial! I love it!

  17. Mama.Mommy.Mom. says:

    Awesome! Thank you so much!

  18. That rocks! Being a short person, I used to get by with just cutting off the bottom of the hem…but this looks soooooooo much classier! Thanks for sharing!!


  19. It looks so easy that I think I'm going to try this weekend on a pair of wonderful jeans that have been sitting in my drawer. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Kassi @ Truly Lovely says:

    Oh wow!!! I really like that you leave the factory seem there! All the ones I've ever seen done cut the extra off and you could totally tell they were home sewn! These you can't!!

  21. Umm… Amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

  22. The Yoder's Four says:

    Ohhh I get it! Hello, genius!

  23. Jeanne Lobsinger says:

    Do you think this could appy to yoga pants too? My 8yo dd needs a larger size and her pants are so long. I need to hem about six inches but I want to be able to let out the hem later without too much damage, Thanks

  24. Lovely Lizzy says:

    Thank you! Probably the best tutorial I've seen done for hemming jeans this way. Clear and to the point. Love it!

  25. So that's the trick! My mom told me once that she had a great trick for hemming jeans that allows you to keep the original hem along the bottom, but she never showed me exactly what it was. Now I know! Thanks!

  26. Vicky from *Loving Motherhood* says:

    Wow! What a clever idea!!! I love your blog! Keep it coming!


  27. Amy Savage says:

    This makes me so happy. I always have to hem my jeans and I actually just bought a pair over the weekend that is waiting for me. I never like taking away the factory hem and now you have solved my problem. And no cutting either! Yippee!

  28. Simply EC says:

    That's a clever trick, I usually just chop them off and one of my older workhorse machines (a 1923 Singer and a Pfaff from the 40's) to sew a jean hem since my newer machine scoffs at sewing through a few layers of denim with cotton denim thread. I was doing it for extra cash for awhile so I got good at it but I like this idea because you can take the hem out to lengthen the jeans. And I assume my newer machine wouldn't turn it's nose up at doing this instead. Genius!

  29. Ok, this is like the coolest tip ever. I would never have thought of this, it's brilliant! Being a short girl, I definitely will be using this trick, thank you for posting it!

  30. Sparkling says:

    Ugh, you're a genius and I am so jealous. I think this thought has occurred to me, but in my fantasy, I wasn't going to sew the under piece to the seams the way you did, I was going to serge them off. But then they were going to be bulky and I didn't want that. So I gave up. Sewing them into the side seams is truly spectacular. Truly. The one thing I do worry about is that I will catch my feet in the folded up piece when hopping into them and either break a toe or rip it out. I tend to hop recklessly into my pants.

    I also think it's funny that Simply EC thinks she will have to lower her hems. Like she might grow after wearing them at the new length for a while???

  31. Inspired Gal {Scrapbooking} says:

    brilliant! I needed this years ago :0)

  32. This is great! Wish I'd known this a couple of weeks ago, before I cut the hems off my jeans…. Will definitely use this next time!!! :~)

  33. Amy Savage says:

    Would love to see a "Part 3" on how to handle the flare in the jeans. mine looked ok when I did this but the excess in the cuff was boggling.

  34. Can you come hem my jeans for me? ;)

  35. Emily@JanDee Crafts says:

    Oh my thank you a bunch! I have a whole family of shorties and this is going to change how we buy jeans! I am going to feature this post today and give you the credit you deserve too! Come and see…in a few minutes anyway (haha)

  36. Genius!! I have tried many different techniques, this is the best, thanks!

  37. Awesome!! I've always wondered…and now I can do it for my whole family! Thanks!!

  38. ascrapoftime says:

    I have needed to hem my son's jeans because they are ALWAYS too long and then he ruins the bottom of the pants. I didn't want to hem them though and give a "hemmed" look that he would get teased about. This is perfect!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  39. shut UP! that is AWESOME!!!!

  40. Nice. My short stubby legs totally thank you.

  41. definitely needed this tutorial! Thank you. thank you. thank you. a million times over!!

  42. Lisa from Craftified! says:

    I've wanted to do this to a few jeans and I think I just might try it this weekend… Before I have holes all over the place! They don't make jeans for people that are 5'1"!

  43. MMB Creations says:


  44. She'sSewPretty says:

    OMGosh! I am going to try this today. I hate hemming jeans because the hem never looks the same. I have short legs too so it is always a problem. I think I might serge the piece you ironed up off too and see how that works! Great, great, great idea!!

  45. Now that is an interesting concept that I am going to have to try! Thanks for sharing such and awesome idea!

  46. I posted a link to this in my blog today because I managed to do this hem, finally and I am in love!!! Go see!!

  47. Wow! What a GREAT tutorial!! I have always wondered how you can hem jeans and still have them look like the real deal.

  48. Mimi Lou says:

    great, thank you and my husband who’s good will jeans I have been avoiding hemming thanks you

  49. Mary Anne says:

    This is what I have been searching for…I have a beautiful adopted daughter who is Korean, and is quite short….then we have a biological daughter who is 5 years younger, and only 5 inches shorter than her sis! I was hoping and searching for a way to hem jeans, that I can let out later for the little(tall!) one! You have saved my budget 100s! :) Thanks again! :)

  50. Gwen Anderson says:

    You are a genius! Thought you should know. Thanks so much.

  51. Stephanie M says:

    that is great—but how do you make a pair LONGER???

  52. This is awesome! Thank you. I just got a new pair of pants that need hemmed,but there was no way I could match the original thread and look. This is a life savor!

  53. I just used this tutorial to hem my 6-year old (not your average stick figure) girl’s jeans for school. I dreaded her going to school where she is required to wear pants because I have to buy her a size 8 for her waist which leaves a good 2 inches at the bottom to hem up. After doing this in all of 20 minutes I am excited to go and get her a couple more pairs of jeans. I was crying because I am so excited for her to get to wear “the cute jeans” now. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial and making it so easy!!! If I could I would HUG you right now!! Thank you thank you thank you!

  54. Have always had a problem with flair leg pants or those that are 4-6 inches too long. Any suggestions for this?

  55. Swodosarah says:

    click online at my estore

  56. I love this method, I have used it several times since I am 5’3″. I have even shortened capris into long shorts this way. Best way to keep the original hem!

  57. Marcia Fowler says:

    This sounds like a good way to keep the original hem there…wish I had thought of it when my short son was in school…we did lots of things to try and make them not look rehemmed (not shortened) even sandpaper…to him it was embarrassing…this is cool!

  58. Michelle says:

    What color thread are you using? Is is virtually invisable.

  59. Char, this is so awesome!

    Why the white bobbin? It’s such a no brainer! I’m sure I’m not the only one saying “why didn’t I know to do that?” Are pants like Khakis done the same way? What is the trick to shortening pants-anything but jeans?I have never shortened any pair of pants and had them turn out even. Close, but not…..

  60. I did it! I’m not even a good seamstress, and this worked out (with some practice first on a scrap fabric). Both tips worked out fantastic! So much better than cutting off the hem! Thank you!!!!

  61. Claire Beel says:

    Thank you, I will try this once my machine is sorted, what a great idea :)

  62. ? Re: hemming pants, keeping the factory hem:
    What do you do with excess fabric after you stitch on top of the hem line! The fabric that is left after you’ve hemmed?

    • Since it isn’t cut, it lays flat against the pant leg on the inside. Then it is stitched on the inner seam to help hold it there.

  63. Thanks so much, great tutorial.

  64. What I love about this hem is, if you ever need to lengthen the hem later (children’s jeans), then just rip it out and you’re good to go! :)

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  66. I’ve seen similar hemming, but never this well done.
    The side seam stitching is brilliant. Thanks a million

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  1. […] wearing shorts! I saw Christie from A Lemon Squeezy Home convert her capris to shorts using Char’s pants hemming tutorial {from Crap I’ve Made}. I had just bleached my pants with dishwasher detergent. What? I […]

  2. Sleeve Blog says:

    There No Sacrificing Style

    [...] image, please) any tutorials on this site, as long as credit is given. Tutorials [...]

  3. Poker99 says:

    How to hem jeans, Part 2 – Crap I

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