Taking up a pair of Jeans

I get vanity sizing; saying that a 40″ waist is a 38″ is something that I understand (I don’t approve, but I understand), but saying that the inseam in 32″ when it’s actually 35″ makes no sense to me. So despite being very happy with my new jeans, there is a lot of excess for me to take up; being as awesome as I am, not only am I incredibly stylish, my skill set is also incredibly versatile, and I am quite capable of doing all my own alterations (it saves a lot of money on tailoring). Now that I am finished tooting my own horn, this is my guide to altering jeans. This is the way that I learnt, which allows you to keep the original hem without needing special thread or a better sewing machine than the one that I have.

Step 1: Measure

I have a pair of the same jeans already hemmed, so I can use those to measure the correct length. If you don’t have a pair to compare them to, put the jeans on, and fold them up until they are the length that you want (just above the floor when standing is my usual length), and have a friend mark them. Now measure the current hem, and double it. That measurement is how far above the first mark that the bottom of the hem will be folded to; refer to the pictures for a guide.

CAM00129

Step 2: Fold and pin

Divide the length in half from the top line, and fold the jeans along this new line. Ensure that the seams line up properly, iron the fold flat, and pin or baste the jeans into place (basting is loose hand stitches designed to temporarily hold the fabric together).

CAM00132

Folded, Ironed, and Basted into place

The seams don’t quite line up in the picture, but I mostly fixed that when sewing it.

Step 3: Sew

You want to sew as close to the current hem as possible, so remove the regular foot from the sewing machine, and attach the zipper foot. Sew around the jeans, keeping the foot against the hem, and take care when going over the thick seams.

CAM00139

Zipper Foot

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CAM00148

The bottom one looks darker because it’s wet

CAM00141 CAM00144

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Once you have sewn the hem, turn it inside the jeans and iron it flat. Next use a blind hem stitch to attach the excess to the inside of the jeans. Click here for a quick video guide to a blind hem stitch, if you need it.

 

Alternate Method

If you have a decent sewing machine, with the right needle and thread, you can take up the jeans the proper way; that is, measure the final length, and add twice the length of the new hem. Fold up the end of the jeans by the length of the hem, and then once again. Sew around the hem, and you’re done. If you use the right thread, the hem should look like the original.

My method is easier for me, but use the one that you prefer.

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