Threads Hem Jeans .pdf
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Three ways to shorten jeans
I would like a fast, simple way to hem jeans that looks original and “store bought.” Everything I’ve tried makes my jeans
look like they were hemmed. Help!
—Jane Horner via email
Angela Wolf, of ABO Apparel LLC, teaches custom jeans making. She answers: When it comes to jeans, we all hate to
lose the distressing that’s unique to a hem. Here’s how to shorten jeans without the sacrifice. With these methods,
there is a new seam directly above the original hem; however, due to the nature of denim, this seam is very hard to detect.
METHO D 1
METHO D 2
1. Measure the amount you want to shorten your pants.
Unsew the hem, being careful not to rip the fabric.
2. Mark a line ⅛ inch above the original stitching line and
from that line, measure and mark the amount determined in step 1 and draw a line. With right sides together,
align, pin, and sew these two lines together; this removes
the excess amount and shortens your jeans with a horizontal tuck inside the leg.
3. Trim the excess tuck to a ¼-inch-wide seam allowance.
4. Press the seam toward the original hem, and hammer
the seam. This compacts the denim layers, especially at
the side seams, making it easier to sew. Refold the hem
along the original foldline, hammer one more time, and
pin in place.
5. With the right side up, topstitch the hem following the
original stitching line. Use a 90/14 denim sewing machine
needle and a long stitch length; 4.0 mm or 4.5 mm looks
the best. Match the new thread as closely to the original
as possible. Jean topstitching thread is ideal; however,
three strands of standard polyester thread may be used,
If you are shortening jeans more than 2 inches or hemming
skinny jeans, follow the previous steps, but you’ll need to
taper the leg for the original hem to fit. In this case, mark
½ inch above the original stitching line, and cut off the
hem. Open the side seam (or whichever seam doesn’t have
topstitching) from the hem up to enable tapering to the hem
circumference. Restitch the seam as needed and reattach the
original hem at the new length, taking special care to align
the side seams. Follow method 1, steps 4 and 5, to finish.
Open the seam
to taper the leg.
The hem is cut
METHO D 3
Turn under fold.
New stitching line
This last method enables you to preserve the original topstitching. Fold out (or cut away) the desired amount and sew
the new seam directly above the sewn hem, using a zipper
foot to get as close as possible. The downside to this method
is that the seam allowance is not enclosed in the hem. Finish
this seam allowance with a zigzag stitch or a narrow serged
edge, and press it up away from the hem.
Remove this tuck section