How to keep the original hem on jeans (2 options)



1. What does keeping the original hem mean?

Keeping the original hem on jeans means to preserve any wear or distress that was done to the jean in the hem area. 

This makes the alteration less visible and that‘s the reason 95% of our clients prefer that we keep the original hem when we shortening their jeans.

Of course, you can hem the jeans with a regular double folded hem as well, especially if there is no worn out effect made to preserve.

But,

If you would rather keep the original hem, here are two different ways to do it. You can choose either one to get professional results on your favourite jeans.



Here is one of the ways you can do it.

2. Keep the original hem on jeans (option 1)

2.1. What you are going to need (image 1)

  • a me​​​​asuring tape
  • pins​​​​
  • a thread t​​​​h​​​​at matches the color of the jeans
  • a seam ripper
  • a h​​​​and needle

2.2. Steps to follow

Measure the excess length

That is the amount of fabric that you’ve folded up (image 2). I am leaving the actual hem out, but this is my preference. I do it because jeans tend to shrink in length due to washing over time.

 You can leave it out like I do, or include in the overall excess. It’s not of such importance because in most cases the hem is just ⅗ of an inch or 1.5 cms. Sometimes it's even smaller.

how to keep the original hem on jeans

Divide the excess by two (image3)

We are going to sew the excess as a fold, so we have to divide it by 2. In our case ½ of 2 inches is 1 inch. If you measure in cms, ½ of 5 cms is 2.5 cms. So I remove the pin and shorten the fold by half.

Put pins on all four sides of the legs (image4)

I put pins on all 4 sides of the leg, because I want to pin and sew precisely and even. I also don’t want to twist at the side seams. The better you match the side seams here, the less visible the alteration would be.

Make the seam to fix the fold 

The next step would be to make the seam as close as possible to the original hem, without sewing on it. I prefer to use the zipper foot and a matching blue thread (image 5).

I like to check if the side seams match and how it looks on the outside, because this is the actual hem seam we make, using this technique (image6). 

If I am happy with the result and how the side seams match, I continue with the steps below.

make original hem on jeans

Remove the excess fabric

When these seams are done, we are almost ready. I like to shorten the excess (image 7), using the serger (image 8). You can clean the edges as you prefer.  

If the excess on the inside is not much, you can skip this step altogether. You can also skip it if you have any doubts regarding the length or something else.

make original hem

Fix the fold in place

Then, to make sure that it is going to stay in place, I sew by hand with a couple of stitches at the side seams so that it is not visible on the outside (image 9).

 Sometimes, when I happen to have really matching blue thread, I chose to topstitch on the face side instead of fixing it in place by hand.

And our original jeans hem is ready (image 10).

Here is the video tutorial on that technique:

3. Keep the original hem on jeans with a binding hem (option 2)

3.1. What you are going to need (image 1)

To follow this technique, you are going to need:

The first couple of steps to follow here are pretty much the same as the described above.

hem jeans with original hem

I do it because jeans tend to shrink in length due to washing over time. You can leave it out like I do, or include in the overall excess. It’s not of such importance because in most cases the hem is just ⅗ of an inch or 1.5 cms. Sometimes it is even smaller.

I’ve measured that I need to shorten these jeans with 2 inches or 5 cms.

Divide the excess by two (image 3)

We are going to sew the excess as a fold, so we have to divide it by 2. In our case ½ of 2 inches is 1 inch. If you measure in cms, ½ of 5 cms is 2.5 cms. So I remove the pin and shorten the fold by half.

Put pins on all four sides of the legs (image 4)

I put pins on all 4 sides of the leg, because I want to pin and sew precisely and even. I also don’t want to twist at the side seams. The better you match the side seams here, the less visible the alteration would be.

Make the seam to fix the fold

The next step would be to make the seam as close as possible to the original hem, without sewing on it (image 5). I prefer to use the zipper foot and a matching blue thread.

Remove the original hem thread (image 6)

The seam we’ve just made is  going to keep everything in place. So, we are going to break the original seam and remove the thread completely.

Then, we are going to

original hem tutorial


Sew the hem with the jeans thread

 I am going to sew exactly on the line of the original hem and use a thread that matches the previous color (image 9). You will find out that the actual holes where the needle entered into the fabric are fixed in result of the wear and distress on the jean. So try to sew on that line.

You can pin “the binding” in place here, I am skipping this step and fold it while I sew.

I am making a couple of stitches rolling the wheel by hand where the side seams are. It is very thick. Sometimes I would even smash it with a hammer a couple of times to make it less bulky and easier to feed it into the machine.

And our binding original hem is ready (image 10​​​​). It is almost invisible and we charge more for it.

make original hem on jeans

If you prefer to watch the tutorial on video, here it is:

4. Which of these two techniques to chose?

Both of this techniques have their advantages, so you might use either of them on different pairs of jeans. The “binding hem” looks good on the inside and the outside, but can’t be undone once it is finished.

The other option is very practical when you hem the jeans on growing kids and you don’t want to cut out the excess length. When the child grows taller, you can just break the seam you made and the jeans would restore their original length.

Did you like this sewing tutorial? Tell me what you think in the comments below or share it with someone who might find it useful.

Have fun sewing!


Related posts:

1. ​​​​Fix a hole in jeans between the legs

2.How To Take In The Waist Of Jeans For A Better Fit

3.Sewing a hem with an overlocker (serger)

4.How to repair ripped jeans

5.How To Shorten Pants With Double Folded Hem

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