Jean-a-ma-jig…what is that?

Yesterday, we covered how to hem your jeans the professional way. There’s also a post entitled, How To Hem Jeans Using the Original Hem, and both of these posts recommend that you use a Jean-a-ma-jig to help you hem them easier.

A Jean-a-ma-jig, what is that?

Well, they are a tool that helps you maneuver the thick double stitched seams and hems that you find in jeans and other heavy duty garments and outdoor gear, for example.

They look like this:

a photo of a jean a ma jig, 030

They are made of hard plastic and they measure 1 1/2″ x 2″ in size and they are not quite 1/4″ thick.

Sewing without one, means that you break alot of needles and/or your thread gets all caught up in the bobbin and you have a bird’s nest of thread to cut and pull out of there…a total mess. 

Have you had that happen when you’ve sewn on jeans before?

When you use this gadget, it keeps the presser foot flat as it sews over this thick junction and you have success. I don’t know the physics or anything, I just know it works!

News Flash: In this post, I will use the words “gizmo” and “gadget”  interchangeably. It’s only so I don’t have to type “jean-a-ma-jig” over and over.

So, now let’s look at how to use it.

When you are sewing the hem and you are approaching the big hump on a pair of jeans or heavy jacket or whatever, you stitch right up to the hump and then lift your presser foot and slide the gizmo behind the presser foot like this.

a jean a ma jig under the presser foot with a jean hem

Then, make sure you put the presser foot down and stitch until you sew to the edge of the hump. (this may be four or five stitches.) At that point, if your hump is not too big, you may be able to lift the presser foot up, take the gizmo out , put the presser foot down and just continue sewing.

Sometimes, I just keep sewing and the Jean-a-ma-jig will just drop off behind and that’s perfectly fine. It sort of knows when the job is done.

However, if you have a really huge bump, (Like Levi jeans have) you can lift the presser foot up, move the jean-a-ma-jig to the front of the presser foot , put the presser foot back down and contunue stitching until you have passed the danger zone (until you have sewn past the hump area completely). Just make sure that the gadget is positioned so that the long narrow opening is in front of the needle, like it is in the photo below.

stitching with a jean a ma jig, 032

Do you see how I have the gadget butted up against the seam where it is the thickest? You can tell I’ve already stitched the seam, but I wanted to let you see how the gizmo lines up with the seam. Once you have sewn over the hump and completely passed it, then take the gizmo out and make sure the presser foot is still down and continue sewing around the hem. It’s easier than it looks, but e-mail me or leave a comment if you have any trouble. I’m all about helping you get it right!

I use this gadget for so many other projects as well: back packs, cushions, jackets, heavy zippered areas, jean and pant zippers, etc.

Here’s where you can buy a Jean a ma jig.

I’m trying to link smaller stores to keep our small businesses open, but you can probably find these cheaper in larger retail stores. And for now, Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s still honor awesome coupons.

See how inexpensive your toys are when you sew?!!!