How To Hem Jeans Using The Original Hem

So many of you have wondered how to hem your jeans by using the original rolled hem.

I had never done this before as I hadn’t personally had any customers ask for it.

Until now.

My own daughter asked me to hem hers that way.

So, who better to try a new technique on than my own offspring?

Based on her recommendations, which corresponded to some of your instructions, I hemmed her jeans in no time.

I’ve always written posts based on alterations I have done before.

Some of them I’ve done hundreds of times.

But, this is the first post where I am a rookie.

(Update Here is a photo of my daughter’s jeans using two different techniques:

hemming jeans with 2 different techniques

The technique for the leg on the right (Technique #1) is described below.

If you like the looks of the pant leg on the left, you’ll find the instructions here. They are written by one of my first followers and I like it best.

But, if you like the looks of the right leg, stay right here.

There’s also a third technique which I will link to at the bottom of this post as well and that is for hemming the jeans when you don’t care about the original hem and you want it done fast!

As a side note, you most likely will be sewing over thick seams on your jeans. My suggestion is that you use a Jean-a-ma-jig. It makes all the difference. Read about it here and come on back here to learn the techniques of How to Hem Jeans Using the Original hem!

Technique #1

The basic idea is that I am going to cut off the old hem and re-stitch it farther up the pant leg.

The new seam I make will next to the stitching on the original rolled hem.

Let’s take a look at this technique step by step.

First, I had my daughter try on the jeans.

I folded up the jeans and pinned the denim where she wanted the bottom edge of the hem to be:

Michelle's jeans folded up to the new hemline measurement

Next, I pressed that bottom edge with an iron:

(Yes, you could turn the hem to the inside and press it the other way, but this edge isn’t going to show later, so I eliminated a step by just pressing it as is.)

This pressed edge will be our guide to show us where to stitch the new seamline for the hem.

ironing the new hemline on Michelle's jeans

The next step is to trim off the original hem edge.

I don’t want to cut right next to the rolled hem edge because that wouldn’t give me any seam allowance and I’d have to sew over the big hump of fabric at the hem.

I decided that one inch allowance gave me enough “insurance” and gave the hem enough extra fabric so that the hem doesn’t roll to the outside while wearing the jeans.

So, I cut the jeans like this:

trimming Michelle's jeans

Do you see the extra fabric I have to the right of the scissors?

I cut it far enough away that I can make a seam allowance.

That’s the amount that is crucial to the success of this hem. Make sure you give yourself enough denim.

As I mentioned, I gave it an inch.

This is what it should look like, completely cut away from the jeans:

the original hem cut off from the jeans

Next, you’re going to match this “circle of denim” right sides together to the pant leg.

Match up the side seams.

then, pull the “circle” down the leg (up the leg?) like this and pin below that pressed fold:

pin the "circle" of hem to the jeans farther up the pant leg

Now, we’re going to make sure it is in the right spot.

Fold up that original rolled hem and peek under the cut edge to make sure the rolled hem edge lines up with the fold that you pressed earlier like this:

making sure the hem circle is in the right spot before stitching it back on

Looking at the above photo, the pressed folded edge is lined up with the rolled hem edge. You just can’t see it because the rolled hem is covering it up.

But, it’s there, under my thumbnail.

Everything from the top of my thumb down, will be what the jeans will look like when we’re finished.

Is this making sense?

Ok, holding that rolled hem edge very carefully, so that nothing slips, unfold that rolled hem edge and put a pin in that spot like this:

pin circle of hem in place so I can sew it

You’re now going to sew right next to the rolled hem edge like this:

stitching the hem circle back onto the jeans higher up the leg

Just make sure you don’t sew over any pins.

Take them out before that happens!

Now, fold the raw edges under to the inside of the jeans.

From the right side of the jeans, the new hem should look like this:

the new hem from the right side of the jeans

This is what it looks like if you peek inside the jeans:

the look from the wrong side of the jeans after the hem circle is sewn on

My raw edges are not finished yet.

I want my daughter to try them on first, before I trim anything or finish the edges.

This is what they look like after I pressed them on the outside:

the view of the jeans from the right side

Ok, now you’ve seen this first technique.

For technique #2, jump over to Blankenmom’s website and see how she does it.

My daughter liked Blankenmom’s technique better.

I do too.

It seems like the hem will stay down better and not flip up.

It also encases the raw edges, which is another plus.

Thanks again, Teresa at Blankenmom!

We all learned something new.

****If your customers prefer a hem that doesn’t use the original edge, here is a post on How To Hem Your Jeans the Professional Way.