Monday, April 11, 2016

How to Shorten Jeans the Easy (Easier) Way



My problem (well, the one that I'm sharing) is that I'm not tall enough for medium length jeans, but am too tall for short length jeans. That means I either have to wear jeans that drag on the floor or I need to hem them. 

I had three pair(s) of blue jeans that were too long, but had avoided trying to hem them because I was afraid that I'd simply have been trading one tackiness for another. At least that was my excuse. That's until my daughter told me about this nifty way to shorten jeans without any obvious, weird hemline.

I took the above photos to try to give you a play by play of how this works. The first pair was not so easy, until I understood the instructions. After that, I could have shortened several pair in no time.


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Put jeans on. Put your shoes on, the ones you're going to most likely wear with those jeans.


1. Fold jeans up (wrong side out) until jeans are the right length. Pin all around.


Measure the length you folded up. (for example, 3".) Write it down. Take jeans off. (This is kinda important) ;-)

2. Unpin the jeans, fold back down. Make a row of pins all the way around the pant leg at 3".

Measure from very bottom of jeans up the leg of the jeans to 4" (one inch more than what you'd measured). Make a line of pins all the way around the leg at that length, the 4" above the leg hem edge. (the very bottom). (I found the first row of pins to be a nuisance, and with the second and third pairs, just measured one inch more than the measurement in step 1, rather than having two rows of pins.



3. Fold bottom of hem edge up (wrong side out) to the pin line.


4. Sew a straight line right up against the original hem.


5. Just under that straight line you just sewed, zigzag around the pant leg (at least twice), or use a blanket stitch.


6. Cut off the excess just below the zigzag. I don't have a serger, but I suppose you could use one of those.


7. Turn hem down and sew another line right on the original hem seam line. I think it's called the 'stitch in the ditch,' to help it lie flat and avoid a second obvious line.



8. This is what it looks like on the outside. You can hardly tell that any alterations have been made.



9.  This is what it looks like on the inside.



What I have noticed is that when you wash and dry your jeans the next time, they will fray right up to the zigzag line, so make sure that is a good, sturdy (double) seam. Trim any frayed strings. You might have to press the hem flat before wearing your jeans, but I found this to be a really easy way to shorten my jeans and have them look decent.

If my instructions are confusing, try the original instructions in the link below.

You're right: I'm not clever enough to have thought this up. The original post with the idea came from:

 http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/11/how-to-shorten-jeans/

P.S. German Shepherd included to keep you from getting bored. Or to keep me from getting bored as I was hemming the jeans!


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39 comments:

Lowcarb team member said...

If you do need to shorten trousers or jeans, a task I've never been keen on, these are good tips. Thanks for sharing.

Have a great Monday and all good wishes for this new week ahead.

All the best Jan

Lynne said...

NICE . . .
Great tutorial . . .

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the hem looks great. Thanks for sharing the tips. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That's a great idea. It's impossible to sew through all of the thickness so this works better. I don't have much problem ...I find petites that fit. But my sister and Mother are both 5 ft tall and they sure could use the info! I'll pass it along. Hugs!

Peggy Jones said...

Thank goodness I don't have to shorten any jeans but if I did you did a great job showing how to do it. I do have a couple pair of slacks that need it. I think I will give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

podso said...

Sure wish i had known this all the times I had to shorten my son's pants. This looks so easy. And your little german shepherd seems to be a big help in the process!

Tired Teacher said...

Well done!

Cathy Keller said...

This was a really informative post. It was nice to meet your German Shepherd. He and Super-Pup would certainly get along! Have a grand day!

Sandra said...

first i would have to buy a sewing machine, then pay someone to teach me to run it on and run it, another lesson for he bobbin which drove me crazy when i tried this in highschool. and following directions is not my thing unless it is computer geek related... soooo i took a pair of jeans to a seamtress and asked her to shorten them to capri length and add the material as 2 pockets since i don't carry a purse. she only charged me 14 dollars... i do have to say these photos show you have talent with your machine and i would never have know they were hemmed

Debby Ray said...

I think I get it! And I just may put it to use the next time I buy Jim a new pair of jeans. They just don't make men's jeans with a 29" inseam! Great idea and thanks for sharing, Judy. Love that darling pin cushion of yours :)

maddie/cadesmimi said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.
Kathy (Reflections)

Small City Scenes said...

Great idea. I used to shorten all my Jeans but not anymore I just let them drag--not--I just make one bottom fold and think I look stylish. Maybe not but in my old age I got lazy. LOL
MB

Rose said...

I have seen them done this way in Youtube videos...

Arlene Grimm said...

How clever!!

Tracy Batchelder said...

That's pretty nifty. Luckily I can usually find the right length in jeans. It's a different story with dressier pants. I always have to hem them, but that's not as challenging as jeans.

Elizabethd said...

That's a very clever idea. My jeans are never long enough!

Debbie said...

This was really interesting! I am one of those women who at five foot six never really has any problems with length...HOWEVER! LOL When my daughter was in high school she used to like to buy the design jeans which ALWAYS came way too long unless you were wearing heels with them. [must have been the style at the time] Which sometimes was wonderful but certainly not always. So every once in a while we'd need to shorten a pair to make them work with sandals etc. We bought a lot of these kind of jeans at Nordstroms, and believe it or not they would shorten them for her for FREE. Well, they used this method apparently as it was always the original hem was somehow being used and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why....NOW I know how they did it! If the need should arise with any of my grand daughters in the future I can fix them like the professionals at Nordstrom's did, lol. Thanks for this tutorial!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

It's a great way to shorten your jeans, Judy! My sister showed me this technique and it's so much easier than the old way. Your mascot looks like a great helper. Enjoy a beautiful day! ♥

shortybear said...

thanks for sharing

Julie's Lifestyle said...

I wish I was good at sewing! I learned when I was a teen and I used to make my mom finish my projects!
This is very useful and saves you money not going to the tailor.
Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J&J!

Linda Kay said...

Judy, good job with this. Do your jeans have holes in the knees to be in style?

TexWisGirl said...

you had me on the measuring and pins. lost me once the sewing machine got involved. i'll just send my next pair up to you to finish. ;)

Mildred said...

I am 5'5" and almost always have to shorten my pants. Thanks!
Have a very nice week.

Donna said...

Anyone who can use a sewing machine has my vote for being very handy and creative! I have an agreement with sewing machines...I don't go near them!


Donna@GardensEyeView
and LivingFromHappiness

Carrie B. said...

So clever! I wish I were better with sewing - but definitely not my strength. Lol However I'm lucky, though, as the short length (or petites) fit me. I guess sometimes it pays to be short. ;) xoxo

Michelle said...

I will admit that I am not much of a seamstress, but this is a great tip even for me!!

Denise inVA said...

Thanks for this tutorial and enjoyed them in your mosaic. I also am not a good seamstress but I enjoyed this.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

You made that look easy Judy. I've hemmed a number of pants over the years - by hand, and a pretty good job I think. ;-)

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

That was a great tutorial, Judy! I have done this method and it really does work and look great, too.

Carla from The River said...

Hi Judy,
I am pinning this tutorial. Thank you!
Carla

Missy George said...

Looks easy to me if the jeans have straight legs..I have some boot cut jeans that could present a problem..ENjoy your day..

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, I did pin this idea to my Pinterst board! Great idea, and I have the same problem once in awhile. Thanks for sharing it! I just put your blog on my side bar. Have a great day!
Hugs, Roxy

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Wow that looks very professional!

Took me back, though, to the years when one of my kids always needed his pants hemmed and I had no machine at that time and it was always hand-hemming, ugh :)

Beatrice Euphemie said...

I love this! I have two pair I need to hem - this is great! Thanks for sharing! xx Karen

jeannettestgermain said...

Can't tell you how many times I've done this! But lately it's fashionable in California to turn over the cuffs - which I gladly do:):)
Also, keeping you up to date, because I promised to give you an alert. Remember that once you commented on a pastel painting I had, and I was talking about that creativity takes all your time/energy and all your money?
Well I finally have that post up - finally! (the post is Surrounded by Beauty). Am running my own weekly post now from Wed. to Wed. because of the meme Seasons, which has been growing nicely to about 25-30 links on Wed. eve. Have a happy week!

Terri D said...

I had to chuckle. At almost six feet tall, this has never been a problem for me. Please find a way to lengthen jeans and I'll jump on it!! :)

ann said...

Excellent. I do manage to find jeans the right length. I am short, so I can buy petite; I am, however, not petite. Fortunately I don't have shorten jeans, but this is an excellent tutorial on how to do so.

Jessica Pelasky said...

Such a great tip!

I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Hello Judy, we are happy to inform you that we featured this at our Monday Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
Hope you have a wonderful week. :)
Julie xo

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