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There are a lot of reasons as to why you might need to hem your pants.  Perhaps you are really short and can only find pants that are really long.  Perhaps you are rather tall and have an irrational fear of pants that are too short, so you always seek out and buy pants that are entirely too long.  Perhaps you bought your pants from an outlet and it happened to have one pant leg that was longer than the other.  If it’s the latter scenario, I suggest you try shopping someplace else where you can find pants that are clearly not defects and factory rejects.  But anyway, whatever the case, sometimes you just need to hem your pants.  For dressy pants or chinos and such, this normally isn’t much of a problem.  A normal cut, pin, (iron), and sew is good enough.  But what about jeans?  Jeans have an annoying distressed hem and if you use the typical cut and sew method, it’s very obvious that you’ve hemmed your jeans and sometimes…they look really ridiculous, especially if you don’t have the same color accent thread as everything else.  So, here’s a tutorial on how to hem your jeans and still keep the original seam.  Huzzah!

I know this has been done before.  I’m mostly doing this for myself so that the next time I buy jeans that are entirely too long because I have an irrational fear of having pants that are too short, I’ll kind of remember what I did this time so I can do it the next.


  • your jeans that are entirely too long
  • appropriate jeans colored thread
  • a sewing machine with the zipper foot
  • straight pins
  • iron and ironing board



  1. Determine how much the offending jeans need to be shortened.
  2. Form a cuff with half of the measured distance from the bottom of the cuff to the seam.
    I am a fan of ironing before sewing because it makes everything lie flat.  So, now is also the time to iron.
  3. Attach your zipper foot so that the seam will be on the left side of the foot and adjust the needle to the center position.
  4. Sew away.  If you have a sickly sewing machine or if the inseam is just really thick, stop right before you start sewing into the seam and back stitch.  Raise the presser foot and move the pant leg so that you are sewing after the seam.  Remember to back stitch.  There’s no need to strip the gears in the machine trying to get a needle through the seam.
  5. Iron down the seam and flip it inside.
  6. Iron down.
  7. Move the zipper foot so that the seam will be on the right side of the foot and sew the cuff down.  Same deal with the inseam.
  8. Aaaand…finished!
  9. If you feel that the area around the inseam needs some re-enforcement, a few quick hand stitches will do the trick.  I used a backstitch.  Feel free to use whatever you like.  I also still did not actually go through the seam.  The needle I had available was kind of wimpy and I did not feel like poking the eye of the needle through my thumb that day.  But if you’d like to, go right ahead.  A needle through the thumb kind of loses its appeal after the first few times.  Also, I didn’t bother cutting off the excess material because there wasn’t that much.  If you have a lot of material, you might want to cut it off and then finish with some kind of zig zag stitch or with a serger to keep the cut edge from fraying.






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