DIY Turn-Up Jeans

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If you’re looking for a quick and simple update for an old pair of jeans, simply find some pretty fabric and you’re halfway there! Read on to see how to do it yourself.

You need: 

  • Jeans
  • Fabric (Choose a fabric that doesn’t fray, such as cotton with a bit of stretch, and without a shiny, slippery finish)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread

Turn up jeans

1. Determine how much you want your jeans to turn up at the hem; I decided on 6 centimeters (about 2.5 inches).

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2. Place the bottom of an unfolded leg of your jeans over your fabric.

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3. Wrap your fabric vertically around the leg of your jeans. Use it as a guide but cut the fabric slightly wider along the edge of your jeans on one side.

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4. Fold your fabric in half vertically with the right side facing in and the wrong side facing out.

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5. With your fabric still folded in half, cut two cuffs approximately 4 inches long. Put one aside for now.

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6. Hand sew the open edges together only along the short side of the fabric rectangle, positioning the seam about one-tenth of an inch from the edge to create a loop that remains open at top and bottom.

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7. Once you have sewn that edge, turn the fabric loop inside out so that the right side of the fabric faces out and the seam is concealed.

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8. Turn your jeans inside out and slip a fabric loop over the bottom of one leg; align the seam of the cuff and the seam of the jeans.

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9. Hand sew the top and bottom edge of the fabric to the jeans.

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10. Turn your jeans back around the right way and flip the bottom to expose the fabric you sewed inside.

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11. Turn them up to the measurement you made at the start, in my case, 6 centimeters (about 2.5 inches).

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12. Turn the top edge of the fabric cuff under to conceal the hand stitching. Place a few concealed stitches around the top of the cuff, sewing only the bottom layer of the cuff to the jeans; this keeps the cuff from unraveling.

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13. Hand sew the fabric to the jeans around the bottom edge also to secure the cuff in place.

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14. Repeat the same steps on the other leg. Check that both turned up cuffs measure equally before sewing down the second side.

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Photo credits: Geneva Vanderzeil

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