How to Reattach an Original Jeans Hem

Many people end up with jeans that are too long in order to get them to fit correctly in the waist. However, when jeans are shortened, the new hem doesn't usually look quite as polished as the original one. To retain the authentic and stylish look of your jeans when shortening them, reattach the original hem. Watch the video tutorial on Youtube here.

Before and after of jeans with the original hem (Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You'll Need

  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine with a denim needle (110/18)
  • Zipper foot (optional)
  • Heavyweight thread the same color as the jeans
  • Iron and ironing board

Step 1

Pin the newly desired jeans length. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Tuck the hem of the jeans under and have a friend pin your newly desired length in place.

Step 2

Measure from the top of the existing hem to the fold. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Leave the pins in place. Remove the jeans and turn them inside out. Measure from the top of the existing hem to the newly pinned fold. Divide that measurement in half. Remove the pins after measuring.

Step 3

Pin the new hem. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Turn the jeans right-side out, fold the hem up, and use the half measurement you calculated to pin the new hemline. For example, if you measured 2 inches from the top of the existing hem to the fold, your new hem will measure 1 inch from the top of the existing hem to the fold.

Step 4

Sew the new hem. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Use a denim needle (110/18) and a medium-length stitch to sew as close to the existing hem as you can. You can use a zipper foot for your machine if you have one, but a regular foot will work as well. Remove the pins as you sew.

Step 5

Turn the hem under. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Tuck the new fold under the jeans so the existing hem is showing on the right side of the jeans.

Step 6

Press the new hem with a hot iron. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Press the new hem with a hot iron.

Finished Jeans With Original Hem

Shortened jeans with the original hem (Image: Beth Huntington)

Jeans look much more genuine when they have the original contrast stitching on the shortened hem.

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