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Tips & Techniques > Raising RTW Jeans Hems

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Posted by: SewVeryTall

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Posted on: 5/28/05 6:24 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 8 people   
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This is how RTW jeans are shortened in NYC, so you get to keep that 'worn' will need to buy jeans thread.

[1] Measure finished length you want jeans to be. Cut along that line. Make sure you do not cut through the existing old hem.

[2] Take the part you cut off [the old hem], and cut about 1/2" seam allowance above the old hem.

[3] Remove old hem stitching.

[4] Open the inseam and outseam on the old hem. Measure to match width to newly cut bottom of jeans. Re-stitch the hem's inseam and outseam with a straight stitch [no serging, too bulky), and press these seams open.

[5] Press under the 1/2" allowance you cut above the old hem, to form the old hem into a binding.

[6] Stitch these "bindings/hems" to encase the raw edges on the bottom of the jeans with jeans thread. Make sure you match the side seams.

[Nordstrom's charges $19 to do this!]

Edited to add image link above.

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Susan M said... (2/16/08 2:38 PM) Reply
SewVeryTall, Yahoo has closed the photo site. Did you move the photo to another service? If so, would you link this tip to the new photo site? Thanks for sharing
Inna said... (6/7/06 10:07 AM) Reply
Thanks a lot. I have spent the entire evening yesterday looking for these directions. Really appreciate it.
jenw327 said... (2/28/06 6:11 PM) Reply
*Thank you!* I have been looking for these instructions and could not find them anywhere. I knew it would be easy, and yet all I could find were suggestions to take your jeans to a tailor. Can't wait to try it ou!
PaulaRN said... (7/25/05 2:54 PM) Reply
Wow. thanks a lot. I never could figure out how to make it look right. and being short i have had to hem a lot of jeans.
SewVeryTall said... (6/3/05 5:28 AM) Reply
Sue...I've added an image link that I hope helps to visualize this technique.'re welcome :)

GoSewGirl said... (6/2/05 10:50 AM) Reply
I've got a pair of jeans that needs hemming, they're boot-legged, and I've been mulling over just exactly how to do it for weeks now. So, thanks for this tip, especially the part about decreasing the circumference of the hem. I'm actually looking forward to trying this out now!
SewVeryTall said... (5/30/05 3:21 AM) Reply
Sue...the old hem ends up in the exact same position it was in to begin with. The old two layers of fabric that were the WS part of the old hem will become the back half of the binding. When you press that 1/2" allowance, you press it in behind the "worn hem" that you want to show, and this will become the RS half of your binding. This will make your cut-off-hem *look* just like 'bias tape'.

As for the stitching [use a jeans needle], you will be going through a minimum of 5 layers of denim when you re-stitch the hem/binding, where it was originally stitched, with your jeans thread. There will be more layers at the inseam and outseam areas, of course, and you'll probably have to go slowly or turn the machine's wheel by hand to go over these thicker areas.

Now if your machine just won't sew that many layers, you could apply the binding in two steps...[1] topstitch the front half of the worn-hem-binding onto the RS of the jeans with the jeans thread, leaving the back half of the binding hanging down out of the way, then [2] hand sew the back half of the binding to the WS of the jeans.

drsue said... (5/29/05 11:19 AM) Reply
Ardis: I have a question about this. Doesn't turning the old hem into a binding mean that the old hem is now upside down on the new hemline? I wonder if this will look wierd. Also I'm guessing you would need to stitch on top of the old hem bottom, at that would look odd too and might be kind of hard given how many layers you would be stitching through at that point. Or maybe I just don't get the binding part. HELP!
drsue said... (5/28/05 8:56 PM) Reply
I've got two hems to do. I'll be giving this a try. (I knew there was a reason I was putting off this chore.)
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