DIY: Hemming Jeans

16 Dec

Being short, hemming pants has become a fact of life. Rarely does a pair fit me perfectly in length even if it’s “made” for petites.

At the regular tailor shop, it’s usually $10 per hem with additional charge if you want the original hem attached. In Chinatown, I’ve been quoted $5 per hem, which is pretty cheap, but my Chinese isn’t always that great and finding parking is a pain. In the past, my mom would hem my jeans for me, but it’s about time I do it on my own. After all, it’s free and I can finish it whenever I want instead of whenever I’m home (like major holidays and special occasions).

So here’s my quick how-to for hemming jeans. I don’t care for having the original hem, so this tutorial will not discuss adding back the original hem.

By the way, the jeans I’m using for the tutorial is the Rock & Republic “Scorpion” Urban Utility Bootcut Jean in Size 24.


  • 1 pair jeans
  • matching thread of the hem
  • fabric scissors
  • sewing machine
  • ruler


  1. Measure amount that you need to cut and cut off with fabric scissors ( I cut off 5″ from the bottom)
  2. Fold jeans over about 1/2″ and use a basic straight stitch (I used a 1/4″ hem because that’s the length of the original hem of R&R jeans) – the orange thread
  3. Fold jeans over again 1/2″ and sew a straight topstitch – the gray thread
  4. Cut off excess thread and iron seams to make sure they are straight.
  5. Done!

Here’s the final product and how it looks on me:

Front View

Side View


4 Responses to “DIY: Hemming Jeans”

  1. PetiteAsianGirl December 17, 2009 at 8:33 PM #

    Oh man…I original-hemmed my TR jeans once by hand, and it took at least 3 hours from beginning to end. It had to be done by hand and thimble because I wanted to really get up and in against the original stitching. In the end it looked awesome but my hand had cramped up and felt like it was about to fall off. It costs about $20+ in Boston for a good original hem (and trust me, there are bad ones where the stitching is clearly not aligned) so I thought I’d try to save some money … never again, lol! Props to you tho … if you don’t care for original hem then it’s not bad to do yourself.

    • stylepint December 17, 2009 at 10:57 PM #

      Wow! I’d never think of hand-sewing jeans…they’re so thick! For R&Rs, the original hem isn’t anything special, but for other jeans, I might have to keep the original hem.

  2. Laumika February 13, 2010 at 8:49 AM #

    I have exactly the same problem. I’m 5.2 and you’re right, even when I buy petite jeans in Top Shop I have to do something with the hem.

    I’m following you. Great blog!

    • stylepint February 14, 2010 at 7:28 PM #

      Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hemming jeans has become a fact of life, but at least if I do it myself, it saves money.

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