You know what I mean.
I don’t know about you, but I dreaded the “oh my mom hemmed my jeans” look like it was the plague. Funny story about jeans, actually.
Back when the trend was going from tapered to wide leg and flare jeans, I decided it would be a good idea to cut my jeans at summer camp. You know, to create a grungy, flared look. I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut a nice 3″ slice by the inside seam of my jeans. I wore those jeans all week with pride…and when I returned home my mom happily sewed them back up — much to my angst — and left me with even more tapered jeans that I had before.
Ha. Oooooh the teenage years. If I had just had the confidence to believe I was ahead of the trend! About 10 years ahead of the trend. Looks always come full circle, right? Well, I’m hoping some don’t….
wow. I digress!
Besides my apparent dislike for tapered jeans, I also couldn’t stand the look of jeans that were shortened. There is just something about the way jeans are hemmed when you purchase them that you can’t replicate at home. If you can, someone let me in on the secret! A few years ago, I decided to tackle figuring out how to shorten my jeans, and after ruining a pair, I successfully shortened the rest using this technique. (One thing to note — this technique works well on jeans because the denim material hides the seam created so well. If you need to shorten dress pants, that will be another tutorial for another time.)
It’s because of this crazy pickiness I possess, that I’m beyond excited about sharing today’s tutorial with you. I want to show you how simple it can be to fix clothes we aren’t wearing due to tiny problems — the maxi dress that is too short, for example — and now jeans that are too long. I know there are probably a hundred better ways to hem jeans, but this is such a quick and easy way to get those ignored jeans in your closet!
I think so many of us have a sewing machine sitting in a closet somewhere, but we are too scared to use it. I totally get that. Sewing feels a bit like walking to me, it is just something I do, but I have about 3 pieces of furniture in various states of being refinished…because I’m scared, terrified, clueless, nervous and well, want to guess how I procrastinate?
It doesn’t hurt my procrastination by snowing either…. kind of hard to be outside sanding when it’s 30 degrees!
So today. Today I want to show you the easiest tutorial, but one that almost all of us can put to good use! Unless you’re my sister or my sister in law who never find themselves in a “these jeans are too short!” dilemma. Ever. Lucky gals, if you ask me!
This pair of jeans has been hanging in my closet for an embarrassing amount of time…unworn. Well, I maybe wore them a few times with wedges or heels, but my days of heel-wearing have dropped drastically since becoming a mom. So I don’t need more than maybe 1 or 2 pair of dressier, longer length jeans to wear with heels.
As you can see, they are kind of unwearable long — like about 4-5 inches too long. Yikes. Now you see why they’ve been hanging in my closet for so long!
Harlow wanted to show you her jeans too, but she was in her nightgown the other morning when Andy nabbed these photos. She declared, “I has no pants on!” ‘tis true, Harlow. ’tis true!
So let’s begin!
|| SUPPLIES ||
- jeans that are too long
- navy thread
- sewing machine
- sewing gauge
- cute toddler
Okay, you obviously don’t need the toddler, but I have been loving sewing with “her help” lately. I give her fabric scraps, and she matches colors and makes patterns on the floor while I sew. One of these days, I need to quilt together some concoction she puts together.
1| Begin by deciding how short to tailor your jeans. You can try to attempt this step on your own by simply rolling up your jeans to where you want them to sit. I have found that it’s always good to then have someone else check the length and maybe even add a few pins or clips to hold that length in place as you take them off to sew.
I wouldn’t recommend trying to tailor these while you are still wearing them. I don’t even want to know if someone has successfully attempted that.
2| I have begun a new habit of always putting a new sewing needle on my machine for a new project — in moderation. If I’m sewing a new quilt or big project, I have found that I have way less frustration if I adhere to this rule. Changing out your needle to a jeans needle isn’t a total necessity, but I would recommend using something bigger than a 80/12.
Have I totally lost you? Sewing needle sizing can be a bit confusing. The first number, the 80 or 100 in this case, refers to the size of the needle in metric measurement (0.8 mm). The 12 or 16 or other smaller number is the standard “American” sizing equivalent. Seems a bit convoluted if you ask me, but just remember 80/12. 80/12 is going to be your go-to needle for standard weights and materials. Smaller numbers mean small needles: use these needles on lighter weight fabrics. Larger numbers mean larger needles: use these needles on heavier duty fabrics. If you are a nerd like me and want to know even more, Schmetz has this great PDF all about sewing needle facts. Yup. Perfect for the nerd like me.
Change out your needle and thread your machine!