Altering Jeans: Shorter (with Identical Hem)


Can anyone on this planet find the perfect pair of jeans? 


There are so many things to look for in a perfect pair of jeans.  First, there’s the waist.  And then the fit in the legs.  And then the fabric stretch.  And ah man, now you have to choose from boot cut, skinny jeans, trouser cut, straight leg, blah, blah, blah.  And what about the color…..gosh, the right shade can do everything for a pair of pants.  And the list goes on.  And just when you think you have found the perfect pair of pants…….the length is off.  ((grumble))


I’m tall.  So is my husband. 

I usually have to lengthen our pants.  So I never even think about clever ways to shorten pants.


But then my brother came over one day…….and showed me some pants he found.  And they were too long for him.  He’s tall too… it was weird to think he needed some pants shortened.  But when you find super long jeans for a good deal, you buy them.  And then alter them.  Right?



Okay, so I stewed and stewed over how to shorten them…….trying to figure out how to make them look like the original hem.  I was thinking about cutting them off, using the same thick yellow thread to hem them, and then sanding the edges to give it that worn look.  And then maybe using some bleach to fade them a bit?  Gah!  Sounded exhausting.


So I looked online.  Oh my word……and found the perfect solution from Cathe.  She learned this trick from the store she bought some jeans from, who offered free alterations.  Those smarty-pants altering people.  I love them for this.  And Cathe for sharing.


Check out those newly shortened jeans:



You can’t even tell that they have been shortened. 


And I think it’s my hemmed jeans that make my brother look smokin’…….totally not him. Ha.

(And yeah, he’s single.  Any takers in Northern Colorado?)




Thanks Greg. 

I was at a loss as to how I was going to shorten your crazy long jeans.  Glad we figured it out (thanks to Cathe).



And it looks like we need to hem your daughter’s pants too.  Maybe she’s going for the cuffed look…….but long jeans aren’t safe around me anymore.  (Yep, that’s the same niece from this post.  Sweet little Claire!)



Anyone else need to hem some pants? 


How about the pants you bought (or will buy) for your little kiddos for the fall?  Did you buy them a little long, hoping they would last all winter?  We all know how fast those little ones grow.  Use this technique and then let them back out in a few months.  They’ll look great all season long.




Ready to hem some jeans? 



I just added a few more pictures of the process, to help those of you who are super visual.  But thanks again Cathe for sharing the trick you learned from those alterations people.


**Remember, this is a great technique for growing children.  Buy some jeans that are just a tad too long……and then follow the steps below to hem them.  And then un-hem them in a few months after they’ve grown too tall for them.**


Let’s get started.


Update:  If your pants are super flared or are boot cut and you’re cutting off tons of length, this may be more tricky.  The reason being is that the width around the bottom seam may be a little dirrferent from the point where you want to hem them up to. If this is the case, it may be better to cut off the bottom hem, then cut off the bottom of the pants to the length you want it, the re-attach the bottom hem where you need it.  And you will have to take in that bottom hem too, so that it’s the same width as where you’re re-attaching it.  But the pants shown below are boot cut and since I only took them up a few inches, it still worked great.



Try your jeans on yourself (or your subject) and mark with pins, the length that you want them to be. 

(Be sure to wash/dry them first and try them on with shoes so that you are shortening them to the correct length.


First of all, you will be keeping that very bottom hem on the pair of pants.  That’s why they will look so good at the end. 

So measure the very bottom hem of the pants.  Measure from the very bottom of the pants where they’re rough and a bit rugged, to right above the seam and fold of the hem.  When you sew them up (in the next few steps) you don’t want to sew through the thickness of the hem, so mark your measurement to right above that hem. 

If you see the picture below, the bottom hem of these pants was about a 1/2 inch tall.  Now, you need to measure up from your original row of pins, the measurement of your bottom hem height.  In my case, I measured up a 1/2 inch and then placed a new row of pins.




Then, fold up the bottom of the pants, to meet with that top row of pins.  Then pin the folded pant leg in place, all the way around.




Now, slide the end of the pant leg under the needle and stitch all the way around………right next to that fold of fabric.  Stick right next to it to give your new hem a nice even look from the other side.




See how it’s all nice and sewn in place?



Do the same to both pant legs.


Now, you can cut this excess fabric off and zig-zag (or serge) the raw edges or just keep it for future length.  Whatever you do, fold the edge or excess fabric up towards the inside of the pant legs.




Then press it nice and flat.  Use steam……..and lots of it.



If you keep the excess fabric (and don’t cut it off and zig-zag/serge it), lay it up nice and flat on the inside and then tack it in place along the side seams with a few hand stitches.  You don’t want it to flap down.  (Need help with hand stitching?  Click here.)  It also helped to do the same along the back in a few places too……just so my brother wasn’t stepping on the extra fabric that was coming down just a bit by his heel.



And that’s it. 


All hemmed up.  And ready to wear.




Related posts:

Filed under Clothing, Featured, Sewing, Sewing Tips, Women's Clothing


230 Responses to “Altering Jeans: Shorter (with Identical Hem)”
  1. 1
    Michele says:

    That’s just genius.

  2. 2
    Natalie says:

    I’ve seen a similar technique where they cut off the bottom cuff and sewed it back on, higher up on the jeans, blah blah blah. This seems much simpler! I could definitely use this … too tall for 32″ but 34″ are too long. Thank you, thank you!!

    • 2.1
      Anonymous says:

      I see the photos call me dumb but i cant figure it out HELP

    • 2.2
      @whetwhillie says:

      Natalie the end result is the same…

      If you cuffoff the excess here, instead of just folding it up afterwards, it’s the same thing.

      the only difference being that the technique you are referring to cuts the excess fabric before sewing, rather than afterwards.

  3. 3
    Julie says:

    Wow! This is such a great idea! I can’t wait to try it on my growing sons new back to school clothes! Amazing!

  4. 4
    Amy Grace says:

    OMG this is an awesome technique! Thanks for sharing with us. BTW your brother is a cutie! :)

  5. 5
    Sharon Thomas says:

    My granddaughter had a pair of pants that had embroidery at the bottom, but they were about 4 inches too long. I put in four pleats around the leg starting about two inches above the embroidery, Instead of folding the pantleg to the outside and stitching, I turned them to the inside, then stitched in about a half inch for each pleat until the length was right. As she got taller, her mother was able to take out one pleat. By having the pleat on the outside, instead of the inside, the pants faded evenly in the wash. Now I do mine the same way. Everyone thinks it’s a great style addition.

  6. 6
    Amber says:

    That is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. I have not been blessed with the gift of being tall so I’m always looking for a way to easily hem jeans. Thanks again!

  7. 7
    Jenny says:

    Genius! And your brother is quite handsome,too.

  8. 8
    Kristi says:

    Thanks you…thank you…THANK YOU!!!
    My husband is a 31 31…but jeans don’t come in that size.
    This is AWESOME.

    • 8.1
      Kat says:

      I’m not sure where you are located but Old Navy carries that size of jeans.

      • 8.1.1
        Kristi says:

        Thanks for the Info.
        We will have to check it out again. My husband is pretty rough on jeans, and Old Navy jeans just don’t last–they have too much spandex or are too thin.
        But they are always changing their stuff.
        We will have to check it out…looks like they have a sale right now!

  9. 9
    Jax says:

    This is fabulous! I am tall (34″inseam) but so many brands offer either 33″ or 35″, so I end up hemming just a little quite often… I have always wondered how to make the hems look the same, so this is great… as always!
    and seriously, How on earth is your brother single? He is a total hottie!

  10. 10
    Maren says:

    How perfect! I am a shortie (4’11”, shortie is an understatement), and I am tired of tripping on my pants while I say “someday I’ll hem them…”.
    And I TOTALLY have a taker for your mighty good-lookin’ brother!!!! Totally.

  11. 11
    Mary-Stewart says:

    Great to know!!! Thanks! And…. how is your brother still single?? He is nice on the eyes, but I am married, so I am not looking for me, but I like to keep my eyes out for my single friends :)

  12. 12
    Heather says:

    Let your cute brother know he’s invited to the Austin Midsingles conference (as well as any other single siblings you may have) I agree…how is he single?!

  13. 13
    Tanis says:

    Love this!! I have a long torso and short legs so finding any clothes that don’t need alterations is difficult, so this will come in handy!!

    ps- wow, your brother is VERY handsome… if he ever comes up to Canada I’d love to go on a date!! :)

    • 13.1
      Ashley says:

      You got it. Can I come too? I’ve never been to Canada!! haha!! ;)

      • 13.1.1
        Tanis says:

        Anytime!!! I’m only 9 hours from Rexburg so I don’t know how far from Colorado, but not too far! Canada (Alberta especially) is beautiful so you really should visit it sometime!

  14. 14
    Danielle says:

    I love this, especially as a way to invest a little bit more time into the pants when their legs are growing more than their waists.

    Good luck to that single brother.

  15. 15
    Beth says:

    Perfect timing for this great little tutorial. I am a shorty and just bought some “short” jeans, they are still too long with flats…ugh!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  16. 16
    Chantel says:

    I’m so excited about this tutorial…. thank you so much! And my girls will be so excited to know they no longer have to show up to school with the bottom hems of their jeans cut off. Yay!

  17. 17
    Heather says:

    I’ve got a good friend just south of Denver who has two boys…. :)

  18. 18
    LeAnn says:

    I’m tall and have never found jeans that are too long but I have heard of this before and it’s such an easy fix that looks great, but I’ve yet to use it for reasons I’ll explain in a second. Darn those jeans and their perfectly worn hems ;). The biggest problem with this technique is that if the hem is bigger around than where you are shortening it to, then it doesn’t work. For example. It rarely works on a boot cut or flared jean, unless you do a lot of seam ripping, cutting and re-sewing, and the bleach and sandpaper, might be easier ;)

    • 18.1
      Ashley says:

      I know…..dang jeans! And yeah, this is a lot harder on a super flared jean…..but the jeans I did it on are boot cut. I only had to get rid of a few inches so the difference was only minimal. I will go add that into the tutorial though, to give people a heads up. Thanks!!

  19. 19
    Mrs.Pickles says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

  20. 20
    Amber H says:

    I too am short.. 4’11” and I always buy the short length pants from Old Navy.. and they are always short enough.. however their new trouser pants were too long on me! I don’t want to hack them up, so this will be PERFECT for me to do.. thanks for doing the tutorial!

  21. 21
    Melissa says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome!

  22. 22
    Emma says:

    Oh my goodness! That is soo easy and I love it. So cool!!! I wouldn’t have thought of that!

  23. 23
    Amanda says:

    Great Idea. Too bad I doubt I will ever get to use it. :) I’m a little on the tall side. I am 6’1″ and I have a 37 inch inseam, would you mind telling me where your brother got his pants? I would love to find some place other than Buckle that has my size. If they have tall guy pants maybe they have tall girl pants too? Thanks!

    • 23.1
      Ashley says:

      He got them at TJ Maxx……so it’s just one of those hit or miss type things. It’s worth checking out their pants while you’re there though. You never know!

  24. 24
    JeNae says:

    Wow…what a neat trick. And so simple too. Thanks for sharing :)

  25. 25
    Kecia says:

    Love this! I am five foot nothing and I am always paying to have mt jeans altered. P.s. Your brother is hot!

  26. 26

    I love this! I have to hem everyone of my pants as petite doesn’t fit just right and well that leaves me with regular jeans and about 5 inches or more of excess length. I love being able to keep the base hem and keep it looking good. What a helpful post. Thanks! I will have some weekend hemming :)

  27. 27
    Anna says:

    This is great to see. My daughter worked with a seamstress for awhile and tried explaining it to me. Seeing the photos really made it click. My husband is an inbetween length and I have been frustrated more than once trying to hem a pr of jeans for him. Your brother is adorable…. as well as his daughter. Too bad Colorado is a little far. ( for my daughter in Fl.)

  28. 28
    Kristina says:

    I’m 5’9″ so I have a hard time finding jeans that are just the right length. They’re either too long or too short. This is a great tutorial!
    I have a sister in Provo. And she visits me in Denver sometimes. Does that work? :)

  29. 29

    Love it! I don’t know how many pants I have gone through because they hems became ripped off. Its also fantastic because our oldest daughter is extremely tall for her age and our youngest is short…now the pants will work.

    I know it may be a little difficult with a jean but couldn’t you use a blind hem stitch instead of handsewing (for those of us who have arthritic hands) :)

  30. 30
    melissa says:

    How do some people get so darn smart? I would never have even thought of this. I am totally have to use this trick in the future.

  31. 31

    Love this. I’ve hemmed almost 40 pairs of pants just in the last couple of weeks for customers. Wish I had know this. Love this idea! Will def use.

  32. 32
    Emma Ashby says:

    I LOVE this! Just about ever single pair of jeans that I own needs to be hemmed. It will be my project this weekend! Thanks so much to you and Cathe!

  33. 33
    MaryAnn says:

    Brilliant! I get so frustrated because the regular pants are too short and the longs are too tall (unless I wear 3 inch heels, which I won’t). Love it! Your comments about your brother made me laugh. My brother did something similar to me on Facebook, but didn’t bother to let me know until after. It was pretty embarrassing. I hope you asked your brother’s permission. I knew your parents in when I lived in New Jersey. Your brother looks a lot like your dad! Both handsome guys. :)

  34. 34
    Monica says:

    YIPPIE! I so needed this right now. My sweet friend just gave me 8-10 really nice pairs of much needed jeans….. they fit me great, (which is a miracle) but they are all too long! I think my free time slot while my girls are at kindergarten tomorrow will be filled with alterations, just in time for fall!

  35. 35
    Alis in Wnderlnd says:

    This is the exact method I use to hem my own jeans and my daughter’s jeans. If there is more than 3 inches folded inside (6 inches hemmed!) I will cut the extra fabric off. I’ve had to do this for my daughter because her feet get tangled in the extra fabric when she’s dressing–she’s only 6.
    the folded and sewn edge does become distressed, so it won’t work if you think you will just let them out as kids get taller. (I tried.)

    It totally beast $10 per pair for hemming when ALL my jeans and ALL her jeans need hemming. Huge money saver. AND, I am NOT a sewer. If I can do it, anyone can. Promise. Practice on an old pair first if you don’t trust yourself.

  36. 36
    Kira says:

    This is amazing! I have had 2 pairs of my little girls jeans and 2 pairs of a friends jeans sitting on my ironing board for weeks…just finished them! Awesome! Thanks!

  37. 37
    Cathe Holden says:

    1. Thanks for lighting my blog tracker on fire.
    2. Thanks for linking and your super kind words.
    3. Thanks for taking this project to the next level with your fabulous tutorial!
    3. You probably just put eHarmony out of business and will be keeping your brother busy for months. What a cutie!

    : )


  38. 38
    Ali says:

    Thank you so so so much for posting this tutorial!!!!! You have saved my life. My 12 year old inherited some jeans from her cousins and they are all way to long since she is short for her age and her cousins are tall. I have now hemmed a pair in under 30 minutes and she will be ecstatic in the morning! She will have cool new jeans to wear to school!!! Thanks again for sharing!

  39. 39
    Ali says:

    Oh yeah…hottie brother!!! I would want him if I didn’t already have a hottie of my own!

  40. 40
    Emily says:

    Love this! Don’t know if I’ll get to do it. Maybe for my girls. My son needs crazy long pants but is Tiny in the waist if I buy them long enough to let out they’ll fit like clown pants. Now a suspender tutorial…I could Totally use that ; )

    • 40.1
      Emily says:

      Haha, found it! Thanks for letting us know where your “hidden” search bar is ;). I’ve found all sorts of things!

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    So glad you posted this! I need to hem some of my husbands pants! By the way I was reading this post and all the sudden I realized I knew who was in these pictures! My husband and I were in Greg’s ward for about a year! I was Claire’s primary teacher and I went to her baptism! Crazy right? I had no idea you were related. Fun!

  42. 42
    Kadi says:

    Sorry forgot to put in my name. I commented about being in Greg’s ward.

  43. 43
    Amy says:

    Yayyyyy! I’ve heard of this but could never figure out how it was done. I barely hit 5 feet and a lot of times the so-called petite/short pants are still inches too long. Totally a life saver – thanks a million!!!!!

  44. 44
    phyl says:

    I’m barely 5′ tall and have hemmed every pair of pants I’ve ever owned. WHY didn’t I ever think of this myself???!!! Thanks for sharing the process.

  45. 45
    Jen says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’ve been wanting to make a pair of pants into knee length shorts. I’m going to give this a shot. Thanks for sharing! You are the best!

  46. 46
    Sandee says:

    i had some jeans altered at buckle once and this is exactly what it was. clever!

  47. 47
    Chelsea says:

    Genius. Goodbye rolled up pants that are to long at the beginning of the season (and constantly coming unrolled and causing my kids to trip). I am super excited because I am pretty tall but a lot of time I fall right in between the ‘tall’ length and the regular length. Jeans are either too short or I am stepping on the bottoms all the time. I will be kissing that problem goodbye, too.

    Also, my sister is single and totally awesome. Seriously, words cannot capture what an amazing human being my sister is. She is not in Northern Colorado, but we are from the Denver area originally so maybe it could work. Haha, if you could solve my sister’s love life problem as well, you’d be my best friend ever.

  48. 48
    Michele N says:

    OMG, you’re awesome. I now know how to take care of the jeans I got for my daughter. I found some Aeropostle jeans at a high school cheerleaders yard sale and got them for 25 cents each. 2 pairs fit okay in the waist but are too long and the other 2 pair are too big in the waist & way too long. Now I know how to fix them! She is 11 but her waist is so tiny that she can fit an 8 around, but needs a 12 in length. These are a junior’s 00. I didn’t know they had that size and couldn’t believe they fit her that well. I thought they would all be a bit big. So I always have to pick between fit in the waist or length, but usually can’t find both. My 15 yo son is in a 34×36 so yeah, we don’t find much that’s too long for him. And your brother is a cutie!

    • 48.1
      KarinSDCA says:

      Thank you for the details! My daughter is also 11 and can also fit in size 8, if only in shorts. LOL I am going to try junior’s 00 next. Never even knew those existed!!!

  49. 49
    Michele N says:

    Also helps me know how to hem a pair of scout pants that are sitting in my car for one of the boys in our troop! Yay!!!

  50. 50
    Monica says:

    I’ve been meaning to email you! Brittany and I always talk about you, creative little lady! My couch has pillows inspired by you :)))) Now that you focused on jeans, I was wondering if you could post a tut about making my bell bottomed or flare jeans that fit perfectly in the booty but out of style on the bottoms into skinny or straight leg jeans? Because you are amazing !! :) HUGS! Monica

    • 50.1
      Jeni says:

      I would LOVE this as well! <3

      Thanks for your amazing blog :-)

      • 50.1.1
        Shannon says:

        I have seen a tutorial somewhere on this… funny, I thought it was this blog? Basically it involved putting the jeans on inside out, then pinning closer to the leg along the non-topstitched seam to get them as fitted as you want (leave room at the ankle to get your foot out!), then taking then off (carefully! ;)) and sewing down that line… try on again before you trim the excess! Pictures made it much clearer…

  51. 51
    Narelle says:

    OMG this is fab, I actually have 2 pairs to take up this week, and this is soooo much simpler to how I would normally do them….Fab fab fab

  52. 52
    Jill B says:

    I’m petite and have been hemming jeans/pants this way for several years now and it always works great! I never cut off the excess, just tack it up on the sides and back (I use the sewing machine to run a seam inside the side seams and then the short button hole stitch for the back). Done in a flash!

    • 52.1
      Shannon says:

      I do this too – if you use a somewhat matching thread (jeans seem to be pretty forgiving colour-wise) and make the stitch vertical to the pants in a few places, I’ve found you can’t see the tacking stitches – I do “stitches in the ditch” along the seams and then also in the front and back, with my sewing machine since I avoid handsewing when possible. I do it in more places for my daughter’s jeans, since she’s more apt to get her toes caught in the hem when she puts them on…

  53. 53
    Andrea says:

    Did this during nap time yesterday to a pair of my jeans and it worked perfectly! And only took about 20 mins! Thanks for sharing.

  54. 54
    Natalie says:

    I am SO using this technique on a pair of jeans that I have. I suffer, like you, from long leg syndrome. But these pants are too short and I want to make them into capris. I really wanted to keep the original hem, so thank you so much for the tutorial! I can’t wait to tackle this!

  55. 55
    Kadie says:

    Oh my heavens. Thank you SO much for this tip. I have two pairs of my jeans that need hemmed and I knew it would be ghetto to just cut them off and try to make a new hem. You’re a lifesaver as always!

  56. 56
    Cass says:

    I came for the hemming guide…but I’d like the brother even more. I’d move. I’m mostly kidding.

  57. 57

    My husband and I are both 5’1″ so we have never NOT hemmed pants. This might end up being a huge money saver for us since we always take them to the tailor to keep the original hem. Thanks for sharing!!

  58. 58
    Annie says:

    Oh your poor brother. Good Luck, Greg, you may need it after this post!!! lol

  59. 59
    Ruthy Butler says:

    I love all your ideas and wish I could be just as creative! I have a question for you! I am currently pregnant and I am 6’2 and plus size and maternity pants just don’t exist for me. Do you know or have a tutorial of how to turn regular pants into maternity pants by adding the elastic band? I have some jeans that I’m ok altering but have no clue how to do it. I’m sick of doing the rubber band trick, it just hurts my belly too much!! Thanks so so much!

  60. 60
    Ruthy Butler says:

    I have! It didn’t work that well, my pants would always fall down!

  61. 61
    Missy Evans says:

    This is a great way to hem pants for growing kids. I love it and will use it from here on out. Thanks for sharing!!

  62. 62
    Missy Evans says:

    Oh yeah….your brother is hot in these jeans!!!

  63. 63
    Crafty Diana says:

    Oh my goodness! Genius! Love love love. Unfortunately, we are shorties here…. and I’m always hemming.. or swearing that I won’t buy unless they are perfect! Can’t wait to try… I’ve got some jeans needing some attention…. bet this would be great on khakis too. (I’ve had some with decorative threading and could never find the matching color)

    Thanks! Nice job!

    • 63.1
      Crafty Diana says:

      Just an update… I’m hemming jeans so much faster and better with this technique… so very happy- (I really disliked making a new hem)

  64. 64
    Marjori Miller says:

    Your brother is very handsome! If I weren’t married, I could be persueded to move to Colorado! ;o)

  65. 65
    Kelsey says:

    This might have been said in the previous comments, but I think this idea could work for fixing a frayed hem. You could get a second pair of pants with a good hem and replace the frayed hem.

  66. 66
    Kimberly says:

    I just tried this same technique myself and posted about it here:
    A zipper foot works really well for this.

  67. 67
    Michelle says:

    Pure genius!! Thanks for posting this awesome technique!

  68. 68
    Lisa M says:

    Coming out of lurking to say…. your brother is HOT!!! LOL and why didn’t my 5’0″ self come up with this technique years agp?

  69. 69
    Jessica S says:

    THANK YOU! I have a short leg and all my pants are too long. I have no sewing skills but am too cheap to take them to a tailor. So I usually walk off the excess- not pretty. This I think I can handle. I’m going to try this on a pair I have at home now. Do you think this same method would work on nicer dress pants? I have some linen pants that are really long.

  70. 70
    Cara says:

    Great idea for jean shortening… I will have to remember this, my kids are short. Anyway I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your Lily Skirt pattern. Super easy and super cute!!!!

  71. 71
    Heidi Ceto says:

    Wow!! Who would have thunk it? lol

    I have the opposite problem with my 2 year old son! He is very TALL but has a tiny waist! He can fit in to 18-24m pants in the waist but they are so short! Any tips on how to make pants longer? Thanks for all your awesome tips and ideas!!! Your truly amazing! :)

  72. 72
    Melissa says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I have always hated the way that “homemade” hems look – this is perfect! I just hemmed a pair of jeans this way and it worked perfect!!

  73. 73
    Kristin says:

    I just wanted to say that your son looks so much like your brother :)

  74. 74
    sanderson says:

    Sister , you are the bomb! Thank you for sharing the Idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just hemmed a pair this week the old way, but no more.

  75. 75
    Mac says:

    Had to link to you today, because I’ve been needing this tutorial for a LONG, LONG TIME!!! Thanks for sharing!

  76. 76
    Yifat says:

    How do U lengthen your pants? I’m quite short and accidently made my pants too short.
    It is not a jeans. If U have an idea I’ll love to read it ! :)

  77. 77
    Mo says:


    I decided to upgrade to a better more advanced sewing machine and absolutely love it. My first project was shortening my jeans. With your talented idea i was able to beautifully hem my jeans. They look so amazing. Thank you for sharing your creative ideas. I’m addicted to your website…just letting you know.

  78. 78
    Brid says:

    Love this, will pass on to my mam who will be so happy. She can never get jeans short enough! :)

  79. 79
    Jackie says:

    I am so going to try this today for my sweet little 7 year old.. that can not find a pair of jeans the right length to save us! she is always complaining that her pants are to long! well now I can take her nice jeans and MAKE them fit her! :) thanks! This is for sure going on my sewing pin board!

  80. 80
    svetlana says:

    Love the idea, thanks for sharing.

  81. 81
    Angel says:

    LOVE THIS!!! I’m 5 feet tall and finding jeans is a nightmare, but not anymore

  82. 82
    Anonymous says:

    I have done this with several of my jeans. I can’t remember who taught me this trick but I was so glad seeing how i am only 5’2″ and can never find the perfect length! A great one to add to your already amazing list of tricks!

  83. 83
    April says:

    Oh I am so happy right now. My daughter has 3 new pairs of jeans sitting in my room washed and ready to be hemmed. I have been dreading it!! I am going to get started right away. Thank you so much, now she will have them in time for school to start tomorrow. Great idea!

  84. 84
    Liz Smith says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! Huge light bulb just went on. Always wanted to be able to hem jeans and still keep that nice hem at the bottom. Great idea!

  85. 85
    cindy says:

    LOVE IT!!!!! Thank you !!! I have a stack of pants that need to be hemmed !

  86. 86
    Helga says:

    LOVE the technique, and yes, your brother is a hottie! Does he ever come to Utah? :)

  87. 87
    Trisha davis says:

    Great technique thanks for sharing…and your bro is super cute….how old is he? Is he on facebook? My did is hot, be single and lives in san diego, 35 years old. She’s on fb. We should hook up the two..she’s lds too! Email me if you think he’d be interested! :)

  88. 88
    Trisha davis says:

    Oops, that was supposed to say my sis …..not my did. Sorry

  89. 89
    Eliza says:

    That is very clever!! I am tall too, how do you alter pants to make them longer (like you mentioned you do)?

  90. 90
    Amber R says:

    OK…i LOVE your blog and all of your ideas. I wanna be you when I grow up! :) Your creativity is endless and usually I just admire the things you do and put them in my electronic file folder for the future kiddos cause you do amazing things for and with your kids.

    I am 5’2” and just found jeans that actually fit (Curvy fit from Rue 21 – awesome for my shape but they don’t even come in the not so accurate “short”, “regular” or “long”). They have that cute white stitching down the in seam and hem and your tutorial was JUST what I needed (so I didn’t have to hand stitch a new white stitching to match the rest of the pants). My pants look AWESOME and my husband is quite impressed. THANK YOU!!!

  91. 91
    Sue Q says:

    This is exactly how I’ve been doing it for the last four or five years, with two exceptions: first of all, I’ve found that when you tack it, it can get kind of bulky. I have a serger and I just serge off the excess. Secondly, I have found that even if you iron it, it can still flip up. So, I use a heavy denim needle and topstitch with dark navy thread (or whatever color ‘disappears’ into the denim) all around the new seam. It works great!

  92. 92
    Robyn says:

    All 5 feet of me thanks you whole heartedly! I have been walking around with rolled up jeans for 30 years because I’m too lazy to hem them because of all the cutting and measuring involved and then it always looks obvious that the pants have been hemmed. This I could do. :) And I’m SOOO short I never buy flared jeans anyways (I don’t need to look any shorter than I am). Thank ya thank ya!

  93. 93
    Meari says:

    Wow! This is awesome. I only wish I’d known about it a month ago when my Dad asked me to hem his jeans!

  94. 94
    Edie says:

    Cool idea, will come in handy when the boys hit that inbetween sizes. Thank you for posting it and thank you Cathe for having it out there as well.
    As for your brother, keep us up to date on the quest for love, wouldn’t it be cool if a connection did happen through your post. :)

  95. 95

    Been following your blog for a while totally shocked to see my old next door neighbor is your bother. We knew him at BYU and I think even meet you several times. Lovely to see Greg & Claire again. The jeans tip is great. Thanks I’ll definitely be following your blog more.

  96. 96
    natalie says:

    that is a great idea! i’ve yet to find a pair of jeans that have never needed altering!! now i know the trick to make them look like i didn’t have to hem them up!!

  97. 97
    missvixen1969 says:

    Holy cow!!! Amazing thank you gals for sharing this. I’ve always been little (like 4″10) which means that even jeans that say they’re , “Short”, are not so. So ALL of my pants are altered. My neice makes fun of me, “Auntie, did you really cut 6 inches off?” Did I mention she’s 6 inches taller than me? (: Anyway, thanks for the post and many others I’ve read!

    • 97.1
      Colton Flinner says:

      Hi there, I discovered your website by means of Google while searching for a similar subject, your web site came up, it seems to be great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  98. 98
    Amy M. says:

    I just used this tutorial to hem some jeans I bought recently that were too long. They turned out awesome. Thank you SOOOO much for this!!!!

  99. 99
    MarlisB says:

    you deserve the Nobel prize for this! My hubby is short and so am I and I am forever altering pants. This rockSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks!

  100. 100
    Cydne says:

    I love this technique, and for me I do serge the excess fabric off & don’t worry about tacking.

    One tip: If you hem children’s pants this way, you want to make sure that they don’t stay that way for more than a few months or the jeans will lighten where they were creased. Then when you let them out, there will be a lighter line around the bottom of the pants where they were hemmed. On some pants its not much of a problem, but on others, it is.

    Also, if you can’t use this technique, you can just use the yellow colored top stitching thread that matches, or regular yellow thread that matches with machine stitch that sews each stitch 3 times – then it will look like the heavy thread even though it isn’t.
    Then, just sand lightly along the hem and wash them a few times. You don’t have to worry about bleach. The sanding usually loosens up enough of the fiber that excess dye washes out quickly anyhow.

    Great tutorial!

  101. 101

    Best jeans tutorial ever! My boys are going to love you, and they don’t even know you. They always complain that when I hem their jeans they don’t look “right” (aka original hem). Total game-changer. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    p.s. – I agree your bro is easy on the eyes! Great photos.

  102. 102
    pkae says:

    Since there are over 100 comments, I not only didn’t read them all (I usually do), but will prob repeat what many said.

    OMG! I want to kiss you and anyone else who should share the lime light for this tip!!! I am 5 ft tall and NEVER can find jeans (pants in general) that don’t need hemming. Thus I usually wear mine till they are falling off!

    But now I can get my tall sister’s hand-me-downs (she’s far more of a fashionista than me, so I love them) and wear them with pride (not with head bent for the 6 roll ups that look hideous :-D )

    How simple but amazingly fantastic! Got a pile I’ll start on tomorrow! THANK YOU!!!

  103. 103

    oh my, you may not believe this but I just did this last week to my daughter’s uniform pants… and now this week I’m reading your blog. (was sent here to look at your adorable elephant tute from You made me feel brilliant tonight… another advantage is when (as in the case for kids) you need to let them down for the growth issue, the bottom that gets worn that always shows after you let hemmed pants down will be the same bottom on the longer length… thanks for reaffirrming that in a pinch we do smart things… then wonder why we didn’t do it that way since ever.

  104. 104
    Haley says:

    I just did this to a new pair of jeans and they look fabulous now! I do want to add, though, that it is necessary to take out the lower row of pins (where you want to hem to end up). I didn’t think it all through before I started sewing, and had to stop to pull out that row before I sewed them into that fold of extra material! I am sure that goes without saying, but it might be worth a mention!

  105. 105
    Lisa says:

    This makes my life so EASY! Thanks so much! I am petite, but cheap, so am always hemming pants I get on sale that are not in petite size. And now that my friends know I can sew, I’m the neighborhood seamstress! :o) Thanks so much for your great tutorials. Love them all!!!!

  106. 106
    katy says:

    I have been useing this technique for a while, but I wanted to add that after you are done cutting off the extra and folding the hem under you can sew above the top of your new stitch to hold the fabric in place also makes it less likley to fray…similr to your handstitching technique

  107. 107
    Aimee says:

    Why I love this is because I have three boys and jeans are handed down. So with my chunkier oldest son, I can still pass it on to my taller, skinny middle child and so on. Thank you.

  108. 108

    That might be the smartest thing I’ve seen in a long time!!! I never would have thought to fold the orignal hem up like that!!! I am 5’3” and ALL my pants are too long. All this time I’ve had to deal with either rolled pants or ugly hems…LOVE this website!!!

  109. 109
    Ashlee says:

    First off, I just have to ask. Did you ever hate your name growing up? No? Just me? Okay. Moving on. I have to thank you for changing my life forever. Dramatic? Yes. True? Absolutely. All 5’3″ of me would like to thank you, as well as my 5’6″ husband, and most-likely-going-to-be-short kids. So thanks! Super clear, easy instructions! I linked back to you here: Thank you! I’m so glad I found your site through this tutorial on Pinterest! I’m a follower now! And I love your Halloween costumes. We can be friends. I love costumes! Our family did a Tangled theme this year!

  110. 110
    Lauren says:

    I finally get it. Thank you. I’ve seen so many tutorials fro this but haven’t understood until i saw yours.

  111. 111
    Shelle says:

    Well, totally awesome idea. AND I’m single and moving to Eastern Wyoming in the Spring…..I will need someone fun to do things with–maybe a handsome brother?!?!?! ;)

  112. 112
    Katie O. says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! This worked like a charm for my awesome new Gap jeans that needed to be hemmed just a bit. You are SO appreciated :) :) :) God bless you & your beautiful family – Merry Christmas!!!!

  113. 113
    Alexandria Capranica says:

    GREAT post!! Im 5’1 and can NEVER find jeans unless they are from Hollister or American Eagle because they offer “short” jeans.

    Btw, is brother still on the market? He’s a total babe ;). I work out in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah..

  114. 114
    Bonnie says:

    I love this. I just bought a pair of designer jeans for $7 and they are WAY too long. It was too good of a deal to pass up though. Just one question though… What happens when you put them through the washer? Will they stay in place or start to lay funny? Will I have to press them every time I take them out of the dryer?

    • 114.1
      Michelle says:

      Bonnie (or anyone else): did you get an answer on this? I’m also wondering what happens when these are washed again. Just got some new pants that are way long and driving me crazy.

    • 114.2
      KarinSDCA says:

      Machine-stitch them the way someone upthread described (vertical stitches in a few places with thread that matches your jeans) and they won’t require constant ironing.

  115. 115
    Jean says:

    My daughter was trying to explain how she has her jeans professionally hemmed by keeping the old hem. Thanks you so much for sharing. Now I can do it!

  116. 116
    Katy D. says:

    My daughters and I are so grateful! We are of the big-bootied, short legged crowd. Love, love, love this!

  117. 117
    Tatertots says:

    Wow. I am 4ft9inches and have always hated hemming jeans. Now I cannot wait to tackle the next pair. Bring em on!
    Thank you for sharing!

  118. 118
    Nicci says:

    Love the idea.. HATE that I don’t live in Colorado.. very handsome and sharp brother ;)

  119. 119
    Sandi C says:

    Awesome!!! Just used this method!!!! Thumbs up!!!! Will use it often

  120. 120
    Jamie says:

    Hello! I want to try this technique with my too long skinny jeans, but have a problem. Usually my mom alters my jeans, but they lose their “skinniness” because she cuts the ends off and sews a new hem. Do you think I can do this too? Should I make them skinny first and then do this or do this and then make them skinny?

  121. 121
    Stephanie says:

    Omg thank you so much I have always had my grandmother hem my jeans for me and they never look the same. However, I have already tried this on a pair of jeans and they look amazing you can’t even tell. Now I can buy those awesome jeans I find at the store and don’t have to worry about them being to long.
    Thank you!

  122. 122
    Mom says:

    At what point do you take the first row of pins out??

  123. 123
    poletje says:

    Thanks! Should have known this 45 years earlier ! Never too old to learn ……

  124. 124
    Lauren says:

    Your brother should come to Austin…just sayin’…

  125. 125
    Gabriela Pinera says:

    I love your blog it is so easy to understand, I’m so glad I found you can’t wait to go through your whole website. My husband always needs his jeans hemmed his 5’6′ and it;s hard to fine jeans in a 28 length.

  126. 126
    Abbie says:

    I’m in Northern Colorado and definitely a taker for your brother! Haha

  127. 127
    Kitty says:

    I love your idea to shorten jeans. I always have to buy my jeans long because I ride so I use your method and some duck tape on the inside of the pant leg to temporarily shorten them for my non horsey outfits. Thank you for sharing your great idea and helping to inspire the rest of us to come up with our own. BTW: Your brother is a cutie. Is he still single? :)

  128. 128
    Paula says:

    I did this on some pj`s and it did great. Thanks for the information.

  129. 129
    Pvc fabric says:

    I always have to shorten my jeans. Now I know how to make them look better. Thanks.

  130. 130
    julia says:

    Today for the first time on your site, but i love it!! Thanks!! Now i can try to do it my self instead of paying 15 euro to have it done! Btw unfortunatly i live in the netherlands otherwise, i would love to have a lunch with your brother :-))

  131. 131
    moonlake says:

    This is really a good idea. Always need to shorten my jeans.

  132. 132
    gina says:

    I am short, so this is great, found it on pinterest. And your brother is surely date worthy. His daughter is darling. Too bad he’s in Colorado….I’m in Utah!

  133. 133
    Mary Boshell says:

    This is a great tutorial! I have hemmed about 12 pairs of my husband’s jeans AND it works wonders on slacks with cuffs! Someone told my husband he was a 32 length…so far I have hemmed his pants to 28….Yes, I am SO glad I found this great tutorial!

  134. 134

    When my kids were toddlers, I used a very similar method on their sleeves.

  135. 135
    KarinSDCA says:

    This is great! Thank you for sharing!

    I used a similar method for a pair of pajama bottoms for my daughter last year, but I didn’t tack up the extra. They were pjs, so we didn’t care that much and I sewed the “make do” seam high enough up that the excess fabric could fall down and not be seen. We let them out recently and you cannot tell they were ever shorter.

    For converting too-short jeans into “boyfriend” shorts (knee-length) for her this spring, I took the time to cut the legs off and double-stitch a new hem with thread similar to the original. I am wondering if this would have worked for that much excess fabric? I am sure I will have more opportunities to try this out!

  136. 136
    Michelle says:

    This is flippin brilliant. Being 5’2″ since 8th grade, I have passed up many pairs of great jeans because they were too long, and I hate the look of “hemmed” jeans. I am new to sewing and just bought my almost 5 year old a pair of jeans that were on a great sale, fit great in the waist, and are way too long. So I came here because I knew you would have a fantastic way to fix these jeans, and I was right! LOVE your blog I have learned so much! And now I never have to leave a perfect pair of jeans in the store because of the length!

  137. 137
    Natalie says:

    I feel so dumb, help me out here. Doesn’t this actually make the pants 1/2inch longer than you want them? Why can’t I get it? Thanks!

  138. 138
    Natalie says:

    It seems to me that this will leave the pants 1/2 inch longer than you actually want them. What am I missing?

    • 138.1
      Louise G says:

      You are right Natalie, the technique is good but her measurement calculations are wrong. For anyone else reading this you need to double the depth of the hem measurement, i.e. put your pins not ½ ” but 1″ above your desired finished length.

  139. 139
    Kirsten says:

    Seriously….you are a genius!!! I am obsessed! Thank you, thank you, thank you! From my little 5’1″ body…thank you!!

  140. 140
    Kaoru says:

    Hello Ashley,

    THank you so much for this wonderful tutorial! I just finished heming my jeans and I am loving it!


  141. 141
  142. 142
    Joni says:

    After washing the jeans, does the hem stay flat or do you have to iron it every time?

  143. 143
    Sarah says:

    I just shortened a pair of my husband’s jeans, and they turned out great! However, I ran across a measurement problem that I think I figured out. I’m just not sure if I can explain it to you just with words, but I’ll give it a shot. I haven’t read all the comments to see if anyone else noticed this.

    Say your first row of pins (the length you want the jeans to be) is 2 inches from the bottom of the jean… if you add half an inch (the length of the original hem) to that for the second row of pins and fold the bottom of the jeans up to that, then if you measure the length that is actually being removed when you sew just below the existing hem, it measures only 1.5 inches. (in other words, the distance from the sewn line to the bottom is 3/4 inch.) The jeans end up half an inch longer than I wanted them to be. To remedy this, I had to double the length of the hem (1/2 inch to 1 inch) when I put in the second row of pins to fold up to.

    Does this make sense? It only makes sense to me when I’m holding the jeans in my hand and looking at it, so I’m not sure if I can translate that into text.

  144. 144
    Amy says:

    You are my hero. I was about to take some miss me jeans to be altered. I have been holding off because I was afraid of how they would look with the altered hem. However the jeans were about 4 inches too long and I’d never wear them without the alteration. I do not sew. I own a $10 battery operated machine for emergencies. I completed this projectdespite these odds against me and the jeans look amazing!!! Thank you so much for the idea.

  145. 145
    kate says:

    Thank you thank you! Nice and simple-worked great!

  146. 146
    Stacy says:

    Just followed this tutorial to hem my MIL’s jeans–they turned out great! Thanks!!

  147. 147
    Sophie says:

    I tried it! And they are the best hems I’ve ever done!
    Another good thing, I can retry them before finishing (i.e. cutting the excess) and I’m sure of the final look. No surprise.

    Quick, easy and good looking.

    Thanks for sharing this tip!

  148. 148
    debbie says:

    just wanted to say thanks for this great idea on heming jeans …you have made my life sooooo much easier…and i just wanted to thank you

  149. 149

    Thanks for a great way to sneak in a “jeans’ look hem.

  150. 150
    anitia says:

    Still difficult to try and adjust to shorten the hem when and since Im totaaly shrot this is great for the jean what about the dress pants only.

  151. 151
    Kathy says:

    Had an occasion to use this tutorial today…soo easy and now I have great fitting jeans that I won’t trip over!

  152. 152
    Guilla says:

    OMG!! I am sooo doing this with all of my jeans! I am a shortie so many of my jeans are just a little too long! I really appreciate you posted this! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I love your blog, you are a real inspiration, hopefully I will be as skillful as you are!
    Many blessings, keep it up! ;)

  153. 153
    Bekki says:

    I loved this so much! I’m 4 foot asian! and can’t ever find short enough legs on jeans.

    Anywho, I live in Northern Colorado! And although I am married, my 26 year old sister is single and I know this may be a long shot since it’s been a few years since you posted this, but if your brother is still single then we should totally set these two up! LOLOL.

    Send me an email if you want!

  154. 154
    sheen says:

    Thanks this was very helpful

  155. 155
    Sue says:

    Great idea. I would serge or overcast the edge and fold it down, rather than up. That way, when putting on the jeans, you’re not constantly putting your leg int o a seam that’s face upward!!!

  156. 156
    mary says:

    Question-can you hem capris to make shorts or long dresses to shorter length using this same method? Of course fabric may also need to be trimmed away, but I would love to keep the original look of the hem. Any input? Thanks.

  157. 157
    Penny says:

    I am using this today. I do some of my grand children’s jeans, and this is going to be great!!

  158. 158

    This put up is really helpful. I’m able to override author’, email’ and url’ default settings, but I am not able to override comment_field’, it is getting duplicated, i.e. the default textarea is also appearing with my custom comment textarea. Any help would be appreciated.

  159. 159
    Fluid says:

    Because if you don’t know how well you can do to assist them. It seems as if one of those people that are making tons of money from all these ideas are the ones to succeed. You can build a brilliant marketing program only to have it right.

  160. 160
    Denim jeans says:

    Nice dictation of jeans :)

  161. 161
    Becky says:

    You are a genius and thank you for sharing this information. I just hemmed a pair of 505’s down two inches they look amazing, I mean amazing. No one could tell they were hemmed. Thank you thank you, my son is so picky and this was just perfect!!!! This works, just make sure you have an 110 18 needle when through the denim like butter!

  162. 162
    Rebecca says:

    This is the very first thing I have ever tried to do with a sewing machine. It worked PERFECTLY! I even used my daughters “toy” sewing machine. Thank you for the simple and detailed instructions. I especially like that the extra fabric is still attached. I had to hem my daughters jeans and now I can let them out as she grows.

  163. 163
    Sabrina says:

    DUDE it worked great and was super easy, thanks for the tutorial!!!!

  164. 164
    Delfina mayoral says:

    I sincerey couldn’t continue paying attention to the sewing tutorial (to which i’ll return ) after i saw your brother’s pictures!!! Please do tell him, that he has a taker here in the super beautiful country that’s Argentina, where i live. Maybe you all need a little holydays!!!

    Thanks fof the tutorial and the treat for the eyes. Delfina

  165. 165
    Ruth says:

    This article does not go far enough. What about the width of the pants? I am quite short and if the legs aren’t tapered they can just look like a baggy mess as they will be wide in places you don’t want them to be. This is fine for maybe 1 – 1/2 inches, but more than that I strongly advise not being so cheap and going to your tailor.

  166. 166
    Sherry says:

    Love this idea! One suggestion though. Use your zipper foot on your sewing machine. You can get real close to that original hem without having all of that bulk under the pressure foot.

  167. 167
    Sherry says:

    Love this idea! One suggestion though. Use the zipper pressure foot. You can sew real close to that original hem without all that bulk under the pressure foot.

  168. 168
    fanfan says:

    Merci pour cette super astuce , ai raccourci deux jeans en 30 mn et sans casser d’aiguille.

  169. 169
    Rach says:

    Thank you for sharing this! It worked out perfectly, and I was soo scared to hem jeans. Thank you!!!

  170. 170
    Leslie says:

    I see it’s been awhile since this was first posted, just wondering if Greg is still looking for someone to hem his jeans? ?

  171. 171
    Dana says:

    Love the tutorial….and yes, your brother is indeed handsome. I’m single and in Colorado….but I highly doubt he is still single.

  172. 172
    Lezlie says:

    I’ve been doing this for several years to my whole families pants (we all are on the short side). No one ever notices the new hem. I do keep the extra fabric on my kids and adjust as needed. Just wish I knew about this when I was a young.

  173. 173
    Nikki says:

    Yep your brother is sooooo cute! Oh oh and thanks for the excellent tip! Clever!

  174. 174
    Irene says:

    This is great – as a short person I appreciate this so much! About to hem my third pair of jeans this way. The only concern I have though, came from when talking to my Dad who said that his Mum used to hem jeans this way until she found that the crease collected a lot of dirt and grime – has anyone else had this problem?

  175. 175
    Steffi Glauß says:

    thanks for this helpful tutorial! It is a shame that it’s from 2011. Greg isn’t still single, is he? ;)
    Greetings from germany,

Notes and Comments