Tips for Hemming Blue Jeans

by Michelle Powell-Smith

Hemming jeans can be more challenging than hemming a standard pair of pants. Length is an important part of a good fit, whether you plan to wear jeans with flats or heels. If you're petite, hemming your jeans can be critical. Learning how to hem your own jeans can save money and allow you to create a perfect hem that fits you and looks original to your jeans.

Items you will need

  • Sewing machine with heavyweight jeans needle
  • Thread to match denim color
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Scissors
Step 1

Determine how much too long your jeans are. Turn up 1/2 of this measurement, measuring from the original hemline as opposed to the bottom of the leg, as if you were going to roll your jeans up. If you need to remove 2 inches of length, turn up 1 inch, measured from the original hem.

Step 2

Pin your new length into place. Be sure to measure carefully as you pin. Pin all the way around the hem. Fold your cuff up into the leg of your jeans and try them on to make sure the length is right.

Step 3

Use a sewing machine equipped with a heavyweight jeans needle, or sew by hand with a sturdy needle and thread when hemming jeans. Stitch along the original hem allowance, being careful not to sew the leg of your jeans closed while you hem jeans.

Step 4

Press the original jeans hem down. Press the seam allowance from your new hem upward. Trim this allowance to approximately 1/2 inch or simply press up and leave it as is. You can finish the edges or not, as you prefer.

Step 5

Use this method to hem jeans skirts as well. If you need to hem a pair of flared jeans, remove the original hem and a 1-inch allowance above it. Open the side seam and taper the hem section as needed to fit before attaching it to the jeans along the original hem edge, right sides together. Press and finish as in Step 4.


  • Match your thread color closely to the denim for the best result.


  • Be sure to open side seams on the side of the jeans without top-stitching.
  • Sew slowly over top-stitched seams to avoid breaking needles.

About the Author

Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing on a variety of subjects from finance to crafts since 2004. Her work appears on various websites. She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, which has provided strong research skills and a varied range of interests.