Hemming Jeans Preserving Original Hems - Problem Solved!

wooooo hoooo!

And there was much rejoicing, for the answer to their burning question was provided by, of all sources, Z. Cavaricci! (Z., I haven't thought you were cool since 1991, but you've wound your way back into my good graces. I wonder what the Queer Eye guys from whom this question originated would think of you.)

How to Hem Jeans the Cool Way

The process is intuitive - exactly what most of us thought and almost exactly how the brilliant Becca Jo theorized in her comment. Z. has schmooshed it into a helpful, step-by-step photo tutorial for the visual among us.

Since originally posting about this in June, I have received a ton of e-mails asking whether we've figured this out yet, and I'm proud to say it a team bloggers' effort got to the bottom of this quandry with a little help from Z.:

Strangely enough, I somehow missed Yvette's probably-long-ago comment right here on Fig and Plum (I still can't find it Yvette - I'm sorry!) directing me to the tutorial. I finally found the link while perusing Not Martha, who referred back to Quidnunc, who referred back to the invisible comment. Hence, [Link via Not Martha, via Quidnunc, via, mysteriously, a poster here]. As they say in legal research, looks like we've come full circle.

Anyhoo, thanks, all! Can't wait to give it a try.

*** Update *** (10.5.04)
This works like a charm! I hemmed three pairs of jeans last night, ones I'd been rolling up or had improvised temporary hems for, and despite flaring, despite worn spots in the fabric, they have a new lease on life as petite jeans! Nothing to add to the tutorial - it's fabu.

*** Update *** (9.6.05)
Z. Cavaricci has removed the tutorial from their website, but you, Dear Readers, can still download the tutorial here as an MS Word doc.

Posted by jess at October 3, 2004 8:41 PM

awesome! since I'm a shorty this info comes in very handy. Love your site, btw. :-)

Posted by: carrster at October 3, 2004 8:50 PM

Glad you figured it all out! Very mysterious indeed... what would we do without blogs? :)

Posted by: michelle at October 3, 2004 9:13 PM

i don't know about brilliant... *blush*
i saw that on not martha too and i thought, yayy, i'm right! as punishment, i've been asked by a few friends to do their jeans now. YIPES!
I have found out it's a little bit difficult if you're trying to shorten them more than a few centimeters on FLARES...hmm.....

Posted by: becca jo at October 4, 2004 10:42 AM

okay, if you're embarassed by brilliant how about "very, very smart"?

i was thinking that re: the flares. Seems like you'd have to cut the original hem and trim off the extra, then re-seam it.

thank goodness parachute pants never came back, or we'd really be in trouble!

Posted by: jess at October 4, 2004 10:55 AM

Here’s why I’m not 100% sold on this method.
If you are a short person such as I,
You end up w/ a lot of jean fabric that ends up being folded over. This web site suggests cutting this excess and leaving a bit over to allow for fraying in the wash. I don't like the fact that the jeans are going to fray in that manner. And what if you wan to roll your jeans up once to have a cuff. You end up either w/ a weird lip of fabric, or this strange looking fray disaster. Anyone have any solution to this problem or is it something we just have to live w/


Posted by: greg a at October 12, 2004 12:53 AM

You're right about the cuffing problem, Greg. I don't think there's any way around it unless you cuff so much that you fold the hem under once.

But as for the fraying, maybe you could do this:

Before you cut (or maybe even after), sew an extra seam about 1/4 of an inch away from the cut. I am just guessing, but I bet a seam would stop any excessive fraying, stray threads, etc.. I've seen this done on those (in my opinion) awful pre-frayed denim shorts and skirts sometimes sold at Gap and like establishments.

I'm 5" and I didn't cut the extra fabric in my jeans yet. I shortened about 4", i think. It hasn't been too annoying so far.

Posted by: jess at October 12, 2004 8:47 AM