How To Hem Your Jeans Without Going To The Tailor

September 19, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

For most of us average-height women, jeans are just a little too long when you buy them. If they’re skinny jeans, they bunch up just a little bit too much around the ankle. If they’re wide legs, they drag on the floor and start to fray on the heal. If they’re boyfriend jeans, you feel like you need to cuff them–but you’re not actually sure how many times to fold them.

Sending your jeans to the tailor to get them measured and hemmed is a great idea in many cases–especially if you’ve splurged on the jeans and want to make sure they fit well and last a long time (so you don’t, say, step on the hem and rip it). In other cases, though, it doesn’t make sense to spend $12 to get $20 jeans hemmed–especially if they’re really trendy and you don’t think you’ll be wearing them for longer than a season or two. Or, what if you want to wear them to work TODAY and need to solve the length problem right away. K, we got you covered.

READ MORE: The Jeans Literally Every Celebs Owns

There are several options here if you want to shorten jeans without having to send them to the tailor or even whip out your own sewing machine or kit. They’re really simple and even a novice can do them. Here they are:

Option 1: Cuff them. This might seem painfully obvious–but hear me out. If you want to shorten jeans, the first thing you should consider is whether they can be cuffed. This takes two seconds, and is a non-permanent solution that stylists swear by. Consider a single fold or a couple fold roll. It depends on the jeans style. Stand in front of the mirror with the jeans on and try one of these 3 super simple, proven jean cuffing techniques.

READ MORE: The Easiest Hack For Fixing A Hole In Your Jeans

Option 2: Use fashion tape. If cuffing doesn’t work and you definitely want the actual hemline to be shorter, consider using fashion tape to fake it. Take the jeans off and place them flat on the bed or desk. Open the jean legs, and apply the double-sided fashion tape to the inside of the leg, at the very bottom. Fold the jean inward so both sides attach to the tape. Pinch both sides of the leg for a few seconds to secure the tape in place. Put the jeans on and look in a mirror to see if the length is right. The good thing about the tape is that’s not permanent and you can always pull it apart to adjust.

Here’s a video on that technique:


READ MORE: How To Distress Your Own Pair Of Jeans

Option 3: Cut them. If you’re feeling really brave, you can get out the scissors and actually cut the hem to make it shorter. Take the pants off and lay them flat on the bed or desk. Using a measuring tape or ruler and a pen, mark exactly where you need to cut on at least 4 points on the jean leg. Use fabric scissors or the sharpest scissors you own and slowly cut, following the marks you’ve created with the pen. Raw hems are on-trend, so simply use your fingers or the scissors to fix any imperfections and pull a little bit of the fabric off so it looks intentional.

READ MORE: How To Wash Your Jeans So They Last Forever

Option 4: Sew them. Use a pin to secure where you want the new fold to be, then use blue or white thread and a needle to sew the hemline. You don’t even need a sewing machine! Here’s a Youtube video with more details steps on how to sew:


[Photo: This Time Tomorrow]

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Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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