Create / Enjoy: How to make your jeans a little longer--Tutorial!

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to make your jeans a little longer--Tutorial!

Update: For a little more thorough approach, check out the new tutorial to lengthen jeans with a hem facing!

You all know I like to make my jeans work a little longer--I hate to throw them away when one thing's wrong.  I've done a jeans patching tutorial for those split knees, but I've also made my jeans longer by changing them at the hem.  (I've also made jeans into skinny jeans and made jeans into shorts).

I bought these jeans recently and loved them, but they were almost too short.  Then I washed them and they shrunk a little, and then they actually were too short.  So I employed a fix I've used before, and want to show you a tutorial.
*Disclaimer: this is not a home ec teacher approved method, and may contain techniques the couture sewist would not use*--but it works for me!

  • Start by unpicking the hem seam using pointy scissors or a seam ripper.
 I switched to my sharper scissors once I got the hem opened up.
  •  Once you get the seam opened up, unroll the whole hem and press it flat.
  •  You'll probably have little threads hanging off, so cut them off (or do the next step with a serger).
  • This is the part I don't think a home ec teacher would like. ;)  Zig zag the raw edge, or use bias tape to bind it off if you want to do it right.  Or, add a piece of navy cotton to give it a false hem and it even longer.
  •  Press under the bottom third of the hem.
  •  Re-do the hem on the bottom 2/3ds and sew a straight seam to hem the jeans.  Look, now they're 1-2" longer!
  • Done!

A little longer, a little less nerdy!  Try it at home =)

(And check out this tutorial to lengthen jeans with a hem facing!)

41 comments :

Leaving a comment is easy, and I love to read them! No annoying word verification required. =)

  1. my life is all about jeans that are too short! thank you for this!

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  2. Wearing short jeans with cute shoes/heels prevents them from looking "nerdy", haha. My mom used to sew wide ribbon at the bottom and alongside the side seams of my jeans to make them longer when I was a kid.

    Being 5'11", I was extremely thankful when having 'tall' sizes finally became a trend in jeans.

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  3. im not going to lie, i've totally done this before. for jeans that are just that tad bit short, it's amazing what a half inch does!

    from, katie

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  4. Usually I'm way too short for my jeans......... but my sister's jeans are always too short for her. I think now I can help her =)

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  5. I am way to short for this tutorial, but I still enjoyed it.

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  6. I am almost ALWAYS too tall for my jeans, I buy them online so I can always get the 'longs' so this is great! I've never tried lowering the hem like that, but if I did, I like the idea of using bias tape in a matching jeansy type color to make them even a tad longer. Cool!

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  7. Great tutorial, but then how do you get rid of the fold mark of the previous hem???

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  8. Thanks, everyone!
    @LindaSonia, you'll probably always have a color difference there, but by pressing well and using a spray bottle or steam to get it really flat, you can make it lay flat, anyway.

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  9. This is awesome! My 9 year old daughter is a tall skinny girl - so she needs one size for length, but the waist it too big. Maybe now I can buy her right size for waist and lengthen them. Thanks!!

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  10. I don't wear trousers but I might try this on a skirt if it's on the short side!

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  11. They're usually more like 2-4 inches too short unfortunately.

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  12. My jeans are fine, but my khakis are too short. It drives me nuts. I'm going to try this.

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  13. I definitely know how all of you feel who struggle with finding pants that are long enough. This also works with dress pants and I do it all the time!

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  14. I just did this with a pair of really cute thrifted dress pants. Now they're the perfect length.

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  15. I'm 5-10 and I've had to let out hems on jeans and pants all my life ... thank goodness most manuf. today offer more long /tall lengths - though not a great selection in most stores. And sometimes the long is TOO long, made for someone well over 6 Ft tall !! Can't win either way !!

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  16. I too, struggle with finding pants that are long enough. I like your tutorial, but my only problem is that sometimes even doing this wouldn't make them long enough. I do however, have something else I do to mine. I buy fabric that's as closely matched as possible, and I sew a cuff on the bottom of the pant (AFTER I un-hem them). :))

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  17. Try using a permanent marker the color of the jeans...dark blue, whatever, and "color" the lighter line left by where the hem was...Nancee

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  18. If you face the pant and stitch in the old crease line it hides the lighter line better

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  19. that is a good idea

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  20. Great tutorial....always looking for longer jeans.
    And to LindaSonia: use a spray bottle with vinegar (test small area first but I don't think it will mess with the color) and then press. After a few washings it should be OK and/or use a fabric marker on the line in the same color (but this will fade after a while I think). Happy day, Cathy

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  21. Love this technique! I have used it on several pairs and it works! If the hemline stills shows, stitch on some rick-rack or lace! Makes the pants or jeans one-of-a-kind.

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  22. Just a little tip after altering jeans either longer or shorter if you wash them inside out it helps reduce the need to iron the hems after washing

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  23. To get the crease line out of a pair of pants,
    just take and dip a mans white handkerchief in
    household vinegar, wring it out and lay it
    over the fold line. Iron over it with a hot iron.
    I have done this plenty of times. Hope this helps.

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  24. Great tips, and in the comments too - thanks guys!

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  25. There is definitely some very useful and valuable information in here that I will be keeping for my future resources. Thanks for sharing such a great blog

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  26. I just decided today that I would need to make my jeans a little longer. Thanks for discussing this on your blog. I will do it tomorrow!

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  27. What a wonderful post, thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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  28. Awesome idea and thanks for sharing this! I figured what I was looking for online was a long shot until I came across this entry of your's. I'm finishing up a pair of jeans right now! :)

    http://amylynn98.blogspot.com/2012/04/you-really-can-find-everything-on.html

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    Replies
    1. Haha, thanks, so glad you found the tutorial! Good luck with your thrifting and recycling! =)

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  29. What a great technique, thanks for taking the time to pass this on.

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  30. When I was a teenager and our jeans got short, we would buy thick ribbon and sew it around the legs to lengthen the pants. It was a great way to keep wearing your jeans. Plus it saved money.

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  31. To remove the fold line:
    Dampen a clean, soft cloth with white vinegar. Lay the cloth over the crease and iron. Some creases can be removed with just the steam of an iron alone. Vinegar can help more stubborn creases release.


    Read more: How to Remove Creases From Trousers | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4854238_remove-creases-trousers.html#ixzz215VyF43B

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  32. What a great technique, thanks for taking the time to pass this on Plata 925

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  33. Excellent!! Thanku all, am TRULY grateful. :-) :-)

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  34. Love doing this and "saving" a good pair of jeans!! I do have a question, how do you get rid of that "line" where the orginal hem was? Not getting the "fold" to go away...I've got that... I'm talking about that "white-ish" line where it was turned up?

    Hope you understand what I'm talking about. :)

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    alice
    alicejoyv@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alice,
      I don't normally do anything to the line where the original seam was, sorry! But, after a few washes, it'll be less apparent!

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