hem jeans without original hem

Effortlessly Hem Jeans Without the Original Hem: A Game-Changing Technique

We’re going to show you how to hem jeans yourself using a regular sewing machine. No original hem is needed!

  • Hemming jeans make them the perfect length for you
  • You’ll learn to use a zig-zag stitch and iron
  • Tricks to get a professional-looking finish
  • Great way to reuse and remake old jeans!

Why pay for alterations when you can do it yourself? Keep reading to find out how!

What You Need

To start, you’ll want to gather:

  • Jeans that need hemming
  • Sewing machine
  • Denim needles
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Pencil or chalk for marking

That’s it! Simple supplies to get this job done right.

Getting Set Up

Getting Set Up
Photo credit: freepik

First things first, try on those jeans. Mark with your pencil or chalk where you want the new shorter length to be. Add about 1 inch for the folded hem.

Next, give the jeans a really good press along the marked line. Having a crisp crease makes things much easier.

Now it’s time to adjust your sewing machine. Switch to a denim needle and set it for a zig-zag stitch. That zig-zag stitch helps reinforce the thick denim.

Trimming the Hem

With jeans turned inside out, carefully trim off the excess jean material below your pressed line. Take off just a little at a time until you have an even cut.

Don’t cut into your original hemline yet, though! That gets trimmed later.

Making the New Hem

With the wrong side facing up, press under 1/2 inch along that crisp line. Then press again by folding the raw edge up to meet the pressed crease. Your new double-folded hem is ready!

Pin or use clips to keep the folded hem in place. Double-check that it lays flat and even all the way around.

Sewing the New Hem

Time to bring out your sewing skills! Slowly stitch along the upper edge of the hem using that zig-zag stitch you set earlier. Remove any pins as you go.

Go slowly and keep your stitches smooth. The zig-zag reinforces and locks down the thick denim layers nicely.

Lastly, trim off any remaining original hemline below the new stitching. Give it one final press, and you’re all set!


What supplies do I need to hem jeans without the original hem?

You’ll need jeans, a sewing machine, denim needles, an iron and ironing board, scissors or a rotary cutter, and a pencil or chalk for marking.

Can I use a regular straight stitch instead of a zig-zag stitch?

It’s recommended to use a zig-zag stitch when hemming jeans because it reinforces the thick denim layers better than a straight stitch.

How much fabric should I trim off when hemming jeans?

Trim off the excess jean material below your desired hem length, leaving about 1 inch for the folded hem.

How do I mark the desired length for hemming jeans?

Try on the jeans and mark with a pencil or chalk where you want the new, shorter length to be.

Can I hem jeans without a sewing machine?

While a sewing machine makes the process easier, you can also hem jeans by hand using a needle and thread.

Finished Hems Look Great

There you have it: freshly hemmed jeans to your ideal length. Don’t those look a million times better?

Wasn’t too tricky once you got the hang of the folding and zig-zag stitching. Such an easy way to reuse and remake old jeans!

Want to get really creative? You can further personalize the look by distressing the trimmed hems or adding fun decorative stitching.

Hemming jeans yourself gives you full control over the final length. How cool is that? What other remaking projects should we cover next?


Main image: freepik

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 285

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