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Friday, November 29, 2013

How do I hem blue jeans?

"I need a book with instructions on hemming blue jeans; it is getting too costly to have someone else hem them for me.  I would also like them to still look as finished as they were before I shortened them."  The staff of the Newton Falls Public Library has their own memories of children complaining about the appearance of clothing after shortening or alterations, and can understand a mother wanting to be frugal.

We found a variety of instructions for hemming different types of clothing and fabrics in sewing books on our shelves, such as the "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing." However, none seemed to deal specifically with blue jeans or denim.  From our shared CLEVNET catalog, our patron placed a hold on the book "How to Make Pants and Jeans That Really Fit."

In the event this book does not deal with alterations, we searched online for the words "hemming blue jeans."  There were many video tutorials available, but our patron wanted to have printed sheets to which she could refer. had instructions which included cutting off the bottom of the jeans to shorten them, adding a decorative backstitch with gold thread, and roughing up the edges with sandpaper to give them a more commercially manufactured look.  The websites Make It and Love It and Just Something I Made had similar instructions for hemming the jeans while maintaining the original bottom edge.  Our patron liked the option of folding up some fabric and stitching closely to the original finished edge.  As her children grew, she could let down the hem and make the jeans longer.  If the hem does not need to be re-let down, the excess fabric can be cut off and the edges finished.  Many websites also suggested using a denim needle in the machine to make sewing easier and to reduce the risk of a broken needle.

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