A Day in the Life Too... a blog about modest style

A 30-something mom's blog about modest style, DIY stuff, and limiting dessert. Just kidding. We eat dessert first around here.

** Check out this post for an awesome way to build a totally customized, modest wedding gown...and save 10% with coupon code! **

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to hem denim & keep the factory edge

Hey guys. So, some of you have asked how I hemmed my denim skirt by myself while keeping the factory-edge look. I've got bad news and good news for you. The good news: I'm not a great seamstress but it still wasn't hard! The bad news: I have nothing to hem right now, so for me to show you how I did it, you'll have to make do with the pics of the finished product.

Basically, you can do this to any garment in which the original hemline is as wide as or wider than the new hemline. As in, it won't work with skinnies or tapered anything. Here's how:

First, figure out how long/short you want the denim garment. Measure it. Measure it again. Make sure, then once you're sure, cut it. Then head on down to the original hem (where the factory-edging resides) and cut it about a 1/2" up from the original edge seam. This will give you something to sew on that's not 18 layers thick. See the photo below.
 Then pin the cut-off factory hem to the cut-off garment, right sides together and cut edges together. Here's a tip, though: depending on the garment you're doing, you'll want to match up any perpendicular seams first. For example, my skirt has a seam going all the way down the front-middle, so I lined up that seam as best as I could first, then pinned outward toward the back of the skirt. See photo below.
In the case of my skirt, because it originally was a slight A-line, the factory-hem piece was longer (horizontally) than the new hemline. After lining up the front seam and the back edges (where the skirt slit is), I then determined where the side seams needed to be and took in/shortened the cut factory-hem piece there. Does that make sense? As in, because there's a side seam anyway, that's where I adjusted all the pieces so they were exactly the same length and all the factory seams could then line up when I sewed them together.

[Editor's note: You guys, I just realized, I'm terrible at explaining things. Sorry if this is muddled. But now you know how my husband feels, and he's stuck with me forevah, so you guys really don't have it so bad. In fact, I redact my apology to you all.] [Assistant Editor's note: Not sure if "redact" is actually a word...]

So. Now we've cut everything, lined up the seams, taken things in if necessary, and pinned them (right sides together). Next, you just sew a straight line as close to the factory hem as possible. (See below, although I labeled this spot better in the first photo.) Here, I also took the opportunity to zigzag the raw edges together to minimize fraying.
 Wah-lah. (Or "viola" if you're French.) Open up what you've sewn (as in, unfold it. Not rip it out...hopefully...) so that you're looking at the right sides. Iron it flat if you want or need to (I didn't). Then, to keep it flat, sew a topstitch. Ideally, you'd have a matching thread color. I didn't, so mine's chocolate brown. Surprisingly, though, it's hardly noticeable, so whatevs. See how the factory edge looks almost seamless here, even though you actually transplanted it? Magic.
 Maybe it looks obvious in these ultra-close-ups, but I promise...this is a great way to keep that professional-looking factory edge after you've done a home-grown hem job.
If you're not convinced, check out how this skirt looks in "real life." It took about 20 minutes to do and saved me at least $50 for a new skirt. Worth it.

Happy Wednesday!

Want this look but are confused by my tutorial? Shop below...


Kathy B Good said...

Here it is the end of 2013, and I see this pinned on Pinterest as I face hemming a few pairs of jeans. I am so thankful!

Anonymous said...

I also just saw this on Pinterest last week, and hemmed a pair of jeans using this method. They turned out perfectly, and it actually took less time than the old way I had been hemming jeans!

Thank you!

Suzanna Hartman said...

As a shorter person this is what I've needed. Now I can buy jeans I actually like (instead of what fits) with confidence that I can make them the perfect length.

GreenForever said...

You are very talented, that's a great tip to tailor the jeans at home.


Anonymous said...

Great way to transform jeans into tidy cutoff shorts too!

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