Trick Hemming Jeans

Anyone who knows me knows two things; first, Henry makes the best biscuits and gravy you will ever taste, and second, I’m short.  I frequent a certain outlet mall in Florence, KY from time to time and find great deals, but I usually have to sew on a button or two.  My last trip to the outlet landed me with an awesome pair of black skinny jeans from Banana Republic (only $10!).  The only “problem” with the jeans was that they were WAY too long, and the style of the jeans didn’t offer cuffing as an option.

After researching and youtubing, I decided to try to hem these jeans so that I could actually wear them.  The process I decided to use is called “trick hem,” but I also saw some references to it being called “euro hem.”  Nomenclature aside, I’ve detailed the process and added a few side notes along the way.


1.  First, try on the jeans you want to hem and cuff them to the length you prefer.  I used pins for the photo, but pinning is not necessary at this point.  I also cuffed my jeans a little longer so that I could wear them with heals.

Rip Seam

2.  Take off the jeans.  Measure the amount of fabric that you folded to form the cuff; this is the amount by which you will hem the jeans.  Record your measurement and then use a seam ripper to remove the stitches from the original hem seam.

IMPORTANT: measure from the crease of the cuff to the seam of the original hem, not the very bottom of the jean cuff.  Because you will be keeping the original hem, the hem seam is your baseline.

Measure Cuff

3.  Take the measurement that you took from the cuff and divide by 2.  For example, I wanted to remove 1.875 inches, so I measured ~.94 inches to form a new cuff.  Add an additional ~1/8 inch or so to allow for the seam (this will make sense later).  So, for my project, I measured 1 inch (~.94 inches + 1/8 inch for selvage).  Remember, measure from the bottom of the cuff to the original seam.

Measure Original Seam

4.  Once you have pinned the new cuff in place, measure ~1/8 inch down from the original seam.  This is your seam allowance.  Use a fabric pencil or marker to mark this measurement.

Sew Seam

5.  Sew around each leg at the 1/8 inch mark from the original seam.

IMPORTANT TIP:  Once you have finished sewing this seam, take the time to try to jeans back on just to make sure you measured correctly.  If you realize you made a mistake, you can always take the seam out and repeat steps 1 – 4.

Cut Away Extra Fabric

6.  Cut the extra fabric.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT TIP:  Do not cut too close to the seam you just created.  You will need some selvage material to tuck in to the new hem.

Tuck Original Hem

7.  In the photo to the right, you can see how the seam you just created will tuck in under the original hem line (to the right of my thumb).

Sew Along Original Hem8.  I pinned the new cuff, but if you’re more talented you could probably skip the pins.  Sew along the original hem line that you removed in step 2.

A Trick Hem9.  Voila!  This photo to the right shows the new “tricky” hem.

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