Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!!

Sew a Euro Hem,

a Tricky Hem, an

Original Hem On Jeans

We researched this, crafted this piece and actually followed the directions and lo, and behold, it actually worked. We used it to Euro-hem a pair of Bella Elemento jeans, as well as a pair of Pine IV. They'd both been hemmed professionally and (we blame ourselves) were just too long. We only have a couple of pairs of shoes that we could actually wear and walk in with them. We realized that since we've adjusted our day job, we are much more casual and more often wear lower heels. So, we're quite proud of this accomplishment and, since we don't have access to our sewing machine (o.k., we can't find it) we sewed it by hand.

Since this article wasn't used for the intended purpose, its purpose has now been altered to edify BeansTalk readers. So check it out and use this for reference. Feel free to pass the info (if it's useful to you) onto others.

A Euro or European hem is also be called an original or a tricky hem and will give the appearance of the original factory hem. The other option is to hem the pants by simply folding and sewing -- and the result will be a hem that looks like you sewed it in junior-high sewing class.

Those of us who can't boast a 34" inseam (the standard for more jeans) and want a stylish jean, can either give up the $15 to $25 it costs to have a tailor use the original hem on your jeans or you can do it yourself.

Hemming pants to the right length, and with the original hem can be a challenge, but if you don't rush through this project, you'll be pleased with the results and get better at the Euro hem the more you practice.

How to...

Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:

needle & thread (to mach the thread on your original jeans)
or a sewing machine
tape measure

How to Hem Jeans With a Euro Hem, a Tricky Hem or an Original Hem

Step 1:
Wash and dry jeans, at least once, before hemming.

Step 2:
Measure the original length and figure out exactly the length you want.

Step 3:
Divide the number of inches or centimeters you need cut off in half.

Step 4:
Cuff pant leg. Take the above number (half of what you actually want) from the original hem line. Pin the cuff where you want it. (In calculating, don’t include the hem to the end of the jean.)

Step 5:
Pin around the cuff, and measure with each pin.

Step 6:
Take care around the side seams while pinning. The seam stitching must line up on either side.

Step 7: Sew right next to the original hem (this works with a sewing machine or for hand sewing). Stitch on the right side of the hem, or the side farthest from the bottom of the jean. Sew all the way around the cuff. Be sure the sewing machine runs s-l-o-w-l-y through the double thickness of seams at the sides and inseams.

Step 8:
Cut the excess off. Leave approximately a half-inch for fraying,Be sure to finish the seams with serging or a zig-zag stitch or buy some Fray-check at your local fabric shop. (If you don't finish the edges, bear in mind they'll further fray with washing; this isn't the time to cut corners.).

Step 9:
Turn the leg right side out and iron the new seam flat, revealing the old hem.

  • For flared legs: cut off hem an inch above the stitched hemline. Measure the hem’s circumference. Measure the circumference of the jean and the desired length to be hemmed. Open the side seam of the jean several inches above where you want the jean to be hemmed. Take in the jean to the same circumference as the hem. Make the transformation gradual. Reattach the hem portion as above. If the jean leg is more than 1.5″ larger than the circumference of the hem, it’s not recommended to use this method.
  • Since jeans are a thick material, and subsequently doubled over the seam, this can be a particular challenge. If machine sewing, use a larger needle. What we did is sew twice-over on either side of the seam rather than trying to sew on the seams. You can also machine stitch the hem, and leave the seam sides to be hand sewn (as indicated above).
  • Some experts suggest you practice on a pair of old jeans before you begin to sew those $200-plus.
  • After all, practice makes perfect.