Hi Isa, I have a pair of jeans that I bought at a vintage shop, the hem is perfectly worn in and I don't want to lose the perfect fray at the bottom, but they are about 5 inches too long! Help, have any tricks for making a hem look like the original?


Yes! This is a common question, especially in the Vintage crowd. Cutting off the hem of a jean completely ruins the aged finish of the denim. Luckily there is a simple solution to keep the original hem! It basically consists of cutting off the original hem of the pant, and reattaching it once you have removed the amount needed to the get the pants to the desired length. (Make sure to account for the seam allowance; you will not just be cutting 5 inches off because the actual measurement depends on the height of your hem.) I like to overlock the raw edge, and press it up toward the waist band. If you don’t have an overlock machine, don’t fret, you can substitute with a wide zig-zag stitch.  I then make a tacking stitch at the side seams to reinforce the seam allowance even further so the hem doesn’t flip up during wear.  

Tools needed:

  • Iron & ironing board
  • Thread to match the denim color
  • Ruler
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Janome sewing machine

– Isa