Blue jeans have been the worst but as of today I can say that I have mastered the art of blue jean hemming. It is working so well that I may actually hem Zachary and Matthew's jeans too instead of just letting them "walk off" the extra length.
Today I was down in the basement sewing with Dawn (more about that tomorrow) and trying to ignore the three pairs of jeans I had bought for David probably 4 or 5 months ago. Blue jean hemming is usually a disaster for me and takes most of a day and so I was trying not to pay attention to them. But, every time I have been down there since I have bought the jeans, I KNOW they are their waiting for me.
So, after I sewed over my finger (for the second time in my life) and broke my second to last stretch needle while working on something I thought was more exciting than blue jean hemming, I gave in and after bandaging my finger pulled out the blue jeans.
I have learned a few things as the years have gone by and I am thrilled to say that today I have finally figured it out. Let me tell you the tricks:
- MOST IMPORTANT: make sure that the person you are hemming for (no matter how many times they say "just take it up the same amount as you did the last time") tries each pair of jeans on and you mark them individually.
- Get yourself a "Jean-a-ma-jig". You can see mine in the picture and it is super helpful when working those two thick seams on each pant leg. I have had mine for awhile and I wouldn't even hem jeans without it. I think I got mine from Nancy's Notions but they may be around in stores, I just haven't looked. (check out the link with pictures to show how it works!)
- Get yourself a variety of gold/yellow thicker thread. I was able to match the three jeans I hemmed today with two of the shades I had. Check each shade you have against each pair of jeans to see which thread matches best.
- Cut your jeans off one inch longer than the hem length you measured.
- Steam press the extra inch up to the inside of the jean leg. Once it is pressed, fold under the raw edge to give it the finished look. Pin the OUTSIDE of the jeans so you can stitch from the front. (see the picture above)
- Change your stitch length to 3 which will match most stitch lengths of the rest of the jean seams. (This also makes it a dream to get past the thick folded over seams. If your stitches are too short, the needle will be bogged down in the thickness of the seam.)
- Start about an 3/4 of an inch from the thick inside seam on each leg. Use the Jean-a-ma-jig to get past the seam and do the same when you get to the outside seam. Be sure to stitch from the right side of the blue jeans 1/2 inch from the bottom where you measured your hem. This should give you enough room catch the hem on the underside.
I have done some kind of combination of some of these steps many times. It wasn't til today when I changed my stitch length and stitched from the front that it worked like a charm. I finished these three pairs in less than an hour! The best part is I didn't have to take out any of my seams and do them over. Now I just have to get as excited about cuffed dress pants and I will be set!