This is my simple, unadulterated, dumbed-down version of how to hem your pants by hand and keep the original stitching for all those short girls out there like me who A) can never find pants that are the right length, B) who are lacking a sewing machine… or the skills to operate one even if you had one, and C) don’t like the home spun look that is acheived by cutting off your jeans and having someone hem them. Experienced seamstresses beware- you will be unimpressed. But if the word Bernina means nothing to you and you desperately want some pants that don’t get shredded to strings from dragging along the ground as you walk, I got you covered. And no one will ever even know you hemmed them. The original stitching will remain in place, which I think is particularly critical with the thick and contrasting stitching that is in style right now. All you need is an iron, a needle, and some thread- preferably the same color as your jeans. Let’s get started.
1- First, decide the length you want your pants to be. You can best estimate this by putting them on while wearing the shoes you will wear with them most often. Then fold the bottom of your pants up inside until they are the desired length, taking into account that you will be adding the length below the bottom stitch of your pants to whatever length you tuck them under to. Now, put a couple pins in to keep the fold where you want it to be while you take them off. They should look like this when you take them off:
2- Next, after making sure your pants are tucked evenly all the way around to the length you want them to be, iron your pants to flatten your crease and to make sure you don’t lose the length you chose.
3- Now, pull the bottom of the pants out until the bottom hem stitching is right below the ironed crease, while leaving the excess still tuck in.
4- Next, thread a needle with thread that is close to the same color as your pants and tie a double knot at the two ends of the thread. I used a white thread so you could see my stitches in these pics. If you don’t have thread that is the right color, you could use a permanent marker to hide the dots when you are finished.
5- Now, start on one of the seams and make a tiny stitch coming from the inside out, securing the ironed seam just above the orginal stitched hem. Every quarter inch or so, make another tiny stitch, so that on the inside of the pants you see the bigger stich, and on the outside of the pants all you see is a tiny dot of thread every quarter inch.
6- Finally, once you have gone all the way around the pants and tied your final stitch off a few times you can add a couple small stitches to hold the excess material up inside the jeans so it won’t fall down and become visible.
And there you have it! Pants the length you want with the look you want!