The Jean Genie, Part 2: Shortening Jeans Using the Original Hem


As I mentioned before, I’m very short. So short that “petite” or “short” items don’t even begin to be short enough to fit. When I was younger (read: skinnier) I was able to shop in the girl’s department. Those were good times. When I could find jeans without bedazzling or glitter, anyway. After a third child, those days are definitely over. Luckily I’ve learned a few tricks to make being a curvy, shrimpy chick a little easier. This is by far my favorite. (If you haven’t already, check out “The Jean Genie, Part 1: Turning Regular Jeans into Skinny Jeans” to see the transformation of this particular pair of jeans.)

I shied away from wearing jeans for a long time because it was just too difficult to find ones that fit well. I had a pair or two that would suffice, but they never looked quite right. If I hemmed them, it always seemed like I was trying for a trouser look. I couldn’t get that original, broken-in hem. Then I discovered this trick a few years ago. It was like a whole new world had been opened to me! Really. I was that excited.

This was the story of my life before. Stepping on my jeans or wearing sky-high heels to make them the right length.


Now I don’t have to step on my hem anymore. And neither do you! First things first. Put on the jeans.


Now, make a cuff where you would like your final length.


Take off the jeans and measure the cuff to make sure you’re consistent on both legs.  Can you believe I took almost 4 inches off these “short” jeans? Wow.


To make sure your seams line up, match the seams (both sides) on the cuff and the jeans and pin.


Now, just stitch as close as you can to the original hem, all the way around.


When you’re finished, it should look something like this, but neater. I was working with the baby on my lap.


It wouldn’t hurt to try the jeans on again at this point to make sure everything fits. Supposing it does, cut off the excess fabric. If you were shortening jeans for a growing child, you could tack the excess fabric to the jeans by hand and let out the hem as your child grows. I’m pretty sure I’m not growing anymore, so I cut mine off.



Now tell me, is this not the most amazing thing ever? Press your seam line and it will look even better. I had a small child crawling all over me, so I didn’t.


Here they are with ballet flats…


…and with boots.


And all the short girls said, “Amen!”


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