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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Here they are with ballet flats…

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…and with boots.

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And all the short girls said, “Amen!”

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