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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Sparky
Date: 05-10-2005, 10:50 AM (1 of 10)
My husband has been after me for more months than I care to admit to shorten a pair of jeans. All he wants is for me to raise the hem a bit. And I keep putting it off because I just hate to do it. Why? I can never get the needle to go through that really thick place over the seam. I don't know the correct term, but you know how jeans have the doubled-over seam? Sewing across that you're sewing over 2 (or is it 4) layers of denim. Then turn it up, and turn it up again, and you're trying to get the needle to go through a stack of denim half an inch (or more) thick. It usually won't fit under my presser foot, much less can I get the needle to go through.

I know there has to be a trick to this, but I don't know what it is.

User: Sparky
Member since: 03-13-2005
Total posts: 94
From: Pudge99
Date: 05-10-2005, 11:14 AM (2 of 10)
Three are lots of tricks out there. The one I use is to take it out on the patio and pound it down with a hammer. My machine is one of those that brags about how many layers of denim it can sew through.
Here are a few different ways you can do it.
Try here (
or here (
Here's some general hemming tips (
Pictures of my successes and failures
Pfaff 2040
Janome Mylock 134D
Singer Futura CE-100 w/ Autopunch
Husqvarna Viking 3D Sketch
User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
From: Sparky
Date: 05-10-2005, 12:36 PM (3 of 10)

Cool! Now I can't wait to do those. :up:

Great helpful links, Pudge. Thanks a lot. :bluesmile
User: Sparky
Member since: 03-13-2005
Total posts: 94
From: Sheri
Date: 05-10-2005, 02:13 PM (4 of 10)
You can buy a Jean-a-ma-jig for going across those high spots, too. Works great.
User: Sheri
Member since: 12-04-2000
Total posts: 126
From: DorothyL
Date: 05-10-2005, 03:39 PM (5 of 10)
All that and be sure to lengthen your stitch when ever you hit a thick spot.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: carman
Date: 05-10-2005, 03:55 PM (6 of 10)
but you must think only good thoughts when pounding those jeans with a hammer :shock:
User: carman
Member since: 04-17-2000
Total posts: 692
From: woodywoodpecker
Date: 05-12-2005, 01:50 PM (7 of 10)
That's what I use as well (hammer) and a bread board, works great!
User: woodywoodpecker
Member since: 11-07-2003
Total posts: 242
From: grandmasue
Date: 05-12-2005, 06:22 PM (8 of 10)
First.. I used to use a pliers to squeeze the bulky seam. Then discovered this neat tool in my husbands tool box. It's called a 'vise grips' and is a special pliers that has added leverage so you can squeeze that seam flat with no effort at all. (DH is still looking where he might have left that tool!)
Grandma Sue

At the end I am not showing up at my grave all pretty and well preserved...I am coming in sliding, yelling "What a ride!"
User: grandmasue
Member since: 10-26-2004
Total posts: 138
From: Hogmami
Date: 05-12-2005, 06:44 PM (9 of 10)
I have a pair in my sewing room. Just never thought to use them for that. I have my own tool box with all kinds of tools. I think my husband is trying to keep me away from his tools.
User: Hogmami
Member since: 09-30-2004
Total posts: 800
From: mommydionne
Date: 05-13-2005, 08:24 PM (10 of 10)
I sometimes hand walk (ie turn the needle through by hand no electricity) through tough stuff (though my machine is pretty good with the power aspect) to avoid broken needles etc.
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
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