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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: sewjem
Date: 06-18-2006, 03:00 PM (1 of 10)
I haven't been here for a while. I may be behind in the times, but can anyone explain how some tailors are shortening jeans and reattaching the original hem.
I have been doing some research and some customers complain of the pant leg not hanging properly aferward. That may just be the quality of the work, while others rave about how great it is.
Some Designer jeans are so expensive, people don't want to lose the worn look.

I assume it is just folded up and stitched but with tapering you could have some puckering and other weird stuff.

Just wondering if anyone out there is doing it
Thanks and have a great day
User: sewjem
Member since: 03-10-2006
Total posts: 8
From: Patty22
Date: 06-18-2006, 05:20 PM (2 of 10)

My daughter had a pair hemmed by a seamstress in NYCity while she was visiting friends, and she now insists that all her pants get hemmed in this fashion. She likes it because it retains the original top-stitching of the garment.

The excess fabric is taken in a seam directly above the top-stitching line of the original hem. If the tuck is small, the top is then blind stitched in place. If it is a large, some can be serged off and then hemmed in place.

My daughter is vertically challeneged so on some pants I have taken in quite a bit. However, the fabric has had some lycra in it and there was some stretch to take in any puckers.

Hope this helps.
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: sewjem
Date: 06-19-2006, 07:32 AM (3 of 10)
Hi Patty22
Thanks for your reply, that is good information. Just doing it will probably be the best way to learn.
thanks again
User: sewjem
Member since: 03-10-2006
Total posts: 8
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 06-21-2006, 10:13 AM (4 of 10)
I'm going to make up some samples to show customers and see if anyone wants to try this technique. It would be a lot easier than picking out that old hem. I hate doing that and charge extra if I have to do it.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
From: Carol in ME
Date: 06-30-2006, 01:32 PM (5 of 10)
I've done tailoring for many years, and the first time I heard of this, I thought, "they gotta be kidding." It takes so much longer, (If I'm picking out stitches, I'm shortening less than 1 1/4 inches) and has such potential for being fouled up, but it seems to have caught on.

If you are shortening the pant a lot, you'd best check the measure of the original hem against the measurement of the pant leg where it is to be re-attatched. If you do this on a bell-bottom or flared leg pant, the leg will be narrower as you go up toward the knee. If that happens, the hem piece will be too big to fit on. This probably accounts for the complaints. The inseam of the pant leg may be let out so the measurements come closer, or match.

I'm thinkin' it may be easier to keep a Dremel tool in the closet, and "age" the hem before calling it done!
User: Carol in ME
Member since: 01-27-2003
Total posts: 105
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 06-30-2006, 01:53 PM (6 of 10)
I like the Dremel tool idea! I haven't had time to make up my samples yet but you are so right about there being a narrow window this could be done in w/o getting into wrong shape of the leg. I've got a wedding dress to busle and then I'll think about it.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
From: VenusElaine
Date: 07-01-2006, 08:36 PM (7 of 10)
As far as I can tell, this is a request which originated on "Queer Eye For the Straight Guy". It is called a "European Hem" and I charge $35.00 for it. If I could get a hold of ? (I cannot remember his name) I would gladly strangle him. :mad:
If the hem is flared or belled, you must alter the hem cut off before re-attaching it. As I charge $10.00 for a straight jean hem, most of my customers choose to provide their own wear. I have suggested sandpaper, as I do not own a Dremel. And I only hem, I do not provide wear.
Along with hems, my biggest problem is persons who buy the jeans full of holes and then request a patch when they wear a hole somewhere they would prefer not to have one. These jeans are worn out when they buy them! There is no viable fabric to stitch a patch onto! I will sew the patch if they insist, but advise them that every line of stitching will probably tear the first time they wear the jeans. :shock:
When I was young, we bought our jeans new, and wore them out ourselves.

"Always put as much effort into your marriage as you do into your wedding."
User: VenusElaine
Member since: 10-22-2005
Total posts: 126
From: paroper
Date: 07-02-2006, 01:03 PM (8 of 10)
Well, the trend is not all that new. About 18 years ago my sister's kids were hanging their name brand jeans on the clothes line and shooting them with shot guns!

As near as I understand the "new hem" idea is like a tuck in the bottom of the pant. In some places where the tuck is not large (it is tucked on the inside of the pant leg), it may be left. In places where the tuck is large, a refinishing of the seam may be needed. As already mentioned by others, there may also be a need for an adjustment of the pant leg width too.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: sewjem
Date: 07-03-2006, 09:40 AM (9 of 10)
I googled European hem and came up with a couple of sites


the second one has pictures

Thanks for all the help on this
User: sewjem
Member since: 03-10-2006
Total posts: 8
From: kameline
Date: 07-08-2006, 12:02 PM (10 of 10)
This is awesome, can't wait to try!
Do all to the glory of God!
User: kameline
Member since: 03-09-2006
Total posts: 41
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