If you are like most people, finding a great fitting pair of jeans is like finding a needle in a haystack. When you do find the right pair, they could be too long. For those people who have sewing machines at home, this problem can be easily remedied by repositioning the hem.
Right Needle and Thread Are Critical
The two most important factors in creating a great jean hem is using strong, durable thread and a needle that can easily sew through multiple layers of denim. Standard weight thread will easily break and universal needles will bent or break if used to stitch denim on sewing machines.
Following is the type of thread and needles that should be used:
- Thread - Use strong cotton-covered polyester thread made specifically for sewing denim as your top thread. Use standard thread as your bobbin thread. Jean thread is usually gold in color, just like the thread used to sew most factory-made jeans. You can also use durable denim thread that has is bluish and blends well with anything made from denim.
- Needle - Denim or jeans needles come in a variety of sizes to correspond with the thickness of the jean thread you want to use. They are different from standard sewing machine needles as they have a larger eye to handle the thicker thread and an extra-sharp tip for piercing multiple layers of thick denim.
Mark and Trim Your Jeans
Once your Juki TL2000Qi is set with the right needle and thread, mark the jeans and prepare them for hemming. Put them on with a pair of shoes and have someone insert some pins where the new hem should go. Check the length by turning up the excess to be sure it looks right.
Use a ruler and mark the outside of the fabric with tailor’s chalk, marking across the pins. Be sure the line is straight from end to end. Remove the pins and draw another chalk line 1 ¼ inches below the first one. Pin the two layers of the pant leg together close to the top line and cut the excess fabric off at the bottom mark.
Press the Hem
Using a hot iron on its cotton steam setting, press the cut edge of the pant leg after folding it up by ½ inch to the inside. After pressing the ½ inch hem, fold it under again by ¾ inch and press once more. The double fold under produces the thicker, characteristic hem that is sewn onto most factory-made jeans.
Stitch the Hem
The folded hem is now ready for machine stitching. If your machine has a free-arm function like many Juki sewing machines, slide the pant leg over the arm and the folded edge under the presser foot. Set the machine with a 3.5mm stitch length. Begin slowly topstitching around the leg, ½ inch from the fold.
If necessary, hand roll the wheel to prevent breaking your needle or thread while trying to stitch through the thick denim. If your machine does not have a free-arm function, carefully maneuver it under the needle while maintaining the folds in the hem. Stitch completely around the folded denim to complete the hem.
The next time you find a pair of jeans that fits perfectly but are too long, fear not. With home sewing machines like the Juki TL2000Qi, anyone can sew a professional looking hem that will make those jeans look like they were custom made. By using the correct denim thread and needle, Juki sewing machines make hemming jeans in time for the cooler fall weather a breeze!