Monday, March 26, 2012

Office supply hack: hemming denim

Though the average American woman is 5'4" and rocks about a 29"-30" inseam, the average inseam of "regular" size denim averages 33"-34". This makes it a lot easier to wear heels with your jeans, but we all need at least a few pairs of pants to go with flats. A few years ago, a friend referred me to YouTube learn how to hem jeans yourself without losing the original hem (like this video). It's easy, especially if you have a sewing machine, but I wanted a more temporary solution.

Why do I prefer temporary? Pants inevitably shrink over years of washing and wearing and then the hem doesn't fall right anymore (or I'm getting taller, but that's not likely). I usually buy jeans for heel height and then they eventually get transitioned to flat length after a while. The one time I did get jeans professionally hemmed (for heels, mind you), they were too short to wear even with flats two years later. It's not the dryer...I run my jeans through cold wash and air dry them. Does this happen to anyone else? 

My temporary solution: staples

You follow basically the same concept—cuff the pants leg up half of what you want to hem—and use staples instead of sewing it down. This usually lasts me about six months before I remove the staples and re-staple. I don't recommend doing this on thinner or more delicate fabrics; denim holds up really well, though. Here is a messy step-by-step.


The further away you stand, the more seamless it looks (noone actually gets this close to my feet). If you want a more permanent fix, YouTube has some great video tutorials.

Do you DIY your hems?

10 comments:

  1. double sided tape!!! i found that staples can rust after you wash your pants too often. and sometimes they'll get loose and snag your socks. tape, on the other hand, sticks even after many washes, and still comes off with no problems. weird magical stuff!

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    1. I've never had a rust problem, but I will definitely keep double-sided tape in mind! I love the idea of double-sided tape, but I've never actually owned or used it...weird, right?

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  2. Hahah
    I have done this - although not so carefully - when I've had hem emergencies. Band aids also work.

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    1. Bandaids! Love it! I've done tape, too, on more delicate fabrics at work. Doesn't work so hot (although I guess I should have tried double-sided tape.

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  3. So clever. I have just been resigned to the fact that all pants cost me an extra $10 because they have to go to the tailor for shortening... But sometimes you want to be able to go back and forth between heel-wearing lengths and flats-wearing lengths instead of buying 2 pairs of everything, so I will have to remember this trick for the future!

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    1. Thanks, so I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of this. I do like the flexibility!

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  4. Cool trick! I love it. Staples and double sided tape, I'll keep this in mind! :)

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  5. This is very interesting.
    I need an extra inch on most pants. Do you have a good solution for that.
    34" inseam is a tad too short for me. The next "size" is 36 which is a bit too long in some pants. I have dress pants that need to be hemmed a little now because of that.

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