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Alterations – Jeans


Do you pay someone to do your alterations? Please don’t. It really is so simple to sew your own hem. Seriously. It takes a teeny itty bit of patience to make it look nice, but you can do it.


Do your little kiddos/nieces/nephews/grand kids grow way too fast? Are they too tall for their pants from this past winter but the waist fits just fine? Well, keep on using them and chop them off into shorts.


Why not? Might save you some money.


Elli has enough regular shorts so I decided that I wanted longer shorts, like the little bermuda shorts that are hot right now. So I decided the length that I wanted them and marked it with a pin. Then I added another 1 1/4 inch to the length for the hem. Then I cut them off.


Then, I cut slits in the side that went up 1 1/4 inch plus another inch so that there would be little slits in the side after they were completed. (Also, this helps the hem lay a little better because pant legs usually aren’t straight up and down. Many styles go in a bit at the knee, making it harder to hem. But the slit helps with that.)


Then I zig-zag stitched the opening of the slit, to keep it from fraying. And at the top of the slit, I stitched back and forth (like the first step of a button stitch) just to keep the slit from opening up any higher.


Then I folded the bottom under a 1/2 inch and then another 3/4 of an inch and pinned it into place. You might have to adjust here or there to get it to lay nicely. No worries, it’ll work out.


Then press and go.
(**Remember, you can make these longer like capri’s or shorter like normal shorts. Simple.)


Nice and cool.


And guess what?


The weather man says that the sun is here to stay.

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Rebecca says:

    OMG this is amazing I have been looking at your blog for days & I am begging my hubby to get me a sewing machine. My toddler has so many pants that fit her at waist but not at length & this would b a great way to still use them Thank you for your creativity!!!

  2. Teresa says:

    OK so did you hem at all, or just fold them over and press them?

    I LOVE this idea. My daughter is skinny but I swear her legs grow faster than her hair.

    And its going to be warm here soon, I hope!

  3. Ashley says:

    Carolyn, all you would have to do is roll it under once, than another time, and then sew it into place. Maybe I'll add that as a sewing tips post. :)

    Shae, I'm not sure which purse from scraps you're talking about. Send me a link to a picture or a post where I talk about something like that. My brain is fried. :)

  4. Shae says:

    So cute! Do you have a tutorial for the purse that you did out of the scraps?

  5. carolyn2 says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial as I've always wanted to hem my own jeans rather than pay someone, but can you maybe show how to sew an original hem?

  6. Susan says:

    My daughter blew through the knees of three pairs of jeans, so I cut them into longer shorts and then sewed ric-rack around the bottom hem. Too cute!

  7. jen1313 says:

    Thanks for the instructions. I’ve made pants into shorts before but didn’t think about the slit up the side. That makes it so much easier! Thanks.

  8. Mama Vogler says:

    Neat idea about those slits. I’ll have to try it next time.

  9. Rose says:

    That’s awesome, I just realized that when my son grows out of his pants my first instinct is to put them into boxes to get rid of them, and most still fit in the waist as he is a skinny little thing. Since we had snow today (yes SNOW in the middle of May) I may have to wait a bit to try this out lol. I also had a though to try and alter a couple of his MANY t-shirts into tank tops, as he’s running a little low on those right now as well. Thanks for an awesome post!

  10. sukesgirl says:

    I think my daughter has those pants, I may have to give it a try, they are super cute that length. Thanks!

  11. Kristin Sellars says:

    Great idea! My daughter is so tall it’s not long before her jeans are too short. I’ll have to give it a try.

  12. Ashley says:

    Stacey, what a GREAT IDEA!! Thanks.

    And Mahonica……yes, I sewed them while they were inside out so that I could see where the fold was. But you could do it either way.

  13. Candice says:

    Really great idea, I think I will have to try this, thanks!

  14. mahonica (you ugly) says:

    So did you turn them inside out to hem or just hem them facing out?

  15. Stacey says:

    After making the shorts, I take the bottom part of the jeans and turn it into a little girl’s jean purse. Just sew the raw edge together and then add some ribbon handles to the open side. Voila, a simple purse for your daughter to carry around. To make it more fancy it’s also very easy to add lining, etc.

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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