Take it up… Keep it Close

A few weeks ago my friend asked me if I could take up her jeans, as by the end of the day they were nearly reaching her toes, and let’s be honest that’s quite the health risk. So I have had them on my ‘to do’ pile for a while, and amongst my crazy backache last week I decided I finally had time to sort them out!

I wanted to keep the original hem as I didn’t have a colour match for the thread and Photo 28-09-2018, 11 52 53wanted them to look as neat as possible. Annoyingly I didn’t take any before, or process photos, only an ‘after’ photo; so with another pair of jeans I am going to take you through this process step by step. It doesn’t take long and you’ll be wondering why you ever forked out for the tailor to do it for you.


Jeans that are too long


Sewing Machine with a zipper foot



Iron & Ironing Board

Tape measure or ruler


First you need to decide how much you need to take your hem up –  turn the hem to the inside and pin in place – try them on again to make sure; and make any adjustments.Photo 02-10-2018, 11 00 56

Take them off (don’t stab yourself with any pins!) – lay them flat on a table – and measure how much you have folded the hem up; remove the pins and fold the hem up (to the outside) half the amount you noted down. So if you wanted them going up 6cm; fold them up to 3cm. Then pin.Photo 02-10-2018, 11 01 43

Now you are ready to sew – pop on your zipper foot – this will allow you to sew as closely to the original hem fold. Now sew in place; going slowly over the side seams; and removing the pins accordingly.

Photo 02-10-2018, 11 03 08

Next; trim away the excess material – leaving about 1cm. Now change back to your standard sewing foot; and use a zig zag stitch to prevent the raw edge from fraying.

Photo 02-10-2018, 11 06 16

When you fold the hem down again – simply press in place with your iron and hey-presto; you have the correct length jeans and they are super neat. Make sure you do this on both legs!

You can keep the denim strips for another day – I think we are going to do some weaving next week; and these would work nicely for that!

I filmed a time-lapse of this process over on my Instagram TV channel

Share your alterations with the hashtag #whatawastecollective over on Instagram and I hope this helped you today x


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