How to Hem Jeans

I have a new tutorial for How to Hem Jeans, it’s been one of my most popular sewing posts to date. It’s been featured on several different websites and blogs. Who knew jeans would be such a popular topic?

How to Hem Jeans - FB

I have been blogging for 6 years now. Hard to believe it’s been that long! I have hundreds of posts on this website. I am in the process of refining my brand and developing my future goals. One of the things I am working on is adding video tutorials to some of my old posts.

 

I think everyone I know wears jeans, probably all of us have had a pair or two that needed… Click To Tweet

You will need your jeans, tailors chalk (or a sharp #2 lead pencil), and a measuring tape or a ruler.

First try on the jeans (after they have been washed and dried), and roll up the hem to the desired length. I know you know how to do this!

Then, take off the jeans, and measure the amount you rolled up. It was 2 1/2″ on these jeans.

Turn the jeans inside out, matching the leg seams and smoothing out the fabric. Because denim is so heavy, you will need to work with one leg at a time. Calculate the amount of fabric to cut off by subtracting 1″ from your orgininal measurement, to compensate for the seam allowance needed for the hem.

I needed to shorten our jeans 2 1/2″, so 2 1/2″-1″= 1 1/2″ for my total.

Measure from the bottom of the pant leg and mark the distance with a piece of tailors chalk or lead pencil. My distance was 4″. Be sure your cutting line is parallel to the bottom of the pant leg.

Keeping the pant leg inside out, put the leg over the arm of the machine, turning back a 1/2″ seam allowance. Conveniently the presser foot is the same width. If you use it as a guide, you will not have to measure and it will save you time. Also, forget the pins. Pins ruin sewing machines, and you will be a much better sewer without them. They do not use pins in professional production because they would completely slow down the process. It’s the difference between sewing like a pro, and sewing like a homemaker. No pins.

Lower the presser foot and begin sewing, but do not start on the thick part of the side seam. Begin either slightly before or after the seam. Most machines will just sew right through the thick seam without a problem if they have a running start. Center your needle in the seam allowance, and continue sewing around the entire pant leg. When you get to the end, over lap the stitching slightly to lock it in place. Trim your threads, and remove the pant leg from the machine.

Here are my best tips and tricks for sewing with denim:

  1. Use a heavy duty needle for denim fabrics. I have broken more sewing machine needles  than I can count by sewing jeans. Denim is by far the heaviest material I ever work with. Recently I noticed you can buy packages of needles just for denim, what a great idea! Pick up a package or two to have on hand when ever you need them.
  2. Always use a new needle for each pair of jeans. Needles get dull very quickly on fabrics like this. It will save you lots of headaches if you use a new, sharp needle each time you sew with denim. It may seem like overkill, but you just have to trust me on this one.
  3. Purchase 100% cotton thread for working on jeans. Thread that is designed for machine quilting works well, it’s strong enough to hold up during sewing on denim. I use black or navy for hemming, you don’t have to match the gold top stitching that most jeans have, in fact I think it looks better if you don’t.
  4. Don’t bother with pressing your jeans. Denim is heavy and hard to work with. After you have hemmed your jeans, wash and dry them as usual. They will look and feel great. The new stitches will blend in with the fabric like they were always there. Besides, pressed jeans are just weird.
  5. Help your friends learn to hem their own jeans, I am sure they will be grateful for your help!

That being said, it’s time for the tutorial! I had fun putting this video together, hope it helps you hem your jeans!

 

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How to Hem Jeans

Sew Fire Learn to Sew Printables

 

FB Live Camera Set Up

Good hello my friends! I am excited for my Live FB segment today!

That’s 10:00am CST on Mondays and Wednesdays. Be sure to check it out!  Fridays I am posting a video tutorial for a simple project you can make with your newly learned sewing skills. If you aren’t sure why you should learn to sew, read this post.

Actually, this week Friday, I will have a no sew project to give you a few more days to practice if you are new to sewing! You are going to love it, so be sure to stop by!

I thought you might appreciate an insight into what goes on behind the camera. I know I love to see how other people do things. I am new to video, I have done a few of them in the past (see my YouTube channel) but I have so much to learn. I recently attended a class on video production, so I feel I have new skills to help me along!

For now, this is my Facebook Live recording process. It’s rather funny actually, and if you see me smiling smugly at the camera it’s because I am cracking up inside over this pathetic set up! Hopefully, it won’t come crashing down when I am on camera! The lighting isn’t great but with a few lamps I can improve things a bit.

In this photo you will see my cell phone attached to a selfie stick. Yup, that’s what it is. The selfie stick is connected to an old tennis ball holder with bull dog clips to hold it in place. It is sitting on one of our old kitchen chairs. Someday I will update to an actual tripod attachment gismo, but for now this ridiculous contraption seems to work rather well. It also makes me laugh on camera and helps to relieve my camera shyness.

Crazy right?

I am posting to give you the links to the promised So Fire FREE PRINTABLE WORKSHEETS.

I will be adding more to this page as time goes on, here are a few to get you started!

Lesson 1 Sewing a Straight Stitch

Lesson 2 Learning to Pivot

Lesson 3 Sewing Curves

Lesson 4 Thread Do’s and Don’ts (also coming next week!)

See you soon!

Why You Need to Learn to Sew

Quilted Hexagon Table Runner

You may have noticed that I love to sew. I have dozens of sewing projects in my blog repertoire, sewing is one of my favorite things to do. Here’s why:

Finished fabric stack

 

  1. Believe it or not, I can sew just about anything cheaper than I can buy it. The only exception is with specialty items like winter coats or sequined evening gowns. Most of us already own a coat and few of us actually wear evening gowns. I suspect most people today would like to learn to sew to save a few bucks here and there, alter the clothes they already own or just for their own knowledge. At any rate, learning to sew will save you MONEY.

Kids Travel Pillow

2.  I can sew faster than I can order things online and have them sent through the mail. You would be amazed at how quickly you can make things at home that cost a considerable amount of money to buy in a retail store. I often go shopping and come home with nothing except photos in my phone of things I want to make, or ideas for those I can make cheaper than I can actually buy them.

Cutting out the tree appliqué

3.  I can whip up gifts at a moments notice. This is a huge benefit of sewing. Once you have a stash of fabric and supplies built up, there is no stress in putting together a last minute gift that is unique and special because you made it just for them.

designerssweetspot.com

4. I can sew my own clothes or make clothes for others. Let’s face it, it’s really hard to find things that fit, that in your price range and look really great. It takes time and a bit of patience to sew your own clothes, but it is well worth it. You will be able to make better fitting, longer lasting garments than you can buy in the store.

DIY: How to Hem Jeans

5. You can alter or repair the clothes you already own. Even if you have no time or desire to sew your own clothes, by learning to sew you can repair the ones you already have. If you pay someone else to hem slacks or skirts, shorten sleeves, repair worn spots, or replace zippers it is far cheaper to learn to do this yourself. You can even get paid by your friends to do it for them! Plus, it’s fun!

designerssweetspot.com

6. You can sew fun projects for your home decor. Let’s say for example, you see a cute pillow that you love in the store. Small decorative pillows run anywhere from $13.00 on up. You can make one your self for less money that you will like better! Not to mention, it’s easy to cover an old pillow with a new cover that you can make yourself for free!

I can even leap over my sewing machine in a single bound. Well, not really.

But, you know what I mean? Sewing and making my own stuff is part of my Homemade Super Thrifty existence, without it life would be very dull indeed. And expensive!

I am hoping that you love to sew too. But, perhaps you never had an opportunity to learn?

Here’s your chance! I am starting a new sewing series call SEW FIRE. I chose this name because I am passionate about sewing and can teach you to sew IN A FLASH. When I went to Googled this title, I discovered an article about a tragic fire in New York’s garment district  in 1911. Hundreds of young women lost their lives trying to escape from a building where they were seamstresses. This really touched me, and I decided that SEW FIRE was also a way to recognize the garment workers who sew for pennies in deplorable conditions even today. I have been inside similar buildings in the garment district of NYC, and let me tell you, they aren’t pretty. I fact, many of them are downright scary. I can’t imagine being trapped in one by a fire. If you would like to read more about this tragic fire, click here.

This Sew Fire series is for those of you who have never sewn a stitch in your life, don’t know how to turn on a sewing machine, or even thread it. This series is sewing from the VERY, VERY BEGINNING.

You are going to love it! I am doing weekly videos on Facebook Live and posting additional tutorials here on the blog and my You Tube Channel.

Here’s the introduction teaser video:

Join me on FB live Monday and Wednesday mornings, 10:00am CST for the Sew Fire series!

I am really excited about this, and I have much more in store for you here on the blog including some free printables that I am working on!

You won’t want to miss out! Sign up for my weekly newsletter in the side bar for all the updates!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Welcome to the Mexican Fiesta Recipe Blog Hop! There are 12 of us bloggers in this hop, you are going to love this Foodie Fiesta!

square bowl with soupMexican cooking is very popular at our house. It is easy to prepare, and uses lots of healthy fresh ingredients. I make many Mexican meals, but this Chicken Tortilla Soup is always my favorite. I frequently make this soup with leftovers after a night of Fajitas or Chicken Tacos.

olive oil and tortilla

You can use corn or flour tortillas in this recipe. I prefer the flour variety because they are light and soft. For the gluten free diet, the corn would be the best option. You can also purchase gluten free wheat-less tortillas at the grocery store.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. cubed chicken breast

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 24 oz. can petite diced tomatoes

1 can black beans, drained

1 can corn, drained

6-8 cups chicken broth or 2 tablespoons chicken soup base

3/4 cup basmati rice, or leftover cooked rice

1 package flour tortillas

1 bunch fresh cilantro

red pepper flakes to taste

1 tsp. chili powder

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

cut tortilla

Brush 3 tortillas with olive oil on both sides. Slice into strips. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes until crisp and brown.

Spoonful of soup

Meanwhile, add olive oil to large stock pot over high heat. Add garlic, onion and chicken breast. Salute 5-7 minutes until done.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans and corn. Stir, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add rice and cook 10 minutes until rice is tender. Chop remaining tortillas into 1″ cubes. Add to the soup along with salt and pepper.  Cook additional 10 minutes until tortillas are tender.

Chop cilantro and add to pot right before serving.  You can serve with the tortilla strips, more cilantro and sour cream if desired.

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Be sure and visit these other blogs for more great recipe ideas!



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Pallet Planter and Privacy Screen

white pallet planter with flowers

 

I was scoping out Craig’s List recently, looking for a new project. I happen to come across a pile of free pallets, and I was thrilled to pick them up. I have had this Pallet Planter and Privacy Screen idea in mind for quite some time, just needed the right materials to make it all happen!

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The idea came to me last summer. We were walking through some side streets of Chicago and I notice a number of outdoor cafes that had privacy screen type planters along the street. Not only were they beautiful, but they were made from simple materials.

The plantings were simple as well, I love the look of ferns or other leafy green plants for privacy. As lovely as these planters are, I had a simpler solution, to make them out of pallets.

before

I brought home 2 full size pallets for each privacy screen, plus a few half pieces to use for extra wood here and there. I also picked up a 30″ plastic planter box at the local home improvement center, along with an 8 ft. 2″ X 6″ and some 4″ coated screws for assembly.

cutting the 2 x 6

The 2 x 6 was cut into 6 7/8″ pieces, 3 for each side of the planter.

marking the boards for assembly

The pallet was marked along the edge 4″ from the side for even assembly. We also had a broken board or two on the pallets. These were removed and replaced with boards from one of the half size scrap pallets that I brought home.

the pallet sandwich

We assembled the pallets in sandwich style, using the pieces of 2 x 6 at the top, middle side and bottom side areas. Be sure all pieces are lined up before you screw them together. The gap in the middle is made just the right size for the planting box to slide in.

assembly

We used a 6″ screw driver extension to reach between the boards and screw the pieces together. After we put 2 screws in each one on this side, we turned the pallet sandwich over and screwed the other side together for extra durability.

planter with flower box

The planter box fit right into the top.

side view pallet planter

You can see how the three side pieces of 2 x 6 hold the two pallets together.

finished pallet planter

I like the height of the pallets for privacy, it will work great on our patio area to screen us from the neighbors.

paint sprayer

I dug out my handy paint sprayer and went to work painting the planter.

white pallet planter

We had some storms come in and I was only able to get a one coat of paint on it. I will repost more pictures when the weather clears. Summer can’t come soon enough! I was really tempted to buy some ferns at the store, but it is too early to plant things out in our zone 4-5 climate. The planting will have to wait!

white pallet planter with flowers

I have materials for another planter and will finish it soon. Since this was so easy to assemble, I think I can manage to do it all by myself and surprise my husband. We will see!

There are a bunch of us who have been working on Pallet Projects for this little blog hop. I am linking up to this site as well.

Check out these other great pallet projects: