The hem is so simple, there’s not much to be said about it. Easy peasy, you’ll have it done in no time.
But let’s talk jeans buttonholes. A standard machine buttonhole in topstitching thread is probably not going to be easy through thick denim and isn’t the sturdiest. A keyhole buttonhole is a better option, and works best for shank buttons anyway! Most home machines won’t have a keyhole button option, so we’re going to show you how to do it by hand. Also pretty simple, so don’t be intimidated by it. It’ll take a few goes, but once you’re ready, you’ll be able to sew it up nice and quick.
Ok, let’s just get to it……
Draw your keyhole buttonhole on your jeans using tailor’s chalk or a chalk pencil.
The curved end of the buttonhole should sit about 1/2” from the edge of the waistband, and come to a point towards the belt loop/pocket. How long your keyhole is depended on your button – denim shank buttons can vary in diameter. So measure your button, and make sure your keyhole length is a little longer than that.
Set your machine to a tight zig-zag stitch, similar to a bar tack, and make sure you have topstitching thread in. Starting at the long straight end, stitch towards the curved end. When you reach the curve, I suggest stepping off the foot pedal and going around it by hand. Turn the handwheel a few times, pivot slightly, turn a few more times for a few more stitches, pivot again, and continue doing this until you’re around the curve. Then continue to sew down the keyhole, overlapping at the straight end.
I can’t emphasise this enough – you should be practising this many times before you do it on your jeans! I did a total of 6 practice keyholes before I was satisfied to get the zig-zag length right and to perfect the size and go round the curve.
When it’s all done, use a buttonhole cutter or seam ripper to open your buttonhole.
Be careful if you’re using a seam ripper though! It can be tricky ripping through multiple layers of thick denim, and you want to be careful not to rip past your stitches.
A jeans hem really isn’t any different than a normal garment hem. Meaning, it’s super simple.
Turn in 1/2” and press.
Then turn in another 1/2”, encasing the raw edge, and press again.
With topstitching thread, stitch just under 1/2” from the edge, making sure you are catching that folded edge on the inside.
LOOKING FOR MORE ASH AND DAWN POSTS?
Here is the full list of Dawn and Ash jeans posts:
- Where to buy jeans making supplies
- How to adjust rise
- How to lengthen or shorten the inseam
- How to sew flat felled seams
- Fly front
- How to sew a button fly
- How to sew an exposed button fly
- Front pockets
- How to finish pocket bags with french seams
- Back pockets, yoke, and back seam
- Inseam and side seams
- Belt loops and waistband
- Buttonhole and hem (this post!)
- How to install rivets and jeans buttons
- How to distress denim
- Tips for embroidering jeans
We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNdawn or #MNash and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!