When I had my tailoring shop, the alteration that was always the most impressive to people was the pinch hem (also known and an original hem). A pair of jeans could be shortened significantly, but no one could tell that any alteration had been made. I'll show you two methods for a pinch hem: the Original Pinch and the Hidden Pinch.
The Original Pinch
This method will preserve the original wash of the denim and the original stitching.
|1. Measure the full amount to be shortened. (This pair needs to be shortened 2 1/2"). Divide that measurement in half to determine how much will be "pinched". This is your half-measurement. (For this pair the half-measurement is 1 1/4").|
|3. Double check your measurement. Measuring from the inside of the hem, the distance between the stitching line and the folded edge should be 1 1/4" (your half-measurement).|
|4. If everything is correct, serge of the excess. I like to leave about 3/4" inside.|
|5. Tack the side seams in to place and blind stitch the excess inside. (This keeps the hem from flipping out during wash and wear).|
|6. Press the new hem.|
The Hidden Pinch
This method only preserves the original wash of the denim, but the excess fabric is completely hidden.
|1. Remove original stitching. (I always use a razor blade). Determine your half-measurement (same as in the original pinch).|
|2. Fold up the hem (the distance of your half-measurement) measuring from the holes of the original stitching. Pin the side seams to keep them aligned.|
|3. Stitch around with the new stitching line running on the holes of the original stitching. Measure a second time to double check that you measured correctly.|
|4. Trim the excess fabric to a scant 1/8" from the new stitching.|
|5. Tuck the cut edge inside the hem and top-stitch with heavy jean thread. The side seams will be thick. I like to flatten them out by pounding them with a hammer before I do the top-stitch.|
|Finished Hidden Pinch Hem.|
-Use a large needle. I use a size 16 and it gets through the heavy denim easily.
-If your using a heavy jean thread, increase the tension. It helps to keep the stitch looking pretty.
-Go very slowly when you stitch over the side seams. It will prevent a broken needle.