The other day I scored a deal that I couldn't pass up. I was at the Gap and found a pair of 1969 jeans in my size for $6.80! The only problem was that they were extra long and while I'm tallish and wear high heels, they still dragged on the ground. I did some Googling and learned the secret to modifying your own jeans while keeping the original hemline.
It's almost preposterously easy and took me about 15 minutes.
Here's a basic rundown of the procedure.
1) Find the shoes you'll be wearing with the jeans because they will be dictate how much to shorten them.
2) With your trusty shoes and long jeans on, turn up the hem (the rights sides of denim will be facing each other) until you reach the proper length.
3) Measure the "cuff" that you've turned up from the bottom of the leg to right under the original hem (don't include the original hem in the measurement) and divide this number by two. For example, I turned mine up 2.5" so the new number I needed to work with was 1.25".
4) Take this new number and very accurately turn up, press and pin the cuff in place based on that measurement.
5) Using a zipper foot carefully stitch around the leg opening (the right sides of denim will be facing each other so you'll be stitching on the wrong side) as close to the original hem as possible.
6) Turn the freshly sewn line into the inside of the leg and press the new seam on the outside well.
7) Once the new hemline is pressed you may want to tack down the extra material inside on each side seam (I did this so the extra fabric didn't flop around). If you took a lot of length out you may want to serge the extra material off instead. Either way, you're done!
This is a before/after shot. On the left you can see how they drag on the ground and after they are the perfect length.
This is what the hem looks like when it's all pressed and ready to go. You have to look really hard to see the line when they're actually on.
This is the inside shot after they are stitched and tacked down permanently.