When I went on my little thrift store shopping spree last week I picked up a brand new pair of FUBU jeans for $4.99. They were a nice dark wash, straight legged, fit me well around the waist.
All in all they were a great find-I don’t have luck with jeans in thrift stores.
The catch? They were about an inch and a half too long!
So I decided it was finally time to put my money where my mouth was and to do the “Magic Hem” on a pair of jeans. I originally posted the link in my article “Frugal Skills, Sewing! How to Sew a Hem“.
The magic hem is a technique where you keep the original hem on the bottom of the jeans when you shorten it. Dacia Ray has an excellent photo tutorial on this technique. Although it looks confusing at first, if you have at least basic sewing machine skills it is easy! The process took me about 30 minutes (after I pulled the sewing machine out of the closet and threaded it, which added 15 min to the process).
I also needed to tailor a pair of classy looking black slacks I had purchased for the conference (again at the thrift store). They fit everywhere, but as is common with today’s pants that fall below the waist, the waistband was a bit too big to keep the crotch hanging where it was supposed to. I found this nice little tutorial on YouTube, and proceeded to take them in right along the back center seam. That probably took me another 30 min or so.
Lastly I had to hem the black pants. That was done by hand (and actually I have one leg left to do tonight) I probably spent 35 minutes on the one leg-but I was watching TV and kept looking up to see what was happening on my show (EUREKA!)
For fun I called a local tailor and asked them how much they charge for the same alterations. To hem a pair of jeans while retaining the original hem they charge $25, for a regular hem $11, and for the tailoring I did on the waistline $16.50. Of course I live in the country-I’m willing to bet that the prices would be quite a bit higher in a metro area such as New York City etc.
By doing the work myself I saved $52.50. Not bad for a little over 2 hours of work!