Hemming and narrowing stretch denim capris

What I did:


My client had a pair of moderately stretchy denim capris that she wanted shortened (from capri length to pedal pusher length). She also wanted the legs narrowed a bit.

Before: if you look closely, you can see the pins marking the shorter length that my client wanted for these jeans.

Before: closeup


This was a simple hemming and narrowing job, but with a twist. The fabric — like many jeans these days — was stretch denim. I would just use a straight stitch for hemming and narrowing traditional, non-stretchy jeans, but for stretchy jeans I have started using a zig-zag stitch. When stretchy fabric stretches, straight stitches tend to break, but zig-zag stitches will stretch as the fabric stretches.

After: the jeans, now pedal pusher length and slightly narrower in the leg.

After: if you look closely, you can see the zig-zag stitches.

After: a view of the hem, pulled back so that you can see the inside.