It doesn’t matter what brand, what cut, what size, there’s money to be saved when you’re as short as I am (5’2″). The secret? The sewing machine.
Due to my vertical stuntedness, I can rest assured that whenever I go to buy jeans, every pair I encounter will be either the right length or too long. When I go jeans shopping, all I really shop for is a fit in the waist and hip — I go knowing that I can hem the jeans to whatever length I want. (Heck, I can even turn bootcut or flare jeans into skinny jeans! Google it. Super Easy.)
This makes it A LOT easier to shop clearance rack jeans (not to be confused with “sale” jeans) and find ones that’ll work for me. After all, there’s fewer variables to deal with.
Hemming and changing the calf cut of jeans are some of the simplest sewing tasks known to (wo)man. I personally started learning to sew with curtain-making, but basic jeans alterations are on par with that. If I can do it, anyone can.
Jeans have a simple, rolled hem. All I do is cut the legs down to an inch longer than I want them to end up, turn the bottom of the pant leg inside out, fold the cut edge up 1/2″, then fold it up 1/2″ again. Half the time I don’t even bother pinning or ironing, I hand roll the hem a few inches at a time as I’m running it through the sewing machine. It’s a regular, straight stitch run all the way around the cuff until overlapped with the starting point.
Tip: If I’m feeling insecure in my sewing abilities or I’m using a sewing machine I haven’t used before, I do test stitching on the cut off pieces first.
To turn wider leg jeans into skinny jeans, it’s a matter of turning the jeans inside out, laying a pair of skinny jeans on top, marking the wide leg jeans using the skinny jeans as a guide, cutting off the excess (leaving adequate seam allowance, usually 5/8″), then sewing the raw edges together.
Go forth, shop, save money, and sew happy!