I got a few requests in the comments of the basic jean alterations post for more information about original versus regular hems. I tried to make a video on the subject, but seeing as the only video recorder I have at the moment is my Droid cell phone, it didn’t work out very well. =P
So, here’s some pictures that will hopefully help you see the difference between hemming your jeans with an original or regular hem.
This is my preferred method to hem jeans. The original bottom hem is cut off the jean, the needed length is cut off, and the original hem is sewn back on the bottom (the seam is opened, placed over the cut jean bottom, and sewn back in place). In this way, the jean retains any kind of fading or wavy texture at the hem, so it looks like it did when it was bought at the store.
Here is a pair of jeans I had hemmed with an original hem:
I don’t do this type of hem very often, unless the jeans I bought already have a smooth hem. This method is basically just cutting off the extra length from the inseam, making a fold, and sewing a basic hem. The hem will not retain any details of the original hem, nor have the wavy look that most jean hems have. On most jeans, the lack of hem detail makes them look obviously altered.
My Paige skinny jeans are hemmed with a regular hem:
See my post on basic denim jean alterations, part 1.
There you have it! I hope that cleared up the difference between an original and regular denim jean hem.