I picked up some pairs of jeans back in the summer at a yard sale for $1 each. Plus recently I was at the Goodwill and happened upon another 3 pairs of jeans in my size and got them for roughly $2.50 each. Of the yard sale jeans, I hemmed 2 of them almost right away so I could wear them while the third pair languished in my pile. I finally got around to hemming the last pair this weekend. 5" off the length - 4.5" cut leaving 1/2" for the hem. Of course they came out about a half inch shorter than I would have liked. Even though I cuffed them while wearing them to confirm where they'd hit. Figures.
Of the Goodwill jeans, two pairs didn't need hemming! Miracle of miracles. One of those did need a small patch on one of the legs. The denim was wearing through. Since I didn't want to draw more attention to the spot, I patched it on the inside using hem tape to seal down a patch over the whole area. Feels a little weird when I first put them on, but I don't notice it while I'm wearing them. Victory! The one pair that did need to be hemmed still needs hemming unfortunately. Haven't gotten around to it yet. Probably have to cut off the excess since they need around 3" taken off. Will measure twice to avoid the same fate as the yard sale jeans.
Hemming jeans is my least favorite alteration. My sewing machine isn't powerful enough to sew through denim at all, let along multiple layers. That means I have to do the top stitching by hand. So tedious. I could just use hem tape, but I like the look of the top stitching around the bottom. It camouflages that I had to hem them in the first place. I was only willing to go through that effort since I picked the jeans up for cheap secondhand. If I was willing to pay new jean prices - they better fit me without my having to alter them. This way I'm reusing jeans, which is environmentally friendly, and saving my money, which is frugal. Win-win