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How to Hem Dress Pants With a Sewing Machine: Easy Step-by-Step Guide (2024)

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how to hem dress pants with a sewing machineHemming dress pants with a sewing machine is a game-changer!

First, measure the desired length, remove the original hem, and press the fabric flat.

Turn up the raw edge, press, and measure the hem width.

Use a hem gauge to pin the hem evenly.

Set up your machine for a blind hem stitch, attach the blind hem foot, and sew away, ensuring the fabric feeds smoothly.

Finally, press the right side, and voila! A crisp, precise hem awaits.

With a few simple steps, you’ll elevate your style and feel like a pro.

Still unsure? Get started, and you’ll be hemming like a boss in no time!

Key Takeaways

  • Measuring the length accurately is crucial – get this wrong and your pants will look like a hot mess. Do it right though, and you’ll be strutting with confidence!
  • Pressing the hem is an art form. Crisp creases? You’re basically a sculptor chiseling fabric perfection. Wrinkly mess? Back to amateur hour, my friend.
  • The blind hem stitch is a game-changer. Master this bad boy and you’ll be hemming like a ninja – stealthy, precise, unstoppable. Mess it up and…well, let’s just say visible stitches aren’t a good look.
  • Press that final hem from the right side like you mean it. We’re talking razor-sharp creases, stitches so invisible they’re basically non-existent. Anything less and you might as well walk around wearing a "novice sewer" sign.

How to Hem Dress Pants With a Sewing Machine?

To hem dress pants with a sewing machine, first prepare the pants by measuring the desired length and removing the original hem. Then, press the new hem in place, pin it securely, and carefully sew the hem using a sewing machine set to the appropriate stitch length and tension for your fabric.

Preparing Your Pants

Preparing Your Pants
To begin hemming your dress pants with a sewing machine, start by measuring the desired length and removing the original hem stitching. This will allow you to create a fresh, crisp hem at the new length.

Measure Desired Length

The first step to hemming pants is measuring the desired length. Here’s how:

  1. Put the pants on and have someone mark the ideal length with chalk or pins.
  2. Use a measuring tape to determine how much needs to be removed from the current hem.
  3. Add 2-3 inches for the new hem allowance.
  4. Mark this measurement all around the pant legs using tailor’s chalk.

Getting an accurate measurement guarantees your pants will be the perfect length once hemmed. Take your time and double-check – there’s no room for error here. Properly measuring sets you up for hemming success, so nail this essential first step.

Remove Original Hem

Once you’ve marked the desired length, it’s time to remove the original hem. Carefully unpick the existing stitches using a seam ripper or small scissors. Be patient and take your time to avoid damaging the fabric. You’ll need to:

  1. Gently pull out the hem threads
  2. Snip any remaining threads
  3. Press the pant leg flat

This fresh start guarantees your new hem sits evenly. With the old stitching gone, you’re ready to fold, press and pin the new hem allowance in place before sewing. Having a clean slate allows you to master the blind hem stitch technique for professional-looking results.

Pressing the Hem

Pressing the Hem
Turn up the raw edge of your pant leg and press it with a hot iron to create a crisp fold that will serve as your hemline. Once you’ve pressed the initial fold, measure the desired hem width (typically 1-2 inches) and press again to create the final crease, ensuring a professional-looking hem.

Turn Up and Press

Turn up your pant legs inside out, exposing the raw edge. Using a sturdy iron (avoid steam settings), press the fabric to create a crisp 2-2.5 inch hem allowance. For best results:

  1. Confirm the crease direction is consistent across both legs
  2. Use a hem gauge or ruler for accurate measurements
  3. Perform a mirror check, guaranteeing the hem line is even

With the hem allowance pressed, you’ve taken the first necessary step. Mastering this technique liberates you from costly alterations, empowering you with sewing prowess. Pausing to admire your work builds anticipation for the upcoming precision required.

Measure and Press Again

With your hem allowance turned up, it’s time for another pressing. Measure and mark your desired hem width, typically 1½-2 inches. Here are some quick tips:

  • Use a ruler or hem gauge for precision
  • Make sure both legs are equal in length
  • Consider the fabric type—synthetics may need lower heat
  • Invest in quality ironing equipment for sharp creases
  • Check from all angles to guarantee an even hem

Once pressed, you’ll have pristine folds to guide your stitching. This necessary step creates structure and sets you up for a flawlessly hemmed pant leg.

Pinning the Hem

Pinning the Hem
After pressing the hem, check for any remaining creases and smooth them out with your fingers or an iron. Use a hem gauge to [make sure] the folded hem is even all the way around the pant leg, pinning it in place at consistent intervals.

Check for Creases

After pressing the hem allowance, check for any creases that may have formed. You want a crisp, smooth fold. To avoid unsightly creases, follow these steps:

  1. Gently run your fingers along the fold
  2. Use a ham or sleeve roll to reshape if needed
  3. Lightly remoisten and press again
  4. Check from all angles in a mirror

With some crease avoidance, you’ll have a pristine hem ready for pinning.

Use a Hem Gauge

Once everything is pinned, double-check your hem accuracy with a hem gauge. Use this nifty tool to:

  1. Measure from the bottom edge
  2. Confirm an even hemline
  3. Adjust pins as needed
  4. Catch any inconsistencies

Hem gauges come in various styles, but using one guarantees your dress pants are expertly hemmed by a sewing machine tailor – you!

Mirror Check

With the hem pinned, it’s time for a mirror check. Stand in a confident posture, observing your reflection.

  • Does the hem length flatter your body shape?
  • Do the pant legs hang evenly from the blind hem?
  • Is the blind stitch catching the fold neatly?

    Adjustments guarantee a polished, perfected look – a confidence boost from well-hemmed dress pants! Use a locking stitch at the start and end for a professional finish.

Sewing the Hem by Machine

Sewing the Hem by Machine
Set up your sewing machine for the blind hem stitch, ensuring the settings are adjusted for the fabric thickness and desired stitch length. Carefully guide the folded hem along the machine’s blind hem foot or guide, taking care to keep the stitches catching the fold while leaving the main fabric smooth and untouched.

Set Up Your Machine

With the hem pinned, it’s time to set up your machine. Check that you have:

  • Correct stitch width and length (try 4 and 2.5)
  • Appropriate needle size and thread weight
  • Blind hem or invisible hem foot attached
  • Presser foot pressure adjusted for fabric weight

Take a seam ripper to any loose threads. Now you’re ready to sew! Position the right side of the pant leg under the presser foot, with the hem folded as pinned.

Sew the Hem

Start sewing with these 3 key steps:

  1. Attach the blind hem foot to your machine.
  2. Unfold the hem and place the pant leg around the free arm.
  3. With the hem turned up, sew the blind hem stitch, adjusting width and length as needed.

As you sew, the zigzag stitch should delicately catch the folded edge, creating an invisible hem. Take your time – mastering this stitch grants immense freedom in hemming any garment!

Check Your Fabric

As you sew, check that the fabric is feeding smoothly through the machine. Adjust:

  • Stitch width (aim for 4mm)
  • Stitch length (2-2.5mm is typical)
  • Use the blind hem foot’s guide point for accuracy
  • Make sure stitches catch the folded hem neatly
  • Start with a locking stitch if possible

Take your time and frequently turn the pant leg right side out to inspect your work.

Finishing the Hem

Finishing the Hem
After completing all the sewing steps, take a moment to press the newly hemmed area from the right side of the pants to give it a crisp, professional finish. Admire your work – you’ve successfully hemmed a pair of dress pants using your sewing machine, achieving a neat and barely visible hem.

Press From the Right Side

With your hem stitched, it’s time to press from the right side. Here’s how:

  1. Lay the pants flat on your ironing board.
  2. Using your tailor’s chalk, mark any creases that need sharpening.
  3. Spritz with water to lightly dampen the fabric.
  4. Run the iron along the hem line, pressing firmly.

The zig-zag stitches should be barely visible, creating a clean, professional finish. If hemming jeans or sturdier fabrics, use a press cloth to avoid imprinting the weave. With a little steam, you’ve conquered hemming pants with a sewing machine like a pro!

Admire Your Work

After pressing the hem from the right side, take a step back and admire your work. The zig zag stitches should be barely visible, creating a neat and professional-looking finish. You’ve successfully hemmed your dress pants using the sewing machine – no easy feat! Revel in your accomplishment:

  • Expertly measured new hemline
  • Perfectly pressed and pinned hem
  • Smoothly sewn invisible stitches
  • Achieved a polished, professional look

With this time-efficient technique mastered, you can confidently tackle hemming any pants in your wardrobe. Relish in your newfound skills and the liberation of no longer needing to take dress pants to the tailor!

Supplies Needed

To hem pants with a sewing machine, you’ll need:

  • Dress pants requiring hemming
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Sharp scissors or rotary cutter with mat
  • Iron and ironing board for pressing
  • Sewing machine with appropriate thread
  • Pins or clips
  • Tailor’s chalk or fabric marker

Having these sewing supplies on hand guarantees you can tackle hemming dress pants like a professional. With the right tools and a bit of patience, you’ll perfect the art of achieving that crisp, custom-fitted look every time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What stitch length should I use?

The suspense is building… for a perfect blind hem stitch, use a stitch length between 2-5mm. This allows the slender zigzag to deftly catch the folded fabric edge without unsightly gaps or puckering, enabling hemming mastery.

How often should I change needles?

You should change your sewing machine needle regularly, generally after every 6-8 hours of use or when working with thick fabrics. A fresh, sharp needle prevents skipped stitches, fabric damage, and frustrating snags – ensuring crisp, professional hems every time.

How do I avoid hem puckering?

Hem puckering? Press firmly, use a ham gauge for even tension. Gently guide fabric; never pull. Change your needle often for crisp stitches.

What needle type works best?

For hemming, you’ll want to use a sharp, slim needle like a microtex or topstitch needle. These needles glide through fabrics with minimal shifting, preventing puckered hems that ruin your polished look.

How do I remove old stitches?

Like ripping off an old bandage, snip and unpick those previous stitches. Guide your seam ripper beneath each stitch, carefully releasing unwanted threads to reveal a clean canvas awaiting your masterful new hem.


Mastering how to hem dress pants with a sewing machine takes practice, but you’re now equipped with the knowledge.

Apply these steps diligently, and you’ll achieve professional-looking hems.

Remember to measure precisely, press thoroughly, and sew with care.

Hemming dress pants neatly elevates any outfit, so take pride in your newfound skill.

With determination and attention to detail, you’ll soon be hemming like a boss.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.