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How to Hem Dress Slacks: Step-by-Step Guide (2023)

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how to hem dress slacksAre you ready to give hemming your dress slacks a go? With the right tools and some patience, anyone can learn how to hem their own pants. From assessing the proper pant length, pinning them in place, and pressing the new line – mastering these steps will empower you with newfound confidence when it comes to altering your own clothes! And don’t forget: having an ideal fit is essential for both casual wear and formal occasions.

Key Takeaways

  • Hemming dress slacks is achievable with the right tools and patience.
  • Seek professional advice if unsure about the hem length.
  • Consider using fabric glue or fusible tape for no-sew hems.
  • Proper pant length enhances a polished appearance.

Top 3 Tools for Hemming Dress Slacks

Top 3 Tools for Hemming Dress Slacks
First, get the Olfa 45mm Rotary Fabric Cutter Replacement Blade to quickly and accurately cut your fabric. Next, mark measurements precisely with the Dritz Sliding Marker Sewing Gauge in nickel with a handy blue slider.

Finally, remove original hems or seams cleanly and easily using the Crafters Companion Ergonomic Seam Ripper with its sharp curved blades. With these high-quality tools, you’ll have professional-looking finished hems in no time.

Olfa Rotary Fabric Cutter Replacement Blade

Craft a clean hemline tailored just for you with the acclaimed sharpness of an Olfa rotary fabric cutter blade. This quick-change wonder makes light work of multiple materials when altering or constructing garments.

Users laud its effortless blade replacement and finger-friendly aqua handle. Invest in this time-saving tool beloved by sewists for flawless cutting and longevity. Liberate your inner designer with the perfect pants length using a rotary cutter for a precise hem every time.

Dritz Sliding Marker Sewing Gauge Nickel Black Printing Blue Slider

Measure tucks and pleats evenly with Dritz’s durable sliding gauge for flawless slacks. This versatile nickel tool with black markings slides to the exact length needed for uniform hems. Mark buttonholes and precise measurements without constantly checking the ruler.

Designed for durability and accuracy, the plastic slider may melt under hot irons, so use caution to prevent bending the metal body.

Benefits of this sewing gauge include timesaving convenience, quality materials, an affordable price, and simple usage instructions.

Consider using fabric glue for temporary hems and no-sew fusible tape for straight hemlines without the need for needle and thread.

Crafters Companion Ergonomic Seam Ripper

You’ll cherish the quick and precise removal of unwanted seams with this surgical seam ripper, saving your projects and sanity in mere moments. With one effortless slide down the fabric, those imperfect stitches vanish before your eyes.

Experience the power and liberation of flawless alterations and endless creative potential through this superior seam ripping tool. Your stunning garments are just one snip away, thanks to the perfectly honed surgical blades.

Master any hem, seam, or alteration fearlessly when armed with the steadfast precision of your trusty seam ripper at hand. Sewing miracles abound through its liberating potential for infinite corrections.

Considerations Before Hemming Your Dress Slacks

Considerations Before Hemming Your Dress Slacks
When altering your pants, the proper length is crucial. After pinning up the hem, make sure to assess yourself in a full-length mirror before finalizing any cuts.

Importance of Proper Pant Length

Ensuring the fit is proper determines how your look comes across. Proper Pant Length is paramount in achieving a polished appearance when hemming dress slacks.

  • Mirror Assessment: Use a mirror for a full-length view to accurately assess the pant length.
  • Dress Slacks Styling: Dress pants should graze the top of your shoes, with a slight break.
  • Tailoring Advice: Seek professional guidance if unsure about the length.
  • Sewing Supplies: Gather your sewing supplies before starting the hemming process.
  • Importance of Proper Pant Length: It elevates your style and exudes confidence.

Using a Mirror for Assessment

Stand in front of the mirror and eyeball where you want the hem to hit. Get those britches properly hanging. Depending on the length you want, your trouser break can either be full, medium, or no break at all.

Use the mirror to get your pant cuffs properly hanging with a half to 1.5 break. It’s all about looking sharp! Mirror work is key for DIY tailoring success. Perfect that pressed hem length visually before making alterations.

Let the mirror be your guide for assessing proper pant length from all angles and positions.

Pinning Your Dress Slacks to the Desired Length

Pinning Your Dress Slacks to the Desired Length
Once pinned, check the hem length in a mirror and have someone else evaluate the look before finalizing.

When pinning your dress slacks for hemming, precision is key. Have the wearer try on the pants, shoes and all, to mark the ideal length. Use plenty of pins, placing them perpendicular to the hem edge every few inches.

First, check that the inseams match before marking the outer leg. Your pants should just kiss the top of the shoe with a slight break.

Measuring and Marking the New Hemline

Measuring and Marking the New Hemline
After pinning your pants, grab a ruler and fabric marking pencil to carefully measure and mark your new hemline.

Measure from the bottom of the cuff to pin.

Add the desired hem depth, usually 1 1/2 inches for dress slacks.

Draw a perfectly straight line at this lowering mark.

Trace this chalked guide decisively, envisioning an impeccable fit. Tailoring demands meticulousness – mind the small details. Align the ruler properly, hold it firmly, and steady your hand. Mark neatly and accurately, without smearing.

Hem perfectly by measuring correctly. Take your time; rushing causes mistakes that require even more effort to fix.

Follow each step thoroughly. Measure, mark, and cut precisely for the clean, professional hemline you desire.

Cutting Off Excess Fabric

Cutting Off Excess Fabric
Trim the excess material along your marked line. This step in the hemming process is where precision truly matters. To ensure your dress slacks have that polished finish, use fabric cutting techniques that guarantee a clean edge.

Approach the task with the confidence of a seasoned tailor, for hemming challenges will be overcome with ease. Remember, in the realm of dress pants alterations, precision is your greatest ally.

Now, let’s delve into the art of fabric cutting techniques. The key is to follow your marked line meticulously, aligning your scissors or rotary cutter precisely.

Maintain a steady hand, cutting with deliberate care. In the world of dress pants alterations, this step sets the stage for sewing precision.

So, heed these tailoring tips, and let your mastery shine through.

Pressing the New Hem

Pressing the New Hem
After you’ve trimmed off the excess fabric along your marked hemline, it’s time to press your new hem to perfection.

Lay your pants flat and use your iron’s steam function to add moisture. This helps manipulate the fabric.

Now comes the fun part – folding and pressing your new hem crease using a hem gauge as your guide. Take care here for a clean, crisp fold. Apply firm pressure with the iron, keeping it moving to avoid scorching.

Check both sides of the pant leg to ensure symmetry. For best results, let the pressed hem cool completely before moving on. Crease perfection takes time and care. But remember – the effort pays off in the end with a flawless, professional hem that looks like it came straight from the tailor.

Sewing the Hem Using a Sewing Machine

Sewing the Hem Using a Sewing Machine
Riddle with that wonder needle and sew a clean vein. We’re using the sewing machine now to craft a professional-looking hem.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Set the machine to a medium stitch length – aim for 10-12 stitches per inch.
  • Use matching thread color. Polyester or cotton is best.
  • Sew close to the folded edge for a nice straight stitch.
  • Go slow! Better a meticulous seam than a sloppy one.
  • Backstitch at the start and end for durability.

Take pride in this DIY accomplishment. With practice, you can tailor clothing to perfection.

We all desire nice duds; make them yourself and save some dough. You got this!

Hem those dress slacks like a pro.

Three Different Methods to Sew Your Hem

Three Different Methods to Sew Your Hem
When hemming dress slacks, you have a few options for finishing the hem. You can sew the hem by hand using a blind stitch, with a sewing machine using a zigzag or other stretch stitch, or for a quick no-sew method, apply iron-on hem tape.

Method 1: Sewing Hem by Hand

Pick up your needle and start stitching! Hand sewing a hem takes practice, but with the right tools, you’ll master it in no time. Choose a sharp needle and thread that matches the fabric color. Start by picking up just a few fibers as you sew to keep the stitches invisible.

Work slowly and carefully, one stitch at a time. Consistent spacing is crucial. Flip the garment often to check both sides. Before you know it, you’ll have a clean, professional-looking hand-sewn hem! With a steady hand and patience, hand hemming can be relaxing and rewarding.

Method 2: Sewing Hem With a Sewing Machine

As you pinch the folded edge, gently guide the fabric under the pulsating presser foot. With the advantages of a sewing machine like speed and quality, you’ll finish hemming in no time. Set the machine to a medium-length straight stitch and align the fabric’s folded hem edge.

Sew close to the fold for a clean finish. If skipped stitches occur, adjust the tension. For pesky fabric puckering, loosen the presser foot pressure. With practice, your machine will produce smooth, professional-looking hems in a flash.

Method 3: Using Fabric Tape to Hem Dress Slacks

Secure your hem swiftly with iron-on fabric tape. Cut strips of sturdy, fusible tape and line your pant hems before giving them a press. With heat, the tape bonds to the fabric for a tidy finish. This no-sew option saves ample time and spares stitch work.

However, tape lacks durability compared to sewn hems. Weigh the trade-offs but embrace tape for quick fixes or temporary hems. Alternatives like hem tape provide pros and cons to consider when rushing alterations or avoiding machines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I don’t have an iron or ironing board. Can I press the new hem effectively without one?

Yes, absolutely. Fold a thick towel or quilt and lay it on the table. Press the hem firmly against it with your hand to get a crisp crease.


It’s possible to make your dress slacks fit perfectly with a few supplies and a bit of know-how. Hemming dress slacks is a simple process that starts with the right tools. The Olfa Rotary Fabric Cutter Replacement Blade, the Dritz Sliding Marker Sewing Gauge, and the Crafters Companion Ergonomic Seam Ripper are all essential for successful hemming.

Of course, it’s important to consider the importance of proper pant length and use a mirror for assessment. Pinning your dress slacks to the desired length is also key. Measure and mark the new hemline, trim off the excess fabric, and press the new hem.

Finally, you can sew the hem with a sewing machine or by hand—or use fabric tape for a quick and easy solution. With this step-by-step guide, you can master the art of hemming dress slacks like a pro.

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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.