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How to Hem Pants: Step-by-Step Guide (2023)

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how to hem pants for beginnersAre you ready to take matters into your own hands and learn how to hem pants? With this step-by-step guide, even beginners can master the art of altering their pant lengths in no time!

Read on for a comprehensive tutorial that will help you perfect the fit of your favorite pair of trousers. From determining the correct length and marking it off, to utilizing special tools like blind hems or hemming tape – we’ve got all bases covered.

Whether you’re looking for tips on sewing with a machine or by hand, our easy tricks will have your pants fitting just right in no time! So grab needle and thread (or skip it if need be) – let’s get started transforming those too-long trousers into perfectly fitted garments!

First, determine the correct length for the pants by trying them on with the shoes you plan to wear them with.

Next, prep the pants for hemming by ironing the existing hem flat. For cďż­ pants, open the cuff seam.

Now it’s time to fold and press the excess fabric up to the marked hem line. The fold depth depends on the hem style – usually 1.

Hand stitching gives the most discreet hem, especially for formal wear. Use a blind hem or slip stitch, catching just a few threads in each pant leg crease.

For more durable everyday hems, machine topstitch along the folded edge. Remember to backstitch at start and end.

There you have it – with these simple techniques, hemming pants is easy. Soon you’ll be customizing all your outfits for the perfect fit and personalized style.

Key Takeaways

  • Try on the pants with shoes and mark the desired length to determine the correct length for hemming.
  • Iron the existing hem flat for a clean finish when preparing it.
  • Fold the excess fabric up to the marked hemline and press. The fold depth should be 1.5-2 inches.
  • Choose an appropriate stitching method like a blind hem stitch, slip stitch, or machine topstitch to create a durable hem.

How to Hem Pants Tutorial

How to Hem Pants Tutorial
With the proper supplies like the Olfa rotary cutter, Dritz’s sewing gauge, and Havel’s seam ripper at your side, you’ll be able to start hemming those pants of yours like a pro in no time! Determining the proper pants length is crucial – aim for them to be about half an inch off the floor when looking at the back.

For a clean finish, carefully measure and mark your new length, then trim any excess fabric above the fold. You can easily hand sew a blind hem stitch for dress pants or utilize a sewing machine and straight stitch for quicker results on casual pants.

With the right tools, some practice, and useful hemming techniques like those mentioned, you’ll have pants that fit and look fantastic.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Hemming Pants

Step-by-Step Instructions for Hemming Pants
When preparing to hem your pants, start by determining the correct length based on the pants type, shoes you’ll wear, and personal preference. Next, with the pants inside out, measure and mark the new finished length with pins, checking that both legs are even.

Then press the hem at the pinned line to create a crease before measuring, marking, and cutting the hem allowance.

Determining the Correct Pants Length

You’ll want the wearer to try on the pants to get the perfect new length. Have them stand normally while marking the hem. Dress pants should not touch the floor. Casual pants can be shorter. Measure and mark 1 inch up for dress pants, 1/2 inch for jeans.

Marking the Finished Length

Once the perfect length is decided upon, gently pin the fabric at the desired stopping point. Double check both legs, as any slight inconsistency in length will be immediately apparent and undermine the finished look. Achieve expert measuring for hemming success using a ruler, hem gauge, pins, and chalk to mark the precise endpoints.

Master precise measuring and marking for flawless DIY pant hems. With practice, beginners gain skills and options for customizing trouser length on any DIY project. They can become adept at precise measuring and marking to achieve professional results when hemming pants at home. Mixing up measurement tools and techniques allows creativity in approaching the task while ensuring accuracy. Don’t be intimidated to DIY pant hems – consistent practice builds expertise in this satisfying skill!

Checking Both Pant Legs for Evenness

Ironically, after spending an hour measuring and marking your perfect hem length, one pants leg could still end up longer than the other. Ensuring even pant length requires careful visual checks for symmetrical hemming.

Despite meticulous measuring, subtle leg length differences may arise, necessitating adjustments during hem alignment. Proper preparation confirms evenness before committing stitches, so both legs meet the floor in perfect parallel.

To ensure even hemlines, carefully check that both pant legs are the same length before hemming. Slight differences can occur even after careful measuring, so visually compare the legs and make any necessary adjustments.

Proper preparation and alignment helps achieve paralleled hems, with both legs ending at the exact same point. Confirm evenness through visual inspection prior to stitching for perfectly symmetrical pants.

Pressing the Pants Hem

After checking both legs to ensure the marked lengths are aligned, press the hem along the crease to set it.

To press the pants hem seamlessly:

  1. Set the iron to the wool or linen setting depending on the fabric.
  2. Always press on the inside of the pant leg to avoid shine marks.
  3. Use the point of the iron to get into tight corners.
  4. Hold the iron still for 5-10 seconds before moving to set the crease.
  5. Apply light pressure and avoid over-ironing delicate fabrics like linen.

With the hem crease perfectly set, you’re ready for the next step in hemming your pants.

Adding the Hem Seam Allowance and Cutting

Simply mark the desired finished length with the Dritz sliding gauge. Add your preferred allowance using the measurements on the gauge. Then carefully trim the excess fabric along the marked line with the Olfa rotary blade for perfectly even hems.

Hemming techniques do not require advanced sewing skills. With handy tools like the Dritz gauge and Olfa rotary cutter, hemming pants is easy to shorten any garment length and get that perfect fit.

Hemming Pants With a Sewing Machine

Hemming Pants With a Sewing Machine
When hemming pants with a sewing machine, begin by reinforcing the hem with a straight stitch. Next, to achieve an invisible hem with a polished look on the inside, use the blind stitch foot to neatly conceal the stitching.

Varying your stitch length and alternating longer and shorter sentences will result in a natural-sounding set of instructions.

Using a Straight Stitch and Double Hem

You’ll want to engage the sewing machine’s straight stitch then carefully feed the hemmed fabric through, guiding it little by little to maintain control and achieve the desired double-fold finish.

  • Keep the fabric taut.
  • Go slowly around curves.
  • Use a presser foot made for hemming.

With practice and patience, you’ll master feeding the folded hem edge through the machine to sew a clean straight line, creating a subtle yet polished slim double-fold hem perfect for any garment.

Utilizing the Blind Hem Stitch

Next, pick up the Dritz nickel sliding gauge to mark the depth of your blind hem before carefully guiding the fabric under the presser foot to neatly catch just a sliver of the garment. The blind hem stitch creates an invisible hemline on dress pants and is achieved by slightly catching the fabric’s edge as you sew.

Take care to maintain an even depth and use a blind hem foot for the best results.

Hemming Pants by Hand

Hemming Pants by Hand
Howdy! Learn how to beautifully hem your pants by hand with a needle and thread using this beginner’s guide. We’ll show you two hand-sewing techniques: the slip stitch and the running stitch.

The slip stitch produces an invisible hem, while the running stitch creates a visible hem. Both methods allow you to neatly and securely hem your pants at home without a sewing machine.

Ready to start hemming? Gather your supplies – needle, thread, pins, scissors, and the pair of pants you want to hem. Make sure the pants are clean and pressed. Then follow the steps below to master hand-hemming pants with either technique.

Using a Hand Slip Stitch

Get your hand-sewing skills mastered with the concealed slip-stitch technique for hemming pants. This nearly invisible method uses a hand needle and thread to tack the folded hem in place. Mark the desired length using a hem gauge. Carefully trim excess fabric with sharp shears.

Press the cut edge under the hem allowance. Thread a hand-sewing needle and knot it. Take a small stitch in the pants’ hem fold and a tiny stitch in the pant leg. Continue stitching around the hem, keeping the thread tension firm and stitches tiny.

With practice, you’ll achieve professional-looking hems and preserve the original hem on treasured jeans or trousers.

Using a Hand Running Stitch

Can’t achieve perfectly even hems without the Dritz Sliding Sewing Gauge or other handy hem marker, can you? Simply secure your thread at the side seam, take a medium-sized straight stitch through the folded hem edge, then tiny stitches along the pant leg; continue until you reach your starting point.

Expertly hand-sew quick, smart running stitches for expert hemming in no time. Slide fabric under gauge for foolproof lengths; mark carefully when preserving an original hem on jean shorts. Conquer all your hemming challenges – whether simple dress pants or stubborn denim – with savvy hand-sewing skills and the right tools.

Shortening Pants Without Sewing (Hemming Tape)

Shortening Pants Without Sewing (Hemming Tape)
You’ll wanna press that hem before tapin’ it up. Fold the fabric edge under to the desired length, then give it a good press with an iron to crease it.

Next, apply the no-sew hemming tape along the folded edge, peeling away the paper backing as you go.

Some other no-sew hemming options include usin’ fabric glue or fusible hem tape. Or try usin’ hem clips or hem weights to hold the fold in place without sewin’. For a quick DIY pant length adjustment, hemming tape is your fast and easy ticket.

It works great on all sorts of fabrics from delicate silks to heavy denim. Just follow the directions and your hem will look tidy in a snap.

Hemming Pants While Preserving the Original Bottom Hem

Hemming Pants While Preserving the Original Bottom Hem
Let’s start hemming your pants. First, mark the desired new length on the inside of the pant leg. Next, fold up the bottom of the pant leg along the original hem and pin it in place. Then, using a sewing machine, stitch a new hem close to the folded edge. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end for a secure hem.

Finally, trim off any excess fabric above the stitching line so the new hem edge is clean and even. Varying the stitch length can create visible interest while reinforcing the hem. For best results, press the new hem with an iron to flatten the stitches. There! You’ve successfully shortened your pants while keeping the original bottom hem intact.

Marking the Desired New Length

While turning the pair inside-out, use the nimble needle and contrasting thread to subtly mark the planned shorter length. Be confident in your ability to discern the key lines required for proper fit. Let artistry guide your hands, not hesitant doubt.

Adapt the techniques to each garment’s uniqueness while tapping your resourcefulness. Follow experience’s wisdom yet stay open to inspiration. Measure twice if needed, for meticulous accuracy strengthens the result.

Marking the Pants Length Guide

After finding the length you want, use the sliding sewing gauge to mark that measurement across the inseam for an even hem. 1) Place a pin at the desired length. 2) Line up the gauge on the inseam and mark with chalk.

3) Verify both legs match. With practice, you will learn this measuring technique for uniform pant length when hemming.

Stitching the Original Hem

Sewing the original hem with a quality machine can make achieving a visually appealing, professional finish seem as easy as pie. Carefully stitching along the factory crease of the original hem using a straight or reinforced stitch, your choice depending on the fabric, can help finesse folds to conceal rawness inside for a polished look.

Folding and Trimming Excess Fabric

Keep the original look by carefully folding then trimming off any excess material above the stitched line.

  1. Fold the excess fabric along the stitch line.
  2. Use sharp fabric scissors to trim the excess.
  3. Finish by pressing the hem crease with an iron.
  4. Avoid cutting the stitched hem when trimming fabric.

After stitching, attentively fold and trim your pant hems. The final step creates a clean finish for wearing right away.

How Long Should Your Pants Be?

How Long Should Your Pants Be
Haven’t you ever wondered how long your pants really should be for the perfect fit? There are a few guidelines to follow when determining the ideal length for your pants:

  • Dress pants should hit right at the top of the shoe without pooling or bunching at the hem.
  • Casual pants can be a bit longer, with the hem grazing the top of the shoe.
  • Jeans should stack slightly over the top of the shoe without dragging.
  • Pants should never be so long that you’re stepping on the hem.
  • The hem should stay above the floor, even with heels on.

Aim for a length that flatters your body type and allows shoes to peek out attractively. Well-fitting pants with a fashionable, contemporary hem length will give you a polished, confident look. Choose lengths that work with your usual footwear so you always feel comfortable and stylish.

Pinning the Pair of Pants to the Perfect Length

Pinning the Pair of Pants to the Perfect Length
When hemming those glued jeans, aim for a cute hem before tackin’ and sewin’ away. Get the perfect length by measurin’ twice, pin-pointin’ and pleatin’. Start with bare feet for fit, then consider shoe height and preference.

Gather pins and chalk, measure it all exact. Mark that new length line all around so there’s no goin’ back. Take your time to get it just right, straight and even is what’s tight. Check both legs, fix uneven spots, re-pin to perfection top to bottom.

For best results when makin’ it legit, double check your hemmin’ before committin’. Get precise, your pants will thank you for the effort by showin’ off that high-end tailored look. Just don’t forget to keep breathin’ as you start your stitches. Perfection can wait when perfection’s the mission.

Take it easy, have fun and just go with the flow — a custom hem is a craft made for you to grow.

Measuring and Cutting the New Hemline

Measuring and Cutting the New Hemline
Standin’ tall in your soon-to-be perfectly hemmed pants, use your handy ruler to measure and mark the new length. Then carefully cut along that line usin’ your fabric shears for the cleanest new hem edge.

Determine the right pant length based on type, shoes, and preference. Have the wearer try on pants for an accurate length.

For dress pants, aim for 1 inch above the floor; for jeans go 1/2 inch. Turn pants inside out and double check – measure 2 inches above the chalk line, then cut excess fabric with sharp shears.

Aim for precision; a clean cut hem is the secret to success. Adjust length for a perfect custom fit.


You’ve come this far, so let’s finish up strong! Hemming pants for beginners doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right tools and instructions, it can be fun and rewarding. Whether you’re sewing by hand or with a machine, start by determining the correct length for your pants.

Pin the pair of pants to the perfect length and measure and cut the new hemline. Once your hem is cut, finish it off with a straight stitch, double hem, or blind hem stitch.

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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.