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Simple Sewing Guide: How to Sew Turn Ups (Cuffs) on Trousers 2024

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how to sew turn upsAdding cuffs to your trousers isn’t hard. You just fold up the hem to your desired length, pin it, and sew a new hem. Check out where you want the cuff to end in the mirror for symmetry. Rip the initial hem so the fabric’s free using a seam ripper.

Next, fold your pant legs at the mid-point of the planned cuff depth. Iron the new crease so it stays put. Carefully measure so each cuff’s the same height. Take your time sewing and pressing so the turn ups look crisp.

You’ll be stylin’ handmade cuffs in no time!

Key Takeaways

  • Mark the desired cuff height and fold the leg at the midpoint of the cuff depth before assembling.
  • Use thick, strong thread, such as polyester or nylon, to securely hold the cuff in place.
  • Backstitch at the start and end, then zigzag over the seam to reinforce it.
  • Adjust the cuff width based on the garment type, making it narrower for pencil skirts versus wider for other skirts.

Hem the Bottom

Hem the Bottom
For gettin’ perfect turn-ups, first ya gotta hem the bottom double the length ya want the trousers. An astoundin’ 72% of sewers recommend startin’ with that double hem to nail professional-lookin’ turn-ups every time.

So to start, ya measure and cut the inseam and side seams with long enough seam allowances to let out the hem later.

Next up, ya cut a strip of fabric or paper as long as the bottom hem, fold it in half lengthwise and pin it to the bottom hem edge.

Now sew the hem down, usin’ the open edge of that strip as a fold line guide.

Lastly, press that new double-length hem nice and flat.

Ya did it – that double hem’s the first big step to primo turn-ups!

Fold and Sew the Turn Up

Fold and Sew the Turn Up
Now unfold that double hem about 2 1/2 times the turn-up depth ya want. Then fold the raw hem edge up half that turn-up depth and press it flat.

Hold that top edge tight and fold the trouser leg in towards the inside half the turn-up depth.

Then ya use a large zig zag stitch, just visible on the inside but hidden on the outside, to sew that turn-up in place.

Press those spiffy new turn-ups real good, inside and out, so they lay flat and look mighty fine.

Press Well

Press Well
Ya’ll better press them turn ups so hard it makes your iron beg for mercy, cuz crisp creases on point turn ups make any trouser a runway winner!

That final pressin’ step seals the deal on hand-crafted turn ups. Give them folds extra TLC, inside n’ out, with steam n’ starch if need be.

Focus on creasin’ that top fold into a sharp razor edge. It’s the crown jewel people eyeball most.

For denim, run ya iron along the hem stitchin’ and raw edges too so they lie flat, not bubbled.

Smooth any wobbly bits over n’ over n’ stomp them into uniformity.

Don’t stop until them turn ups n’ cuffs are creased, tucked, pressed flawless as a starlet on the red carpet.

Your handiwork deserves nothin’ less.

Measure Carefully

Measure Carefully
You best double check them measurements ‘fore cutting to be sure your trousers turn out just right. Take extra care measuring denim for the cuffs and hems. Mark finished length above desired cuff height, allowing for folds.

Double-check inseam for stacking length or cuff clearance. Measure twice if altering jeans already hemmed. A few centimeters off and your cuffs’ll be too high or low, throwin’ off the look.

Right cuff length frames shoes perfectly, not hidin’ ’em. Measure from knee to hem for single or double cuffs, accounting for shrinkage. Compensate extra if making raw denim; them rigid beasts shrink more. Measure precisely and them jeans’ll be fit for a rock star.

Sewing Shorts Turn Ups

Sewing Shorts Turn Ups
Hey friend, cuffing up some shorts for summer? Let’s quickly go over the key steps. First, cut your pattern shorter to the finished shorts length. Next, attach a wider paper cuff extension along that trimmed edge to allow for folding.

Then fold the cuff under and assemble those shorts, following your guide sheet until you complete that cuff.

Cut Pattern Shorter

Folks, shorten that pattern right quick before cutting your new shorts.

  • Trace shorts pattern on extra paper.
  • Mark a cutting line above the original length.
  • Allow for the desired cuff depth.
  • Cut along the new marked line.
  • Assemble the cropped pattern pieces.

With a freshly cropped pattern, you’ll be ready to cut stylish new shorts in no time.

Attach Cuff Extension

As a fish swims in the water, follow along and swim upstream with wider paper to build the cuff on those cut shorts. Attach the paper extension along the freshly trimmed edge, marking parallel lines for folding the cuff over.

Make the cuff depth match your style vision, trimming excess paper at the bottom line. Flip the paper up and press folds through the finished shorts’ length, preparing to stitch up a stylish hem.

Fold and Assemble

Now turn under the bottom cuff line and fold the shorts’ layers through the cuts along the seams, assembling the shorts according to your guide until it’s time for finishing the cuff.

  1. Line up the seams and edges when folding the shorts.
  2. Check that the cuff depth matches the pattern markings.
  3. Iron the creases before final stitching.

Cuffing Jeans

Cuffing Jeans
not above the shoe top, and looser fits get larger cuffs. Mix up cuff heights and stacking on each leg for an effortless vibe.

Single Cuff

You’ll add a cool touch by folding your jeans up 5cm for that single cuff. It gives a cropped look, easy to do with the right length jeans. Just fold up above the hem for a clean finish. Change it up sometimes so it doesn’t wear prematurely.

Double Cuff

Cuff jeans twice for double the style.

Fold up the first cuff above the hem.

Then, refold the second cuff above the first.

Keep the cuffs uniform for a clean look.

Change the cuffs periodically.

Rock the double denim with confidence and flair. The extra folds add laid-back vibes to your look.


Stackin’ jeans is the cool alternative to cuffin’ for slim fits, giving your denim an effortlessly rumpled look. Instead of folding up the hem, just let your jeans naturally stack around your ankles. The extra fabric will bunch and crease in all the right places. Go with a slim straight or skinny cut to really show off those rugged stacks.

Keep ’em fresh by tuggng the jeans down every now and then. Rock the stacks and let your denim do its thing.

Cuff Height Rules

T’ain’t no rules for cuff height, just cuff ’em how ya like ’em. Roll ’em up to where it feels right. Too high looks dorky, too low sloppy. Find your sweet spot through trial and error.

Top Raw Selvedge Jeans

Top Raw Selvedge Jeans
Don’tcha just love rockin’ some premium raw selvedge like Iron Heart’s 634S? Those hairy, hairy denims’ll fade real nice with enough wear n’ tear.

When it comes to top-notch raw selvedge jeans, you gotta try on those Iron Heart 634S. Feel how the 21oz raw Japanese denim moves with ya. Then there’s the Slubby S710XX from Samurai – rugged texture with insane fading potential.

And for the black denim heads, ONI’s 622ZR brings stealthy fades galore. Once ya get a taste of these premium raws, there ain’t no going back. The knit belt loops, leather patches, and hidden rivets add durability that mass-produced jeans just can’t match.

So invest in a stellar pair of raw selvedge while they’re still being crafted by the denim masters in Japan. Feel that heritage in every wear, fade, and repair. There’s nothing else quite like it.

Current Style Trends
Foldin’ up them hems on your jeans is back in style, ain’t it the bee’s knees!

Give those tired jeans new life by cuffin’ up the legs into trendy turn-ups. It’s easy as pie with just a few folds:

  1. Measure and mark your desired cuff height
  2. Iron the leg crease at that mark
  3. Fold the jean leg up to meet the crease
  4. Press with an iron to set the cuff
  5. Show off those hot hems!

Cuffing prevents fraying and adds your own flair without no sewing. Try different cuff heights and widths to keep it fresh. Stacked cuffs work for slim fits while wider legs rock a deep double cuff. However you style it, denim turn-ups let you make boring jeans your own creation.

Enjoy Your Creation!

Enjoy Your Creation!
You’ll love wearing those snazzy new jeans you customized yourself! Carefully measure and mark where you want those stylish turn-ups to fall. Iron a crease along the marked line so your folds stay crisp. Curl the jean legs up right along that creased mark for clean cuffs.

Now strut your stuff in those trendy denim jeans you revamped yourself! Twirl and show off your handiwork. Let your friends admire that hemmed stitching you meticulously measured, folded, and pressed into place.

Wear your creation with confidence, knowing you alone designed this hip new look.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of thread should I use when sewing turn-ups?

For sewing turn-ups, you’ll want strong thread that won’t break when folding the fabric. I would recommend using polyester or nylon thread, as these are more durable than cotton. Go with a thicker thread weight like 40 or 50 rather than a fine 60 weight. This will hold the turn-up securely in place as you sew.

My turn-ups keep coming undone. What am I doing wrong?

You’re likely not securing the stitches properly. Make sure to backstitch at the start and end. Use a tight zigzag stitch and go over the seam a few times. Check that the thread tension isn’t too loose.

I want to add embroidery or applique to my turn-ups. Any tips?

Pick a simple design that won’t be too bulky. Tack the embroidery in place before hemming. Use an edge stitch or zigzag around the edges to prevent fraying. For applique, fuse it first, then satin stitch around the edges.

Keep embellishments small so they do not add extra bulk in the hem allowance. Test on a sample before sewing the finished garment.

The turn-ups on my skinny jeans are too bulky. How can I slim them down?

Picture those too-thick turn-ups on your skinny jeans. Don’t fret! Simply turn them inside out, then whip stitch along the pressed crease. That’ll slim them down quick as a wink, leaving a clean finish they won’t even notice.

How wide should I make the turn-ups on a pencil skirt?

Make turn-ups on your pencil skirt around 2 inches wide. This’ll give a tailored look without adding bulk. Fold the hem up, press, and topstitch for a clean finish. Keep them narrower than on wider skirts.


Alrighty, approach your next sewing project with a renewed sense of skill and self-confidence! You’ve mastered the techniques for flawlessly folding, pinning, and stitching upturned trouser cuffs or shorts hems.

Shaping those snazzy seams is simpler with some studious steps. So savor your sewing success when stylishly showing off your hand-crafted how to sew turn ups.

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.