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Hemming Pants: the Definitive Guide to Shortening and Customizing Trousers (2024)

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what is hemming pantsHemming pants signifies reducing and personalizing the length of trousers to optimize fit, inhibit wear and tear, and extend their lifespan.

To accomplish this, measure the inseam from the crotch to your desired length, guaranteeing an accurate fit.

Hem types range from the original bottom hem for a retro feel, a blind hem with concealed stitches, and a double fold hem for exceptional durability.

Begin by detaching the original hem, spreading the fabric, and measuring.

Pin the raw edge, press it, and then trim away excess fabric. Stitch with a machine, using a straight stitch.

Execute this correctly, and your pants will exude a professionally fitted appearance.

Intrigued about additional hemming techniques? Continue reading!

Key Takeaways

  • Hemming pants is like giving your trousers a fresh start, making them fit like a glove and look sharp as a tack.
  • You’ve got options galore when it comes to hemming styles – blind hems for a sleek look, double-folds for durability, and cuffs for a touch of flair.
  • Measuring is key to a perfect hem. Think of it as the blueprint for your pants’ new look.
  • Hemming tape and professional tailors are your secret weapons if you’re short on time or want to leave it to the experts.

What is Hemming Pants?

Hemming pants means shortening the length of trousers by folding and sewing the edge to create a new hemline. This process customizes pants to the desired length without dragging on the ground .

What is Hemming?

What is Hemming
You’ve likely noticed the neatly finished bottoms of your trousers – that’s hemming at work. Hemming allows you to shorten pant legs to the perfect length while enhancing durability and style.

It’s a sewing technique that secures excess fabric at the bottom, preventing fraying. You’ll find various hemming options, from sleek invisible hems to bold contrasting stitches.

The right hem depends on the fabric type, desired durability, and personalization preferences. A sturdy double-folded hem complements rugged workwear, while delicate dress pants call for an elegant blind hem.

Hemming opens up endless possibilities for customizing the fit and flair of your trousers.

Types of Hems

Types of Hems
When hemming pants, it’s imperative to select the appropriate type of hem for both function and style. You’ll encounter options like the Original Bottom Hem, Blind Hem, Double Fold Hem, and Cuffed Hem, each with specific purposes and applications to suit different fabrics and looks.

Original Bottom Hem

The original bottom hem on jeans preserves the garment’s vintage, washed-out look while keeping a durable, stylish finish. Common in heavy fabrics, this hem technique maintains the jeans’ authenticity. Ideal for retaining style without compromising on length, it’s perfect if you want your jeans to look unique and well-crafted, ensuring the hem is both rugged and timeless.

Blind Hem

While original bottom hems offer style, blind hems shine for dress pants. You’ll achieve no visible stitching, perfect for light activities. Keep in mind, they’re not durable for heavy wear. Start by folding and pressing the hem. Use a zigzag stitch for finishing the raw edge, ensuring sophistication and subtlety .

Double Fold Hem

For a durable and versatile hem, try the double fold hem. It hides raw edges and works well on garments needing extra strength like jeans and work pants. Customize it with different thread colors for a personal touch. Follow these steps:

  • Measure your fold size accurately
  • Use hemming tape for ease
  • Make sure your folds are even
  • Pin securely
  • Topstitch for durability and style compatibility .

Cuffed Hem

A cuffed hem can add flair to your dress pants or altered jeans. Typically 1"-1 ½", cuffs can be wider for personalization. Ideal for tapering leg jeans, this method can reduce leg width and enhance a stylish look. Experiment with different cuff widths, materials, colors, and embellishments to achieve the desired cuff style without compromising durability .

Measuring Inseam Length

Measuring Inseam Length
Now, let’s focus on measuring your inseam length to guarantee accurate pant sizing during hem alterations.

Lay your pants flat with the inseam facing up for the best results.

Start by locating the intersection of the crotch and inseam seams, then place one end of the measuring tape at this point.

Run the tape measure down the inside leg seam to the desired hem length, typically where you want the pant leg to end .

Make sure the tape measure is straight and taut for precision.

This inseam measurement is essential for hemming, allowing you to press hem, measure hem height, and cut excess fabric before you fold and stitch the hem for a perfect fit .

Removing Original Hem

Removing Original Hem
After measuring the inseam, it’s time to remove the original hem. Begin by ripping the thread using a seam ripper, carefully breaking the stitches along the hem’s seam . Note the original hem fold size; this helps maintain a consistent appearance.

Spread the fabric to expose the raw edge and measure this area accurately for a natural look . Precision is critical whether you’re dealing with hemmed jeans, delicate fabrics, or ensuring even leg seams.

Once the original hem is undone, remove any frayed threads to avoid messy edges. Pin the raw edge, securing the fabric in place and maintaining accuracy. This ensures the next steps, such as pressing and trimming, go smoothly.

Pressing and Trimming

Pressing and Trimming
After removing the original hem, it’s time to press and trim the fabric for your new hem. Start by pressing up the fabric to your desired hem width based on your measurements . Use your iron at a low/no steam setting to guarantee smooth and sharp folds . Next, trim any excess fabric; this step depends on fabric thickness and the final hem width .

  1. Pressing: Iron the folded fabric to set the crease.
  2. Trimming: Carefully cut away any extra fabric to avoid bulk.
  3. Pinning: Fold the hem twice if using a double-fold hem and pin in place, guaranteeing side seams align .

Maintain even stitching and choose thread color wisely for a polished look.

Stitching the Hem

Stitching the Hem
Stitching the hem of your pants is straightforward with the right tools. To begin, choose a thread that matches your fabric for a seamless look. For sturdy jeans, consider polyester thread for durability (Source). Adjust your machine to a straight stitch; use a longer stitch for heavier fabrics to guarantee smooth sewing (Source). Set your stitch length between 2.5 and 3.0 mm for most fabrics.

Step Description
1 Fold the hem twice and pin it securely.
2 Align the hem under the presser foot.
3 Start stitching at the side seam.
4 Continue stitching around, confirming evenness.
5 Finish by backstitching to secure the thread.

Personalize your hem with decorative stitching for a unique touch .

Hemming With Tape

Hemming With Tape
To hem your pants with tape, you’ll need hemming tape, a tea towel, and an iron. Start by laying your trousers inside out, then apply and bond the tape following the simple ironing process .

Supplies Needed

For hemming with tape, gather hemming tape, an iron, a tea towel, and the wrong-length trousers. Hemming tape works on various types of fabric, but verify it’s suitable for your flare or straight jeans. Brands like Wundaweb or Wonderweb are excellent choices. Remember, getting the correct length is imperative for a flawless finish .


Lay out your supplies: hemming tools, hemming tape, tea-towel, Wonderweb/Wundaweb, and an iron. Prepare by:

  1. Placing the trousers inside out on an ironing surface.
  2. Ensuring the hem is unfolded.
  3. Positioning the tape just above the hem fold.
  4. Folding the fabric over the tape neatly .


Cut hemming tape to fit around your trouser leg. Place it just above the fold line. Fold the trouser leg back over the tape, ensuring it’s entirely covered by fabric. This technique works for skinny, tapered leg jeans, wide leg, and flared jeans. It’s a straightforward DIY method, saving time and effort without visible stitches.


To bond the hemming tape, dampen a tea towel and fold it over the hem. Using a hot iron on a low/no steam setting, press firmly on the hem for 10 seconds. This adhesive application enhances hem strength and tape durability. Allow it to cool for secure bonding. Your wide-leg jeans and kids’ clothes will be perfectly hemmed.

Professional Hemming Services

Turning to professionals for hemming services can save time and enhance your pants’ look. Tailors offer precision and a range of hem styles to suit your needs, including original bottom, blind hem, double fold hem, and cuffed hem. Tailoring services can cater to:

  • Rush alterations for last-minute needs.
  • Custom tailoring to match your style and comfort.
  • Specific hem options such as durable double fold hems or stylish cuffs.

At Alteration Specialists, you’re assured quality, with offerings like same-day service and professional fittings to guide you through various hem tailoring choices . Whether you’re fixing work pants or adding flair to dress slacks, expert tailors guarantee a polished finish, making your hemming alterations seamless .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to hem pants?

Remove the original hem with a seam ripper. Measure, trim excess fabric, press the new hem, and fold twice. Pin in place, sew evenly with top stitching, mirroring the original style wherever feasible .

What is pants Hemming?

Hemming pants involves adjusting the length by folding and sewing the fabric’s edge, often selecting a hem style such as original bottom, blind hem, or cuff, to achieve a polished, durable, and professional finish .

Can I Hem my own pants if I don’t have a sewing machine?

You can hem your own pants without a sewing machine by using hemming tape or hand-stitching. Both methods allow you to achieve a professional finish while saving time and money .

How can I personalize double fold hems?

To personalize double fold hems on pants, use contrasting thread colors or decorative stitching patterns. This can add a unique touch, making your pants stand out, while maintaining the durability and clean finish of the hem .

Is hemming tape suitable for all fabrics?

Hemming tape isn’t suitable for all fabrics. It works well on many materials but may not be effective on stretchy or delicate fabrics, which can distort or not bond well with the adhesive .

What hem style is best for durability?

The double fold hem is exceptionally durable. It’s used on jeans and work pants, offering unparalleled toughness and adaptability, making it the go-to choice if you need robust, versatile hems for various activities .

Can cuffed hems be adjusted after hemming?

You can adjust cuffed hems after hemming by removing the stitches to undo the hem, then repositioning and re-hemming to the desired length . Just cuff, measure, and sew or use hemming tape for a seamless finish (Source).

What is the ideal length for hemming pants?

Think of pants hemming as crafting a perfect frame for a painting. The ideal length guarantees the hem just brushes the top of your shoes, maintaining a professional look and practical wear .


They say a stitch in time saves nine.

As for hemming pants, you’ve learned essential techniques like the original bottom hem, blind hem, and double fold hem. With precise measurements, careful removal of the original hem, pressing, trimming, and stitching, you can achieve a professional fit.

If you prefer, hemming tape or professional services are valid options. Mastering these skills ensures your trousers maintain a perfect length and appearance, extending their wearability.

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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.