How To Hem Pants

How to hem pants

To hem pants is not difficult, however, there are a few things to know before you get started.

The type of hem you choose will be determined by the style of pants and the type of fabric your pants are made of.

The best way to get a professional hem result is to take note of the original hem from the manufacturer.

What you will need to hem pants:

How to hem pants
  • A sewing machine
  • A measuring tape/ruler
  • Sharp scissors
  • A washable marking pen or chalk
  • Pins
  • Matching thread
  • Seam Ripper (Oops, I forgot to put one of these in the photo)
  • Heavy gauge thread. Such as top stitch thread or denim thread. (Note: Regular polyester thread can be used in your bobbin)

First Step:

  • The first step to hem pants, begin by unpicking the original hem with a seam ripper.
How to hem pants
  • Clean up the loose threads and press flat with a steam iron.
How to hem pants

Second Step:

Determine how long you want your pants to be.

If you have a friend handy, have them help you measure the desired length of your pants by turning  up the excess length and pinning.

If you don't have a friend handy, you can do one of two things,

  • A) Measure an existing pair of pants that are currently hemmed to the length you want. Now you measure from the inside crotch area to the bottom of the hem. For instance if you measure 30" and the pants you want to hem are 33" in length, then you know you will reduce your pants by 3". Keeping in mind that you need a hem allowance of at least 1" so you would cut 2" inches off the bottom. 

I use this method often and it works just fine.

  • B) You can try on your pants and turn them up to a desired length. In the mirror check to see that your hem is where you would like it. Adjust if needed. Pin when you are happy with the length and go to the next step.
How to hem pants
  • Using a sewing chalk marker, or a non permanent marker, and a measuring tool and mark the amount you need to trim off.
How to hem pants
  • Then cut with sewing scissors.
How to hem pants
  • Turn up your hem 3/8"/1cm and then turn it again the amount you need your hem to be.
How to hem pants
  • In the photo I have turned the hem 3/8" twice.
  • Set your machine to a long stitch length.
  • (Note: every machine has the ability to change the stitch width and length. Read your manual if you are unsure how to do this.)
How to hem pants
  • Stitch around both hems, using a top stitch thread or denim thread.
how to hem pants

Voila! You now have a nice clean professional looking hem, and you did it yourself. It's easy and saves you money. 

How to hem pants

For more great sewing tips, click here