How to Hem Pants by Hand

How To Hem Pants By Hand Or With Sewing Machine In 5 Minutes

Do you have a pair of pants that are just a little too long, and you don’t want to spend the money on getting them hemmed by a professional?

Or maybe you’re just learning how to sew and want to try hemming your pants by hand. Whatever your reason, this guide will teach you how to hem pants by hand in no time.

How to Hem Pants In a Few Steps:

Follow these 5 easy steps to hem pants in 5 minutes

  1. Measure and Mark the Desired Length: First, measure from the bottom of your pants leg up to the desired length you want them to be. Use a fabric marker or pins to mark this measurement on both pant legs.
  2. Turn Up the Hem: Next, fold the hem of each pant leg up so that the marked line is even with the top of the fold. Pin the hem in place.
  3. Sew a Hem: Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end of your thread. Double-knot it, if desired, to make sure it doesn’t come undone while you’re sewing. Begin stitching from the outside of the pant leg and work your way inward towards the fold on both sides of each pant leg.
  4. Try It On: After you’ve finished stitching up both pant legs, try them on to make sure they fit correctly before cutting away any excess fabric or thread.
  5. Trim Excess Fabric and Threads: Once you’re satisfied with how everything fits, trim any extra threads or fabric along the hemline and you’re finished!

Here are What Tools You Need to Hem Pants:

  • Fabric markers or pins
  • Scissors or pinking shears
  • Thread
  • Needle for hand sewing
  • Iron (optional)
  • Tailor’s chalk or fabric pencil (optional)
  • Measuring tape (optional)

How to Measure the Inseam

When selecting the appropriate length of your pants, be sure to consider what you’ll wear them with. The shoes chosen can drastically change how much room is left for a hem at the front of the foot.

To get started on finding this perfect inseam measurement; put on whatever shoes or boots that you plan to pair most often with these trousers and measure from crotch seam all the way down towards your footwear this will give an exact indication as to what your ideal inseam should be!

Remove the Original Hem

How to measure the inseam
  • Start by finding the original hem that was sewn onto the pants. It will be a line of stitches across the bottom of the pant leg or it might be glued down with fabric glue.
  • If it is stitched, use scissors to cut through the stitching and then pull out any loose threads that remain on the fabric. If it’s glued down, you may need to use a seam ripper or razor blade to carefully cut off the excess fabric from around the glue.
  • Unfold the hem completely
  • Use Iron to remove the creases.


Measure the pant
  • Flip the pants inside out and spread them evenly on a horizontal surface.
  • To accurately measure your inseam, begin at the crotch of the pant leg and measure along the same length.
  • Accurately measure the inseam of your pants and add one extra inch for seam allowance.


Trim The pants

Use a rotary cutter and ruler (or even scissors) to cut off the extra fabric.

Measure Hem

Measure Hem
  • Adjust your sewing gauge to ½ inch.
  • Carefully fold the pant leg’s edge until it reaches a ½ inch width.
  • Utilize a sewing gauge to ensure the fold is precisely ½ inch on both sides of the fold.
  • Firmly press the iron onto your fabric to secure it in place.

Fold the Hem

  • Carefully crease the pant leg up another ½ inch.
  • Make sure to confirm the width of the fold with a sewing gauge for accuracy.
  • Once you have creased the fabric to a ½ inch width, firmly affix it with pins.
  • Repeat these steps on the other pant leg.

How to Sew the Hem With a Sewing Machine

How to Sew the Hem With a Sewing Machine

Follow these given steps:

  1. Thread the needle and bobbin of your sewing machine with a suitable thread color for your fabric.
  2. Set the stitch dial to a zig-zag setting and then adjust the width and length of the stitches according to how wide or long you want them to be.
  3. With the right side of your fabric facing up, place it under the presser foot so that the hem is at least 1/4 inch away from it.
  4. Slowly move your pant leg along as you guide it through the presser foot, ensuring that both sides of each fold stay even throughout this process.
  5. Once both pant legs have been sewn, press down on the reverse button to backstitch a few times at the beginning and end of each hem.
  6. Tie off any ends of the thread and trim away any excess fabric that may be present near your new hems.

Sew the Hem by Hand

Sew the Hem by Hand

Don’t worry, if you don’t have a sewing machine. Hand sewing a hem is a very easy process and won’t take up too much time. With just a needle and thread, you can craft the most immaculate hem on any pair of pants.

To sew a hem by hand, follow these steps:

  1. Turn the fabric under along the hemline, and press it in place with an iron.
  2. Thread a needle with a matching thread color, and knot the end.
  3. Starting on the inside of the garment, insert the needle through the folded edge of the hem and pull it through.
  4. Next, insert the needle through the fabric, about 1/4 inch from the folded edge, and pull it through.
  5. Then, insert the needle back into the folded edge of the hem, and pull it through.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5, taking small stitches and making sure the thread is not too tight or too loose.
  7. When you get to the end of the hem, tie off the thread and snip the excess.
  8. Press the hem again with an iron to give it a crisp, professional finish.

How do I Hem Pants Without a Needle and Thread?

Hemming pants without a needle and thread can be challenging, but here are a few options:

  1. Use hemming tape: Hemming tape is a double-sided adhesive that can be used to hem pants without sewing. Simply fold up the desired length of the pant leg, apply the tape between the layers of fabric, and press with a hot iron to activate the adhesive.
  2. Use fabric glue: Fabric glue can also be used to hem pants without sewing. Apply a thin layer of glue to the folded hem, press the fabric together, and allow it to dry.
  3. Use fusible interfacing: Fusible interfacing can be used to create a clean edge on the hem of the pants. Simply fold up the desired length of the pant leg, apply the interfacing to the raw edge of the fabric, and press with a hot iron to fuse the interfacing to the fabric.

Note that while these methods can work in a pinch, they may not be as durable as sewing and may need to be redone after a few washes.

Is it Better to Hem by Hand or by Machine?

Both hand and machine hemming have their own advantages and disadvantages, and which one is better depends on the specific project, materials, and personal preference.

Hand hemming allows for more control and precision, making it suitable for delicate fabrics or uneven edges. It also provides a more traditional, artisanal look.

Machine hemming, on the other hand, is faster and more efficient, making it a better choice for large or time-sensitive projects. It also creates a more consistent, professional finish.

Ultimately, the choice between hand and machine hemming comes down to the individual’s skills, available time, and the desired outcome.

What Type of Stitch is Best for Hemming?

The type of stitch that is best for hemming depends on the type of fabric being hemmed. For most lightweight and medium-weight fabrics, a blind hem stitch or a double-fold hem stitch are good choices.

For heavier fabrics, a top stitch or a single-fold hem stitch may be more appropriate. Ultimately, it’s important to choose a stitch that will provide a secure and durable hem that complements the fabric and the intended use of the garment.


Now that you know how to hem pants by hand, as well as measure the inseam and sew the hem with a sewing machine, you’ll be able to make sure your pants always look their best.

No matter which method you choose, taking the time to carefully hem your pants will ensure that they always fit great and look sharp. Thanks for reading!


What Stitch Do I Use to Hem Pants by Hand?

You can use a slip stitch or a blind stitch to hem pants by hand. These stitches create a nearly invisible hem and are ideal for dress pants or other formal wear.

Can I use Straight Stitch on a Hem?

Yes, you can use a straight stitch on a hem. It’s a common stitch used for hemming, but may not be suitable for certain fabrics or designs.

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