How To Hem Pants By Hand

How To Hem Pants By Hand?

How To Hem Pants By Hand?

For buyers who want to customize their apparel and make it suit their unique needs and style, hemming pants is a great place to start. But, how to hem pants by hand?

Although it may seem daunting to take on such a task, hemming your own pants by hand is an especially easy endeavor. With just a few simple steps you can have a gorgeous new seam that complements both you and your garment.

In this blog post, we will go through the steps needed to manually hem your own pair of pants, from choosing the correct thread to creating tailored hems for any desired length, which is a desired answer to the question of hemming pants by hand.

With just a few tools and some patience, you’ll be able to turn your off-the-rack clothing into one-of-a-kind pieces that showcase your personal taste.

How To Hem Pants By Hand

What Are Pants?

Pants are a type of clothes that cover both legs independently from the waist to the ankles. Usually, a belt or suspenders are used to keep them up.

Depending on the style and occasion, pants can be made from various fabrics, such as denim, corduroy, wool, or cotton. The style of pants can range from loose-fitting jeans to formal slacks.

Pants vary in color, pattern, and texture depending on the season and trend. For instance, during cooler months trousers or corduroys may be popular while during summer months shorts or lightweight linen trousers may be preferred.

Additionally, stylish details like cuffs at the bottom of dress pants or pleats down the front can give your look a polished touch for any special occasion.

What Is Hemming Pants?

Hemming is the process of altering the length of a garment, typically by folding or adding fabric to the bottom edge.

Hemming pants and other garments alters them to fit properly and creates a clean, finished look. The hem should be tailored for each individual in order to best accommodate their height and body shape.

Hemming can be done by hand using a needle and thread, but it’s often done with a sewing machine. There are two basic types of hems – rolled or turned hems and blind hems.

Both methods involve folding up the excess fabric at the end of the pants leg before stitching it into place. A tailor or seamstress can help ensure that you get the perfect length for your pants after they’ve been hemmed.

What Does Hemming Pants By Hand Mean?

Hemming pants by hand is a traditional method of altering the length of a garment. It involves folding up the excess fabric at the bottom edge of the pants and then stitching it into place.

To do this properly, you’ll need to measure how much fabric needs to be folded and stitched in order to achieve the desired length. You can also use tailor’s chalk or pins to help mark where you need to stitch.

Once you’ve determined how much fabric needs to be hemmed, you can sew along the fold with a needle and thread.

Hand-hemming takes more time than using a sewing machine but can produce cleaner results for tailored or delicate fabrics that require special attention and care when being altered.

How To Hem Pants By Hand?

It is annoying to purchase new pants and then not be able to shorten them. Stop for a moment and read these straightforward directions on how to hem pants if it seems like a difficult task.

First and foremost, people must consider what materials and supplies will be needed to hem pants by hand. In fact, there are some supplies and materials you need to prepare before hemming pants by hand.

1) Pairs of pants: Make sure the trousers you plan on them are clean and dry.

2) Needle and thread: Because we are going to hem pants by hand, you need to prepare a needle and thread. The color of the thread should be similar to the pants fabric or choose one that matches the surrounding fabrics.

3) Measuring Tape: You need this tool when measuring the length of your pant legs.

4) Scissors or Rotary Cutter: Use these tools for cutting off excess fabric from the bottom edges.

5) Pins & Tailor’s Chalk: These are important supplies for marking where alterations need to be made on the pant legs.

6) Iron and Ironing Board: Use an iron and an ironing board to press on new hems after sewing them into place.

Once all the above materials are ready, let’s begin our hemming journey. Here, we mention a detailed guide for how to hem pants by hand, which is  easy for people to follow and apply. 

Step 1. Measure the length of the pants and pin them:

It goes without saying that the person wearing the garment (with a pair of sneakers) should be doing the hemming in order to get the appropriate length.

They should ideally stand before a full-length mirror. Have them stand sideways in order to make sure that the hem is even on both sides.

Use a measuring tape and mark where you think the desired length should be with pins. Make sure not to pin too deeply as they can damage the fabric or leave marks.

Step 2. Measure the new hem:

Now that the desired length has been marked, it’s time to measure the new hem. Measure twice just to make sure everything is accurate.

Step 3. Cut off excess fabric:

Once the measurement for the new hem has been taken, cut off the excess fabric from both sides of the pant leg with a pair of scissors or a rotary cutter.

Make sure to cut slightly larger than the required measurement in order to give yourself some room for error and miscalculations during sewing.

Step 4. Iron and mark new hems:

After cutting off any excess fabric, iron up both sides of each pant leg according to your measurement so that they create a straight line and mark them with tailor’s chalk or pins.

Step 5. Sewing the new hem:

Time to sew! Thread a needle and start sewing along the folded fabric making sure that each stitch is even, secure and tight. This step will take some time as you should be careful about not making any mistakes or leaving gaps between stitches.

Step 6. Tie a knot at the end:

Once you have finished stitching up the hems, tie a knot at the end of your thread securely so that it does not come undone easily.

Trim off any excess threads with scissors and give them one final press with an iron before wearing them out and flaunting your new hemmed pants.

Hemming pants by hand can be an enjoyable task and a great way to show off your sewing skills. So why not give this simple project a try? With practice, you will eventually get the hang of it.

How To Hem Pants By Hand Without Sewing?

If you don’t have access to a sewing machine or simply don’t want to sew, there are other ways to hem pants without using a needle and thread. Here are some tips:

1) Use fabric glue:

Fabric glue is an effective alternative for those who do not wish to use a needle and thread. Simply apply the glue along the edges of the pant legs, press firmly with your finger, let it dry, and then trim off any excess fabric.

2) Heat-seal seam tape:

Seam tape can be used to secure two sides of the fabric together by running an iron over it. This is also a great way to create a clean finish in place of hand stitching.

3) No-sew hem tape:

This is a great way to hem pants without having to sew them. It is an adhesive fabric that can be applied and ironed on.

All you need to do is measure the length, cut off any excess fabric, and apply the no-sew hem tape along the edge. Iron over it for a few seconds and your pants are good to go!

With these tips in mind, you should have no problem hemming pants without sewing. Just make sure to follow the instructions carefully and use quality products so that your project will turn out just right!

How To Hem Pants & Keep The Initial Bottom Hem?

We have mentioned some methods to hem pants without sewing, then coming to the way to hem pants and still keep the original hem of pants. Are there any differences between the two methods? And how to keep the original bottom hem?

The main difference is that when using fabric glue or heat-seal seam tape, the original hem of the pants will be lost due to bonding. Therefore, it’s not possible to maintain the original shape and size of the hem.

The no-sew hem tape method does not require bonding, so there’s a potential for keeping the original bottom hem intact. This way you can ensure that your new length will fit perfectly while still preserving the original bottom hem.

So, how to hem pants and still keep the original bottom hem?

The best method is to use no-sew hem tape. Just measure the length, cut off any excess fabric and apply the no-sew hem tape along the edge of the pant leg. Press with an iron for a few seconds and you’re done!

Hemming pants by hand can be a bit tricky, but it doesn’t have to be so intimidating if you take your time and follow these steps carefully.

Some Tips For How To Hem Pants By Hand Successfully

1) Choose the right thread: To ensure that your hem looks neat and professional, it’s important to choose the right type of thread. Look for threads that are specifically made for hand stitching as they have a finer texture and won’t be too visible on the fabric.

2) Use pins: Using pins when hand-stitching is essential for keeping the hem in place and making sure that you don’t miss any stitches or create gaps between them.

3) Test press first: Before pressing your hems with an iron, do a test press on a scrap piece of fabric first to make sure that you’re not going to damage or shrink your pants.

4) Secure knot at end of the thread: Secure the knot at the end of your thread by wrapping it around a few stitches and then tying it off. This will ensure that your hems are nice and secure, without any loose threads.

5) Use a thimble: To protect your fingers from getting pricked when hand-stitching, use a thimble. It will help you to push the needle through thicker fabrics with ease.

Finally, take your time when hemming pants by hand and remember to be gentle with the fabric as this is key to achieving a neat and professional look. With practice, you will eventually get the hang of it.

How Long Does It Take To Hem Pants By Hand?

It generally takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to hem pants by hand, depending on the fabric type and the size of the hem. If you are a beginner, then it would likely take a bit longer as you get comfortable with stitching techniques such as backstitching, gathering, and so forth.

If you’re using an iron-on adhesive or heat-seal seam tape, then it should only take about 5 minutes for each pant leg. No-sew hem tape will also be faster than hand stitching but will still require some measuring and cutting before being applied.

No matter which method you choose for hemming your pants, make sure to take your time and follow instructions carefully for the best results. That way, your pants will look great and last for a long time. 

Reasons Why People Hem Pants By Hand

The main reason why people choose to hem pants by hand is due to the level of control it gives when adjusting the length. With hand stitching, you can add or reduce fabric until you get your desired fit and shape.

In addition, sewing by hand allows for more creativity as you can create custom hems with decorative stitches or different color threads.

Finally, hemming pants by hand adds a personal touch that will make your clothes look even more stylish and unique. It’s also a great way to learn a valuable skill that could come in handy later on if you decide to take up sewing as a hobby or career.

A professional tailor may be able to do the job faster and more accurately, but if you have some patience and a steady hand, you can learn how to hem pants by hand in your own home.

With the right tools, techniques, and practice, you’ll soon be able to create perfect hems with ease.


What are the different types of hems?

There are two main types of hems – rolled or turned hems and blind hems. A rolled or turned hem involves folding up the excess fabric at the bottom edge and then topstitching it into place. This type of hem can be used on lightweight fabrics and is a great option for creating a professional-looking finish.

A blind hem is slightly more complex as it involves folding up the excess fabric at the edge, then sewing small stitches that are hardly visible to hold the seam in place. This type of hem is often used with heavier fabrics such as denim or wool and can give an even more polished look to your pants.

How to hem pants using a sewing machine?

Hemming pants with a sewing machine is much faster and easier than hand stitching, but it still requires some skill and practice.

  • To get started, you will need to measure the length of the pant leg to make sure that it’s even.
  • Then, use pins or fabric weights to hold the fabric in place while you sew.
  • Once everything is set up, choose a stitch setting on your sewing machine that is suitable for lightweight fabrics such as denim or corduroy.
  • Next, adjust the seam allowance according to the instructions specified by your pattern or simply use a 5/8” seam allowance as this is usually standard for most trousers.
  • To finish off your hem, press it with an iron and trim any loose threads. You may also choose to topstitch your hem for extra security and a more polished look.

How can I make my hems look neat?

To make your hems look neat, use matching thread and take your time when stitching. Make sure that each stitch is even and consistent in size – this will help to avoid puckering or gathering of fabric along the hemline.

Additionally, if you are hand-stitching, use an embroidery hoop to keep the fabric taut and avoid any unnecessary stretching.

If using a sewing machine, use a zigzag stitch or other decorative stitch instead of a straight line as this will create a more finished look. Finally, take your time when pressing and trim away loose threads for an even cleaner finish.

Are your pant hems sewn inside-out?

Yes, you can hem pants inside out. This may be necessary if the fabric is too thick or bulky to fit through your sewing machine’s throat plate.

To do this, turn your pants inside out and make sure that all seams are aligned before beginning to sew. Once finished, press the hem with an iron and then turn your pants right side out again. 

What stitch works best for hand-hemming pants?

The best stitch for hand-hemming pants is a whipstitch as it’s the strongest and most secure. To make sure that your stitches are even, use a small tapestry needle and either an embroidery hoop or fabric weights to keep the fabric taut.

Additionally, try using a contrasting thread color which will help to subtly define the hemline. Once finished, press your hem with an iron and trim away any loose threads for a neat finish.

Before hemming my pants, should I wash them?

Yes, it’s a good idea to wash pants before hemming them. Washing the fabric will help to soften and relax it, making it easier to work with.

Additionally, if you are using a sewing machine, washing can also help remove any lint or fuzz that may accumulate in the needle plate.

Finally, when drying your pants make sure not to over-dry them as this could cause the fabric to shrink and affect the finished length of your hem.


In conclusion, learning how to hem pants by hand isn’t a difficult process. It may be a simple operation with the correct equipment and supplies.

Prior to measuring and marking your desired hem length, first, pre-wash your fabric. While stitching, either by hand with a whipstitch for hand sewing or by machine with the proper stitch setting, keeps the cloth in place using pins or fabric weights.

Finish by trimming any stray threads and ironing the hem. You can make clean hems for every pair of pants you manufacture with the help of this instruction. Have fun sewing!


3 Ways to Hem a Pair of Pants – wikiHow

Measurements for Fitting Pants

USMS Hemmed Range Pants, Khaki

Trousers (or pant)

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  1. Dear Cinda,
    Thank you so much for sharing your expertise on how to hem pants by hand. Your step-by-step guide was easy to follow and really helpful. Appreciate it!
    Fletcher Pollard

  2. This is a great post, Cinda Saunders! I learned so much from it. One question I have – do you suggest using fusible webbing to help with the hemming process? Thanks for sharing your knowledge! 🙂

  3. Your blog posts are always so helpful – what other topics would you like to write about in the future? I’m sure your readers would love to know! Thank you for all your hard work. 🙂

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