Detailed Instructions Showing How to hem pants with Hands and Machine

Featured Image

To get an instant dapper look there is no easier way then to hem your jeans, pants or dress when they’re too long. If you are in a professional setting then most people will notice it first. It will also make you look stylish and aware. You can always tell when your pants need to be hemmed.

In this article, you can easily learn about how to hem pants easily. You can hem your pants either with hand or with a sewing machine. Both of them contains some pros and cons. You can go through the article to know more about how to hem your pants and which way suits you better.

Hemming with/without a sewing machine

Hemming a pant is actually very easy and there are two ways do this task. You can either do it by hand or by sewing machines. Both have learning curves and some pros and cons.

It’s up to you to choose the best way to hem your pants. Next two section of this article will give you an idea for both way of hemming and possibly help you to choose one or another.

Without a machine

Without a machineThere’s a misconception that hand-sewn items are of lower quality, weaker and less shapely than machine-sewn pieces. Nothing could be further from the truth

People tend to assume that hand sewing items are lesser in quality, weaker or less shapely than pieces sewn by machine. This assumption can’t be more wrong.

Some facts about sewing without machine are given below –

Improves Coordination

Your finger and brain need to work together to sew by hand. This type of motor skills can help develop children’s brains also elderly people can practice to keep their mind sharp and healthy for longer and keep dementia away.

Highly Portable

To hem a pant all you need is a needle, thread, and scissors. Have these things with you and your set for hemming. You don’t need to carry a heavy machine to do a simple hem job.


Hand hemming pant is far less expensive than machine hemming. For hemming by machine first you need to buy an expensive machine, a sturdy table to fix it on, bobbin storage, extra bobbins, and other bits to keep your machine running. There is also repair and maintenance cost. With hand hemming usage you will only need needle, threads and a pair of scissors and you’re on.


Hemming by machine can be very loud and it might disturb others but with hand sewing, you can do the same task without making any noise. You will be able to concentrate even better because of it.


There are fewer variables in hand hemming than in machine hemming and that means more reliability. Many things can happen during machine like breaking down of the machine, lost parts etc. but with hand sewing you don’t have to worry about those things and with full concentration you can complete the task.

With a machine

With a machine Machine hemming is a fast and secure way to get the job done. Some facts about machine sewing are given below –

Secure Stitches

Two strands of threads are simultaneously by sewing machines so the stitches are more secure. Machine hemmed stitches are more resistant to being pulled apart and also should be stringers if done properly.

It’s a lot faster

Machine hemming is really fast. With hand sewing, a task might take 1 hour but with a machine, it will only take twenty to thirty minutes. So it saves a lot of time.

Easier to hem

It is easier to do a hemming job with a machine. If the pants fabric is thick then it will be easier to hem with a machine than hand sewing. If you do it by hand you have to push hard and it will also take more time.

Learning Curve

Sewing by machine needs training; you cannot just buy a machine and start sewing. There is a learning curve. There are lots of dials and button that you need to get familiar with and also need to learn how to maintain the machine to keep it working.

Getting into the job without a machine

Below you will find a step by step description about how to hem a pant by hand –

Tools you will need

You will need a needle, matching thread, scissors, tailor’s chalk, quick un-pick tool, a ruler and an iron.

Step 1  Removing the Existing Hem

The first thing you have to do is to remove the existing hem that comes with the pant. Use your scissors or a quick un-pick tool to remove the hem.

Step 2  Measure the new length for your pants

With a tailor’s chalk mark the new length of the pants. By marking it you will know how much u need to hem. Try to take a length with your shoes on, in that way you will know how high the pant goes up with your shoes on. Do this in front of the mirror to get the measurements correctly and easily.

Step 3  Make sure the pant legs are evenly taken up all around

Measure the distance from the top of the pant leg to the new fold created where the mark was made by the chalk for the new bottom of the pant. Measure the same distance all around the pant leg and mark with chalk. Now it’s folded up evenly.

Step 4  Keep 2-2 1/2″ (5-6cm) to create the New Hem and Cut off Excess Fabric

Measure and mark the amount of fabric you need for the new hem allowance. I like to keep about 2″ (5cm). This gives me enough fabric to turn the raw edge under and have just over 1″ (2 1/2cm) left for the new hem. Cut off the excess fabric because you won’t need it.

Step 5  Make note of how far the hem is turned up

The prep work for the new ham is done. Now turn the pant inside out and start ironing to straighten and remove any crease.

Step 6  Once the hem is inside out, Fold the hem and iron

After turning the pant inside out, turn the hem by 2″ and then hit the hem with iron.

Step 7  Use a few pins to hold the hem in place

Use a few pins around the hem to hold it in place while you hand stitch the hem. Remove the pins as you go.

Step 8 Grab Your Prepared Needle with a Single Thread and Tie a Knot at the End

Get a single layer of thread that matches the color of your pants. Tie a knot at the end of the thread and secure it to one of the inside leg seams by passing the thread through the seam and top hem fabric and then passing the needle through the loop of the thread right before all of the thread finishes going through the fabric. Repeat this step a few time so that the thread becomes extra strong. Hide the thread tail down into the hem.

Step 9 Start Stitching

You are almost done now. Now that your thread is secured to the seam of the pant leg you are ready to stitch. Stitch from right to left. Put the needle into the folded hem about 1/16″ (2mm) from the top and on an angle. Then, grab one or two thread from the third layer of fabric, directly behind where the needle came through the folded hem. Pull the thread all the way through and you have completed your first stitch. Start the next stitch about 1/4-1/2″ from where the previous stitch came out of and repeat the process. Be sure to only grab the one or two threads from the third layer of fabric, as this is the layer that will be seen when the pants are turned right side out.

When you have stitched all the way around the hem, grab the thread and tie a knot in the end.

Doing the job with a machine

Doing the job with Pant hemming by machine is less time consuming and a fast procedure. Read below to get a step by step guide to hem a pant with a machine

What you’ll need to hem pants

  • Pins
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutterand mat
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • A sewing machine
  • Clear acrylic ruler

Step–1  Pin the pants to the correct length

For both types of hemming, this step is the same. With a tailor’s chalk mark the new length of the pants. By marking it you will know how much u need to hem. Try to take a length with your shoes on, in that way you will know how high the pant goes up with your shoes on. Do this in front of the mirror to get the measurements correctly and easily.

Then turn the pant inside out and make minor adjustments if needed and ensure it is folded up same all the way around.

Step–2 Iron the new pants hem

Remove all the pins from the hem and start ironing on a flat surface or on an ironing board. To see the crease later, iron well around the leg.

High heat is needed for cotton pants, Medium setting for rayon or polyester. Test heat first before applying.

Step–3 Time to cut off the extra length

Identify the crease you ironed then measure and cut the pant leg off 2” below it. You can also use hem gauge to cut more accurately.

If you like to work fast, simply mark the crease with your tailor’s chalk so that you can see easily through the ruler and then slice the pants 2” below the crease. You can also measure and cut a narrower hem if the pants need to be hemmed less than 2”.

Step–4 Fold and iron the new hem

Clip into the seam, without cutting through the entire seam allowance at the hem line, and halfway to the cut edge. Repeat on both sides of the pant leg. As you fold the hem, push the middle piece of the seam allowance in the opposite direction as the other two. Press the new hem well. Pin if desired.

Step–5 Sew the hem close to the folded edge

Almost every sewing machine these days has a free arm (sometimes you have to remove a ‘table’). With the pants still inside out, place the leg around the free arm of your sewing machine. Set it to a straight stitch, medium stitch length. Sew close to the folded edge all the way around.

All the sewing machine comes equipped with a free arm now. Position the leg around the free arm of your sewing machine with the pant turned inside out. Set the sewing machine to a straight stitch, medium stitch length. . Now sew the folded edge close all around the leg and you are done.

It will only take a minute or two to complete the task. That’s the beauty of the machine.


Hemming a pant by you self has many benefits and it relatively easy. Knowing how to do it can help you when you need to go somewhere and the pant is too long.Professional hemming is good and strong and it’s hard to beat but hemming by yourself. It gives you the freedom of customization and the feeling of doing a hemming by you own hand and wearing it will give you a sense of pride that’s hard to beat.

Previous articleWhat is Fabric Texture and Why Should I Care?
Next articleHow to Graft with a Kitchener Stitch? – Read on To Know!
I’m a beloved housewife with a busy daily schedule. Sewing is more of my devotion than just a pursuit. I believe you can sew properly as long as you’ve esteem for the sacred job. Skills matter little. Trust me, I had none, but you wouldn’t believe seeing what I can do with the needles and fabrics now. I collect inspirations from my friends, social media, and innate creative flair. I also try to give back through this blog. I can’t promise how long I can sew. But I can surely tell you that it’s in my vein to make beautiful clothing for my cute kid and adorable hubby!


Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!