How to hem pants

Learn how to hem pants.


Especially if you are short this skill could save you a lot of money in alteration fees.

First understand the types of hems.

Some pants have what is referred to as a blind hem, which isn’t seen from the front side of the fabric. Other pants like jeans have a top stitched hem, which shows the stitching on the outside.

Note that dress pants traditionally have a blind hem.

Jeans or other more casual pants have a top stitched hem.

Dress pants are also measured differently than jeans in order to make sure both legs are the same length. Jeans should be lined up like the image below. The crotch seam lines up on one side and the top of the waist aligns on the other.

Lay dress pants out according to the front and back creases. The creases go down the center of the leg.

Now you can begin the hemming process.

First have the wearer try the pants on with shoes. Pin one leg of the pants to the desired length. Then, remove the pants. (If the pants are for you, have a friend or family member pin them for you. ) Occaisionally I have encountered a person with different length legs. In this case pin both legs to length before taking the pants off.

Next lay the pants out on an ironing board. Make sure to lay them as directed above based on the style of pant.

The pinned pant leg is your guide for the length of the other pant leg.

With these basic tips you can hem pants like a pro. Colette blog has a great tutorial available on blind hemming.

I have a blog post available on how to hem jeans. This tutorial can be used for any top stitched hem. Also be cautious of hemming knit pants. For these you will need to use a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch. I wrote a post on how to hem a knit dress. The concept is the same for pants.

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