How to Hem Pants by Hand?

There are a lot of people who don’t know how to hem pants by hand. In fact, there’s a chance that you don’t have a clear idea about hemming pants!

To those who are unsure about what hemming is, let us explain. Have you ever noticed the edge of the bottom of your pants where it seems that a portion of the cloth is folded upwards and sewn into the pant? This is known as hem. 

Now, the main reason why hems exist is that if there was no hem in your pants, the edges would look crude, and that would ruin the overall look of your pants. Then again, in some cases, you can shorten the length of your pants by increasing the length of the hem. 

However, tailors charge quite some cash for hemming pants. Fortunately, you won’t have to hem a brand-new pair of pants as these come completely finished. However, if your pants become too long, you will need to hem them again, so they fit you properly. 

This is why we always recommend you know how to hem pants by hand. If you know how to hem pants by hand, you’ll be able to avoid going to a tailor to get this done, and you’ll be able to save tons of money by doing it yourself. 

This is why we highly recommend you learn how to hem pants by hand. You can also hem pants with a sewing machine, but there are a lot of people who don’t like the small stitches done by a sewing machine on their pants, or perhaps they prefer sewing by hand over sewing machines. 

Then again, knowing this will also help you in case your sewing machine is broken or if you don’t have a sewing machine. So, let’s get started. But before that, let’s look at the things that you need to hem pants by hand. 

Instruments You Need to Hem Pants by Hand:

There are a few essential tools that you must have for hemming pants by hand. You must ensure that you have each and every one of these instruments before getting started; otherwise, you’ll end up getting lost in the middle of the process only to find that there’s a tool missing. 

Here’s the list:

Measuring Tools:

The measuring tools are the basic tools that you need to start off the process. These tools usually include the measuring tape, ruler, marking chalk, seam ripper, sewing scissors, and thread snips. These tools will help you measure and outline the cloth properly, and the scissors will help you cut the cloth easily and accurately. 

If you’re going to hem a pair of pants, you need to use these measuring tools to get the pants in shape first. You need to use the seam ripper to cut the existing seam. Then you need to measure using the measuring tape, outline the cloth according to your necessity, and then you need to cut it with the help of the sewing scissors. 

Ironing Tools:

Ironing tools include the iron itself and the ironing board. You need to iron the cloth before you start working on it. Clothes tend to get wrinkled very quickly, and it can be very hard to cut them or measure them accurately if they are wrinkled. This is why you need to iron them before you start cutting or measuring them. 

Sewing Needles:

Sewing needles are the main thing that you’ll need. These needles come in all sorts of sizes and widths, and you need to pick the one suitable for your use. 


Now, selecting the thread is very important in sewing a hem. You need to be extra careful while you choose the thread. If the thread doesn’t match the color of the cloth, then it will pop up and look very weird. Then again, if the quality of the thread isn’t up to the mark, the seam might get torn easily, and you will have to do the entire process again. 


The pins are essential for sewing a hem in your pants. You need these pins to hold the fold at its precise place. If you don’t use the pins, you won’t be able to get a perfect hem, and thus you’ll need to get quality pins. We recommend stocking up on more pins that you need. In this way, you won’t face a scarcity of pins even if you lose some of them. If you have any pin missing, then you won’t be able to hem your pants accurately. 

How to Hem Pants by Hand?

There are different steps in this process, and each and every one of those steps are necessary. If you get any of those wrong, the output won’t be perfect, and you’ll be left to do the entire process again. This is why we highly recommend you put equal emphasis on every step and get each and every one of them right. 

In this section, we’ll go over every step of the process meticulously so that you can implement them in real life. 


The first thing that you need to do is measure the cloth. Now, this is a bit tricky to determine. The amount of space that’ll be left in front of your shoe will vary on the shoes that you wear. So, you need to determine which shoe you will be wearing with that specific pair of pants. According to that, you must picture a length in the first place. 

We highly recommend putting on the shoe to determine it accurately. Once you have the shoes on, you need to measure from your crotch to the bottom of the shoe. This measure is called the inseam. 

Remove the Existing Hem:

Once you can measure the inseam, you need to remove the hem that’s already there. You need the seam ripper to do this. Don’t force the seam ripper to cut the seam, though, as it can damage your pants. Go gently and rip the entire seam. 

Once you’re done ripping the seam off, you need to unfold the hem and iron the pants. As we’ve said before, you can’t hem your pants accurately if there’s any wrinkle or fold. Once you rip the hem of your pants, there will be a visible fold to the portion where the hem was original. This will make it harder for you to work on the pants accurately, so you need to iron them before getting to the next step. 

Measure the Pant Again:

Now that you have the hem removed and also the measurement of the inseam, you need to measure the pant again. You need to measure from the crotch of the pant along with the inseam, and you need to mark on the point you acquired previously. Mark this area well and mark an extra inch after that. 

This extra inch will be the folded cloth that will be the next hem. 


Once you have marked the required portion, you need to get rid of the excess clothing, if there is any. Suppose there isn’t any extra clothing, lucky for you! However, if you find that there’s any extra cloth, you need to cut it. 

When you’re cutting the cloth, you need to be extra careful. You won’t be able to cut it properly unless you have ironed the cloth before, so make sure you do that. You can use a sewing scissor or a rotary cutter to cut the cloth properly. While you’re cutting the cloth, make sure you don’t deviate from the path you marked out previously, or the result will be disastrous. 

Determine the Hem:

You need to set the length of the hem at this point. As you’ve cut the cloth according to your required length at this point, it’s safe to assume that the bottom of the pants is the final mark. You need to use your sewing gauge to measure half an inch exactly, and you need to fold your pants up to that height. Once you’re there, make sure that both sides of the pants are at the same height. Then, you need to press that area with your iron machine to make sure it stays that way. 

Once you’re there, you need to fold the pants to another half-inch. Once the entire fold is of a perfect half-inch, you need to press that place with the iron machine again, and finally, you need to pin that fold in place to complete this step. Make sure that you use a pin at each edge to secure the fold completely. You need to do this with both the legs of that pant. 

How to Hem Pants by Hand:

As you don’t have a sewing machine, you need to hem the pants with your hands. Although using a sewing machine is much easier, it’s possible to hem pants by hand efficiently. To start this off, you need to take a piece of thread and cut it equal to double the length of the leg. 

Now you need to fasten one end of the thread to the needle. By now, you better put the pins in place so that the fold is held in its place for good. You need to start sewing by inserting the needle from the inner side of the pant. Once you’re done stitching the hem, you need to tie a knot at the end so that the thread doesn’t come off, and you need to finish by pressing that place with an iron. 

Here, you need to make sure that you stitch at the interval of an inch. In this way, you’ll be able to get a hem that’s not only stable but also good looking. There are a lot of people who don’t like to have a hem that’s filled with stitches, and we personally don’t prefer that. If it were up to us, we would’ve kept a distance of an inch, but it’s actually dependent on your preference. 

Once you’re done stitching, you need to remove the pins before you finally press the hem with a hot iron. 

These were the steps you need to maintain if you want to hem your pants properly. However, if you do have a sewing machine, you can do all of these in a much easier way. The only and major difference between sewing with a machine and by hand is the final stage. If you sew the hem of the pant by hand, then you’ll need to put a lot of attention to detail, and evidently, the whole process will be much slower. 

On the other hand, if you do this every step with a sewing machine, then the entire step will become much faster. Follow down this article to know how you can sew a hem with a sewing machine. 

How to Sew a Hem with a Sewing Machine?

The first thing that you need to do is load the bobbin and the top spool of your sewing machine with the thread. You need to use a thread that’s of the same color as the pant, and you can use either an electric or manual sewing machine for this. 

You need to set the machine to medium and straight stitch. Now, you need to start stitching from one point, and you need to progress down the pant. While you progress, you need to remove the pins so that you don’t end up damaging the pins and the needle of your sewing machine. When you go around the pant and arrive at the starting point, you need to lockstitch and finish by cutting the thread. 


As you can see, sewing by hand is a very easy task, and there’s no need to be anxious about it. If you want to sew the hem of your pants by hand, the only expense that you’ll need to bear is that of the tools and the thread. 

However, even if you combine them together, it’ll be less than the cost of the tailor. So, we highly recommend learning how to hem pants by hand. 

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