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How To Hem Pants

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If we were all the same height and shape pant hems would all be perfect. Since we aren't, pants usually need hem adjustments. Follow every step and you will have a hem that is professionally done.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: One Hour

Here's How:

  1. Remove an existing hem if there is one. Press to remove any creases from the previous hem.

  2. Try on the pants with the type of shoe you will be wearing. Mark the desired hem with tailors chalk or straight pins, an even distance from the floor using a ruler or yardstick.
    More information on these steps

  3. Take off the pants and straighten any markings if necessary. Lightly press the new hem line in to place, pinning the fabric to the inside and try on the pants again. Make adjustments and repeat this step if necessary.
    Be very happy with the hem length you have decided before proceeding to any cutting!

  4. Trim the excess fabric, leaving a hem allowance of 1 1/2" to 2" for dress slacks and 1' for a top stitched hem.

  5. Press the new hem line well. Use a press cloth to avoid harming the fabric.
    More information on Pressing Tools

  6. Use basting stitches to ease in any excess fullness in the hem fabric if necessary. Do not fold, pleat or gather the hem to make it fit.

  7. Finish the raw edge of the fabric.
    • Mimic the original hem if possible.
    • Apply hem tape for bulky fabric.
    • Use basic seam finish methods to prevent the fabric from fraying.

  8. Hand stitch or machine blind stitch the hem in to place.

  9. Press well.

Tips:

  1. Always double check the desired length before cutting off excess fabric.

  2. Use care to not pull hand stitches to tight and create puckers in your fabric.

  3. For a quick but usually temporary fix to hold a hem in place, use fusible tape.

What You Need

  • Ruler or Yardstick
  • Straight Pins
  • Tailors Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Needle and Thread
  • A Sewing Machine - if you have to cut the fabric
Suggested Reading
Related Video
Hem with Fabric Tape
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