Next time you find pants that are perfect in every way except the length, please buy them anyway! Hemming your own pants is very easy to do with a few simple supplies. You can use a sewing machine or do this job by hand. See Step 1 to get started.
Method 1 of 3: Measuring
Step 1. Open the initial seam/hem
Use a thread remover/stitcher to remove the old seam that held the ends of your pants together. Insert a thread tug under the seam and disconnect the thread, pulling it out to do so. Continue until the hem of the pants are completely removed from the legs of your pants.
- If you don't have a tweezer, you can use a small sharp knife or nail clipper to do this.
- Be careful not to hit the fabric of your pants as you tear the seams.
Step 2. Try on pants with matching shoes
To determine the right length for your pants, try wearing them with shoes that you are likely to wear often as a pair. Even flat shoes will be slightly higher than bare feet, so it's important to try to wear your pants with a pair of shoes.
- Try jeans with sneakers or flats if that's what you plan to pair your pants with.
- Formal pants should be worn with the appropriate heel height.
Step 3. Fold the pants at the appropriate length
Fold the toe of the trouser leg down to the length that falls just above your shoe. This crease should only lightly touch the shoe, and not float over it or cover its surroundings.
- Put a few pins around the crease to keep it in place
- Walk around the room to determine if these pants appear to have been folded/are the right length. Check again in the mirror. Do your pants seem too short or swinging? Is it stuck on the back of your heel? Make the necessary adjustments.
Step 4. Reopen your pants upside down (inside is outside)
Make sure the pins stay in place so you know exactly how short you're going to re-hem the pants. The pants are now ready to be sewn.
Method 2 of 3: Sewing
Step 1. Measure the length of the fold
Use a ruler or tape measure to measure the distance from the bottom of the trouser leg to the crease line of the hem. Make sure the two folded pant legs are the exact same length. Use a few extra pins to hold the two folds in position.
Step 2. Scrub the folds
Use a hot iron (on the appropriate setting for the fabric of the pants) to make crease lines where the pants have been folded previously. Don't be in a hurry and make sure the fold lines you make are straight and not curved.
At this point you can carefully try on the pants again to make sure the hems fall exactly where you want them. Be careful not to stab yourself with the pin
Step 3. Measure 3.8 cm from the ironed crease line
This is where you will make the cut to remove excess fabric from the pants before sewing the edges. Use chalk or a cloth pencil to make a marking line about 3.8 cm around the trouser leg from the crease line of the hem. Repeat on the other leg.
Step 4. Remove the pin and cut the fabric along the marking line you made with chalk or pencil
Use serrated fabric scissors instead of regular fabric scissors for cutting. Serrated fabric scissors are designed to cut fabric in such a way that the ends don't unravel. Repeat with the other pant leg.
- Don't be in a hurry when cutting the fabric. Make sure you don't cut too close to the crease of the hem of your pants.
- When you're done cutting, use a pin to glue the fabric back about 2.5 cm from the crease.
Step 5. Sew the seams
Take a needle and use a thread that matches the color of your pants. Use a blind stitch to sew around the trouser leg about 1.3 cm from the edge. Continue until you get to where you started, then knot the yarn and use scissors to trim the rest. Repeat with the other pant leg.
- This process can also be done using a sewing machine.
- To make sure the hem is barely visible from the outside of the pants, take only one or two fibers when sewing on this side.
Step 6. Try on your pants
Position the right side outside and rub again the crease. Wear it with the shoes you have planned to wear as a pair. Make sure the hem is aligned around the shoe and is the appropriate length. If an adjustment is needed, re-tear your stitches and start all over again.
Method 3 of 3: Using Cloth Tape
Step 1. Fold the pants to the appropriate length and iron them to create a seam crease line
Use a ruler or measuring tape to make sure that the legs to be sewn are the same length..
Step 2. Cut off the excess fabric about 3.8 cm from the crease of the pre-ironed hem
Use chalk or a fabric pencil to mark about 3.8 cm from the crease of the hem around the leg, then trim off the excess fabric with serrated scissors. Repeat on the other side.
Step 3. Unfold and apply tape that adheres to the fabric
Cut the tape to the appropriate length and open the cover paper. Line up the edge of the tape with the crease in the fabric you are ironing. Press the tape and continue to wrap it around the pant leg all the way. Add more if you find the tape isn't long enough, and fold the ends of the fabric over the tape when you're done. Repeat with the other pant leg.
- If you don't have fused/fabric tape, seam tape and other temporary hem products can be used here. However, these will usually fall off after one or two washes.
- Make sure the tape is perfectly aligned on the bottom of your two trouser legs.
Step 4. Glue the tape onto the fabric
Place the cheesecloth over the folded seam of the fabric. Heat the iron and rub this part of the cloth for a few seconds. Remove this cheesecloth layer and continue ironing the fabric underneath. Use this procedure to attach the tape to the fabric around your trouser leg, then repeat with the second pant leg.
- Once one section is ironed, gently lift the crease to make sure the tape adheres to the fabric and secure the hem in place before you proceed.
- Make sure your iron is set to a temperature that won't damage the fabric of your pants.
Step 5. Put on your pants
Flip your pants over to their actual position and try them on. If you're not happy with the length, wash the pants and use the dryer to dry them until the tape comes off, then repeat the hemming process again.
- When hem, make longer stitches on the inner lining of the fabric and smaller stitches on the outer fabric as these will show as you wear them.
- Use thread of the same color and sew the outside of the fabric parallel to the fabric spots to help hide/blend the thread into the fabric.