Hemming Dress Pants

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By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog “Life Sew Good”.  

While admittedly not a glorious task, hemming pants is a skill that is very easy, yet most people don’t know how to do it.

Here is a very simple way to hand-hem your dress pants so they look professional. One of the most important things will be to make sure your thread matches your pants. Once you have the right thread, your project should take you less than 15 minutes.

1. Press your hem up to your desired length. After threading your needle, begin at a side seam, catching your pants and your hem in your needle and pull up.

2. Leaving about 1″ of space, catch a very small piece of your pants and push your needle back up through the hem. (demonstrated in next two photos)

4. This is what your hand-sewn hem will look like on the inside of your pants. Continue all the way around and make sure to finish with a couple of small stitches and tie off so that it will not unravel.

5. This is what your pants will look like on the outside. You should barely see the thread on this side if you have used small enough stitches.

See?! Easy! Now go get that pair of pants that the Heat & Bond tape is falling off of and get hemming!

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2 thoughts on “Hemming Dress Pants

  1. Cat

    Hemming pants is, indeed, so simple, everyone could do it. I would add a couple comments to your excellent tutorial. Pants legs are rarely perfectly straight cylinders, as it were. They taper, usually smaller at the bottom of the leg than the top (bellbottoms being somewhat out of fashion these days…) Therefore, if you are changing the length of the pants you have to open the seams to be able to iron the fabric flat and avoid a pucker. Generally the seam allowance will be big enough to let you do this and still have fabric all the way round. A few extra stitches up and down the seams will hold the newly expanded seams in place. My grandmother also taught me to take an extra stitch in the fabric at every point where you stitch to help prevent the hem from unraveling quickly if you accidentally break the thread at some point, say when putting the pants on and you catch your toe in the hem. Also, for that same reason, don’t be tempted to space the stitches too far apart, as it will leave gaps where you might catch a toe. It takes longer to add extra stitches, but the whole job will last longer (unless this is something you won’t wear very often). This works better with heavier fabrics that will hide the stitches. For a very thin fabric that won’t hide the stitches, it may be better to take few stitches, and maybe even use some lightweight fusible product to hem your pants.

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