Buying a pair of trousers is never as simple as it sounds. Sometimes you can spend hours shopping, only to find the perfect pair, try them on and realise they are far too long in the leg for you. Luckily hemming a pair of trousers can be quick and simple, even for a novice sewer. So here is our guide on how to hem a pair of trousers.
- Firstly, try on the pants and take note of how much you need to shorten them by. Keep in mind the type of footwear you will be wearing with them – if you are planning on wearing them with heels, you may not need to shorten them as much.
Take off the trousers and lay them flat, fold the trouser legs (tucking the excess fabric inside the trouser leg) to the desired length and pin both sides of the trouser leg securely. I would strongly recommend trying the trousers on again at this point just to double check you are happy with the length before we properly begin.
If you think they are too short (or not short enough) take them off, and alter accordingly – repining and checking the results.
- Once you are happy with the length, turn on your iron and let it get as hot as you need. This will depend on the type of fabric and the thickness of the fabric the trousers are made from. While the iron is getting ready you can move your pins slightly if needed, so that you can iron the fold without running over the pins. Be very careful to ensure you do not alter the fold or length you have selected.
Iron the fold so that you get a crisp clear line that you will be able to see (and follow in the next steps.) If your trousers are made from a thick fabric, you may have to iron the fold a few times to ensure it is pressed enough.
- Take out the pins and unfold the trousers. You should now be able to see the ‘crease’ made by your iron and the excess length below it.
Get some fabric scissors and cut off the excess length, leaving 1 inch of fabric below the crease (this will become the hem.)
- Now we have some options, you can either use a ‘Fray Block’ on the raw edge, or use your interlocker. If you have neither, you can fold the raw edge back against the excess fabric that will be the hem – so that the raw edge will now be on the inside of the trouser leg. You want this fold to be as small as possible to work with – if you fold it so the raw edge is near the crease you made, you may end up with a chunkier hem than you’d like.
Sew the raw edge to the excess fabric, try to get your fold and stitches as neat as possible; but do not panic too much as this part will be hidden from view when you wear your trousers.
- Take all of the excess fabric/length (including the newly sewn up raw edge) and fold it back into the desired length – following the crease made from the ironing in step 2. At this point you may want to pin the fabric so it is less likely to move as you sew.
You may want to use your sewing machine or hand sew to create the hem, it is entirely up to you as both are equally effective. Chose a thread that is as close a match to the colour of the trousers as you can. Your sewing machine may have an option for a ‘blind hem stitch’ if you are sewing by hand you can learn how to do a blind hem stitch here.
If you are new to sewing and feel daunted at the idea of a blind hem stitch that’s ok! Just try to keep you stitches as small as you can so they will be harder for others to spot when you are wearing your trousers.
Again, it is important in this step to keep your sewing as straight as possible.
- Repeat the process for the second trouser leg.
- Ta da! You have now hemmed your pants! Finally try them on to make sure you are happy with the results.