How Do You Hem Pants With A Sewing Machine

Equipment Needed

Hemming pants with a sewing machine is an easy task, but it does require some special equipment. At the very least you will need a pair of pants, an iron, fabric scissors, tailor’s chalk, a measuring tape and a sewing machine. For most sewing machines, you’ll need a regular needle for hemming pants and some lightweight thread.

An important thing to remember is to always select thread that closely matches the color of your fabric, as the stitching on the hemline will be visible.


Before you start hemming the pants, you need to prepare the fabric. As with all sewing projects, it is important to cleanly wash and iron the fabric first. This will make sure that the fabric looks neat and that it won’t shrink after sewing.

Another important step is to measure the length of the pants before you start because hemming on pants is usually necessary after the fabric has been cut and altered. To do this, place the pants leg on the flat surface and use a ruler or measuring tape from the crotch to the bottom of the leg.

Mark the new hemline position with tailor’s chalk. You can create hem of one inch or whatever length you desire. After you have measured, cut the fabric at the marked position.

The Sewing Process

Once the fabric is cut and marked, you can start to sew. Begin by folding the cut edge of the pants twice and pressing it with an iron. Make sure to press the fabric on both sides, inside and out. This will give a very neat and well-structured look while sewing.

Once the fabric is pressed, you can thread your sewing machine with the same shade of thread that you used while preparing the fabric. Now you can start to sew. Move the fabric inside the presser foot and sew the hemline. Avoid any kind of puckers and also keep an eye on the tension of the thread so that it must not be too loose or too tight.

Once you have completed the first row, press the fabric once again with the iron and begin with the second row. Sew the second row parallel to the first. Make sure to stitch the hemline at least 2-3 times for stronger stitches.


Once the hemline is completed, press the fabric one last time to give it a professional finish. Once steam pressing is done, try your pants on and check if you are happy with the length of the hem. If anything needs to be changed then pick the stitches and start over.

This is a very simple process and all it takes is some patience, fabric,scissors and a sewing machine to start your own pant hemming project.

Presser Foot

Most regular sewing machines come with a presser foot specifically designed for stitching cuffs and hems. This makes the task of hemming pants with a sewing machine much easier, as you can align the fabric more accurately while sewing. The presser foot also helps to reduce friction while stitching.

When the presser foot of your machine is in a wrong position, it isn’t able to hold the fabric accurately and it can cause puckers and uneven stitching. Always make sure your presser foot is in the correct position before you start to sew.

Stitching Quality

Another important thing to consider while hemming is the type of stitch and quality of stitching. Always use the smallest stitch length and widest zigzag width when sewing the hemline, as this will make the stitching more durable and less likely to fray.

Also, use slow and steady motion while stitching and make sure the stitches are not too tight or too loose. This will create a fabric that looks neat and can withstand heavy wear and tear.


Practice is the key when it comes to hemming. Especially if you are a beginner, it is important to practice on the scrap pieces of material. This will give you an idea of how the finished product will look like without messing up your expensive fabric.

It also helps to gain more confidence in the project as you can easily make any kind of changes while practicing.

Thread Tension

Thread tension is another important factor to consider while sewing hems. Make sure the tension of the thread is not too loose or too tight. If you are not aware of how to adjust the thread tension, please read your sewing machine manual or call a professional tailor to get the help.

Checking Your Work

When you are done sewing the hem, always check for any loose or uneven stitching. This helps to spot any mistakes you may have made while sewing. You can also try the pants on to check the length if everything looks good and make any last minute adjustments if required.

After all the checking is done, your hem should look perfect if done correctly.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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