How to Hem Pants on a Sewing Machine

by Kittie McCoy ; Updated September 28, 2017

Make simple alterations at home with your sewing machine.

sewing machine image by Peter Baxter from

If you have a pair of pants that fit well but the legs are a bit too long, you can hem them to avoid stepping on or tripping over your pant legs. While the most important part of hemming your pants is paying careful attention to measuring and folding the pants, you will also need some knowledge of how to work a sewing machine. If you can sew a straight line and are familiar with seam allowances, you can definitely handle this project.

Put the pants on and fold the bottom edges under until they are the desired length. Make a mark on each pant leg with a fabric pencil along this fold to mark the new hem.

Take off the pants and lay them right side out on a flat surface.

Unfold the pants and measure an inch above the mark you made in step one. Make a mark at this new spot to accommodate for seam allowances.

Cut the bottom of each pant leg horizontally along the mark you made.

Fold the bottom of the pants under 1/2 inch and iron this fold to set a crease.

Fold the bottom of the pants under an additional 1/2 inch and iron them again. This second fold will conceal the raw edge of your pant legs and give your hem a finished appearance.

Sew along the bottom of each pant leg using a straight stitch and a 3/8-inch seam allowance. The pants are right side out during this step.

Trim away any loose threads when you finish stitching each pant leg to finish your hem.

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  • "The Complete Guide to Sewing"; Singer; 1999

Photo Credits

  • sewing machine image by Peter Baxter from

About the Author

Kittie McCoy has been a freelance writer since 2008. She is also a part-time personal trainer and licensed entertainer in Las Vegas. She enjoys sharing her love of physical fitness and experience in the entertainment industry via her writing.