How to Hem Men's Pants

by Jessica Wright
(last updated January 1, 2014)

It is rare if a man can find a pair of pants that come from the manufacturer that don't need to be re-hemmed. This job can be overwhelming if you aren't sure of how to hem up a pair of men's dress pants. By learning how to hem them you can save both time and money.

Adjusting the length of men's dress pants isn't that hard, especially with the right instructions. Before you begin be sure to have all the supplies gathered together. Things that you will need:

  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Seam gauge ( a ruler will do if you don't have a seam gauge)
  • Sewing machine that has zigzag stitch
  • Towel
  • Iron
  • Needle
  • Sewing thread (that matches the color of the pants)

Just follow these simple instructions and you will have your pants hemmed in less than an hour:

  • Measure the length of the pants. Have the person wear the shoes that he will be wearing when he wears the pair of pants to be sure that you get the right length. Using straight pins, mark where you want the pant legs to fall. You may have to readjust the pins a couple of times to get both pant legs even.
  • Mark the hemline. Using the seam gauge or ruler mark 1-1/2 inches out from the straight pins that you used to mark the desired length of the pants. Now mark that line with straight pins. This will be the cutting line, leaving you with 1-1/2 inches for a hem. (If there isn't enough material for a 1-1/2 inch hemline, keep a fold line with as much material as you have available.)
  • Cut. Before you actually cut the material you will want to be sure to have the person try on the pants again with the new hemline marked. Using the scissors cut the excess material (that is, below the 1-1/2 inch hem that is pinned). As you cut off the excess material remove the bottom layer of straight pins that marked the 1-1/2 inch hemline.
  • Sew. Using the sewing machine sew around the edges of the pant legs, using the zigzag stitch.
  • Hemline. Using the pins as a guide fold the pant legs under. With the seam gauge measure one inch above the fold-line, pin the fold line in four different places. That would be a pin on each side as well as the center front and at the center back.
  • Iron. Place a towel over the pant legs and iron the folded hemline. This will help to set the fold and also to flatten the hemline. (You want to be sure to place the towel over the pants to protect the pants from the iron leaving the pants shiny from the heat of the iron.)
  • Stitch. Stitch the pants with the thread that matches the color of the pants. Thread the needle. Take the needle and poke it into the pant's material just above the hemline on one of the side seams of the pants, use the needle to catch about three threads on the raw edge of the pantsa and pull the needle through. Move the needle over about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch to the right, catch three threads again with the needle and pull the needle through. Repeat this procedure of "catch stitching" around the pant legs until the pant leg is finished. Do the same thing to the other pant leg. Remove all the pins.
  • Iron. Using a damp towel press the pants over the new hem.

You are now finished with your pants fitting you at just the right length.

Author Bio

Jessica Wright

Jessica is a communications major studying for her masters and working full time. Growing up in a household of girls, she learned young the fun of trying new beauty ideas. Jessica enjoys playing the piano, dating, and having a good time with family and friends. ...

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