How to Hem Jeans

Finding jeans with just the right leg length straight off the rack is nearly impossible. If you've found jeans that fit everything but your inseam, you can pony up a few dollars and have someone else shorten them for you -- or do it yourself. All you need is basic sewing tools and a bit of time and soon enough, you'll have perfect fitting jeans and the pride of knowing you did it yourself.


  1. Image titled Hem Jeans Step 1
    Decide where to hem. Try on your jeans and make the decision of where you would like to hem them. Generally, jeans should fall about an inch above the floor. This will prevent tripping but concurrently avoid looking a size too small. Feel free to alter the length to meet your personal preferences though.
  2. Image titled Hem Jeans Step 2
    Fold up the bottom. Create a cuff where you want the jeans to be hemmed. Crease the fold so it lies flat and double-check that you've folded it up by the correct amount. Once you've done this on one side, measure just below the preexisting hem and use that measurement to create an equal fold on the other leg.
  3. Image titled Hem Jeans Step 3
    Pin the hem in place. Place straight pins around the circumference of the pant leg to hold it in place. Check to be sure the seams line up on each pant leg as well as are even to each other.[1]
  4. Image titled Hem Jeans Step 4
    Sew the hem. Stitch around the circumference of the pant leg just below the stitching for the existing hem. You can use a sewing machine or do this by hand. To be clear, you will be sewing the cuff to the pant leg and later will fold it inside the leg. This will allow you to take out the hem later if you grow taller or want the pants longer at a later point in time.
  5. Image titled Hem Jeans Step 5
    Unfold the hem. Tuck the excess fabric of the folded cuff up into the leg of the jeans, folding the original hem down so its outer side shows once again. This should leave you a small loop of fabric along the bottom edge of the jeans inside the leg. Try on the jeans to make sure they are at the correct length.
  6. Image titled Hem Jeans Step 6
    Iron the jeans. Use an iron to flatten out the hem you've created along the bottom edge. This will smooth out the loop of fabric tucked into the leg, and have your jeans looking the perfect length with no tell-tale hemming signs.[2]

Article Info

Categories: Jeans | Sewing Pants