I think there are a few skills that every adult should have under their belt before they leave home, and hemming your jeans should definitely be one of them!
Unless you are relatively tall, chances are you’ve come across at least one pair of pants that were too long for you.
So, here’s an easy way to hem your jeans to whatever length you want in just four steps! It’s basically mark, cut, fold, and sew—you can totally do it!
Besides some no-sew or cut jean options I’ve mentioned below, this is the easiest way to hem your jeans.
Q: I don’t sew. Is there a way to do a no-sew option?
If you want to make it even easier (and a no-sew option), then you can cut your pants 3/4″ below where you want the hem to be, fold under your 3/4″ of fabric and iron this tape into the fold to keep the hem in place. You won’t have a totally finished hem like in the sewing option, but it gets the job done.
Q: I don’t have a sewing machine. Can I hem my jeans by hand?
Yes! Obviously it’s always going to be faster to use a sewing machine, but you can mark, cut, and fold your jeans and then use a needle and thread to sew a simple running stitch rather than use a machine.
Q: Can I shorten my jeans without hemming them?
Yes! Thankfully the look of a “raw hem” is popular again, which means you can simply cut off the jeans at the length you want and let the edge be a bit fringed as your finished look (you can either cut off the strings after washing or leave them if you like that look).
You can also do a “stepped hem” look in a matter of minutes with no sewing as another option.
1. Mark Your Jeans: First, try on your jeans and use straight pins to fold the hem under and secure it at the length you want your new hem to be (make sure your pants have been washed first if they are new jeans so any shrinkage will occur before hemming).
Use a ruler to make sure your folded hem on both legs are even. Turn your pants inside out.
2. Cut Your Jeans: Use a fabric pen and your fabric scissors or rotary cutter to mark and cut your leg 1” below your folded hem.
Love that soft pretzel pincushion? Check out this simple DIY!
3. Fold Your Jeans: Fold your cut hem under 1/2” and then fold it another 1/2” and pin in place all the way around the leg.
4. Sew Your Jeans: Use your sewing machine to sew all the way around the leg opening, taking the pins out as you sew, sewing 1/4” from the top edge of your folded hem line.
Cut your excess thread strands when done sewing and use an iron to press your hem flat. Your new jeans are ready to wear!
Looking for an affordable beginner sewing machine?
Try this lightweight and portable model!
If you’re new to sewing, a small, portable model that’s under $100 like this Singer is a great way to start to get into the sewing game.
It does 32 different stitches, is lightweight and small for storing, and has a free arm that makes it easy to sew cuffs and hems easily.
Since I hem pants all the time (being on the shorter side and all), I can complete 2-3 pairs in the time it would take me to drive to an alterations place to drop them off (and I charge myself way less too!).
Having some basic sewing skills can really pay off, so give this a try next time you find yourself with a pair of pants you love that are too long! xo. Laura
Looking for beginner sewing projects? Check out these DIYs:
- Make An Easy Duvet Cover With Any Flat Sheet!
- Padded Headband DIY
- Quickly Sew a Flat or Shank Button
- Oversized Scrunchie DIY
- Make Your Own Bow Scrunchie!