An Easy Way to Hem Your Jeans!

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! It’s basically cut, fold, and sew—you can totally do it!

fabric scissors or a rotary cutter, ruler, and a cutting mat
straight pins
-sewing machine

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.

Use a fabric pen and your fabric scissors or rotary cutter to mark and cut your leg 1” below your folded hem. Fold your cut hem under 1/2”. Fold it another 1/2” and pin in place all the way around the leg.

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!

See, it sounds so daunting to hem your jeans, but it’s actually pretty simple once you try it. 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!). 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. 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

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • It also helps to pound the thick side seams with a mallet or hammer before sewing the hem; this softens the weave of the fabric, which will be doubled and very thick when you fold up the hem.

  • I definitely have a few pairs of pants that need this!


  • yes, I prefer keeping the original hem

    • Yes, that’s another way to do it but a little more complicated for a beginner sewer. Also, I think that method is trickier if you are hemming off more than 3-4″ of material (which I usually have to do with some brands of jeans) since the ankle circumference is usually smaller than the circumference 4″ above that spot. But still a good trick to know!


  • This is brilliant! I am indeed tall enough so I rarely have to hem my own jeans, but that doesn’t mean I cannot do this for others! Thanks for sharing this!

  • you can also shorten them a little backwards and end up keeping the original hem so the threading still matches! youtube has tons of video how-tos.

    • I came here to say the same thing! There’s a way better way that hides the fact that they have been shortened by keeping the original hem. Have done it several times, it’s easy and looks great.

    • Yes, I just wanted to comment the same thing 🙂 it looks especially good on jeans with thicker original hems.

    • Yes, that’s definitely an option and a different way to do it!

      Laura 😉

  • Such a simple fix! By the way, I am obsessed with your shoes! Love!

  • I would also suggest using denim needles for your sewing machine and denim thread to match. Love this tutorial ????❤️

  • I wish I knew about this DIY sooner – would’ve saved a few good past pairs of jeans for me! Well, better now than never, right? Thanks so much, girls! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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