How To Hem Jeans With A Sewing Machine

If you enjoy wearing jeans, then this article is for you. Jeans are a popular choice for wardrobe for most people no matter the age. They are an excellent choice for a casual affair or if you are going out for a night on the town. In this article, we are going to show you how to hem jeans with a sewing machine.

Materials Needed

Jeans can be hemmed by hand or with a sewing machine. If you are going to use a sewing machine, then you need to make sure that the needle is the correct size and type for denim fabric. You also need to use a heavy-duty thread. You can find this type of thread at most fabric stores.

In addition to a heavy duty sewing machine, you will need a denim needle, thread, and scissors. Finally, you will need a pair of denim jeans that need hemmed.

Things You Must Know On How To Use Sewing Machine to Hem Jeans

Using a standard sewing machine is both the easiest and fastest way to hem your jeans. It is quick (the project will take about 30 minutes to complete), and your jeans will withstand numerous washes and everyday wear and tear if you use the right stitch.

How To Use Sewing Machine to Hem Jeans

Make sure to use a thread that matches the color of the jeans. Also, use a heavy-duty (or a denim) needle.

To prevent the edges from fraying, stitch along the edges after cutting. You can use either a serger or a zig-zag stitch along the edges.

Using a pin, give yourself a ½ inch seam to work with, all the way around the jeans.

Make sure to backstitch at both ends of the seam. Trim away all the loose threads.

For a professional and cleaner look, sew gold thread around the borders of both legs. Keep in mind to use a straight and even stitch because the colors of the tread will contrast with the jean material.

Step by Step Process on How to Hew Your Jeans Using a Sewing Machine

Step by Step Process on How to Hem Jeans

Step 1) Knowing How Long Will the Pants Be

The first thing you must consider when you start hemming jeans is what will be the length of your jeans. The most obvious way would be to try them on and determine the length that way. Once you figure out what will be the ideal length, you must measure, on both legs the inseam. Once you have a measurement, you must mark both inseams of the pant legs using either a chalk line, pin, or a fabric pen. Now measure out the distance from the mark to the hem. Turn up the hem of each leg using that mark and pin in place.

Try on the pants to see if the hem is the right length. The hems need to be parallel to the ground and the same height on both legs. No one wants to have a pair of jeans where one leg is longer than the other. That would look silly.

Step 2) Adjust

If wearing boots and heels are an essential accessory for you, it helps to have the back of your jeans a little bit longer, for a better fit. If this applies, make the necessary adjustment. After the length is determined and fastened by a pin, steam press the hem to get a defined crease.

Step 3) Cut Excess

Using either fabric pen, chalk pen, or tailors chalk mark a line 1 1/8” above the pressed hemline (a pen could be used as well since the line should never show). Cut away any excess hem.

When you hem pants, it is imperative to measure twice and cut once. You don’t want to make a mistake and cut off too much of the fabric. That would be very difficult, if not impossible, to fix.

You can keep the excess fabric once you have cut to the correct length. The scrap fabric can be used to practice new stitches or can be used in other dewing projects.

Step 4) Marking

Once you determine the location of your hem, use a piece of chalk to mark the hem allowance. The pants need to be unfolded since a clear mark needs to be placed on both legs.

Starting from the previously made hemline, mark three lines at ½ inch intervals down the pant legs. You should now see four white chalk lines going down each pant leg.

Step 5) Fold the Hem

Take the pressed hem crease and using it as a guide, fold up the raw edge to the crease line.

After unfolding the hem, tuck any excess fabric from the folded cuff inside the leg of the jeans, making sure to fold the first hem down. You should now see the outer sides of the jeans. There should be a small amount of fabric visible along the edge of jeans on the inside of the pant leg.

Make sure to try jeans on ensuring the correct fit.

If there are no plans on lengthening the jeans in the future, you can cut away the excess fabric. Now, cut the fabric about one inch away from the newly created seam.

Step 6) Pin the Hem

Take the pants leg and fold the hem one more time. Place a pin to hold the fabric in place.

Now place straight pins all around each pant leg to hold the fabric in place. Recheck to be sure that the seam lines are on both pant legs and that they are even with each other.

Step 7) Start to Sew Using the Machine

Now to the final step. Start and continue the stitch as close as you can to the folded edge. Since you will be working with a thick layer at the side because of the double turned hem, a clearance plate should be used to level off the sewing machine foot. This will keep the stitches straight and even as you go over the thick material.

For hemming jeans, it is best to use a straight stitch or a stitch that is close to it. The reason being is that the denim is a sturdy fabric and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Use light pressure on the pedal to get the stitches started, gradually increasing speed if the fabric is sliding along well. Use the handwheel if the fabric gets stuck.

Now there you have it — an effortless and quick way for hemming denim jeans. Being able to hem your jeans is not only a great way to save money, but will also make you a better friend, because you can save them money too.

Pin or Press the hem in place

There is a difference between pinning and pressing a hem. When you press a hem, you temporarily fix the fabric in place using heat from an iron. This is a good way to test the fit of the before sewing it in place.

Pinning is when you use pins to physically hold the fabric in place. This is a good way to secure the fabric if you are not able to sew it right away.

If you are using a sewing machine, you will need to remove the pins as you sew. If you are hand sewing, you can leave the pins in place.

How long should your pants be?

The correct hem height can vary depending on the style of pants, the shoe in which to wear the pants or the preference for a particular style. It can vary according to the person. Dress pants or casual trousers should go on a flat surface if the hem wears out or the fabric gets rough.

When you wear shoes, it is generally recommended for the pants to extend slightly to the back. However, everyone has different opinions. Another woman I helped had jeans that would slip off when she wore heels. Keep your mirror handy at the top floor for the wearers to see its length.

How to shorten jeans in different styles?

Not every jeans is the same. During the years the Jeans manufacturers created varying leg sizes. Let’s see if we can shorten more unusual jeans designs.

Flared jeans

Flared jeans must be symmetrical and positioned properly for a perfect flare. It would be logical to have flared jeans worn with your sneakers. Taking your jeans out of the sling can be very frustrating. Pin and measure length very carefully and sew according to technique #2. Both machine sewing and manual sewing.

Boot cut Jeans

These boots cut have flared flares for putting on boot shoes. With these jeans, it is best to use a pair of scissors to even out the fabric. It is not very difficult to do and it will look great!

Tapered Jeans

These are slimming jeans that taper at the bottom. If you have this type of clothing, simply follow the previous instructions. The only thing you have to be careful about is the fabric. With this type of clothing, it is best not to use a pair of scissors.

Skinny Jeans

These are the most difficult to shorten. Once again, use either a pair of scissors or a sewing machine. I’ve found it’s best to use a sewing machine because you can control the fabric better. If you’re going to use a pair of scissors, make sure they’re very sharp.

Cuffed Jeans

Cuffed jeans are usually worn by women. Simply follow the same instructions as for regular jeans. The only thing you need to be careful about is the fabric. With this type of clothing, it is best not to use a pair of scissors.

Hand Sewing Method

If you do not own a sewing machine, do not worry. You can also hem jeans by hand. This method is more time consuming, but it is still very effective for hemming your own pants.

1. Start by pinning the fabric in place to create the perfect length.

2. Use a needle and thread to hand sew the fabric in place.

3. Be sure to use small, tight stitches.

4. Tie off the thread when you are finished.

5. Trim any excess thread.

This method is best for small hems or repairs. If you are hemming a large area, it is best to use a sewing machine.


There you have it, a quick and easy guide on how to hem jeans with a sewing machine. This is a great way to save money and keep your favorite jeans in tip-top shape. Not to mention, you’ll be the hero next time your friend’s pants rip.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below!

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