How To Hem Pants With A Sewing Machine In 3 Steps

Last Updated on 9 months by Susan Mayrich

If you want to know how to hem pants with a sewing machine, consider three steps. We’ll start with measuring and cutting, but you’ll also learn the settings to use on the sewing machine. This article also shares some valuable tips when hemming various materials. 

how to hem pants with a sewing machine

Speaking of hems, do you know what is a serger sewing machine? Consider reading about this specific sewing machine because a serged hem can help keep projects from fraying. 


How To Hem Pants On A Sewing Machine At Home


Step 1. Preparation and measuring

  • Place two pants over each other where the one on top is your ideal model
  • Mark the pants with chalk, so you know where to hem 
  • Fold the pants to your desired hem, and iron the crease
  • Mark the part halfway between the edge of the fold and crease
  • Mark the crease and make the line neater to follow with a ruler


Step 2. Cut the materials

  • Cut the pants starting at the bottom, and use pins on the width of each leg to make cutting easier
  • Stop cutting once you reach the line under the topmost portion or crease because it is where you will hem the pants
  • Check for loose threads and remove them


Step 3. Start sewing

  • Fold the pants inside out to see the inner seam 
  • Fold the hem so that the top line is positioned on the edge of the fold
  • Iron the fold because its edge will be the hem
  • Load the bobbin and set the machine for straight stitching
  • Sew ⅛ inch from the top of the hem and continue working around the leg
  • Repeat on the other leg


How Do You Hem Pants With A Sewing Machine With A Straight Stitch?

You can hem pants on the sewing machine with a straight stitch by sewing along the top of the new hem. A helpful trick is to start at the spot right after the side seam of the inner leg. However, please remember that you will backstitch at the beginning and end so your straights titches won’t unravel. 


What Stitch Do You Use To Hem Pants?

You can use a straight stitch or blind stitch when hemming pants. Some even prefer decorative stitches, depending on the desired finish. But if you’re a beginner, you can opt for the more straightforward straight stitch then practice until you can get comfortable sewing with a blind hem. 

Why use a blind hem stitch? The blind hem stitch looks best with pants because of the professional look. This is because the stitching is not seen outside the pants. You can use your sewing machine to work this stitch as long as your unit has a zigzag foot, blind hem stitch setting, and one and a half inches of seam allowance for the pants.  


How Do You Hem Pants Without Thread Showing?

The thread won’t show when you hem pants if you use a blind stitch. Then, prepare a nylon blind stitch thread the same color as your pants to get the perfect result. Set your sewing machine with the blind hem stitch and use a zigzag foot

  • Turn the pants inside out and mark the hem starting half an inch from the fabric edge followed by another mark an inch away from it
  • Turn the first half-inch mark under and press 
  • Turn the next inch mark under and press
  • Fold the hem to the inside of the pants and you’ll be left with only ⅛-inch part of the folded hem visible
  • Pin and start sewing
  • Check if the sewing machine needle is in line with the top of the hem’s extended edge
  • The blind hem stitch setting of the machine will do the work but check if the straight stitches are working on the hem’s extended fold while the zigzag stitch is only grazing the main material 
  • Continue working the whole hem length
  • Press the hem with a hot iron to remove the fold near the stitches


How Do You Sew A Basic Hem?

There are different types of hem that are easy to do, even as a beginner. However, the most basic and commonly used hems are the double fold hem and overlocked hem. 


Double fold hem – ideal for curved and straight hems

  1. Fold and press the raw edge over by ¼ inches and press it over again by half an inch
  2. Sew close to the open folded edge


Overlocked hem – ideal for people with a serger and sewing machines and bulky fabrics

  1. Use the serger on the fabric’s raw edge
  2. Press up the edge once by the hem allowance
  3. Sew across the top of the finished edge

You can also read about how to use a hemming foot on a sewing machine if your unit has one. 


How Do You Hem Stretchy Fabric?

The ideal hem for stretchy fabric is a knit hem with zigzag stitches and hemming tape. This allows the material to remain stretchable without the stitches breaking. 



And that’s it! To recap how to hem pants with a sewing machine, you only need to measure, mark, and press the pants accordingly. Then, use the sewing machine to make straight stitches or blind stitches to hem the material. 

For other projects, you can also try the double fold hem or overlocked hem. We hope this was a helpful read. Leave us a comment if you have any questions. 

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