How to Shorten Jeans Without Sewing ( 5 Ways)

Learning how to shorten jeans is a very useful skill. When you buy a pair of jeans, it’s not guaranteed that they will come up exactly to your ankle, or to the length you want them to be. Often they are too long and need shortening. The traditional way to hem jeans is to take them up and sew a new hem. But if you don’t know how to sew, or don’t have the time or patience, there are other options. 

Here are some easy and fast ways in which you can shorten your jeans without sewing, you don’t have to bother with a needle and thread or sewing machine.

How to Shorten Jeans Without Sewing

Can You Hem Jeans Without a Sewing Machine?

Yes, It’s easy to hem or shorten jeans without a sewing machine, and it only requires things everyone has in their home. Choose a method that works well with your level of skill. If you are new to sewing and you don’t know how to sew well, you may want to consider using hemming tape or glue, as they are simple methods that anyone can do. Experienced sewers may want to use a sewing machine or sew by hand.

Things You Will Need

To shorten jeans without sewing, you will need the following:

  • A pair of jeans that are too long
  • Iron-on hemming tape
  • An iron
  • A measuring tool such as a ruler or tape measure
  • Pencil or chalk
  • Scissors
  • Fabric glue
  • Straight pins

How to Shorten Jeans Without Sewing

A pair of jeans can be a perfect fit for your body, but the length might be off. You may have a hard time finding pre-hemmed jeans that fit you perfectly, so you can shorten them yourself.

If you do not have access to a sewing machine, you can still hand sew your jeans yourself with just a needle and thread, fold and glue, cut off the hem or use hemming tape.

Cut and fray hem 

This is a good option if you have flared jeans or jeans with a wider hem. 

  1. Cut the hem to the length you want and then cut the seam at the top of the hem. 
  2. Pull out some threads from the edge and fray them by cutting more threads with sharp scissors. This messy look is very popular at present. 
  3. It looks great when worn rolled up as well, especially if it is a little bit uneven which gives it an even messier look!

Cutting Off the hem Using Scissors

  1. The first thing to do is put on your jeans. You will need to find out exactly where you want shorten them. 
  2. Put on your shoes, then stand up straight and let someone mark exactly where you want the hem to finish with a pencil or chalk. Make sure you mark both legs so that both hems look even.
  3. Once you have marked your jeans, take them off and lay them flat on a table with the back facing up. 
  4. Measure from the bottom of the jean leg up to where the chalk mark is, on both legs. 
  5. Write down this measurement so it can be used when cutting both legs evenly. 
  6. Mark with chalk where you think they should be cut, take them off, and double-check in front of a mirror to make sure they look right. 
  7. When happy with your new length, cut off the excess fabric and make sure to cut straight across so your hem will be even all around when turned up.

Shorten Jeans By Folding & Using fabric glue

Another way to shorten your jeans without stitching is to use permanent fabric glue. All you need is a pair of jeans, some fabric glue and a pair of scissors.

This method is great for super-thick denim, or any pair of jeans that you feel will be difficult to sew.

  1. Turn your jeans inside out and pull them up to a comfortable position on your legs.
  2. Fold each pant leg up so that it forms a hem along one side and goes straight across on the other side. If you’re leaving a cuff at the bottom of each leg, fold up so that all sides of each cuff are even across.
  3. Pin in place loosely so that they hold their shape while gluing.
  4. Apply a thin line of fabric glue all along the edge that you just folded and press it down with your fingers for about 2 – 5 minutes for the glue to set. Usually takes 5 -10 hours for the glue to fully dries. 
  5. Repeat this process on both  pant leg of your jeans until you’ve glued the whole hem back in place.
  6. Use fabric glue to hold it in place while it dries (just make sure it won’t be visible on the outside of your jeans).

How to Shorten Jeans Using a Hemming Tape

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t have a sewing machine, or if you simply lack the time to do a proper job, you can alter your jeans without sewing by using hemming tape.

The tape adheres to the fabric and provides a sturdy hem. It’s ideal for denim, which is a heavy fabric that also frays easily.

  1. First, put on your jeans. Then take a look at where you want your altered length to be. To make sure they are straight, use a measuring tape from side seam to side seam and mark with a disappearing-ink pen or chalk marker.
  2. Turn your jeans inside out. Start by folding up exactly inches of fabric at the mark you just made and press flat using iron on high heat with no steam for about 10 seconds. This will be used as a guide for creating the new hemline.
  3. Cut a strip of iron-on hemming tape (also called fusible hemming web) to fit inside the fold of your newly shortened jeans, using scissors or pinking shears. Make sure it’s long enough to cover all of the folded-up fabric, plus an extra half-inch on each side.
  4. Place the iron-on strip inside the fold and place a damp cloth over it. Then use an iron, press down firmly on top of that part of the jeans until it holds.

How to Shorten Jeans By Hands

  1. Wear the jeans, mark a line around the leg where you want them to finish.
  2. Turn your jeans inside out, and mark on the line you have drawn with a fabric pen.
  3. Cut off an excess piece of fabric 1 inch below the original hem.
  4. Fold up the new hem by 1/2 inch and press with an iron.
  5. Fold up again by an inch and press with an iron.
  6. Pin in place.
  7. Using a denim needle, sew in place using a hemming stitch.

How to Hem Jeans by Hand (Youtube Tutorial)

How to Hem Jeans with a Sewing Machine

If you want an easy and quick fix then do it yourself. This will give you the chance to make your jeans look great. All you need is a pair of scissors or sewing machine, pins, and an iron.

  1. First, decide on how much shorter you want them to be. 
  2. To help with this measure the length of the hem and the distance from the waist down the leg that you want your jeans to end at when they are finished being shortened. This will tell you how much you need to take off each side of your jeans’ hem.
  3. Lay your skinny jeans flat on top of a table or floor.
  4. Fold the hem up to reveal how much you want to shorten the jeans by.
  5. Pin the newly finished length in place with pins. Make sure they are not visible when worn unless that’s what you want!
  6. If using a sewing machine, sew along the bottom of pinned hemline at least twice, so it is secure and won’t fray later on when washed.

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