How to Sew a Hem

Sure, you can always use iron-on hem tape to shorten those pants, but maybe it's time to join the 35 million Americans who can sew—yes, with a needle and thread—a hem.

You will need

  • A seam ripper
  • A floor-length mirror
  • Straight pins
  • An iron
  • A sewing needle
  • Thread

Step 1 Remove the original hem using a seam ripper.

Step 2 Put on the garment, with shoes, and fold it under to the desired length. Use a floor-length mirror to make sure the new hem is an equal distance from the floor.

Step 3 Pin the hem into place.

Step 4 Take the pants off, being careful of the straight pins, and turn them inside out.

Step 5 Iron the pinned hem to create a crease, and then remove the pins.

Step 6 Turn the extra fabric in to meet at the crease and pin it in place.

Step 7 Try on the garment one more time to make sure the pinned hems are even. Make any adjustments at this point.

Step 8 Hand-sew the top of the hem, using small stitches all the way around.