Sew a Cuffed Hem on Sleeves or Pants

by Elise
1 Hour

Easy sewing project

Finished cuffed shorts

One of my favourite ways to finish shorts or cropped pants is to do a cuff. I’ve used it to save pants that were a bit too short in the leg by turning them into cuffed capris (I’m on the tall side, and if pants shrink in the wash at all, I end up with the legs too short). You can also use it as a nice finish to turn long sleeved shirts to short sleeved ones.


  • Pins
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Scissors or rotary cutter with mat
  • Ruler
  • Sewing machine

Mark your cuff length

Start by marking the desired finished length of your garment. For your seam allowance, you need 1.25″. Cut a straight line.

Cut your seam allowance in a straight line. I like to use a rotary cutter and ruler/cutting mat, but it is fine to mark a line and cut with fabric scissors.

Turn the fabric up 1″, then another inch, making a double turned hem. You need to turn the fabric in each time.

Pin and stitch cuff

Pin. Stitch 1/4″ from the bottom of the turned hem.

Turn fabric up 1″, then again another inch.
Stitching the cuff, 1/4″ from the outside edge.

You’re almost done. Now just flip the hem down and press!

Pull hem down.
Press on the inside.

Now you have a nicely cuffed garment!

Final cuff.

If you liked this tutorial and would like to learn other ways to shorten your clothes, I have a short ebook The Beginner Sewists Guide to Hemming. It includes this blog post plus the post How to Sew A Euro Hem, and two basic hemming techniques in one convenient PDF download. To find out more, click here.

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