Quick and Easy Tutorial on Hemming Jeans

Made By April
by Made By April
7 Materials
30 Minutes

It’s not uncommon to buy a new pair of jeans that you know you are going to have to hem. But did you know that hemming jeans doesn’t mean you have to have a sewing machine?

Follow this tutorial and learn how to hem jeans by hand like a pro, using the original hem!

Tools and materials:

  • Jeans
  • Sewing pins
  • Fabric marker
  • Thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (optional)
Determining the length

1. Determine the length

Try on your jeans, and fold under the bottom of each pant leg to your desired length.

Then, pin the hem to secure it in place and iron.

Unfolding the hem

Now, unfold the hem and will have a good, visible mark indicating the new hem line.

Sewing new hem

2. Sew your new hem

Fold up the bottom of your jeans so the stitching on the original hem meets the new hemline mark. 

Sewing new hem

Pin it in place.

Sewing new hem

Sew your new hem line as close to the edge of the hem as you can get.

Sewing new hem

You can sew it by hand, with a running stitch, no problem! To see how I do the running stitch, check the video from 2:23 to 2:42.

Progress shot

Here is how it will look.

Removing excess fabric

3. Remove excess fabric

Pull the excess fabric out of the bottom of your jeans leg. Flatten down the new hemline and trace that hemline onto the excess fabric.

Cutting fabric

Now, fold up your new hemline so it is out of the way, and cut off the excess fabric along your traced line.

Tip: before you start cutting, try on your jeans to make sure you are happy with the length!

Using seam ripper

4. Finish your new hem

I know this will sound strange, but what you have to do next is remove the original hem stitching with a seam ripper.

Unfolding fabric

Now, unfold the fabric from the seam-ripped original hem, and fold the excess fabric up into the fold, so it is sandwiched under the new hem.

Pinned fabric

Pin it in place and snip the corners of the side seams to remove bulk.

Pinned fabric

Re-sew the hem close to the edge of the fabric, either with a sewing machine or by hand, and you’re all done!


If you are sewing by hand, use a backstitch, as demonstrated in the video from 7:50 to 8:18. 

Finished hem

Here is the finished hem, done with a sewing machine.

Finished hem

And here is the hem done by hand.

Before hemming jeans

Here are my jeans with the original hem.

After hemming jeans

And here is the new hem! 

How to hem jeans

This technique for hemming jeans works like magic, to give you such a neat, clean, professional looking new hem line. 

I hope you try this method to hem your own jeans and leave a comment to let me know how you liked it.

For more clever clothing ideas, check out my post on how to Save Your Favorite Jeans With This Easy Embroidery Hole Repair Hack.

Suggested materials:
  • Jeans
  • Sewing pins
  • Fabric marker
See all materials

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