how to hem pants without sewing

How to Hem Pants Without Sewing

Have you ever needed to hem a pair of pants but didn’t have access to a sewing machine? Hemming pants are quicker and easier than you may think. With just a few household tools like shears, an iron, straight pins, hem tape, and a measuring tape, you can alter the length of jeans, dress pants, trousers, and more in about 10 minutes without sewing a single stitch. Read on for a step-by-step tutorial on how to get a professional-looking hem in no time at all!

Overview of Hemming Pants Without Sewing

Hemming pants without a sewing machine or needle and thread is a fast and easy DIY trick. As long as you have essential hemming supplies on hand like sharp shears, an iron, pins, special hem tape with adhesive backing, and a measuring tape, you can tailor your own pants to the perfect length in just 10 quick minutes. This no-sew solution works wonders on all bottoms – jeans, dress pants, slacks, trousers, shorts, and skirts. Follow this simple tutorial ahead to see how fast and seamless (literally) it is to hem pants at home sans sewing.

Steps to Hem Pants Without Sewing

Before diving into the hassle-free hemming method, you’ll need to gather a few household items and tools:

Gather Your Hemming Materials

  • Shears / Scissors – Sharp shears or sewing scissors make cutting through thicker jean fabric easier
  • Iron – Turning up the heat will set the adhesive hem tape for a tight hold
  • Pins – Straight pins temporarily secure the fabric fold as you work
  • Hem tape – Also called fuse web tape or adhesive hem tape
  • Measuring tape – Ensures your folds are even on both pant legs

Once you’ve prepped your pants hemming kit, follow these fail-proof, no-sew steps:

Measure and Mark the New Hemline

Marking an even hemline is critical for a seamless look:

  • Try the pants on with desired shoes – heels vs. flats affect the hem placement
  • Pin or mark the new length at the pant leg side seams
  • Remove pants and lay flat to precisely measure and mark a straight fold line on each inner leg

Create the Fold and Pin the Hem

Create the Fold and Pin the Hem
Photo credit: freepik

Time to start shaping the new hem:

  • Fold under 1/2 inch of fabric above marked line and press flat
  • Fold at the marked line again, meeting the top original hem edge to create a 1/2 inch enclosed hem fold
  • Insert pins along the newly folded hem to hold in place as you work

Apply the Hem Tape

The adhesive hem tape keeps the hem in place minus stitches:

  • Unfold the hem and leave pins along the folded hem line
  • Cut a strip of fuse web hem tape to cover the fabric edge under the new fold line
  • Fold hem back over tape strip, encasing the pant leg raw cut edge completely
  • Apply heat via iron to activate tape glue and adhere the folded hem

Iron the New Hem

One last press to set the hem for good:

  • Refold and pin hem allowances to recreate folded hem
  • Press firmly along the hem folds on both the inner and outer pant leg sides
  • Inspect that the hem is even and lays flat across entire leg openings

In just these four simple steps, you can now perfectly tailor and finish hems on any type of bottoms without sewing!

Tips for No-Sew Hem Success

Follow these extra pointers for flawless finished hems:

Hemming Different Fabric Pants

  • Jeans – Denim calls for denim hem tape and very hot iron temp
  • Wool Slacks – Low heat. Lightweight hem tape works
  • Pleated Pants – Carefully press folds flat when pinning

Prevent Uneven Hemlines

Having assistance measuring pant length is helpful for precision. When solo, always use one leg’s hem as the guide for the second.

Stop Hem Edge Fraying

Apply fray check or zigzag stitch pant leg edges before cutting to keep fabric ends from unraveling.


What if I don’t have hem tape?

You can cut strips from an old pair of pants or other fabric to make your DIY hem tape. Simply fold over the edges and press. Apply fabric glue before inserting it into the hem allowance.

My hem came undone and is fraying. What should I do?

Reinforce the hem allowance by applying a strip of fray check liquid or fabric glue along the cut edge before re-pinning and pressing the hem back into place. This will seal the fabric to prevent future fraying or loosening.

What is the best hem tape to use?

Look for adhesive fusible hem tape or web tape specifically designed for hems, often marketed as “sew-free” or “no-sew” hem tape. Using the tape made for hemming helps ensure a long-lasting hem.

Can I hem pants without an iron?

While it is possible to apply hem tape and fold the allowance without heat, the adhesive will not adhere as tightly. The iron heat permanently sets the glue on fusible hem tapes. For best results, access an iron or clothing press if possible.


As demonstrated in this easy step-by-step tutorial, hemming pants without sewing is a simple and fast DIY trick. In just 10 minutes, anyone can alter their own jeans, slacks, trousers, and more to the ideal length using essential household tools like shears, hem tape, an iron, and pins. Simply measure and mark the desired finished length, create neat folded hem allowances, apply adhesive hem tape to hold, and press to seal the deal. With this no-sew method, you can customize any pair of pants to the perfect ankle-grazing or cropped length right from home. No sewing skills, fancy supplies, or trips to the tailor are required!

Have you tried no-sew hem projects before? What creative tips are you for sealing fabric edges and preventing fraying when hemming clothing? Share your experiences doing alterations and styling your wardrobe with this easy, fusible web tape trick.


Main image: freepik

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