How To Hem Jeans Without A Sewing Machine - Find Out Here!

Written By 


Last Updated on 16 January, 2021 by Danica

How To Hem Jeans With No Sewing Machine

Jeans are pretty much part of our everyday clothing, they can be paired with anything, worn smart or casual, and are convenient to pull on and off.

However, finding the right pair of jeans for different individuals and their height can be difficult, with them either coming too long or too loose.

That's where hemming comes in, and you don't need a sewing machine to hem your jeans either, it can all be done with the right equipment and a few handy measurements.

In some simple brief steps, you can hem jeans by marking and measuring what you want to shorten, folding the jeans, stitching, and ironing them.

If you are nervous about hemming your long pair of jeans, don't worry, we have put together a fool-proof way to hem your jeans below with backstitching or witchery.

Let's get those jeans fitted!

What You Need For Hemming

For hemming jeans, without a sewing machine, you will need a couple of basic tools. You can hem jeans with either a thread and needle or witchery tape, so make sure you have either depending on the type of hemming you wish to do.

  • Pins
  • A very strong needle and thread
  • Your jeans
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • An iron

How To Hem You Jeans By Hand Stitching

With some simple steps below you can easily shorten your jeans while keeping them as the original look-wise.

  • Step one - Take your measurements for how much shorter you want your jeans to be, it's best to wear them and roll the bottom of your jeans up, in this case, to make sure they are the length you want them to be rather than guessing.
  • Step two - Mark your jeans where you want to cut them off then make another marking 1/2 inch above and 1/2 inch below the line. These three parallel lines should be at equal distances and can be marked with pins or tailor's chalk. You should make sure to mark your jeans the same on each leg.
  • Step three - Fold up the old hem of your jeans to meet the bottom line and cut the excess denim off it. This will leave you with the two lines above.
  • Step four - Iron your new folded hem in place to keep it looking neat and to help you with your stitching that comes next.
  • Step five - Now sew all around the cuff of your jeans (two layers), make sure not to sew the underneath of your jeans and try and keep the stitches equal and neat.
  • Step six - After stitching you can un-pin the hem and fold it back down, then iron again to make it look neat, and voila, your new jeans are done!

How To Hem Your Jeans With No Stitching

It is also possible, yet less common to hem your jeans without stitching, by using a material tape called witchery, this can glue two pieces of the denim fabric together to create a new hem.

This tape can be washed in the machine and dried like normal clothes and is a great way to hem your jeans if you are not comfortable stitching.

  • Step one - Measure the length of your jeans as before and mark them with chalk or pins as to where you want them to be shortened.
  • Step two - Equally fold your jeans up.
  • Step three - Cut about three inches of your witchery off that you will use instead of stitching.
  • Step four - Heat the iron on its cotton setting so as it can be ready to help bond the fusible tape for hemming.
  • Step five - Take a strip of your witchery and put it inside the folded part of the cuff of your jeans, then place the hot iron on this to bond the two fabrics together.
  • Step six - Repeat all around the cuff of your jeans trying to be as equal as possible then do the other leg of your jeans.
  • Step seven - Check if your hemming is right after the bond has cooled as it can be quite hot straight after the iron.

Tips For Hemming Your Jeans With No Sewing Machine

Now you know how to hem your jeans without a machine and with or without stitching, there's a couple of tips and tricks below that can come in use when you decide to hem your jeans.

  • Try and stick to hemming straight leg or skinny jeans - Straight leg or skinny jeans are much easier to hem than wide flared jeans due to the equal cuff. Wide flared jeans should have a minor amount hemmed otherwise the style can start to look odd.
  • Use a sturdy needle and thread - For sewing jeans you want to use a tough and sturdy needle, as well as a strong thread so as it can not come undone while you sew and be long lasting through various machine washes and dryers.
  • Pre-wash your jeans beforehand - Washing your jeans beforehand can make the fabric softer and easier to sew, as well as shrinking them, as new jeans can often come a bit larger, to begin with, before washing.
  • Use sharp scissors - When hemming, fraying can become a common problem, this can best be avoided by using sharp scissors to cut the hem or doing a more professional zig-zag stitch to stop the fraying.
  • Don't cut the hem for children - As children grow, it can be useful to keep the folded pair of hem jeans and let them out as they get taller. As long as you haven't cut the excess of your jeans, you can do this just by pulling the stitches out and letting the hem drop.

Our Round-Up - Can You Hem Jeans Without a Sewing Machine?

Yes, you can hem your jeans up with no sewing machine needed, all you need is the main tools above such as measuring tape and sharp scissors, and your choice of bonding which should be a strong thread/needle or witchery.

If you've recently hemmed your jeans without a sewing machine, let us know below in the comments how it went and if you have any tips/tricks for creating the best hem possible.

Happy hemming!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.
More from this Author


Top Sewing Machines

TopSewingMachines.UK is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to &