Simple Guide to Hemming Jeans Without a Sewing Machine

Ever found yourself with a pair of jeans that’s just a bit too long, but you don’t have a sewing machine? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a common issue that many face and the good news is, you can fix it easily at home.

There’s a simple, no-sew method to hem your jeans and it’s perfect if you’re in a pinch or simply don’t own a sewing machine. This method is not only quick but also requires minimal materials.

Hemming jeans without a sewing machine is a quick fix that can tailor your denim to the perfect length with minimal tools. The key is to use the right technique that matches the original seam for a seamless look. For step-by-step instructions, wikiHow’s guide on hemming jeans by hand is an excellent resource for beginners. For more durable hemming, eHow provides techniques that ensure your jeans won’t unravel after washing. Furthermore, Denim Therapy offers professional tips on hemming jeans for those looking to achieve a tailor-made appearance without a sewing machine.

Gather your supplies

First and foremost, you’ll need to arm yourself with the right tools. Rest assured, all the supplies you need are basic ones that most people already have at home.

So, what’s the list of materials you’ll need for hemming your jeans without a sewing machine? Here you go:

  • A pair of jeans: It’s handy if these are a little too long for you. That’s the whole point, right?
  • Fabric scissors: Make sure they’re sharp, as you’ll need to cut through thick denim.
  • Iron and ironing board: These will come into play when you’re creating crisp folds in your jean’s hems.
  • Fabric glue or iron-on adhesive tape: This acts as an alternative to stitching the hems.
  • Ruler or measuring tape: Precision is key when marking the desired length.
  • Chalk or a fabric marker: You’ll mark the cutting line with this.
MaterialDescriptionWhy Needed?
JeansTo be shortenedThe main subject
ScissorsSharp, for fabric cutting

To shorten jeans
|Iron & Board|Any type|

To flatten folds
|Glue/Tape|Fabric appropriate|

To secure hems in lieu of stitches
|Measuring device|Ruler or tape|

To accurately mark the cutting length
|Chalk/Marker|Used on fabric|

To see the line on the dark fabric

Deciding where to cut is crucial. Comfort and style are two aspects you should keep in mind. Try on your jeans, decide on the length you want and mark it with your fabric marker or chalk. It’s good practice to cut a little farther from the marked line. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of too long rather than too short. You can always take off more, but can’t add back once it’s gone. Stay tuned on how to make the perfect cut in the next section.

Measure and mark the desired length

Knowing exactly the length you’d like your jeans to be is crucial before getting started. We’ll guide you through the process to make sure you measure and mark the correct length.

Begin by wearing the jeans and standing in front of a full-length mirror. Make sure you’re wearing the shoes you usually pair with these jeans. This step is important as different shoes can alter the perceived length of your jeans.

Fold the cuff of your jeans up to the desired length. A great rule of thumb is to aim for the hem to hit right at the ankle bone — it’s a length that works well with most shoes styles.

Once you’ve decided on the desired length, make a mark on the jeans with chalk or a fabric marker. The mark should be placed on the inside of the jeans, right on the fold. If you’re uneasy about marking the fabric directly, you can also use straight pins to mark the desired length. Remember, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and cut them a bit longer. You can always trim more later, but you can’t add length back once it’s gone.

Next, take off the jeans and lay them flat on a table or the floor. Be sure your workspace is clean and has good lighting — these factors can make the process easier.

Align the edge of a ruler or measuring tape with the bottom of the original hem and measure up to the chalk (or pin) mark. You should write this measurement down — it’s vital for the next step.

Reliable measurements are key to executing this DIY correctly. You’re setting the groundwork for the jeans’ future length. Maintaining precision throughout these steps will ensure a well-executed hem, thus upgrading your jeans’ fit and overall look. Applying even just a bit of care, you’ll see positive results in no time.

Cut off the excess fabric

So, moving on to the next step in your DIY jeans-hemming mission – cutting off the excessive fabric. But first, let’s remember it’s better to cut off less initially than more. You can always trim it down a bit further if necessary but adding fabric back isn’t really an option!

If your pins or marks are in place and you’re absolutely certain about your measurements, grab your fabric scissors and get ready for action. We’d recommend the use of fabric shears, as they’re specifically designed for cutting through material smoothly. Using regular scissors may result in uneven cuts or undesired fraying of the fabric. Being equipped with the right tools is a crucial factor in any DIY task, after all.

A table showing the difference between fabric shears and regular scissors:

Fabric ShearsRegular Scissors
UseCuts fabric smoothly and cleanlyMay cause uneven cuts & fraying

Aim to cut around an inch below the pins or your mark, leaving enough fabric for creating a neat hem. As you cut, maintain a steady hand and make long, straight cuts for an evenly trimmed edge. Again, precision is king here.

Cutting around an inch larger will also give you some wriggle room to add a second fold to reduce fraying. If you’re into the double-fold method, cut off around two-inches from the marked line instead of one, this will give you ample space to fold the raw edge in before hemming.

Remember, this is a no-rush job so take your time and ensure each cut is precise and carefully planned out. Now, onto the hemming process! Remember, the closer the hem to your desired length, the less fabric you’ll have to work with. So, precision cutting really can make or break your DIY hemming project. Oh, and did we already say, measure twice – cut once!

As you’ve probably guessed, our next step involves folding and ironing your new hem. Make sure to stick around to find out how to do it properly. This step might seem a little challenging at first, but with some patience, you’ll master it in no time.

Create a fold for hemming

Once you’ve trimmed the excess fabric to the right length, the next step in the process is to Create a fold for hemming. This is a critical aspect in achieving a professional finish, and it involves using the measurement you obtained earlier in the process.

Start by placing your jeans on a flat surface. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles, so they don’t end up being part of your final hem. Then, take the raw edge of the fabric and fold it inwards, towards the inside of the jeans, by the measurement that you’ve made before cutting. Make sure there are no peaks or troughs in the fold.

A top advice is not to rush this part of the process. Carefully folding and aligning the fabric will be instrumental in ensuring your hem doesn’t look homemade.

Once you’ve made the initial fold, it’s time to press it. Using a hot iron, gently press down on the fold. This step will create a crisp edge, giving your jeans a professional finish. But remember, ironing is not the end of this process.

Now you’re going to make a second fold. Take the raw edge of the first fold and fold it upon itself, so that the raw edge is hidden inside the new fold. Repeating this step will create a double-fold hem, giving your jeans an extra touch of quality. This step is especially useful if you’d like your jeans to be durable and long-lasting.

Once you’ve sorted out your second fold, press down with a hot iron once again to seal in your hem.
Remember to keep your iron movement smooth, so you don’t create any unnecessary creases.

And voila! You’ve successfully created a fold for hemming your jeans without a sewing machine. But hang on, your jeans transformation isn’t over yet, there’s still further steps to consider before you’re ready to rock your perfectly hemmed jeans. Next, we’ll dive into how to securely fasten your new hem.

Secure the hem with fabric bonding tape

After folding your jeans to the desired length, it’s time to move on to the next crucial step. Fabric bonding tape, also known as hemming tape, will provide a quick and easy alternative for hemming jeans without a sewing machine. It’s strong and reliable, ensuring that your hem holds up, even after several washes. Plus, being accessible at any craft store, you won’t struggle to find this versatile sewing tool.

First, unroll your fabric bonding tape and measure, using the previously made folds as a guide. You’ll want to cut pieces of tape that fit the interior lengths of the folded material. It’s worth noting that overshooting the length of the tape can leave a sticky residue on your jeans and iron. So, be certain before you snip!

Afterwards, slide your tape into the hems, and ensure it’s lying flat against the bottom fold. Doing so guarantees that your bond is strong and unwavering, providing a professional touch to your homemade project. Invest your time into making certain that the tape is evenly distributed across the entire length, as this can significantly affect the final outcome.

It’s time to turn up the heat. Preheat your iron as per the instructions provided on the fabric bonding tape packaging. Keep in mind that every brand of hemming tape may have different heat settings, so you’ll need to adjust accordingly. Once heated, press your iron onto the hem, bonding the tape to the jeans. Ensure to go slow and steady, covering every inch of the tape for about 10-15 seconds, or as the bonding tape package instructs.

In this part of the process, patience really is a virtue. Taking your time to meticulously bond the hem yields a more lasting result, and that’s precisely what you’re after when hemming jeans.

In this way, your hemmed jeans are getting closer to being complete. Yet before strutting your DIY skills, a few more actions are needed. Let’s carry on with the next tasks.

Iron the hem

Now that you’ve secured your jeans’ hem with fabric bonding tape, it’s time to lock it in place with heat. Here’s where the preheated iron you’ve had on standby comes in to play.

Preheat the Iron

First things first: Ensure that your iron is set at the correct temperature. Most fabric bonding tapes require a medium to high setting, but you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s instructions for the exact details. While your iron is heating up, make sure your jeans are resting flat on the ironing board or a suitable flat surface.

Ironing Process

Slide the iron evenly over the folded material, applying gentle yet firm pressure. Be sure not to rush this process; the goal is to achieve a strong bond between the tape and the denim, not to finish in record time!

Continue this process for about 30 seconds per segment. It’s important to shift your jeans periodically to avoid overheating any particular section. Remember, patience is key during this step. You’ll want to ensure that each part of the hem receives enough heat to secure the bond.

Check the Bond

Once you’ve ironed the entire hem, let it cool down for a few moments. After it’s cool, gently tug on the hem to check if the bond is firm. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect on your first try; repeat the process as needed until you achieve a solid bond.

In this stage, your hem is secured, and you’re moving closer to having a professionally hemmed pair of jeans without even using a sewing machine. Keep going – there are just a few more things to consider before you can usher in your newly hemmed jeans into your wardrobe rotation.

Test the length and make adjustments if needed

Nice job on bonding the hem! Now it’s time to test the length of your newly tailored jeans. Before you put them on, take a moment to visually check the evenness of your hem.

Pull out a tape measure or ruler and check the length in various places around the hem. Being meticulous in this step is crucial because it can be the difference between a perfect hemline and an uneven one.

However, measuring isn’t just about numbers. It’s also about visual balance. Set your jeans on a flat surface. Crouch down a bit to bring yourself at eye level with the hem. Scan it from left to right and observe any irregular dips or rises in the hem-level.

Wear your jeans to check if the hem hits at the right spot. This is where personal style comes in. Do you want your jeans to hit just at your ankle or bunch a little bit over your shoes? It’s all up to you. Just remember, even in this era of personal style, there are a couple general rules to keep in mind:

  • For straight-leg or skinny jeans, aim for a hem that ends right above your shoe sole.
  • If you’re wearing flared or wide-leg jeans, the hem should almost skim the floor without touching it.

Once you’ve worn your jeans and checked in the mirror, do the final check. Sit, stand, walk, and move as you naturally would. This tests if the jeans’ length works in real-world scenarios. Don’t skip this step, even if you’ve nailed that flat-surface test.

In case you find any irregularity in the hemline or the jeans is too long or short, don’t panic just yet. Take those jeans off, get your trusty fabric bonding tape, and prepare to adjust the length.

To adjust, unpick the bond by gently pulling the hem apart. Then you’re set to repeat the previous steps of measuring, marking, cutting the tape, positioning it between the folds, and ironing it back into place. Yes, it’s a process, but when you see the results, you’ll see that it’s totally worth it.


So, you’ve now learned how to hem jeans without a sewing machine. By carefully measuring, marking, and using fabric bonding tape, you can achieve a professional-looking hem. Remember, patience is key when pressing the iron to bond the tape. It’s also crucial to test the length, check for evenness and make necessary adjustments. Your personal style and the type of jeans you’re wearing play a big role in determining the most flattering length. Always try on your jeans and assess the length in a mirror for the best results. If you find any irregularities or if the length isn’t quite right, don’t worry. You can easily adjust it by repeating the process with the bonding tape. Hemming jeans yourself is not only cost-effective but also allows you to customize your denim to your exact preference. So, go ahead and give your jeans a new lease of life!

What does the article discuss?

The article is a comprehensive guide on how to hem jeans without using a sewing machine. It takes you through all the steps, from measuring, marking, cutting, using fabric bonding tape for secure hems, ironing, and checking for a perfect length.

Why is accurate measurement significant?

Accurate measurement is paramount to get your desired length. It helps ensure evenness throughout the hem and maintains the visual balance and aesthetics of the jeans.

How is fabric bonding tape used in hemming jeans?

Fabric bonding tape is used to secure the hem firmly. It’s measured, cut and slid into the folded fabric of the jeans’ hem. Thereafter, an iron is used to press on it, bonding the tape to the jeans.

How can I ensure the hem is even and of the right length?

The article suggests visual checks and using a tape measure or ruler to confirm the hem evenness and length. Your personal style and a real-world scenario check (wearing and checking in a mirror) are also advised.

What should one do if the jeans’ length is incorrect after hemming?

The article advises readjusting the length by repeating the previous steps of measuring, cutting, and using fabric bonding tape in case of any length irregularities.

How should different styles of jeans be hemmed?

The article provides general rules for different styles of jeans but emphasizes the importance of personal style and comfort when determining the final length. It suggests trying the jeans on and checking in the mirror for practical length verification.