How Do You Measure Pants For Hemming

Hemming a pair of pants is a valuable life skill that everyone needs to have. It is not a good idea to spend a lot of money on tailor dues every time you buy a new pair of pants. There are many hemming techniques that are extremely easy to use.

Many people have a misconception that you need a lot of skill to hem pants properly. This is not true at all, since it is possible by novices to complete most DIY hemming nicely. The first step to hemming your pair of pants properly is to measure it out.

Measuring pants for hemming is easy, but it can be easy to mess up. To make things easier for the first time DIY hemmer, here is an in-depth guide that will provide you with some of the best and coolest tips. Keep on reading this guide to find out more!

A Must Remember Tip!

You simply have to wash and dry your pants before you hem them. Even if the pair is new, it is a very good idea to give it a complete wash and dry before you hem. If you hem them before a wash, they might shrink.

Method 1 – Work With a Friend and Take Accurate Measurements

Experienced DIY lovers will tell you that working with a friend makes the measurement process very easy. It is very easy and you can take advantage of it if you live with a roommate, a family or a spouse/partner.

Step 1: The best thing to do while measuring is to put on the pants along with the kind of shoes that you are planning to wear the pants with. This will let you take very accurate measurements of the hem and not cut off too much or too little.

Step 2: You should stand on a raised platform such as a chair or a table so that your partner can roll up the hem properly. Ask them to roll up both pant leg hems slowly and evenly until you reach the exact length that you want in your pair.

Step 3: To keep the new hem in place, it is a good idea to make use of straight pins. Ask the helper to place the pins only while you’re standing up straight, so that the position is intact and doesn’t get lost. Make sure that enough pins have been applied to the pair.

Step 4: Come down from the platform and take off the pants carefully so that the pins are not removed or disturbed. Then, you should carefully turn the pants inside out so that you can work on the hems properly. Measure the inseam of your pants carefully before you hem.

Step 5: A good tip that will help you get the inseam right is to measure the inseam of a pair of pants that are already hemmed and have the right length. Match the inseam of your new pair with the old one and compare both of the pant lengths.

Step 6: Make a mark on the pant leg at a point that is approximately 1 inch below the new hemline that you have in mind. After you’ve pinned the cloth at the new hem line, you need to cut off any excess cloth that’s below the hem line.

You need to have enough cloth leftover so that you can sew the new hems and make it look natural. This would not be possible if you removed cloth directly from the new hem line. This is why the measurement mark should be an inch below the hem line.

Step 7: Once you’re done with the measurements, you will be able to use one of the many hem techniques to seal the deal. Using safety pins is a great temporary no-sew fix that you can try. If you want a permanent no-sew option, you can try out hem tape.

Method 2 – Hem Your Pants On Your Own

If you’re working alone, then it is a good idea to invest in a handy and inexpensive tool called the “seam gauge”. This tool will help you get accurate measurements of your pant hem with the least bit of effort.

Step 1: You should try out your pants while wearing the shoes that you’d normally wear with them. Bend over and make a small chalk mark on the length where you want your pants to end. Make sure that the marks on both pant legs are even and the same.

Step 2: Cuff the pants to the perfect length (where you’ve made the chalk mark) and stick a pin in it. To make sure your new hem is right, it’s a good idea to take a quick measurement of the existing hem. A seam gauge/measuring tape is useful here.

It’s a good idea to insert the pins so that they are perpendicular to the hem. This will make it much easier to remove the pins while you are stitching or ironing the hem. Also, you should make a point to ensure that the pin goes through only one fold.

Step 3: A good tip that any experienced DIY expert or tailor will give you is “Measure twice and cut once!” Before you make any removals, it is a good idea to measure it until you are perfectly satisfied with the end result. This will make the entire process smooth.

Before cutting, it is also a good idea to run an iron over the new folds of your pants. Especially while you are working dress pants, ironing will help you to get a nice crease. This will help you to make the measurements nicely and hem the pants very accurately.

Step 4: A fun bonus tip is to make use of a seam guide while you are sewing. This will make sure that the new hem and the seam is perfectly straight. Even while using no-sew methods, the best course of action is to use a seam guide and gauge.

Measuring Is The Most Important Task

Hemming your pants is very simple and there are dozens of amazing techniques that you can use to get your pants to the perfect length. However, you have to make sure that all of your initial measurements are perfectly accurate before you start out.

Measurement is the most important task – and you should always remember to measure the hem of your pants while you’re wearing the pants with the shoes that you’d usually wear with them. This will help you ensure that the end result of your favourite new pair of pants is perfect.

What Are The Most Important Tools for Hemming the Pants?

While you’re working on your pair of pants, you should have a measuring tape, a flat surface to work on, lots of pins, safety pins and an iron. These are the essential items that you need to hem your pants.

Along with these, it would also be very helpful if you had a seam gauge and a seam guide. The gauge will help you to make accurate measurements on the inseam while you are standing. The seam guide will help you to get a perfectly straight seam while you’re sewing.

All of these steps might seem very complicated, but they are not. In fact, if you are working with a friend, measuring the hem will take you only a couple of minutes. If you use hem tape or usual scotch tape, your task will be done in only 10-15 minutes.

Does the Type of Material Matter While You Are Hemming?

The type of pants is a more important consideration than the type of material. For example, the steps to hem a skinny fit pair of pants are different from the steps you need for a pair of flared bottoms.

However, the type of material will have an effect on the kind of technique that you are looking for. If you’re trying to hem dress pants, then it’s a better idea to use sew techniques. For jeans and casual pants, no-sew techniques like hemming tape is a very good idea.

Slippy materials like silk, satin, spandex and lycra require a little bit of preparation in the beginning. It is also important to use the iron very conservatively so that the dress doesn’t get spoiled. In fact, most tailors recommend using a damp cloth to smoothen the fabric instead of an iron.

Final Thoughts

This has been an in-depth guide to measuring pants before you hem them. While tailors may not charge a lot for a simple hem, it can build up into a very big expense. Learning how to hem will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Last of all, the best course of action is to do these tasks with a friend or a companion. They will help you to take accurate measurements. If you have to do it alone, make sure that you use a seam gauge, chalk and measuring tape also.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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