How to Hem a Shirt by Hand?

Hems make your clothes look more appealing. When you sew a shirt and leave it without hemming, it doesn’t have as nice a form as it should. This is the same for all other types of clothing.

You can hem a shirt by sewing machine or by hand. Using a sewing machine is faster. Hemming by hand takes a lot of time. You can do it if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.

How Do You Hem A Shirt By Hand?

You can hem a shirt at the hands and the waist. To get the right location of your hem, you need to decide how long you want your shirt to be. Mark this desired length with chalk. Then decide how long your hemline should be. Mark the point of the hemline and cut the excess fabric below that point.

Fold your hemline to the marked desired length of the shirt. Choose a stitch to use on the hem and start sewing. Sew the hem in place all around the shirt. You can use a backstitch at the beginning and end of the hemline to fix your stitch in place.

Step 1. Assemble all the tools you will need for this process. An iron, needle, and matching thread are the most important tools to hem your shirt by hand. You will also need chalk to mark the points you need to cut or sew.

Step 2. Iron your shirt. Then place it on your working surface. Working with an ironed shirt is better than working with a wrinkled shirt. It easy to manipulate, measure, and see the length and markings that you make. Ironing removes wrinkles and helps to make accurate measurements on the shirt.

Step 3. Wear the shirt while standing in front of a mirror. Mark the spot where you would like to sew your hem. The point at which you mark to make your hem is the length of the shirt. If you want your shirt to be shorter or longer, you can change the point at which you want to make your hemline.

Step 4. Determine how long you want your hem to be. This hem length is also known as the depth of the hem. For a shirt, your hem length should not be longer than one inch. So, you can choose any length for your hem up to 1 inch.

Step 5. Cut off any excess fabric below the determined hem length. Use sharp scissors so that you don’t leave any threads hanging on your shirt.

Step 6. Fold the hem upwards into the shirt. Then, iron this folded hem so that it stays in place before you can decide on the stitch to use to hand sew the hem in place. This will also give you the final appearance of the shirt. At this point, you can shorten your hem if it looks bulky.

You can either make a single or a double fold on your hem. For a single fold hem, you only fold your hem allowance once into the shirt.

For a double-fold, you will fold the hem allowance twice. A double fold allows you to hide both the raw edges of your fabric and the stitches you use to hem. It ensures that the fabric of your shirt remains stable and won’t unravel with the raw edge hidden between fabrics.

The double-fold hem is the most commonly used hem for many types of garments that need hems. You can also use it when hemming your shirt by hand. It will keep your stitches invisible.

Step 7. Determine which stitch to use to sew your hem in place on the shirt. There are different types of stitches you can use to sew a hem. Each stitch is used for different purposes.

The fastest stitch you can use to sew a hem is a whip stitch. It is easy to use. You can also learn how to use it faster if you already know how to sew. However, the whip stitch is not durable. The stitches on your hem will unravel after a few washes.

You can also use a catch stitch. The catch stitch is the most preferred stitch for hemming shirts by hand. It provides elasticity and is a strong and durable stitch for hemming shirts. It is a bit difficult to use as you will be moving in the opposite direction from what you are used to when hand sewing.

The slip stitch is another popular stitch used to hem shirts by hand. It is almost invisible on either side of the shirt hem. Thus, you have a neat hem that gives your shirt an appealing appearance. This stitch is best used when you have a double-fold hem.

The fell stitch is another common stitch to use when hemming your shirts by hand. It is a strong and durable stitch. Stronger and more durable than the slip stitch. The only disadvantage of this stitch is that it leaves visible stitches on the outside of your shirt.

You can also use a blind stitch to hem your shirt. As the name suggests, the blind stitch is invisible on either side of the hem. It is best used in a double-fold hem. This allows you to hide the stitches in one layer making them invisible.

Step 8. When you decide on which stitch to use for your hem, you can start sewing the hem in place. Thread your needle with a matching thread so that your stitches are not easily seen. Make sure to use a long thread to ensure that you don’t keep rethreading your needle. You can use a thread as long as the hem or you can measure the thread to be equivalent to the length of your forearm.

Step 9. Turn your shirt inside out so that you can see the part of the hem that you are sewing. This makes it easier to sew the hem in place. Make a strong anchor stitch at the beginning of the hem. This ensures that your thread and stitches stay in place as and after you have sewn the hem.

At the end of the hem, make another anchor stitch to enhance the firmness of your stitches.

Step 10. Confirm that you don’t have any part of your hem hanging. You may have missed a stitch. When your hem is properly in place, place your shirt on the ironing board and press the hem. Press at high heat to make sure the threads of your stitches stay firmly in place.

How To Sew A Rolled Hem By Hand?

A rolled hem is a hemming technique that uses tiny stitches to finish the seams on your garments. It is the most preferred hemming technique for medium-weight and light fabrics such as silk. The rolled hem involves stitching in two positions of the folded edge then pulling the stitches to roll the edges.

To hand stitch a rolled hem, you start by ensuring that your edges are smooth. This means that you have to use sharp scissors to cut excess fabric and ensure that you don’t have any hanging threads.

Thread a needle with matching thread and start sewing. To start sewing start at one corner of your fabric. Insert your needle in the chosen corner and pull your thread slightly. Then, fold the edge of your fabric towards your needle.

With the needle in the fabric but just below the folded edge, insert your needle into the edge through the fabric and ensure your thread comes out on the right-hand side. Make a few other stitches in this method along with the fabric.

After about five stitches, pull the thread gently. This pulls on the edges and rolls them into the fabric. Continue stitching and pulling after every five stitches until you get to the end of your hem.

How To Hem Your Pants Without Sewing?

You want to wear your new pants only to find out that they are too long. How do you hem them without sewing? Before you take off your shoes or your pants, fold them to the desired length. You can hold the fold in place with pins or just mark the desired length with chalk or a visible marking pen.

Take off your pants and place them on your ironing board. Fold the excess length of your pants to the marked desired length and iron the fold to hold it in place.

You will need hem tape to permanently shorten your pants. So, cut a piece of hem tape that is equal to the length of the fold. Fold over your hem tape to create a cuff on your pants. Place your hot iron on the fold with the tape underneath. Press for a minute.

Lift the iron off your pants and confirm that the adhesive on the hem tape now holds your new cuff in place. If not, press your iron for another minute. Repeat for the other leg.



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.

Leave a Reply

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