How To Hem Dress Slacks

Your ready-to-wear dress pants apparently fit you perfectly. Plus, it is of premium quality. So, why would you check for a tutorial to hem your dress slacks even if they are of the right quality and fit? The answer to this question is probably you wish for a cropped look!

The definitions of dress pants and dress slacks are almost similar in the dictionary of millennials. So, if you’ve bought your favorite pair of dress pants recently and it does not fit you well, you can read on.

More often, dress slacks are misunderstood and plagued by the overabundance of names and items. Thus, it becomes challenging for fashion enthusiasts to invest in the perfect fit. Whether the fitting is wrong or you want a cropped version of your slacks, here’s what to learn further.

How To Hem Dress Slacks?

Dress trousers are neither narrow, nor widened in the lower body. According to the modern dressers’ trends, the distance from the crotch and waist is longer than casual pants (or jeans). In fact, it gets worn higher on your body.

But how would you get that perfect fit of your dress slacks via hemming? To learn more, read on and understand the two simple methods.

So, here’s your modest tutorial guide to learning the best methods of tailoring your dress slacks with or without a sewing machine! Let’s explore the ways – one with the sewing machine and the other without the sewing machine.

How to Hem Dress Slacks Without a Sewing Machine (By Hand)?

Step 1: Gather Your Essential Hemming Kit

It’s no big secret that the first step to any stitching method is to gather the essential hemming kit. In this case, you require the prerequisites of stitching dress slacks. So, let’s check what you require:

  • Iron
  • Trousers (that are too long)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing needle

Step 2: Working With Your Dress Pant

As soon as you take your dress slacks, fold them inside. After this, check how much you require to take it off. In order to achieve a good result, you need to put your pants on and measure.

For the measurement, fold the fabric towards the inside and adjust until you get a decent measurement. Then, you need to note down the measurement.

Step 3: Time For Pinning Up

In the third step, you are required to mark the measurement with double tape or pins. If you’re using pins, then place them in the right position. You can insert these pins even before you take off your pants. After this, all you need to do is to turn your pants inside out.

Step 4: Pressing The Pants

After you turn your pants inside out, it’s time to press it. Start ironing the creases in order to make your pants neat and tidy. After this, you need to take the pins out & unfold them.

Step 5: Ripping Old Hem Seam

Now is the time to use the seam ripper. With this, you need to rip the old hem seam in order to proceed with your stitching method. So, ensure that you are careful while removing the old seam.

Step 6: Start With The Stitching Method

You will see that the distance between the two creases will be a decent amount. So, all you need is to measure the end correctly. In this case, you can cut around ? inches from the crease’s end.

Thus, it will fold over nicely. If your distance between creases isn’t a good amount, you can iron a 1/4″ crease to fold over.

One Quick Note:

As a matter of fact, there should be a minimum of two inches between the creases. It’s mainly because hemming should not start from the bottom of the pant leg.

Thus, having extra fabric pieces will allow in making the pants longer in the near future. Especially for kids in their growing age, this technique proves to be beneficial.

Now, you need to start sewing by folding your pant leg back up with the quarter-inch crease tucked underneath!

Step 7: Use A Matching Thread to Sew The Pant Legs

So, dress pants or slacks must get hemmed with a matching colored thread. For this reason, use the matching color thread and cut it around 24 inches.

After you do so, tie some knots atop them at one end. When you do so, remember you are preventing the thread from getting slipped through the pants’ fabric.

Now, go through the leg’s cuff and about two threads of the pants’ outside. For this reason, you can proceed in a lopping motion. This way, just the smallest bit of the thread shows on the outer side of the pants.

Upon completing it, you need to again tie some regular knots such that the threads do not slip through your fabric.

Step 8: Ironing Your Dress Pant

The last step to conclude your job is by pressing your dress pants well. Needless to say, ironing the pants will allow a nicer and neater look to add perfection!

How to Hem Dress Slacks With a Sewing Machine?

Step 1: Start Off By Gathering the Essential Tools

For this reason, you’d require these essential tools, including:

  • Your ‘too-long’ dress pants
  • Some pins
  • An ironing board and iron
  • A rotary cutter or a pair of scissors
  • A mat
  • Your sewing machine
  • An acrylic ruler or hem gauge

Step 2: Measure The Correct Length & Pin It

As discussed in the first method, measuring the length requires the owner to wear it first. After you acquire the correct measurement, proceed to mark it with pins.

After you take off your pants, ensure that the measurement is the same for both legs. As a matter of fact, minor adjustments are absolutely okay. But you can also rework if you want to add a touch of perfection!

Step 3: Press The New Hem Of The Dress Slacks

Here, you will have to place your pants on the ironing board prior to removing those pins. Then, press the leg such that you can see the crease.

One Quick Tip:

If your dress slacks are of polyester or rayon material, they should get pressed on a medium setting. Additionally, you should always test in the inconspicuous spot in the very first place.

Step 4: Trim Out The Unrequired Portion of The Fabric

Now is the time to measure and trim the extra piece of fabric. So, use a pair of scissors to cut the portion below the crease you pressed in the aforementioned step. You can be accurate by using your hem gauge to mark the measurement!

It’s okay if you can’t hold your horses while in the working process. So, if you like to work fast, you can mark creases with chalk and slice the pants below them.

Just in case the pants require (say around) 2 inches, you may measure & cut the narrower hem! Then, press the pants’ bottom edge to its inside twice that exact amount before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Fold & Press The Hem

To begin, your pro tip is to always hem the fold at side seams. For this reason, you need to clip into the seam at the slacks’ hemline until the edge’s half. Now, repeat both sides of each leg!

While folding the hem, you’ll require a middle piece of seam allowance in its opposite direction as the other one. Now, you need to press the new hem and pin if (and when) required.

Step 6: Sew The Hem Near The Folded Portion

Noteworthy to state, most of the sewing machines feature a free arm. Thus, it is important for you to place your leg around that free arm when pants are inside out.

In addition, use a straight stitching method. Also, medium stitches are a perfect bet for hemming these pants. Finally, sew the folded edge correctly.

With a sewing machine being your savior, your sewing part takes even less than one minute! After you are done with sewing, carefully press it to add perfection.

What Are The Quality Materials for Dress Pants/Slacks/Trousers?

There are multiple types of materials that can get used for making a pair of dress pants or slacks. On this note, let’s explore them in the pointers below:

  • Cotton Dress Pants: These are comfortable and soft, and they absorb moisture pretty well. Besides being durable, they are a really comfortable addition to the 21st-century fashion industry today.
  • Linen: In addition to being comfortable and stretchy, they are amazing moisture-absorbent.
  • Wool: They insulate extremely against cold & heat, even in damp weather conditions. Another perk of these pants is they don’t wrinkle that easily.
  • Polyester: As they seem cold, they don’t absorb moisture. Thus, they are pretty amazing as a dress pants material.
  • Silk: They are sheen and comfortable to wear. Again, silk is another material that doesn’t wrinkle so easily.

Other materials are rayon, polyester cotton, rayon cotton, polyester wool, acrylic, and more!



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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