How to Shorten Trousers and Jeans

Posted on March 30, 2015

It's not always all about making beautiful new clothes! So today we thought we'd take you through the process of shortening bought garments with a straight hem, such as trousers or jeans, in our easy to follow step-by-step guide.

 You will need:

  • Cotton Thread, you'll want to match this to the colour of your trousers or for jeans to the colour of the top-stitching
  • Sewing Pins
  • Dressmakers Scissors
  • Sewing Gauge, this gadget is so useful for hems, so much easier than working with a tape measure

 To alter:

First of all mark the desired length, when worn, at the back of the trousers using pins, as shown below:

How to Shorten Trousers

Add 3cm to this measurement for the hem. Measure this distance from the bottom edge of your garment, and pin all the way around. Carefully cut off the excess fabric.

Next, on the inside of the garment, turn up the hem 1.5cm, pinning all the way round and then press well.

Merchant & Mills Sewing Gauge for turning a hem

Then fold this hem over again turning up the balance 1.5cm, as shown below, again make sure you press well, this will make it easier to stitch.

 How to Shorten Trousers

Thread your machine with the required colour and then top stitch on the outside of the garment making sure you backstitch at the start and finish. Ideally you want your top stitching to be 2mm in from the second fold-line, i.e. 13mm.

How to Shorten Trousers

Give the hems a final press and that's all there is to it!

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