How to Hem Pants with a Sewing Machine (using the blind hem stitch)

How to hem pants with a sewing machine featured image

Hemming pants can be one thing that we find easy to put off. You know, the brand new pair of pants that have been sitting around since last season because they’re too long and you haven’t quite gotten around to working out how to hem without completely buggering them up? A symptom of those born at below average height. Oh the inconvenience of it all!

Not to worry! In this tutorial I’ll show you how to hem pants with a sewing machine using the blind hem stitch. Most of you will have this stitch, but not even realise what it’s for. Maybe you thought it was just a decorative stitch. And the foot….yeah, it may be one of those that sit in your collection and you have no idea what it really does. In all honesty though, you can definitely do the blind hem stitch with a standard sewing machine foot, you will just need to create your own guide point….it will make more sense after the video!

If you want the simplest way to hem pants with a sewing machine then check out my tutorial for how to hem pants with a sewing machine using a straight stitch.

You can watch the full step by step video below or scroll on to see the steps in pictures and words ?

or watch it on YouTube here.

Step 1: Unpick the Existing Hem

Unpick existing hem

Unpick the existing hem with your quick un-pick. Tedious, but essential.

Step 2: Work Out the New Length For the Pants

make pant length with a pinI find one pin at the heel is ample when finding the correct length. You can pin the rest of the pant leg after they are taken off. Always get the person to wear the shoes that they will be wearing with the pants to be taken up. This way you will know where the pant legs go down to when you have the shoes on. If you are hemming the pants while you are wearing them, it may be helpful to do this in front of the mirror with a bit of trial and error seeing as the pant legs lift up when you bend over.

Step 2: Ensure the Pant Legs are Taken up Evenly all the Way Around

take up cuff same amount all the way around

Measure the distance from the top of the pant leg to the new fold created when the pin was placed for the new pant bottom. Measure the same distance all the way around the pant leg and place pins in to keep it in place.

Step 4: Keep 2-2 1/2″ (5-6cm) to Create the New Hem and Cut Off Excess Fabric

measure new hem

Measure and mark the amount of fabric you need for the new hem allowance. I like to keep about 2″ (5cm). This gives me enough fabric to turn the raw edge under and have just over 1″ (2 1/2cm) left for the new hem.

Cut off excess fabric

You won’t be needing that excess fabric, so you can get cutting and remove it.

Step 5: Make Note of your Hem Allowance, Remove Pins and Turn Pants Inside Out

remove pins and turn pants inside outNow that we have done all that prep work measuring the new hem, you will need to remove the pins and turn the pant legs inside out ready to do some ironing. ☺️

Step 6: Turn Hem Up by 2″ and Iron in Place

iron new hem

Once the pants have been turned inside out, turn the hem up by 2″ (or however much you had left for the seam allowance) and hit it with the iron.

Step 7: Turn the Raw Edge Under by 3/4″ and Press with the Iron

turn raw edge under

Turn the raw edge under by 3/4″ and press with the iron to hold in place. This will stop the raw edges from fraying.

Now for the tricky part….watch the video if this bit doesn’t make sense.

Step 8: Fold the Hem in Toward the Right Side of the Pant Leg and Leave 1/8-1/4″ of the Hem Sticking Out and Pin to Hold in Place

turn hem under and pin

Fold the hem in and under towards the right side of the pant leg. Leave 1/8-1/4″ of the hem sticking out at the top and pin to hold in place. Do this around the whole pant leg. You’ll see why we do this when we head to the sewing machine. Watch the video if that was totally confusing.

Step 9: Select the Blind Hem Stitch on Your Sewing Machine

select blind hem stitch

Select the blind hem stitch on your sewing machine. Most sewing machines should have one.

Step 10: Attach your Blind Hem Foot to the Sewing Machine

attach blind hem foot

Your blind hem stitch foot should look something like the ones above. The main feature is the guide running along the middle of the foot. This will give you something to line your folded over hem up to to get a nice consistent blind hem.

blind hem foot on sewing machine

This is what my blind hem foot looks like on my machine. I have an adjustable guide to get a more precise blind hem stitch.

remove extension

*I also remove my extension and accessory box so I can use the free arm part of my sewing machine. This makes it easier to fit the pant leg around the arm of the sewing machine.

Step 11: Place your Prepared Pant Leg around the Free Arm Part of the Sewing Machine and Sew Your Blind Hem Stitch

sew blind hem stitch

Place the fold of the pant leg right up against the guide on the blind hem stitch foot. I like to start on one of the inside leg seams. Double check to make sure you have the blind hem stitch selected on your sewing machine and off you go. I choose to do a locking stitch here if your machine has the ability to do that.

blind hem stitch example

Above, you can see an example of what the blind hem stitch looks like. It is a few straight stitches followed by a zigzag stitch off the the left. The zigzag stitch is the part that you want to be grabbing the folded over part on you pant leg. It will be the stitch that holds the hem on the pant legs together.

Step 12: Unfold the Hem and Your Blind Hem Stitching is complete!

see the blind hem stitch when finished

Once you have finished sewing the hem, unfold the hem part that was folded under and the above photo is what you would see on the inside of the pant leg.

Turn the Pant Leg Inside Out and This is What You Will See

see the blind hem stitch when finished right side

This is what you will see on the right side of the pant leg when you turn them right side out. The stitch is very noticeable with the red contrasting thread, but take a look when I use a similar colour thread…..

see the blind hem stitch when finished right side similar colour thread


This is a pretty good result. I could have matched the colour of the thread even more, but the grey was what I had on hand. What do you think?

I hope this tutorial has been useful for helping you learn how to hem pants with your sewing machine using the blind hem stitch.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more tutorials for how to hem pants by hand and more Scan n Cut tutorials!!

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See you next time and happy sewing!


P.S. Don’t forget to do the other pant leg!

How to Hem Pants with a Sewing Machine Using the Blind Hem Stitch


Posted on

6 September, 2015


  1. Cindy S

    Thank you for the great tutorial with nice big, clear pictures! I’ve had pants hanging in my closet forever to “do someday when I figure it out”.

    Any special tips for knit pants?

    • Domenica Tootell

      Hi Cindy! Thanks for stopping by. Some sewing machines have another blind hem stitch especially for knits. It looks very similar to the one I used in this tutorial, but instead of having a straight stitch in between the big zigs, it has tiny zig zags instead. This allows for that extra stretch that knit fabrics need. Check out your machine to see if you have it. Also, I’m about to publish a tutorial on how to hem pants by hand as well, so you might find that one useful.
      Thanks again,
      Domenica ?

      • Cindy S

        Thanks Domenica, I looked and I DO have the stitch with the zig-zag. I’ll give it a try. I prefer to sew on the machine and knit and crochet for my “hand work”. I’m subscribed to see all your great tutorials from now on. 🙂

  2. June

    I have never been able to figure this method of hemming out so thanks for the calm and concise instructions . Now I don’t have to pay to get my trousers done by someone else.

    • Domenica Tootell

      Oh great! Glad I could help!

  3. Sue

    Many thanks for this tutorial!


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