how to hem jeans with original hem without sewing machine

How to Hem Jeans With Original Hem Without Sewing Machine

Do you have some jeans you never wear locked up in your closet because they are too long? Do you feel that you cannot adjust the jeans because you do not own a sewing machine? If you have answered yes to any of those questions then this article is totally for you.

You can hem your jeans without a sewing machine. It is very possible and you are going to learn exactly how to do it, this time without cutting out the original hem of the jeans.

Before you start, you should note that you do not necessarily have to be an expert before you learn how to hem without a machine. You would be using one of the simplest sewing methods to hem your jeans so you have nothing to worry about. The method is Backstitching.

Materials you need before starting.

  • Pins
  • Needle and Thread (Make sure to use strong needles because you would be working on a jeans material)
  • A pair of excessively long jeans
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Ruler
  • Iron and ironing board

Read More: Best Small Sewing Machine Guide

How to go about hemming your jeans without a sewing machine?

Step One: Take Measurements

You would need to try the jeans on and measure how long you want them to be. Stand on a small stool instead of the floor so that you can get the measurement right. Cuff the jeans up at the length you want them to be.

Wear the jeans after cuffing them up to make sure that it is now at a length you would not have a problem with. Iron the cuffs to make the cuffing very clear.

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Step 2: Mark the jeans

Mark the measurements on the jeans with pins or chalk. This line is where you want the ends to end.

After getting the how much you want to cut off the jeans, make a marking at half that length. What it means is that if you want to cut 2 inches off your pair of jeans, you’ll need to make a marking at 1 inch or pin the jeans at 1 inch. Do this for both legs.

The marking made at half the length should be at equal distances above and below the original hem. Using our example, it means that there should be a 1-inch line above and below the original hem of the jeans.

Step 3: fold the hem

Fold the jeans up such that the original hemline meets the line or marking that is above it. Cut off the excess material but leave just enough for fraying. Iron the folding again to make it look neat and also easier for you when you start stitching.

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Step 4: Start stitching

Stitch a line below the original hem of the jeans. The stitching should not cut through to the other side of the jeans. You are expected to stitch just the hem with the body of the jean (Two layers of jeans). Make the sewing all around the cuff.

Since you are not using a machine, try as much as possible to make the distance between the seams are equal and straight. Also, try to make this line round the cuff as close to the original seam as possible. This would make the hemming less obvious when the job is done.

Take note that the original seam is supposed to sit just above the length that you want for your jeans. Do not start stitching if this is not the case with your own jeans. Make the necessary adjustments before you start stitching. It would save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

Fold the cuff back down and iron the new seam again.

Can you hem without a sewing machine?

Yes, it is possible to hem without a sewing machine. All that you need to have to do the work successfully are the scissors, glue and a ruler. You will use the ruler to measure the dimensions of the cloth that you need to hem.

Take the scissor and carefully cut out the fabric along the dimensions that you had measured. Proceed to fold it to the size that you desire. Use the glue to hold it together.

Congrats, you have a new pair of pant!

Apart from the jeans, can you hem any other type of material?

Yes, it is possible to hem any other fabric, such as cotton and nylon. However, I would prefer that you work with jeans because it does not complicate the task. It also works out very well as compared to other types of fabrics.

How do you keep raw jean hem from fraying?

One of the biggest challenges to such kind of work is fraying. To prevent this, you will need to mark off a half an inch below the hem.

You will, and then proceed to lay the jeans on a flat surface and turn it inside out. Cutaway the part that you do not need while the jeans is still flat.

That activity will save the jeans from fraying. Proceed to either pull out the loose threads or even throw them in the wash and it will give it the same distressing effect.

Can I cut raw hem jeans?

Yes, you can cut it. I would not advise you to visit the tailor all the time to make the adjustments, yet you can do it in your home, at the comfort of your room. If you have a pair of sharp scissors, you will not require leaving your home to do the cutting.

You will, however, require a tape measure or even a ruler to take the measurements before making any cut. It will be disappointing to discover that you have cut it wrongly because you did not have the correct measurements initially.

How do you fix a raw hem?

You may need to sew the raw hem to reinstate the loose ends from fraying further. To do this, you will use a zigzag or a mock overlock to stitch the hem along the raw edge. Spread the stitches two or even three times to come up with a strong hem that will not easily fray.

If you do it professionally, it will also prevent the stitch from making a ridge on the fabric.

Can you do the hem raw edges by hand?

Yes, it is possible to do it by hand. All that you have to do is to cut out the required size of the fabric and do the sewing and gluing by hand.

Can you wash hem jeans without fraying it?

Such kind of cloth can easily fray. It is because the stitches are not from the sewing machine. You will need to wash it gently without mixing it with other clothes. Do not wash it with warm water as it might make the glue to melt away!


There you have it; you have successfully learned how to hem a jean with original hem without using a sewing machine. You can quickly watch some YouTube videos to get up to speed with what backstitches look like and how you can achieve the easy stitch.

By the end, you would be amazed at how simple this method of hemming can be and you would wish you could collect all the money you spent at the tailor back.

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