How To Hem Jeans By Hand - Clothes Doctor

How To Hem Jeans By Hand

Need help with hemming jeans? We are here to help! Wearing jeans that feel too long or short is never comfortable, and can render a much-loved item unwearable.

Hemming jeans by hand takes little time, knowledge of sewing, and can be done with basic tools at home. If you need equipment, our range of tools are just what you need to get the job done. 

Our brass handled dazzling scissors can cut all fabrics, with the smaller size being great for any fiddly jobs. Then check out our darning needles, that come in ten sizes, and the mending support, for easy sewing. 

Mending Starter Kit 

You will need: measuring tape, scissors, pins, fabric marker, safety pin, thread (usually orange), heavy duty needle. 

1. Whilst wearing your jeans, make a mark with a fabric marker or use a safety pin to fold up one leg to the correct length and then pin. 

2. After you’ve carefully taken the jeans off (avoiding any pins) - measure the pinned amount with your tape measure and use your fabric marker to mark all around the leg of the jeans, making sure it is the same amount around both legs.

hemming jeans

3. Turn the jeans inside out.

jean hem alteration clothes doctor

4. Be sure to leave enough excess fabric to fold in twice - each of the folds needs to be around 1-1.5cm in thickness. 

Shorten trousers

5.  Depending on how much you are shortening by, you may find that you have some excess fabric, which will need trimming. 

6. Turn the excess fabric up on the inside the leg, folding on the marked lines and pin the fold into place.

jean hem alteration clothes doctor

7. Thread your needle with a closely matching colour to the original thread on your jean - traditionally a golden dark orange. Make a knot at the end of the thread to prevent it from being pulled straight through the fabric.

jean hem alteration clothes doctor

8. Begin stitching about 0.4cm from the top edge of the folded fabric. 

9. For a durable backstitch, push the needle into the layer of fabric at the point where you want to start; we recommend starting at the seam to make sure it blends as best as possible.

10. Bring the needle back through both layers of fabric just in front of the previous stitch for the strongest backstitch. This is very similar to a machine stitch.

11. Push the needle back into the fabric at the point between where the needle came in and out of the fabric to create the first stitch.

12. Bring the needle up through the fabric the same distance you came forward in creating the first stitch. These stitches can be as tight or spaced as you want.

jean hem alteration clothes doctor

jean hem alteration clothes doctor

jean hem alteration clothes doctor

13. Repeat this process of one step forward, one step back, until you've made it the entire way around the leg. Remember to carefully remove the pins as you go. 

14. It is important to do a double stitch where the stitching begins and ends to secure the line of stitching.

15. Repeat the process on the other leg. 

16. Press the hems with an iron for a neat professional finish.

jean hem alteration clothes doctor

You'll now have a fresh pair of jeans that fit you perfectly! If you need help hemming jeans, request a quote from our team. Happy hemming! 


For clothing care products that extend the life of your wardrobe favourites, explore our entire range of detergents, mists and tools


Menswear Gift Hamper
Clothes Doctor
Knitwear Mist Duo
Clothes Doctor
Protective Zipped Laundry Wash Bag
Clothes Doctor
Power Trio Eco Wash Kit
Clothes Doctor
Back to blog