Freckles in April: DIY: How to Lengthen a Pair of Pants (or Skirt)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DIY: How to Lengthen a Pair of Pants (or Skirt)

Aaron, bless him, is of the tall and skinny persuasion. Pants that fit him in the waist are never long enough in the leg.

He recently got himself a new pair of church pants that needed at least another inch of length. There wasn't quite enough in the hem for me to give him that much without a little help. Here's a little ninja trick to get the very most out of an existing hem.


First, unpick your hem. That line in the middle by my index finger is where the bottom of the original hem was.

Cut a strip of fabric about 2 inches wide. This will be inside the hem so it doesn't really matter what it looks like but I still went with something that at least sort of matched the pants. A pattern could be fun though.

Match up the fabric with the edge of the pants, right sides together. Leave some free at the end.

Sew the fabric to the pants using a narrow seam allowance. Again, leave some free at the end.

Here's the extra I left at either end. Sew the ends together as close to the pants as possible.

Like so. Minus the finger.

Trim the extra then bust out your iron. Press your seam up toward the pants.

Then fold under 1/4 inch of the fabric at the end and press.

Then fold your extra fabric under and press.

Stitch in your new hem.

And done!

A quick run through the wash got rid of the old seam lines and Aaron's pants hit his shoes. And he brags to pretty much everyone at church that I lengthened his pants. Glory to me!


  1. you are a hemsmith.

    so smart -- totally using this as soon as I make it to the store with my debit card -- hopefully before 2016.

    Aaron didn't want to model his new longs?

    come ON.

  2. I did this to a pair of slacks I found on super sale (but were a little too short) recently. I didn't know the "real" way to do it, but it worked just fine. (And I was pleased with myself.) Thanks for this tutorial. I'll be using your method next time!

  3. I know you do quite a bit of sewing... I am wondering what your suggestion is for a good, affordable machine. My current [very loved] antique Singer can only do so much and I am looking for something with more options that can accomplish more (ie. quilts, button holes, wovens without needing a serger, etc.).

  4. And if a run through the washer doesn't get rid of the old hem line, a spritz of white vinegar before ironing will wipe it out for good!

  5. Haaaaa-haaaaaa, I just saw my comment from five years ago!! Hilarious. (Also, I had forgotten about this method. Obvs!)


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