How to Hem with Machine Stitch

I put together this video on how to hem something (usually pants) using a machine stitched hem. This type of hem is used on what I think of as casual clothing, usually cotton, such as jeans or uniform pants. These are the most common places where I use a machine stitched hem to shorten the legs on pants or shorts. You might find this type of hem on a skirt as well although more commonly you’ll find a hand stitched hem on these.

One great application for this hem is if you need to turn a pair of pants into shorts. I do this with the school uniform pants whenever the knees get blown out of them. The boys are particularly hard on the kneed of these pants and it doesn’t seem to matter how reinforced they are, eventually they wear out. Especially when I try to pass down the uniforms – by the time they get to the second child, if the knees are still intact, they won’t be by the end of the year. Here in Georgia, the kids wear shorts a good bit of the year, so I always feel good about extending the life of the pants by turning them into shorts. For me,  the trickiest part of turning the pants into shorts is the measuring to make sure both legs are exactly the same length – it really shows if they’re not. Once you cut the excess off, following my video tutorial below should show you how to re-create that stitched hem for the shorts.

This process can also be used for jeans. The only difference would be to use a heavier, denim, needle in your machine. And, as a nice finishing option, you can buy “jeans” or “denim” thread that is a little heavier and comes in the typical colors found on most jeans. I like the classic gold color and also found a nice gray/light blue that looks like the lighter, white color you see on some jeans. You can use any thread in hemming, but the jeans thread really gives the pants a finished look as if they were never altered.