What To Do If Pants Are Too Long?

What To Do If Pants Are Too Long?

Have you ever encountered the frustration of buying a stylish pair of pants, only to find that they are too long? It can be disheartening to discover that your new pants don't fit properly. But fear not, because there are simple solutions to this common problem. Whether it's a pair of dress pants for work or a trendy pair of jeans for a night out, there are ways to alter the length of your pants and achieve a perfect fit. Let's explore what to do if your pants are too long.

When faced with the dilemma of excessively long pants, it's important to consider your options. One option is to visit a professional tailor who can expertly modify the length to suit your needs. This ensures a precise and polished alteration. Alternatively, if you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, you can hem your pants yourself. DIY hemming kits are readily available and provide a convenient and cost-effective solution. No matter which route you choose, the key is to take action and address the issue promptly for a well-fitting pair of pants that will enhance your style and confidence.



What To Do If Pants Are Too Long?

How to Hem Pants: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pants that are too long can be a common problem when it comes to finding the perfect fit. However, there's no need to worry as there are several solutions to this issue. In this article, we will guide you through the process of hemming pants, whether you are a seasoned seamstress or a beginner with no sewing experience. Hemming your pants can save you money from having to visit a tailor and allow you to customize the length to your liking. So, let's get started on how to hem pants!

1. Measure and Mark

The first step in hemming pants is to measure and mark the desired length. Put on the pants and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Determine how much length you want to remove from the bottom of the pants. Measure this length with a tape measure and mark it with a fabric marker or a pin. Make sure the marked line is straight and level all the way around the circumference of the pants.

When measuring, keep in mind that it's better to leave some extra length rather than cutting too short. You can always trim the excess fabric later if needed. Also, consider the type of shoes you will usually wear with the pants and adjust the length accordingly. For example, if you often wear heels, you might want to leave the pants slightly longer to accommodate the height.

After marking the desired length, take off the pants and lay them flat on a clean, flat surface. Use a ruler or a straight edge to connect the marked points and create a straight line for sewing.

2. Cut and Finish Raw Edges

Once you have marked the desired length, it's time to cut off the excess fabric. Using sharp fabric scissors, carefully cut along the marked line. Take your time to ensure a clean and even cut.

After cutting, you need to finish the raw edges to prevent fraying. There are a few methods to finish the edges:

  • Zigzag Stitch: If you have a sewing machine, you can use a zigzag stitch along the raw edge to prevent fraying. Set your machine to a zigzag stitch and sew close to the edge of the fabric.
  • Overlock Stitch: If you have access to an overlock machine or serger, you can use the overlock stitch to finish the raw edges neatly.
  • Binding Tape: Another option is to use binding tape or bias tape to enclose the raw edges. Fold the tape over the raw edge and sew along the tape. This method adds a decorative touch as well.
  • Hand Overcast Stitch: If you prefer hand sewing, you can use a hand overcast stitch to finish the raw edges. Thread a needle with thread that matches the fabric color and sew over the raw edge, making small stitches.

Choose the method that suits your preference and the tools you have available.

3. Fold and Pin

Now it's time to fold and pin the hem. Fold the raw edge up along the marked line, creating a double fold. The width of the fold will depend on how much fabric you want to hide and the thickness of the fabric. Generally, a 1-inch to 2-inch fold works well for most pants.

Once you have folded the fabric, secure it with pins placed perpendicular to the folded edge. Make sure the pins go through both layers of fabric to hold them in place. Space the pins evenly around the circumference of the pants, about 2 inches apart.

After pinning, try the pants on again to check that the length is as desired. Make any necessary adjustments before moving on to the next step.

4. Sew the Hem

Now it's time to sew the hem in place. You have a few options when it comes to stitching:

  • Machine Stitch: If you have a sewing machine, you can use a straight stitch or a blind hem stitch to sew the hem. Sew along the folded edge, removing the pins as you go. Backstitch at the beginning and end to secure the stitches.
  • Hand Stitch: If you prefer hand sewing, you can use a slip stitch to sew the hem. Thread a needle with thread that matches the fabric color. Insert the needle into the folded edge, catching a small amount of the pant fabric. Take a small stitch on the opposite side of the fold, keeping the stitches invisible from the right side of the fabric.

Whichever method you choose, sew all the way around the hem, removing the pins as you go. Take your time to sew neatly and evenly.

After sewing, try the pants on again to make sure the hem sits at the desired length. Make any final adjustments if needed.

5. Optional: Press the Hem

For a professional finish, you can press the hem with an iron. Set the iron to the appropriate temperature for the fabric and press along the hemline, using steam if necessary. Pressing the hem will help it lay flat and give it a polished appearance.

Finally, hang up your newly hemmed pants and admire your handiwork!

Alternatives to Hemming

While hemming is the most common solution for pants that are too long, there are a few alternatives you can consider:

1. Cuffing

Cuffing is a popular alternative to hemming, especially for jeans or casual pants. Instead of cutting off the excess length, you fold the fabric back up on itself to create a cuff. This method allows you to experiment with different cuff widths and adds a stylish touch to your pants.

To cuff your pants, follow these steps:

  • Put on the pants and determine the desired length.
  • Fold the bottom of the pants up to the desired cuff width. Generally, a 1-inch to 2-inch cuff works well.
  • Smooth out the fabric and make sure the cuff is even all the way around.
  • Secure the cuff in place with a few stitches or use a fabric adhesive to keep it in place.

Cuffing is a reversible alteration, allowing you to unfold the cuff and revert to the original length if desired.

2. Using Hem Tape

If you don't want to make any permanent alterations to your pants, using hem tape is a great option. Hem tape is a double-sided adhesive tape designed for temporarily hemming garments without sewing. It provides a quick and easy solution that can be removed later without leaving any residue.

To use hem tape, follow these steps:

  • Put on the pants and determine the desired length.
  • Turn the pants inside out.
  • Apply the hem tape along the bottom edge of the pants.
  • Remove the protective paper from the tape to expose the adhesive.
  • Fold the fabric up along the marked line and press firmly to secure the hem in place.

Hem tape is a temporary solution, and the adhesive will weaken over time. It's best used for short-term alterations.

3. Tailoring

If you don't feel confident in hemming or prefer a professional touch, you can always take your pants to a tailor. A tailor can accurately adjust the length of your pants and ensure a perfect fit. While this option may cost more than doing it yourself, it guarantees high-quality results.

When taking your pants to a tailor, make sure to communicate your desired length and any specific instructions clearly.

Remember, there are different types of tailors, including those who specialize in men's tailoring, women's tailoring, or alterations. Choose a tailor that suits your needs.

By following the steps above or exploring alternative methods, you can confidently address the issue of pants that are too long and achieve the perfect fit. Whether you choose to hem, cuff, use hem tape, or seek professional tailoring services, you can customize your pants to your liking and ensure a polished appearance.


What To Do If Pants Are Too Long?

What To Do If Pants Are Too Long?

If you find yourself with a pair of pants that are too long, there are a few simple solutions you can try:

  • Hem the pants: Sewing a new hem is a common method to shorten pants. You can do this yourself if you have basic sewing skills or take them to a tailor.
  • Use hemming tape: If you don't want to sew, hemming tape can be a quick alternative. Simply fold the pants to the desired length, iron the hemming tape, and press it onto the fabric.
  • Roll or cuff the pants: Another option is to roll or cuff the bottom of the pants. This can create a stylish look and temporarily shorten the pants.
  • Try a belt: If the length is only slightly too long, wearing a belt can help keep the pants in place and prevent them from dragging on the ground.
  • Alter the waistline: If the pants are too long overall, you may need to alter the waistline as well. This is a more complicated alteration that may require the assistance of a professional tailor.

Remember, it's important to consider the fabric and cut of the pants before making any alterations. Taking proper measurements and using the right techniques will ensure that your pants look neat and tailored to your desired length.


Key Takeaways

  • Roll or cuff the hem of the pants for a trendy and temporary fix.
  • Use a needle and thread or fabric glue to hem the pants for a permanent alteration.
  • Take the pants to a tailor for professional alterations.
  • Consider wearing heels or platform shoes to compensate for the extra length.
  • Use safety pins to temporarily shorten the pants for a quick solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you find yourself with pants that are too long, there are several simple solutions that can help you achieve the perfect fit. Here are some commonly asked questions about what to do if your pants are too long, along with professional advice on how to resolve this issue.

1. How can I shorten my pants without sewing?

Shortening your pants without sewing can be done using iron-on hem tape. Start by measuring how much length you need to remove from your pants, then fold the excess fabric under and secure it with the tape. Ensure that the hem is even and pressed firmly to make it stick. Take caution when washing your pants as the tape may not withstand heavy-duty cycles.

If you prefer not to use iron-on tape, you can also use fabric glue, fusible webbing, or adhesive hemming tape. These options are quick and easy alternatives to sewing, providing a temporary fix for your pants.

2. What if I do not have access to hemming supplies?

If you do not have access to hemming supplies, a simple solution is to use safety pins. Start by measuring how much length you need to shorten your pants. Then fold the excess fabric under and secure it with safety pins. Be sure to spread the pins out evenly and hide them within the fold to maintain a neat appearance.

Please keep in mind that safety pins are not a permanent solution, and you may need to readjust them throughout the day. It is best to use this method as a temporary fix until you can properly hem your pants or obtain the necessary supplies.

3. Can I shorten pants at home if they have a cuff?

Yes, you can shorten pants at home even if they have a cuff. The first step is to remove the cuff by carefully undoing the stitching. Once the cuff is removed, measure how much length you need to remove and fold the excess fabric under. Pin it in place, ensuring that the fold is even all around.

Next, sew along the pinned area using a sewing machine or needle and thread. Alternatively, you can use hemming tape or fabric glue to secure the fold. Once the alteration is complete, you can reattach the cuff if desired by sewing it back in place. Ensure that the new hem matches the original cuff in length and appearance.

4. What if my pants are too long and have a design or pattern at the hem?

If your pants have a design or pattern at the hem that you want to preserve, it is best to seek professional alteration services. Hemming pants with intricate designs requires precision and expertise to maintain the integrity of the pattern. A professional tailor will have the necessary skills to shorten your pants while keeping the original design intact.

5. Should I consider getting my pants professionally altered?

If you have tried DIY methods but are not satisfied with the results or if your pants require major alterations, it is advisable to seek the services of a professional tailor or seamstress. They have the expertise and equipment needed to alter your pants to the perfect fit. Professional alterations ensure that your pants are tailored according to your body measurements and preferences, resulting in a polished and customized look.



So there you have it! If you find yourself with pants that are too long, there are several simple steps you can take to fix the problem.

First, consider trying different styles or brands that offer petite or shorter inseam options. This can save you time and effort in altering the pants yourself. If you prefer to do it yourself, you can hem the pants by folding the fabric and sewing it. Alternatively, you can use fabric tape or adhesive hemming tape for a temporary fix. Remember to measure and pin the desired length before making any alterations. Finally, if you're not confident in your sewing skills, taking your pants to a tailor is a great option.


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