How To Hem A Shirt With A Sewing Machine?

How To Hem A Shirt With A Sewing Machine?

When it comes to hemming a shirt with a sewing machine, there are a few tricks and techniques that can help you achieve a professional finish. Did you know that hemming a shirt with a sewing machine not only gives it a polished look but also helps to prolong its lifespan? By hemming the shirt, you can prevent fraying and ensure that the fabric stays intact for longer. So, let's dive into the world of sewing and learn how to hem a shirt with a sewing machine.

Hemming a shirt with a sewing machine involves a few key steps. First, you'll need to measure and mark the desired length of the hem. Next, you'll want to press the fabric to create a crisp fold. Then, using a sewing machine, you can stitch along the folded edge to secure the hem in place. This process not only gives the shirt a clean and professional look but also helps to prevent the fabric from unraveling over time. With the right tools and a little practice, you can easily hem a shirt and enjoy a perfectly tailored fit.



How To Hem A Shirt With A Sewing Machine?

Choosing the Right Stitch and Needle

When it comes to hemming a shirt with a sewing machine, one of the first things you need to consider is the stitch and needle you choose. Different fabrics require different stitches and needles to ensure a clean and professional-looking hem.

If you're working with lightweight fabrics like cotton or polyester, a straight stitch is usually sufficient. However, if you're hemming a knit shirt or a fabric with stretch, using a zigzag stitch can help accommodate the fabric's stretch while still securing the hem. As for the needle, a universal needle with a size appropriate for the fabric weight is a safe choice. For lightweight fabrics, a smaller needle size like 70/10 or 80/12 would work well, while heavier fabrics may require a larger needle size like 90/14.

Remember to always test the stitch and needle on a scrap piece of fabric before hemming your shirt to ensure the desired result.

Here's a helpful table for reference:

Fabric Type Stitch Type Needle Size
Lightweight Fabrics (Cotton, Polyester) Straight Stitch 70/10 or 80/12
Knits and Stretch Fabrics Zigzag Stitch 70/10 or 80/12
Denim, Heavy Fabrics Straight Stitch 90/14 or 100/16

Preparing the Shirt for Hemming

Before you start hemming your shirt with a sewing machine, it's important to prepare the shirt to ensure a smooth and even hem. Follow these steps:

  • Wash and iron the shirt: Make sure the shirt is clean and free from any wrinkles. Ironing the hemline will help you achieve a precise hem.
  • Try on the shirt: Put the shirt on and mark the desired length of the hem using pins or fabric chalk. It's important to wear the shirt because the weight of the fabric can cause it to hang differently when worn.
  • Measure and mark the hemline: Take off the shirt and use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the distance from the existing hemline to the desired final hemline. Mark this measurement evenly around the shirt using pins or fabric chalk.
  • Trim the excess fabric: Once the hemline is marked, carefully trim off any excess fabric, leaving a seam allowance of about 1/2 inch. This will ensure that you have enough fabric to create a clean hem.

Pinning and Pressing the Hem

Now that your shirt is prepared, it's time to pin and press the hem. Follow these steps:

  • Fold the fabric: Fold the fabric along the marked hemline, wrong sides facing each other. Use the pins to secure the folded fabric in place, making sure the hem is even all around the shirt.
  • Press the hem: Iron the folded hem to create a crisp and well-defined crease. This will make it easier to sew the hem and ensure a straight line.

Sewing the Hem with a Sewing Machine

With the hem pinned and pressed, it's time to sew the hem using a sewing machine. Follow these steps:

  • Select the appropriate stitch: Set your sewing machine to the appropriate stitch for the fabric you're working with. For lightweight fabrics, use a straight stitch, while knits and stretch fabrics require a zigzag stitch.
  • Start sewing: Begin sewing along the hemline, removing the pins as you go. Keep the edge of the fabric aligned with the edge of the presser foot to ensure a straight and even line.
  • Sew slowly and steadily: Take your time and sew slowly to ensure accuracy. Maintain a consistent seam allowance as you sew around the entire hemline.

Finishing Touches


How To Hem A Shirt With A Sewing Machine?

Hemming a Shirt with a Sewing Machine

When it comes to hemming a shirt with a sewing machine, there are a few steps you can follow to achieve professional-looking results.

First, measure the desired length for your shirt and mark it with pins. Then, turn your shirt inside out and use a seam ripper to carefully remove the existing hem. After that, press the new hemline and fold it up using an iron.

Next, set up your sewing machine with a straight stitch and match the thread color to your shirt. Sew the new hemline close to the fold, removing the pins as you go. Finally, press the hem again to give it a professional finish.

Remember to practice on scrap fabric before hemming your shirt to ensure that you have the right tension and stitch length. Taking your time and following these steps will help you achieve a neat and polished hem on your shirt.


Key Takeaways - How To Hem A Shirt With A Sewing Machine?

  • Measure your desired hem length and mark it on the shirt.
  • Use a ruler or measuring tape to ensure a straight line.
  • Pin the hem in place, making sure the fabric is smooth and wrinkle-free.
  • Set up your sewing machine with the appropriate thread and needle.
  • Sew along the marked line using a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to hemming a shirt with a sewing machine, there are often some common questions that arise. In this section, we are going to address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this topic.

1. How do I prepare the shirt for hemming?

Before you start hemming, it is important to prepare the shirt properly. Begin by washing and ironing the shirt to remove any wrinkles. Then, measure and mark the desired length of the hem using pins or tailor's chalk. Make sure to evenly mark the entire circumference of the shirt to ensure a symmetrical hem.

Next, turn the shirt inside out and fold the fabric up to the marked hemline. Pin the fold in place so that it stays secure throughout the sewing process. By properly preparing the shirt, you will have a smoother and more accurate hemming experience.

2. What type of stitch should I use for hemming a shirt?

When hemming a shirt with a sewing machine, it is recommended to use a straight stitch. This is a basic stitch that provides a clean and professional finish to the hem. Set your sewing machine to a straight stitch and adjust the stitch length according to the fabric's thickness. Test the stitch on a scrap piece of fabric before proceeding to hem the actual shirt.

Ensure that the stitch is even and secure by sewing along the marked hemline. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the hem to prevent unraveling. A straight stitch will give your hem a neat and polished look.

3. Should I use a sewing machine foot when hemming a shirt?

Using a sewing machine foot can be beneficial when hemming a shirt. A standard presser foot can help to keep the fabric in place and prevent it from shifting or stretching during the sewing process. However, if you are comfortable and confident in your sewing skills, you may choose to sew without a sewing machine foot.

For delicate or slippery fabrics, it is recommended to use a walking foot or a Teflon foot. These specialty feet can help to feed the fabric evenly and smoothly through the sewing machine, resulting in a more precise hem.

4. How do I finish the raw edge of the hem?

To finish the raw edge of the hem, you have a few options. One common method is to use an overlock or serger machine to sew a zigzag stitch along the edge of the fabric. This helps to prevent fraying and gives the hem a clean and professional look.

If you do not have an overlock machine, you can also use a simple zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. Set the stitch width and length to your desired specifications and sew along the raw edge of the fabric. Be sure to test the zigzag stitch on a scrap piece of fabric before applying it to the hem.

5. Do I need to finish the hem by hand?

While finishing the hem by hand is a traditional method, it is not necessary when hemming a shirt with a sewing machine. Using a sewing machine allows you to create a clean and professional hem quickly and efficiently. However, if you prefer a hand-sewn finish or if the fabric requires delicate handling, you can opt to finish the hem by hand using a slipstitch.

Ensure that the hand stitches are small and discreet, and try to match the thread color to the fabric for a seamless look. Finishing the hem by hand can add a personalized touch to the garment and may be preferred for certain fabrics or designs.



In conclusion, hemming a shirt with a sewing machine is a simple and effective way to achieve a clean and professional-looking finish. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this article, you can easily hem your shirt and give it a customized fit.

Remember to measure and mark the desired length, fold the fabric, and use a proper stitch on your sewing machine. Take your time and sew carefully to ensure accurate and neat hems. With a little practice, you'll be able to confidently hem your shirts and other garments, saving yourself time and money.


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