How To Hem a Dress or Slacks for a Smoother Appearance

Dresses and slacks come in smooth materials that fall smoothly. These garments may be harder to hem than others because of the fabric used. If you have a long dress or slacks that you want to hem, you should know how to do the hemming properly so that you will not end up with garments that do not fall smoothly at the bottom.

Follow these simple steps to learn how to hem your dress or slacks:

  • Materials. The materials you need for hemming your dress or slacks are sewing needle, tailor’s chalk, thread, sewing machine, measuring tape, scissors, ripper, iron and sewing pins.
  • Determine length. Wear the slacks or dress to determine the right length for you. You may also want to wear shoes when you do this, especially for the slacks so that you can see how the material falls over the shoes. Pin up the hem according to the length that you want. This will be the guide when you sew.
  • Mark the hem. Remove the slacks or dress and use the pins as a guide to mark the hem with the tailor’s chalk. Use the measuring tape so that you have equal marks all throughout.
  • Remove sewing. Remove the existing sewing on the hem with the ripper. Be careful when you do this so that you will not damage the material. You can cut out the thread so that it will be easier for you to remove. Afterwards, cut the excess material that you won’t need. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches for the fold of the hem.
  • Edging. Use the zigzag stitching option on your sewing machine and use it to sew the edge of the pants or dress. This will prevent the ends from fraying.
  • Iron. Fold the edge and iron it to form a crease on the material. Do this all throughout the end of the garment. After ironing, inspect the garment to see if you have ironed it straight. You can adjust the ironing if it is not straight.
  • Sew the hem. Now you can sew the hem. Place your garment on the ironing board inside out and start the hemming at the seams. Go around the garment slowly while making sure that your sewing is straight. Remove the guide pins as you go along. If the garment shows tension, you have to adjust the tension settings on the sewing machine until you get a smooth appearance.

Now you can hem your pants and dresses without having to bring it to the tailor. You can learn how to do simple repairs on your clothes so that you can do it on your own. You can also try and create your own dresses by downloading some sewing patterns online. This is a great way to add unique pieces to your wardrobe without having to spend a lot of money. Visit to see a wide range of clothing patterns and other accessories that you can sew.


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