How to Shorten Jeans Without Sewing Machine

It seems like everything is all about fast fashion in today’s world. We want our clothes now, and we don’t want to wait for them. Unfortunately, with most things in life, you do get what you pay for, including clothes.

However, there are a few tricks that you can use to get the most out of your clothing without having to spend a lot of money on new items.

In this blog post, we will teach you how to shorten jeans without sewing machine. So, whether your jeans are too long or just not fitting quite right anymore, read on for some simple tips that will have them looking great in no time!

How to Shorten Jeans Without Sewing Machine

Step by Step Guide: How to Shorten Jeans Without Sewing Machine

Step 1: Find Your Jeans

The first thing you will want to do is find your jeans. Make sure they are clean and ironed if need be. You can also take them into a local alterations shop and have it done there, but that will cost much more money than just doing it yourself at home.

Step 2: Prep Your Pants

Once you have found your jeans make sure to take them out of the dryer right when they are finished, or else they will be very wrinkled. Next, you want to get a good pair of sharp scissors and cut off the jeans’ hem where it was originally sewn on.

Make sure not to cut at an angle because this will make the hem look bad. Instead, make sure to cut straight across the bottom of the jeans, where you will find a tight weave in the fabric that makes it appear solid. Once this is done, get your pants ready to be shortened.

Step 3: Mark and Cut

Now that your jeans are ready to be shortened, you need to get a cloth measuring tape and measure from the bottom of your knee up to where you want the jeans’ hem to fall. Once this is done, get a marker or something that you can mark and draw a straight line across where you just measured.

 Just Measure and Cut

Next, get iron and iron your pants before making sure there are no wrinkles; this will make it easier to cut. Once that is done, get your marker and follow the previous line you drew, making sure not to include any extra fabric in this measurement.

Step 4: Distress Jeans

The next step is to take your scissors and start cutting into the jeans where you will be removing length. Make sure not to cut too much because once you have the bottom hemline, it will have a defined point that sticks out from the rest of the jean length. Cut all around both legs of your jeans so that they are full of holes, snags, and rips. You want them to look old and distressed so that they will appear shorter than they are.

Step 5: Reattach Hem Line

Once you have cut your jeans up to the new hemline all around the legs, it is time to remove the fabric below that new hemline. This is done by using a lighter and burning the strands of fabric that once made up the hem.

Try to avoid the actual hem because you do not want to burn it and mess up your newly shortened jeans. Instead, make sure to burn all around so that there is no material left for you to pull off. Once this is done, get your iron and press the hemline to smooth and reattach to where you made your first cut.

Step 6: Sew Hem Line

Now that the previous steps have been completed, you need to take your sewing machine and sew a new hemline below where you burned away all of the excess material. Again, make sure not to get too close to the folded over edge of the material, or it will get caught in your sewing machine’s needle, causing damage to your machine.

If this happens, you will need to take the top of your jeans and remove all visible threads, then cut away any black material caught between the needle and the bobbin. Once this is done, reattach with a simple hand stitch or by using your machine’s reset button. Once the hemline has been sewn down all around, it is time to put the jeans back on.

Take Needle and Sew

Step 7: Put Your Jeans On

Once you have completed these steps, it is time to put your newly shortened jeans back on. Ensure they are washed and ironed if needed before putting them on because once they are sewn in their new length, you cannot wash or dry them in a machine.

Now you can enjoy your favorite pair of jeans that are now the perfect length for you. This is a great way to save money on buying new jeans or getting them tailored, plus it is straightforward, which makes it an even better option.

Some Tips and Suggestions

1. You can shorten to your desired length or just above the ground when barefoot.

2. Pin the jeans before sewing so you won’t miss any spots.

3. It’s best not to use jeans with light colors at the hem area because they may show through when you wear them.

4. You could also sew to create patterns, designs, and stripes.

5. This DIY project is best done on a table with a flat surface area to avoid accidents of ruining your jeans or other clothing items and preventing injury by sewing into your skin!

6. Sewing over pins creates holes that may cause itchy spots when wearing your jean shorts, so remove the pins or sew over them to avoid that. This can be done by sewing very slow with the needle down into the denim.

7. If you don’t have a sewing machine, use fabric glue to apply the hem.

How to Hem Pants by Hand With a Needle and Thread?

The first step in knowing how to hem pants by hand with a needle and thread is to find the proper length for your pants. This step should be addressed while you wear the pants, yet it can also be done before laundering them. The hem of your pant leg should end at the bottom of your heel that is closest to your foot.

The Hem of Your Pant

Most individuals will find the length of their pants is fine after they have worn them for an hour or so, especially if they are sitting down in most cases. Once you find the correct length for your pants, it’s time to get out the needle and thread. First, take a seat at a table with some strong light. If you cannot find strong light, then your bedroom floor would also suffice.

Using a needle appropriate for the thickness of your pant legs, first, pass the thread through the needle’s eye. This should be done by first grasping both ends of the thread and putting it through at once. After this is accomplished, it’s time to tie a knot at the end of your thread.


You can shorten your jeans without a sewing machine to save time and money. However, you need a pair of scissors or heavy-duty shears to cut the fabric at the desired length before hemming with an overlock stitch on your serger. If you don’t have access to either of these tools, use safety pins to hold the raw edges in place while stitching them together using thread that matches the color of your pants.

The result will be uneven seams, but it is better than throwing away perfectly good clothing! We hope this blog post on how to shorten jeans without sewing machine has helped you shorten your jeans manually. If you have any questions or want to know more, then feel free to comment below!

Nancy Behan

Nancy Behan

Nancy is an embroidery artist, fashion blogger and a full time editor at DIY quickly. Nancy edits the fashion section on DIY quickly, focusing on the embroidery and cross stitch articles, alongside with fabric and other costume design elements. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. She loves to work on her own projects, read books and watch romantic movies in her spare time.

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