How to Mark an Even Pants Hem

Men pants
  brazzo / Getty Images

Remove The Original Hem:


  • Remove the original hem, making note of the amount of hem the manufacturer had in the garment, as well as how the original hem was constructed.
  • Press the original hem out of the garment.


Wear Your Shoes:


  • Not all shoes are the same. A heel will change the amount of space available on the front of the foot for a hem to hang freely.
  • A flat shoe will almost follow the normal foot for hemline availability.
  • The padding on the top of the sneaker will effect how a hem hangs on the front of the foot.
  • The same hemline will land on a different part of the foot depending on the type of shoe that is worn. With a heel the front of the pant leg has enough clearance to hang freely and not crinkle the line of the pant leg. A flat shoe does not have that clearance and the pant leg is going to crinkle due to it riding on the shoe.




  • Stand up straight. Your body posture will affect the length of the garment. Standing so you are bending in any direction will not allow you to get a straight hem.


Work From The Side Of The Foot:


  • As shown in the photo, working from the front and back of the shoe, you can not see the other side of the foot and where your instincts tell you to put the hem will not result in a straight line that is horizontally even to the floor.


Measure From The Floor:


  • Set the end of a ruler on the floor. Place a straight pin horizontal to the floor at the desired mark on the ruler.
  • Move the ruler to place as many straight pins as possible, without twisting the pant leg as you place the pins.
  • Repeat for the other side on the shoe.


Finish Pinning:


  • Take off the pants and continue the straight pins in the areas that were on the top of the foot, by measuring the distance they are from the bottom of the pant leg in the areas you could mark.


Turn The Hem:


  • Use the pin line as your hem turning line. Pin the hem to the inside of the pant leg.
  • Gently press the new hemline.


Double Check:


  • Try the pants on again. Make any adjustments repeating the above steps, if necessary.


Finish The Hem:


  • Trim excess fabric and sew the hem as closely to the way the manufacturer sewed the original hem.


What constitutes a straight hem?:


  • You want a hemline to be evenly horizontal to the floor. Where ever you measure the hem it should be an even distance from the floor.
  • Notions are made to enable you to hem your own garments. The Deluxe Chalk Hem Marker by Dritz® is a perfect solution to hemming a garment by yourself.
  • Without special tools you will need someone else to mark the hem for you.