Learning how to hem pants without sewing is a very useful skill. You know the feeling, you find a great pair of pants at they big mall sale or a killer pair of vintage trousers and the legs are just too long. Even at a bargain price, you worry about the cost of getting them hemmed by a neighborhood tailor or seamstress. If you are not good with a needle and thread and do not have access to a sewing machine, there is still a cheap and easy way to hem pants without sewing. This method is quick and easy and remarkably durable wash after wash.
Things You Will Need
The things you will need for this are mostly things you already have around the house. An iron with steam feature, an ironing board, a washcloth, handkerchief or handtowel, scissors, pins or tape, and some fabric tape like StitchWitch or Steam-A-Seam (available at most fabric or big box stores like Walmart, Kmart, Target). Most importantly are the things you DO NOT need - a needle and thread!
To find you proper length, put the trousers on and cuff them to the desired length. With pins or regular tape tack them enough to hold and remove them. Take your iron and iron the folded cuff to put a nice crease along the bottom. This will be your reference point when you turn them inside out and recuff.
Turn the pants inside out and untack the cuff and now cuff it again, only this time the surplus material will be facing the pantleg interior where it won't be seen. Use the ironed crease to make sure you get the length right again. At this point, it would not hurt to re-iron the crease to keep the cuff nice and flat.
Using your scissors, cut two pieces of the fabric tape for each cuff the same length as the width of the pantleg. One piece of fabric tape will be used on either side of the cuff. Now place the fabric tape in between the cuff and the pantleg. Make sure it lays flat and true.
Once you have the fabric tape in place, take your washcloth or towel and dampen it. This will be used as a pressing cloth. It helps distribute heat and will also stop any stray bits of fabric tape from melting to your iron. Once it is damp, place it over the cuff area directly on top of the fabric taped area.
Set the iron to steam setting (generally 'wool' will be good) and let it heat up properly. Once warm, press the iron onto the damp press cloth for at least 10 seconds. DO NOT move the iron around, but just hold it in one spot. Repeat this process for the other side of the cuff and then repeat the same steps for the other pantleg.
You can cut off any surplus cuff material at the point. The rest of the cuff will stay firmly bound and the tape will help prevent fray. You can also use pinking shears to remove the extra material The tape will bond the fabric nicely and now your pants can be turned rightside out and are ready to wash or wear.
This is a simple no-sew hem for anyone that doesn't have the talent or tools to sew a hem otherwise. You will be happy with the results and you will save money! No more putting those clearance dress slacks back on the rack. You will have confidence that you can hem them. Sewing is great when you have the time to do it, but in a pinch this fabric tape is a great product and you will find several uses for it around the house!