How to Blind Hem Pants with a Sewing Machine and by Hand

Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Research Writer
Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always read more
Reviewed By
Isabel Misner
Isabel Misner
Expert Consultant
A professional seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step read more
Last updated: September 16, 2023
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We all have a new pair of pants we haven’t gotten a chance to wear because they are too long. Well, it’s time to get that stunning blind hem that you have been putting off for a while now. Blind hems look neat, professional and well-thought through. The stitching is usually invisible on the face of the garment. Surprisingly, learning how to blind hem pants isn’t so hard.

You can sew a blind hem with your hands if you don’t have a sewing machine. There isn’t much difference when you use a sewing machine except the nearly invisible stitches on the outside of the garment. When you sew a blind hem by hand, the hand stitches are hidden inside the fold of the hem. The stitches remain invisible both inside and outside. Whereas a machine will only make the stitches professional and hard to see.

What is a blind stitch hem?

How to Blind Hem Pants with a Sewing Machine and by Hand

A blind stitch hem is a phenomenal way of creating an invisible hem for your projects. In essence, it is a hem with invisible stitches on the outside of the garment. Most of the skirts, dresses and pants in your closet have the blind hem. Traditionally, the stitch was only done by hand but today you can stitch invisibly on any modern sewing machine.

The invisibility of a blind stitch hem is achieved by using thread that matches the fabric and creating tiny vertical stitches that blend into the fabric. It is easier to achieve on patterned fabrics that are lightweight.

A blind stitch hem is best suited to straight hems, commonly found on skirts and pant legs. You can use it anywhere on a garment where you need a wider hem with an invisible finish. The blind hem stitch can be done on various types of materials including cotton, twill and canvas.

Top tip: if you are working on a really thick fabric, you better use a bias tape rather than make a blind hem.

How to blind hem pants by hand

Any sewist should add hand sewing to their skill set because there are times when all you need or have is needle and thread to work on a project. With the right tools and materials, you can join two pieces of fabric with invisible seams using your hand. Here is some more information on hand sewing if you are a complete novice.

How to Blind Hem Pants with a Sewing Machine and by Hand

Here is a clear step by step guide on how to blind hem pants by hand:

Step 1

Gather all the materials. You will need a pair of scissors, thread, an iron, hand sewing needles and the garment you intend to hem. Invest in high quality sewing needles. The Tulip Needle 6 Piece Set comes highly recommended by top reviewers. It is incredibly affordable and it offers 6 different types of needles for applique, quilting, hand sewing, patchwork, milliner and embroidery.

Step 2

Figure out exactly where you want your hem to fall, then mark it with a pencil, chalk or water soluble pen. The markings should be on the right side of the garment. You can trim the raw edge before turning it under in a fold. Use an iron to press the fold.

Step 3

Next, thread the needle with a single strand then tie the knot on one end. If you find this tedious or impossible due to bad eyesight or whatever reason, you can invest in a hand needle threader.

Step 4

Insert the needle with thread into the fold of your garment’s predetermined hem. Make sure you insert the needle upwards to hide the knot inside the fold. You can use pins to keep the fold intact during sewing. If you are not keen on using pins, be extra careful because the hem can turn out skewed and the last thing you want is ripping off your hard work when you’re done.

Step 5

Pick one or two pieces of thread from the wrong side of the fabric, not too far from where you placed the needle then pull them towards you to tighten.

Step 6

Next, reinsert the needle into the fold once more and slide through. The thread should be completely invisible under the fold. By now, your stitch pattern should look like upside down Vs. You can remove the pins slowly as you reach them for an easier time.

Also, when sewing, be keen on maintaining the same even tension so that your fabric won’t pucker or get too loose.

Step 7

Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you reach the end of the hem. After you have done your last stitch, create a knot by looping in the needle before you tighten it. If you want the knot to be more secure, you can repeat the knotting technique so that you have a double knot. Getting the double depends on the weight of your fabric.

Step 8

Once you are done creating the knot on the last stitch, you can cut off the excess thread with a pair of scissors. Use an iron to press any creases before flipping the hem to the right side.

How to blind hem pants with a sewing machine

How to Blind Hem Pants with a Sewing Machine and by Hand

Stitching a blind hem on a sewing machine is quicker compared to sewing by hand. You only need a sewing machine with a zig zag foot and a blind hem stitch. If you don’t have a machine and are looking to invest in one, check out the popular SINGER 7258. It is the most recommended sewing machine because of the versatility and convenience it offers with its high-end features. It has 100 stitches, is remarkably lightweight and features and automatic needle threader that saves your time.

With all the tools and materials gathered, here is how to blind hem pants with a sewing machine:

Step 1

Turn your garment wrong side out then mark the hems.

Step 2

Press the edge. If you are working on a lightweight material, use an iron to press the edge. If the fabric is heavy, you can run a zig zag stitch on the edge. Press the edge once more then place pins along the hem.

Step 3

Fold the hem backwards, so that at least 3mm is poking out of the edge.

Step 4

Thread your machine with a matching thread then select the blind stitch on the settings. Use a width and length of 2-3. This may vary across different brands, plus, not all machines come with the blind stitch setting. Keep the needle aligned with the extending edge of the hem.

Step 5

Stitch. Most sewing machines feature a special foot for blind hemming. If yours doesn’t have the feature, you can still sew but you will have to concentrate harder to sew straight.

The blind hem stitch includes 5 straight stitches and a zig zag stitch.

Place the fabric under your machine so that the zig-zag part of the stitch only pieces through its folded top edge. The straight stitches should fall under the extended fold of the hem. If your machine has the blind stitch foot, the guide will be well aligned with the folded edge. Maintain the alignment as you sew and remember to remove the pins everytime you reach them.

When you are done stitching the length of the hem, there should be a beautiful blind hem stitch on the inside and invisible stitches on the outside.

Step 6

Fold the hem down so that the stitches pull slightly. Use an iron to press the fabric after you are done. It will not only get rid of stubborn creases but also meld the stitches into the hem, making them more invisible.

Pro Tips: if you plan on blind hemming pants, put them on with shoes to be sure of the length you want first before you begin the entire process.

Use thread with a color that matches your garment. This helps make the stitches more invisible.

Final thoughts

A blind hem stitch is a great way of creating an invisible deep hem on pants, skirts or an unlined jacket. Once you learn how to blind hem pants and other garments, you will enjoy wearing your clothes at the desired height. We have provided clear guidelines and tricks that will help you master the craft whether you are a beginner sewist or an advanced learner.

You can blind hem with your hands or sewing machine. Both give incredible results. You don’t need the fanciest sewing machine. It only needs to have the blind stitch hem option in the stitch settings. If it has the blind hem foot the better if it doesn’t, you can still do without provided you pay extra attention to sew straight.

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