how to hem pants using iron-on adhesive tape hunker

by:CROWN     2024-05-09

Whether you accidentally bought a pair of pants that are just a tad too long or you've recently lost weight and want to update the hem on your favorite trousers, learning how to hem pants can be a valuable skill. While traditional sewing methods can be time-consuming and tricky, there's an alternative solution that's quick, easy, and doesn't require any needle and thread. Iron-on adhesive tape, also known as hemming tape, can be a game-changer when it comes to hemming pants. With this versatile tape, you can achieve professional-looking results in no time, even if you're not a seasoned seamstress. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of hemming pants using iron-on adhesive tape, providing you with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips along the way.

Sewing Supplies You'll Need

Before diving into the process of hemming pants using iron-on adhesive tape, it's important to gather all the necessary supplies. Here's a list of items you'll need:

- Iron-on adhesive tape: Look for a quality iron-on adhesive tape that is designed for hemming purposes. It's usually sold in rolls and can be found in the sewing section of most craft stores.

- Iron: You'll need a regular household iron to activate the adhesive on the tape.

- Scissors: A sharp pair of fabric scissors will come in handy for trimming excess fabric and tape.

- Measuring tape or ruler: A measuring tool is essential for determining the desired length of your pants and creating an even hem.

- Pins: Although pins aren't required when using iron-on adhesive tape, they can be useful for holding fabric in place during the hemming process.

- Ironing board or flat surface: A sturdy ironing board or a flat surface protected by a thick towel will provide a stable and heat-resistant workspace.

Now that you have all the necessary supplies, let's move on to the step-by-step process of hemming pants using iron-on adhesive tape.

Preparing the Pants

The first step in hemming pants is to prepare the garment for alterations. Start by washing and drying the pants according to the care instructions on the label. This step is essential because fabric can shrink or expand after laundering, so it's best to have the pants in their final form before hemming. Once the pants are dry, put them on and fold the excess fabric up to the desired length. Use a mirror or ask a friend to help ensure that the fold is even all the way around both pant legs. Once you're satisfied with the length, carefully remove the pants and lay them flat on your workspace.

Measuring and Cutting the Adhesive Tape

To determine the amount of iron-on adhesive tape you'll need, measure the circumference of one pant leg at the hem. Double this measurement to account for both sides of the leg. Next, measure the length of the hem fold. Add an extra inch or two for any adjustments or mistakes during the process. Roll out the iron-on adhesive tape to match the measurements you've just taken, then use scissors to cut the tape to size. Make sure the ends of the tape are cut straight to achieve a clean finish.

Securing the Adhesive Tape to the Fabric

With the adhesive tape cut to size, it's time to secure it to the fabric. Peel off the backing paper from the adhesive tape, exposing the sticky side. Position the tape along the inside of the fold, aligning it with the edge of the fabric. Make sure the tape is centered on the fold, with an equal amount of fabric on either side. Use pins to temporarily secure the tape in place if desired, but avoid pinning through both layers of fabric to prevent any unwanted marks. Repeat this process for each pant leg.

Ironing the Adhesive Tape

Once the adhesive tape is in place, it's time to activate the adhesive using an iron. Set your iron to the appropriate heat setting for the fabric you're working with. It's crucial to read the instructions on the adhesive tape packaging to determine the correct heat setting, as different fabrics may require different temperatures. Once the iron is heated, carefully press it over the adhesive tape, applying steady pressure for about 10-15 seconds in each area. Be sure to cover the entire length of the tape, moving the iron slowly and smoothly. Repeat this process for the other pant leg.

Allowing the Hem to Cool

After ironing the adhesive tape, it's important to allow the pant legs to cool completely before handling them. This cooling period ensures that the adhesive sets properly, creating a secure bond between the fabric and the tape. Lay the pants flat on a cool surface or hang them up by the waistband to prevent any additional creasing or wrinkling.

Trimming Excess Fabric and Tape

Once the hem has cooled, it's time to trim any excess fabric and tape. Carefully examine the hem to ensure that it's even and straight. Use a pair of fabric scissors to trim off any excess fabric, leaving a clean edge. Be cautious not to cut through the adhesive tape while trimming. If you notice any loose edges or corners of the adhesive tape, use the tip of the scissors to gently lift them and apply additional heat using the iron to secure them in place.


Hemming pants using iron-on adhesive tape is a quick and convenient alternative to traditional sewing methods. This DIY technique allows you to achieve professional-looking results without the hassle of needle and thread. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this article, you'll be able to hem your pants with ease. Just remember to gather all the necessary supplies, prepare the pants properly, measure and cut the adhesive tape accurately, and secure and iron the tape to create a durable bond. With a little bit of practice, you'll be able to hem your pants flawlessly every time. So grab your iron and adhesive tape, and get ready to transform your pants into the perfect length!

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