Shortening Pants or Sleeves

July 24, 2012

Pants Too LongFold the pants up, cut the extra off and re-hem, keeping the original hem/seam. Picture shows a better example. If you are using a sewing machine no need to change out to a heavier needle either. Always use clear thread, like fishing line. It will last longer and you never need a color.


By Janace Lynn M. from Texoma

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
August 26, 2019

I recently found some cool pedal pushers in my community center. I hate the length, but they fit for shorts, so I had to cut them down. Sometimes, getting each leg the same is a challenge.

Getting the Perfect Length on Cut-off Pants - pink pants and the bottom of a pair of grey pants

April 4, 2007

Tips for novices sewers about how to shorten long sleeves and pants. Also advice on beginning sewing machines.


December 14, 2013

Buy some lace, about 2 inches wide in any color you like. Fold in half lengthwise and press with a warm iron.


Bind edge of sleeve, like you bind a potholder. Sew with thread of the same color as the lace.


8 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

January 2, 2012

I need help in shortening the sleeves in a lined leather jacket. I am not sure how to anchor the lining back to the leather without doing it by hand since it was sewn from the inside when it was made.

By Ann G.


January 5, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

It can be done, with a 'hidden stitch'. I am not a good explainer LOL, so it would be best if you could search for images or videos on how to do one, if you don't already know. You would fold the edge of the leather inside, to the length you want, then fold the lining down, shorter than the leather, so that it doesn't show from the outside. It needs to be secured well with pins, but not through the outside layer of leather, only through the inside part that is folded in, and the lining material.


The hidden stitch is done by hand, catching both the lining, and the inner edge of the leather, without going through the outside leather that shows. I am hoping that you can find a video of how to do this.

Best of luck to you!


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 282 Feedbacks
January 5, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

You should be able to unpick the lining from the leather, shorten it, tuck it into the inside turned up bit of the leather, then stitch it with the machine at the same time you machine stitch the new hem on the leather.

You'll need to be sure that your bobbin thread matches the colour of the other topstitching if you stitch from the inside as it is the bobbin thread that will show on the outside; make sure that your stitch length matches the rest of the topstitching, too, for best appearance.


Some machines that will sew leather, sew a nicer looking bobbin thread stitch than top stitch, you'll need to experiment to be sure what side you want to stitch, inside or outside, to get a good looking match. Use the leather you trimmed whilst shortening the sleeve, and make sure to add the lining scraps too, as you experiment as you may have different results in the machine stitching with and without the leather and lining materials together.

Also, no pins, FBSM is so right! Use a double sided tape instead to do any basting.

Answer this Question

November 9, 2006

I have a forest green robe I got at a great sale, but the sleeves were too long. I cut too much off by mistake, and now have no room for a hem. They are exactly the right length if I don't lop off any more material! Is there any way I can finish off the sleeves? I was thinking of just overstitching a hem, but same color, right? Or not. I don't have a machine and am not a great seamstress here so piping is out, and the cost of having it done would probably make it not worth it as I got it for a song.

Any ideas on the above anyone?

Thanks so much.
Anjeena from New York


November 9, 20060 found this helpful

Buy a wide satin blanket binding or even a wide fleece blanket binding and sew it on. It will look like a decorative trim. You might even want to add it to the bottom hem of your robe to continue the theme.


You can find blanket binding by the zippers in fabric stores.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
November 10, 20060 found this helpful

If you could stand with a smidgen less of asleeve - you could sew the binding (or use seam binding) to the inside edge of the sleeve - & then use it as a hem - (Maybe if using satin - with a little bit showing at the edge?)

By (Guest Post)
November 10, 20060 found this helpful

I was thinking you could use a wide ribbon to finish off the edging. Just get something thick enough (not sheer or lace) and pretty.

By Wendy Hervey Bay, Australia (Guest Post)
November 10, 20060 found this helpful

You could buy a small about of toweling in a contrasting, or complementary colour & make a binding for the sleeves, & make a pocket as well. That will balance the addition on the sleeves you need for the robe. However, if it already has pocket/s, go with the satin binding idea, but add it somewhere on the pocket/s as well.


Either as an edging, or as an iron on applique - but hand stitch the applique as well, as 'iron-on' can be a little difficult when used on toweling, or any other 'raised surface' fabric.
Good Luck with it, and maybe you could send us in a photo when it's done, so we can see how it went.

By Linda (Guest Post)
November 10, 20060 found this helpful

Use hem binding or wide ribbon, you can easily sew this on by hand.

By Linda (Guest Post)
November 10, 20060 found this helpful

Use hem binding or wide ribbon, you can easily sew this on by hand.

November 11, 20060 found this helpful

Since you don't have a sewing machine, you could hand sew a wide bias double fold tape to the edge of your sleeves. Use the same color or a complementory color.The bias tape will encase the edge of your sleeves when finished. Sew the inside first. You will find that one folded edge is slightly wider than the other. Be sure it is on the right side of the sleeve and your first stitches won't show on the front side.
To do a "Hidden Stitch" take a small stitch into the sleeve, then slip your needle into the fold of the bias tape. Run it under the fold about 1/4th inch and poke needle back out from under the fold. Next take another small stitch into the sleeve and repeat until all the way around the sleeve. Make two or three stitches on top of one another on tape only for the under side. For the top side poke your needdle to the underside and make the fastening stitches on the under side on bias tape only. Good luck.
Judy in Alabama

By Judith Walker (Guest Post)
November 11, 20060 found this helpful

Judy, Why don't you turn up the raw edge of the sleeves that you cut off? Turn both sections wrong side out, make adjustments. Just like cutting lumber, measure twice, cut once. Another Judy


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 696 Feedbacks
November 11, 20060 found this helpful

You could handsew some decorative ribbon....that pretty embroidered kind or even sew some rick-rack to the edge. Another idea would be to sew eyelet ruffle on the edge. Just go to the craft section at your local Wal-Mart and you can find some sort of trimming to hand sew on. Bring the robe with you and the clerks in there should be able to help you with ideas.

By (Guest Post)
November 11, 20060 found this helpful

Seems to me the only thing you might be able to do is add some more material of the same color and material or add some lace to the end of the sleeves.

Hope one of these work out for you! Please let me know how it turned dout if you decided to try one of my ideas. Thank You!

November 12, 20060 found this helpful

Could you add a ribbed cuff perhaps?
You can buy ribbing material, but perhaps you have an old sweatshirt, etc... around that you could cut the cuffs off, and use those!

By TC in MO (Guest Post)
November 12, 20060 found this helpful

This is a robe, right? I would just leave it alone. Robes are for being comfortable. All these other solutions sound scratchy to me. I would just leave the edge raw and enjoy your bargin. But that's just me.

TC in MO

By (Guest Post)
November 13, 20060 found this helpful

To All the Kind Ladies Who Responded:

Thank you all for the great suggestions. Right now, I have a flu of sorts and am unable to go out. But, I will do to a fabric store or to Walmart and will let you all know how it turns out.
Not sure how to use my digi camera, but perhalps, my son in law can help me and I can put up a picture.
You are all so very kind. I am printing out all the suggestions and will probably use the easiest, as I am not very good at sewing

July 6, 20120 found this helpful

Just hem the sleeves and enjoy them too short. Now your sleeves won't get wet when you wash the dishes in your robe. Shorter sleeves have lots of advantages, and as someone else said, "Enjoy your bargain." Smiley face.

Answer this Question

January 4, 2017

If your jeans need adjusting it is best to hem them properly after sizing. This is a page about hemming jeans.

hemmed jeans

March 23, 2013

This is a page about shortening jeans. Often you can find a pair of jeans that fit perfectly in the waist, but are too long.


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