How To Hem Leggings – Easy To Follow Steps and Tips

Many times, people buy such clothes that turn out to be too long or loose once worn at home. Visiting a tailor to get them fixed or altered professionally may seem a bit too much when you can easily do the task yourself at home. Altering or stitching a stretchable cloth requires a tad bit of extra effort but is still doable if followed by the right steps.

There are various ways to achieve the perfect fit of leggings, below are listed some methods on how to hem your leggings:

How To Hem Leggings With A Sewing Machine:

A sewing machine is the first thing that crosses your mind when altering any piece of cloth. Hemming your leggings with a sewing machine may require some extra steps, given the leggings come in a stretchable cloth. Use the right form of settings and tools to hem your leggings successfully.

Twin Needle Hemming

A double or twin needle is a specific double-needle inserted in your sewing machine alongside the bobbin thread, resulting in two straight rows at the front and a zig-zag stitch at the back.

It surely is a quick method for hemming but comes with some drawbacks – just like the coin reads two sides. For leggings with thin fabrics, tunnels and ridges appear easily in between the stitches. Also, if your used stitch is extra-long, it is likely to pop when the leggings are stretched out. Usage of water-soluble stabilizers is recommended to limit the drawbacks.

Zig-zag Hemming

One of the prevalent methods for hemming leggings is the zig-zag method. It is not only quick to sew with a range of stitch options but also helps with the stretch factor.

To get a zig-zag stitch, start-up by sewing a medium zig-zag, keeping the length longer (varying on the stretchability of the fabric) than the regular length. Make sure to pre-check the stitch using scrap fabric to see that the stitch doesn’t pop when stretched out; in case it does pop out, readjust the length of your stitch.

Skipped stitches and their issues

Getting skipped stitches while hemming is a pretty common issue. This can lead to forming holes in your leggings, possibly damaging them. New and best types of needles must be used particularly for stretchable sewing material to resolve this.

Hemming on a cover stitch machine

A cover stitch machine is specially used to achieve neater, professional-looking stretchy hemming stitches. In addition, this machine provides decorative and ornamental stitches using the reverse cover stitching method. Although a cover stitch machine is more expensive, it saves a lot of time compared to a normal sewing machine.

How To Hem Leggings With A Serger?

hem leggings with a serger

A serger is a three-function machine inclusive of stitching the seam, cutting off the extra seam, and overcasting the edges for your fabric at the end. Start by pinning your leggings at the appropriate length, followed by pressing by an iron rod or hand; beware of the heat of the iron rod!

Prior to starting to hem, fold the new hem and begin hemming without leaving any unnecessary space near the folded edge.

Step By Step Guide To Hem Your Leggings:

Having thoroughly explained instructions on any task surely helps for better understanding. Here is a detailed step-by-step insight on how to hem your leggings:

Step 1: Pin at the right length

The basic step of altering or hemming any cloth is to get the correct length and width measurements. Ensure the correct length before hemming your leggings, and pinning or marking before hemming helps avoid any major mistakes. You can also wear them to mark the correct length if altering for yourself. Then, pin the leggings inside after selecting the correct length.

Step 2: Don’t forget to press

After pinning the leggings, press them with an iron using a temperature suitable for your type of fabric. Keep an eye out not to burn your leggings. Pressing your leggings will smooth and even out the fabric providing a smooth stitch when hemming. Be careful of the alignment of your fabric to avoid any uneven surfaces.

Step 3: Try cutting the extra

When marking the correct length of your leggings, make sure to cut the excess fabric off instead of just folding it. This will allow smooth hemming and will not create any hurdles due to the extra fabric as well as provides a much neater hem. You surely can keep the excess fabric if you intend to increase the length in the future!

Step 4: Fold and press

Folding the fabric when hemming helps to stitch smoothly. Make sure to fold and press down your leggings before hemming as it lets the fabric be stitched in an undisturbed manner. This also provides the required support to the fabric.

Step 5: Hem it close to the edge

The final step of hemming your leggings is to stitch as close to the edge as possible. For this purpose, a serger is the most convenient sewing machine. Using its dual needle hemming, two straight rows of stitches (forming a zig-zag pattern) are formed on the front and back sides of the leggings.

How To Hem Leggings Into Shorts?

If you see some holes in your leggings or simply want to restyle them, convert them into shorts by yourself by following some easy steps. You do have the option of simply cutting them and not hemming, giving a raw look but hemming them provides a much neater look.

To hem leggings into shorts, you need the following supplies:

  • Leggings
  • Marking tool
  • Scissors
  • Sewing tool (needles, sewing machine)

Mark your desired length for shorts by wearing the leggings, add one or more inches extra than the desired length. Using scissors, cut the leggings on the lower side of the marked line. Next, fold the hem up with the aid of pins. Using your desired sewing tool, hem the leggings around the legs. Using a machine, a zig-zag stitch using a thread of the same color closer to the edge is preferred.

How To Hem Leggings By Hand

Not everyone owns a sewing machine, not to worry, as you can easily hem your legging just by using a needle and your hand. Follow these listed steps to hem your leggings by hand:

  • Like hemming by a machine, mark your desired length of the leggings. You may need to undo the original hem of the leggings varying on the thickness.
  • Turn the leggings inside out. Pin the hem at your preferred length and cut off excess fabric.
  • Iron the hem to ensure a smooth stitch and also ensure even press of the fabric.
  • Using a needle and thread of your liking, initiate a blind stitch at the backside of the folded end and tie a knot at the initiated end to assure a strong stitch.
  • Then, slowly but firmly sew small straight stitches from the inside of the leggings.
  • Pull your thread all the way and start the stitch about 1 cm off from where you ended the first stitch.
  • Repeat the process around all the way of the hem.
  • End the stitch by tying a knot again.

How To Hem Lululemon Leggings?

Hem legging

Lululemon leggings are a sportswear retailer with a wide variety of gym wear and loungewear. Their key feature is they are made of the retailer’s fastest drying Everlux fabric.

If you are looking to hem your Lululemon leggings yourself, you can do it the same standard way you would hem any normal leggings, either by a sewing machine or hand. However, Lululemon does provides easy complimentary service to hem or alters any leggings they have in their collection. You can easily book their appointment and go to your nearest store.

Tips For Cover Stitching A Narrow Leg Opening On The Round:

Extra caution is needed when cover-stitching a narrow leg opening on the round, as the cover stitch machine does not have a free arm.

Here are some tips that can be useful for narrow leg cover stitches:

  • Make sure to turn your leggings inside out. Remember to hem on the right side of the fabric when stitching.
  • Have an even seam and fold it in the opposite direction. Cover stitch machines do not accept uneven stitches.
  • Before hemming, always hand baste the hem with long stitches to get a guide for your actual stitches.
  • To get firm stitches, attempt to overlap the stitches, followed by using the pull method to guarantee your stitches.
  • Initiate stitching from inside the leggings; if done from the top, the chances of messing up the feeding are pretty high.


To conclude, it is very normal that your leggings may not be of the right fit but instead of sending to alter by a professional, you can easily do the task yourself. Go through all the ways and techniques of hemming your leggings given above. You can also hem using a needle and thread. Be confident and do things yourselves, you may not do the perfect job at first but with time you will get ahold of it.

Read more: The 15 Best Leggings For Short Women

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