How to Shorten Pants Without Hand Sewing. In the past, if you wanted to shorten pants, your choices were to pull out the sewing machine, or sew them by hand. Today, there are products on the market that allow you to join fabric without using a needle or thread. Read on to learn how to shorten pants without hand sewing.
Purchase fusible web tape. Fusible web is a material that has been treated with adhesive. When you melt the adhesive with a hot iron, the material joins together. Fusible web is also sold in sheets, but for the purpose of hemming pants you want to purchase the fusible web that is sold in a rolled, thin strip, much like tape. The most common brand is Stitch Witchery, but it is also marketed under other names.
Turn the pants inside out to remove the existing cuff, unless the bottoms of the legs are unfinished. Use a stitch remover to cut the threads. Unfold the cuff and iron them to remove the crease, then turn the pants back right side out.
Take a pair of pants that are the correct length on you, and use a tape measure to measure the outside of the pant leg. Start at the very top of the waist and measure straight down the leg to the bottom of the cuff.
Use the tape measure to measure down the outside of each leg on the pair of pants you need to shorten. Mark the length with chalk. Use a ruler or yard stick to draw a straight line with the chalk across the front of the pants, connecting your two marks. Then turn the pants over and extend the line across the back of the pants.
Draw a second straight line with your chalk, on both the front and the back of the pants, that is 1 1/2 inches lower than your first line. Cut the material on the lowest line and throw away what you cut off. Fold the bottom of the pant leg up so you have access to the inside.
Fold your cuff up 1 1/2 inches so your bottom of your material is touching the top line that you drew with the chalk. Measure the distance around the leg of the pant at the spot that you are hemming and then cut two pieces of fusible web tape to that size. Insert the fusible tape into the cuff that you formed and pin it in place every 2 to 3 inches. Fold the bottom of the pant leg back down so your cuff is inside.
Put a cloth over top of the leg with the cuff, and then iron with a steam iron. Remove the pins from the cuff as the tape is melted and then iron again. Repeat this process for the second leg of the pants.
Fusible products for joining fabric are also sold in the form of liquid glue. The glue version of the product does not typically hold up through as many washings as the tape, but is sometimes more convenient for quick repairs. Always follow the manufacturer's directions on the package for the specific product you chose to purchase.
Fusible products are designed to be able to be machine washed and dried; however, they are not considered permanent, and do not last as long as sewing. After several washings you might need to re-hem the pants.