A Complete Guide On How To Fix Jeans That Are Too Long

If you want to fix jeans that are too long, the first thing you need to do is decide whether you want to keep the original hem or make a new one. 

After making your choice, you can then proceed to choose between the sewing and non-sewing methods of fixing long jeans.

If you’ll like to fix your jeans, this guide shows you a step-by-step procedure.

So, keep reading.

How do you know your jeans are too long? 

A good sign is if it falls past your toe or drags on the floor.

Another way to know if your jeans are too long is to check the length of the inseam. If it falls past your heel or has excess fabric that bunches up around your ankles, then it’s probably time for a new pair of jeans.

Also, you can try walking in them and see how they feel. If they are too long, they will likely feel uncomfortable and may even get caught in your shoes.

At what inches should you fix jeans?

How to fix jeans that are too long

Around 3-8 inches on the outseam and a quarter on the inseam. 

The inseam measures the inner pant leg. Meanwhile, the outseam is the measurement that runs vertically through the outer part of your jeans up to your waist.

To amend the outseam, you may need to remove some part of the waistband and re-sew it so that it fits your body better. 

Furthermore, the factors below will impact how much a pair of jeans can be tailored. 


One of the most important factors when fixing your long jeans is the material you are working with. Some types of denim are lightweight and can easily be folded and sewn down, while others are much stiffer and may require extra care to get the perfect fit. 

Body size

The size of your body also has an impact on how much a pair can be tailored, as each person has a unique shape that needs to be taken into account.

SEE: Best Evergreen Gift Ideas for Women

Desired fit

If you are only looking for a small adjustment and want to keep the same style and fit, you may be able to get by just removing 1-3 inches from the waistband downwards. 

However, if you are looking for a more extreme fit and have the patience and skill to go through the process multiple times, you may be able to have them tailored several inches or even up to 12 inches in some cases.

SEE: Why Are Jeans So Uncomfortable And How Can You Fix Them?

How to fix jeans that are too long

How to fix jeans that are too long

If your jeans are too long and you don’t want to wear them out that way, you can fix them yourself using sewing and non-sewing methods.

However, you’ll need to be careful and precise while at it so that your jeans can fit well and look good. You can also take it to a tailor or seamstress for a professional job.

Here are the two main methods to shorten the length of your jeans:

Sewing methods

1. Prepare your jeans

Pin the jeans where you want them shortened, and use a ruler to draw a line across the hem. Cut along this line, and be sure to leave enough fabric at the top so that you can fold it under and hem it.

2. Machine-sew

Use a sewing machine or hand-sewing needle to sew along the newly-cut edge of the jeans, creating a new hem. For added durability, you may want to reinforce this seam with extra stitches or by sewing on bias tape that matches the fabric of your jeans.

3. Style the hem

Another option is to use a zigzag or overlock stitch on your sewing machine to create a decorative edge along the hem of your jeans. This will give them a finished, professional look without requiring too much time and effort.

Non-sewing methods

1. Fabric glue

To shorten your jeans, use fabric glue or double-sided tape to secure the bottom edge of your jeans to a table or hard surface. Carefully cut along the new edge, and ensure to keep the fabric taut and even as you go.

Jeans with loose edges have become very popular in recent years, so you can style them this way without feeling out of place.

2. Use a different cutting style

Here, you can use heavy-duty scissors or a rotary cutter and cutting mat to trim off some excess fabric along the bottom of your jeans. Again, this will create an uneven, casual look that may be appropriate for certain styles or occasions.

3. Fold it up

Another option is to fold the excess material and roll it up to your ankle or the upper end of your toe. This can create a fun and casual look.

4. Use hemming tape

Hemming tape is also known as tailor’s tape, iron-on hemming tape, or adhesive hemming tape. It is a great way to complete minor alterations quickly and easily.

To use the tape, first, ensure the pants or skirt you want to shorten is clean and free of wrinkles. Lay the garment flat on a table or hard surface.

Cut off any excess fabric that extends beyond the area you want to hem. Then try on the garment to be sure it fits correctly (before you even start using your hemming tape).

If the fabric is thick or dense, you may want to iron it first. This will help seal in the hemming tape and prevent fraying or splitting at the edges of your pant leg or skirt hem.

When you’re ready, place strips of hemming tape along each edge of the area that needs to be shortened. Use the end of a pen or other pointy object to press the hemming tape into place.

Once your hemming tape is in place, turn up the edges of the fabric that needs to be shortened and iron it flat.

This helps fuse the hemming tape onto the fabric for a clean and even finish. Allow time for the iron to cool before removing it from your clothing.

SEE: How To Wash Jeans Without Shrinking

Is it necessary to shorten long jeans?

Yes, it is.

There are many good reasons to shorten long jeans.

For one, rolling up your jeans can help make them more comfortable to wear. This is because it reduces the risk of chafing or irritation against your skin, which can be uncomfortable in hot or humid weather.

Also, rolling up your jeans can give you a more stylish and put-together look when wearing them to work or social events.


Can you shrink jeans that are too long?

Yes, you can.

To do this, place it in a washing machine and add hot water. After washing, put it in a dryer and leave it till the water drains completely.

Can you fix wide-leg jeans that are too long?

Yes, you can.

Try folding the pant legs outward by up to 2 inches above the hem.

You can also use hemming tape to shorten it without sewing. Otherwise, cut the excess from the bottom of the jean using scissors. 

Is it okay to wear really long jeans?

No, it’s not.

Ideally, your jeans should be long enough to reach the top of your feet with very little excess fabric and short in such a way that the hems aren’t dragging on the ground. 

SEE: Does Cotton Shrink When Washed In Cold Water?


To conclude, there are several steps you can take to fix your jeans if they are too long. The first step is to determine what type of hem you want, such as a single-fold, double-fold, or blind hem (i.e., stitches you can barely see).

Then, use a pair of sharp scissors to trim the excess fabric from the bottom of your jeans.

You may need a sewing machine and some pins or simply opt for non-sewing methods, depending on the style of hem you want to create. Additionally, use your preferred method to shorten your jeans.

With a bit of patience and attention to detail, you can create the perfect length for your favorite pair of jeans in no time at all.

Thanks for reading.

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