How to Hem Your Sweaters

With a hem at just the right spot, your sweater will look hot.

Photo: Amos Morgan/Photodisc/Getty Images

You know that sweater would really rock if only it were just a little shorter. Well, you don’t need major sewing skills to adjust the hemline in a sweater just a smidge. Whip out a few basic sewing supplies -- and hem your sweaters to just the length you want.

Sewing Supplies

Gather your sewing supplies. You’ll need a ruler, some straight pins, an embroidery needle, yarn that matches the sweater as close as possible, and scissors. While you're determining the new hemline you want, a friend might come in handy, too, -- to help you mark the hemline while you stand nice and tall.

Try Them On

Create an outfit that includes the sweater. This means, if it’s a cardi you’d wear over a white tee and leggings, slip on these other separates -- and then put on the cardi. This ensures that you’ll hem the sweater right where you want it because you can see where it hits your leggings. Now stand in front of the mirror so you can determine just where to place the new hemline.

Mark it Up

Fold under the existing hem of the sweater while you stand straight. If your sweater has ribbing along the bottom edge, don't try to fold up more than about half the ribbing or you'll lose this edge along the bottom of your sweater. With the sweater folded, stand and check it out in the mirror. Adjust the fold up or down, if necessary, until it’s right where you want it. When it’s just right, pin the fold all the way around the sweater -- and check it out again. Once you’re happy with the new length, you’re ready to stitch.

Hem Them Up

Thread your needle with a length of yarn and get ready to transform your sweater. With the underside of the sweater facing up, stitch tiny stitches to hold the hem in place. The tinier your stitches, the less noticeable they’ll be. Space them evenly and make them all the same size. When you come around to your starting point, tie a small knot in the yarn so it sits snug against the underside of the sweater and cut off the yarn.

Check the Hem

Slip on the sweater and check it out. If it looks smooth and sleek, you're ready to rock your new length. If you detect any bulk or wrinkling, try a little steaming action. Lay the sweater flat and hold a fabric steamer a couple of inches away from the new hemline. Once steamed, let it dry. Once the fabric dries, the new hemline should look neat and flat.

Related Videos


Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Hair Type
or Register
Daily Look


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account