How to Hem Shorts with a Cuff

heather handmade sewing

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Learn how to hem shorts with a cuff for a casual and fun look. This sewing tutorial requires minimal sewing and can be done by hand.

I love wearing shorts in the summertime. I am always anticipating when it’ll be warm enough to wear shorts.

In preparation for the upcoming heat I cut some pants into cuffed shorts. And I figured out a really easy, almost no-sew tutorial to share with you!

how to cuff shorts

I sewed it with a machine, but it can be sewn by hand. I did shorts that were closer to knee length, but the same techniques can be used for short shorts! This is one of the sewing and alterations you can do yourself!

how to hem shorts with a cuff

Whenever my pants get holes in the knees I usually cut and cuff them into shorts. In this example I show how to do it turning pants into shorts, but this can also be done to shorten shorts.

how to cuff shorts

Want to learn how to alter and sew? Try some of these projects:

how to hem shorts with a cuff

How to Hem Shorts with a Cuff




Put the pants on. Mark the length you want them to be.

mark hem

Stand up straight to see if that’s exactly where you want them to be. When you bend over to mark the length there’s a chance the pants will adjust and you’ll mark the wrong spot.

mark hem


Take the pants off. Mark straight across where you marked the length. The line should be parallel with the hem.

mark hem

Mark two inches lower than the line.

mark 2 inches below


Cut along that line.

cut hem

Use the part you cut off and lay it on the other pant leg to cut the same length off.

cut other leg

Cuffing and Sewing

Fold the hem up 1 inch towards the outside. Do this all the way around the hem.

fold up one inche

Fold it up again 1 inch and pin. Do this all the way around the hem.

fold up again

With your sewing machine or hand needle tack at each seam. I sew up and down the whole inch and it blends right it.

tack in place
tack at side seam

I also tack at the center front and center back of each leg to ensure the cuff doesn’t roll down.

tack front and back

Press the cuff well.

That’s it! It’s an easy and quick way to add shorts to your wardrobe with hardly any sewing. Now I just need the weather to warm up!

how to hem shorts with a cuff

If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

heather sewing

I believe small sewing moments can create great joy. Find your own “right” way to sew. -Heather

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Thank you!!!