How to get rid of a hemline

Updated February 21, 2017

Trousers, shorts and skirts that are not the proper length can be adjusted by sewing a shorter hem or letting down the original hemline. When the hem is let down, a hemline crease remains that is often discoloured as a result of wear around the hemline. Leaving this mark is an obvious indication that the clothing has been altered. White vinegar, which has virtually unlimited household uses, can get rid of a hemline crease. If the hemline is white or lighter than the rest of the garment, then the line must be concealed.

Lay the garment out on a flat surface so the hemline is visible and easily accessible.

Wet a clean rag with white vinegar and wring out the excess.

Rub the vinegar into the hemline, adding more vinegar to the rag as needed. Scrub gently as you work the vinegar into the fabric.

Add some laundry stain remover to the hemline along with the vinegar if it has a dark stain. The ends of trousers, for example, may become dirty with wear, leaving a dark stain around the hem.

Lay the damp vinegar rag onto an ironing board, placing the garment and hemline on top.

Check the garment label to determine the proper heat setting for the iron. Press the hemline with an iron to remove the hem crease.

Sew coordinating ribbon or other decorative trim along the hem line to conceal lightened lines that cannot be removed.


Fabric steamers may be able to remove the large wrinkle at the hemline, but irons usually work better because they can also press the fabric flat.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean rag
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry stain remover
  • Iron
  • Decorative trim
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About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.