For the first installement of Tutorial Thursday, I’d like to share a little skill that’s easy but incredibly useful. Personally, I’m 5’8″ and generally have problems with paints being too short rather than the other way around, but hey, I might buy a pair of longs on sale someday and need to hem them. This guide will help you to hem a pair of pants but keep the original hem showing for a finished look.
- If you don’t know your preferred pant length, measure yourself or a well-fitting pair of pants. For dress pants worn with heels, hem the length to about an inch above the floor. Otherwise, pants should hit at the bottom of the ankle.
- With this measurement, decide how much length to take off the pair of pants. Divide this number in half.
- Cuff your pants and measure this distance from the original hem. For example, if you want to take off two inches from the pant length, measure one inch from the hem. (Do not measure from the end of the pant, but rather from the thread of the original hem. The “abrasion area” is not included in your calculation. You will basically be measuring from the hem down towards the fold you made in cuffing the pant.)
- Using your small ruler or tape measure, pin around the cuff making sure the length is the same all the way around the cuff. (Pins should be parallel to the direction of the cuff, going up and down, and not perpendicular across the cuff.) Keep an eye on the seam of the pants, making sure the folded seam line ups when pining.
- Place the foot of your sewing machine right next to the original hem, at the opposite side from the end of the jeans of course, and slowly stitch all the way around the cuff. As you sew, do not lay the front and back sides of the cuff flush together and end up sewing your pant leg closed!
- Flip the cuff back out and push any extra fabric inwards. For a larger hem, you can trim off this excess fabric leaving ¾ inch for fraying in the wash.
- Press any excess material inside the pant leg upwards with your iron.
- Close the pant leg and push the new seam flat with your fingers.
If you had any trouble following these instructions, check out this wonderful video from LaycieDo.