Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hemming pants

My husband is tall and thin and it's always been kind of difficult to find pants that fit him well. A while back, he was going for a walk during his lunch break and our Utah weather took a turn. He was caught it a rainstorm and was drenched. He walked back to work, drove to the closest mall, and quickly bought a new outfit. The thing is, it sometimes takes us months to find a good looking pair of pants that actually fit him. So "quickly" doesn't work out so great. Long story short, I needed to lengthen the hem in his pants. Luckily, my good old mom taught me how long ago. My dad and I have short legs. My sister has long legs. My mom has mad sewing skills. We do a lot of alterations at our house.

So, here's how to alter the length of the hem in pants. You can use the same general instructions to shorten a hem.

I had my husband try on the pants and measured to see how much more length he'd need. He would need about an inch. Which would leave about a quarter of an inch hem...which is pretty much the minimum length of hem I like to do.

Here's the original hem...see how you can't see it so well. I think it's called a blind hem. If it isn't, it maybe should be.

This is the inside of the hem. Not lined. Surged. Convenient.

Unpick your blind stiched hem. Don't unpick the surging.

Iron your old hem's crease.

Measure and pin. I went with a quarter inch seam. I don't really like going much shorter than that. And I needed to make the pants as long as possible. This will add an inch to the pants. Now, I hate pinning and often skip this step. But when it comes to clothing, may as well make them straight and even, right? So measure and pin well.

(Sorry about the bad pictures, by the way. I am crap with a camera)

This is the part when you sew the new hem. You can do this by machine but my mom taught me by hand and I like to do what I know Plus, it really isn't so hard. Tie a knot in your thread.

This is a poorly done paint picture to try to better illustrate the process. Sorry if it is more confusing then helpful. The red lines are your stiches. Start at the star, poke the needle through from behind and pull it out toward yourself. Skootch a little to the left, pick up a tiny bit of the pant leg and then poke the needle through the hem.

Here's a picture of the real deal. The needle is in the middle of the second stitch.

Same picture, different angle.

Stitch your blind hem all the way around the bottom of the pant leg. You can kind of see the little dimples in the pants where my stiches are. This is the new hem.

Close up...pretty much can't see the hem, which is kind of the point.

Press the pants again. Make your husband try them on right away then praise your mad alteration skills. Now you have a new skill and a longer pair of pants!


  1. Hey, I was doing this just this afternoon on a couple of pairs for my husband!

  2. t5hat is a very good way of doing hemms but what about if u dont wanna sow them because i use different types of shoes

    i found this little things on the new and they seem to be my answer, does anyone have experience with them??

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