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Thursday, January 10, 2013

How I Hem Pants

The name Little Wife didn't just pop into my head randomly- it came about because, well, I'm little. And a wife. I'm all of five feet tall, which means that I have been hemming my jeans, dress pants, and even the occasional skirt, since I could hold a needle (okay, maybe not that long. But pretty close!). Getting pants professionally hemmed costs lots of money, and though I do recommend it when you're working with something especially fancy or when you're strapped for time, I don't like going the pros when I can just get it done at home.

Now, I'm definitely not an expert on the subject, even though I've been doing it forever. I've probably been doing it wrong forever. But despite my wrongness, I'm gonna share how I hem pants.

The Before.

Note how the pants are so long that they even cover my tippy toes. Yep. Time to hem these puppies up!

First, I take a pair of pants that are already at the length I want. I measure the inseam. In this case, the inseam is 29 inches. Cuz I'm small. I'm a short shortie.

Then, I take the pair of too long pants , turn them inside out, and measure the inseam. I cuff the pants at the right inseam (29 inches) and measure how long the cuff is (4 1/4 inches).

I pin the cuff (loosely... perfection isn't key at this point). Then I try on the pants, still inside out. Since every pair is different, sometimes the right inseam on one pair isn't the right inseam on the next. Or maybe you want to wear heels with a certain pair. Try on those pants with the shoes you'll wear 'em with most often. Decide if you need to go longer or shorter.

In my case, I decided that they needed to go a little longer. Then I decided how wide a hem I wanted. I like having a very narrow hem, but a wider one is easier... I decided to use a 1/4 inch seam, so I needed 1/2 inch extra for the hem. So, I need to cut 3 1/4 inches off

I cut the extra off the bottom using a rotary cutter and mat. However, if you want to make the back longer, you'll want to mark at cut with scissors instead. Use the age old rule- measure twice, cut once.

After cutting the extra, I fold the cuff over again (at the length I've decided to use for the hem- in this case 1/2 inch). The I tuck the edge under, and pin, and measure again. The pinned hem should be right about at 1/4 inch. I go around the entire leg like this- measure, tuck, pin, measure- until the leg is all pinned, then I do the same on the other leg.

Next, I take out my lovely sewing machine, and, using matching or coordinating thread, I sew my hem.

And then it looks like this. Take all the pins out, and then try them on!

The After:

Ta Da!

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