How to Hem Dress Pants… Including a Video!

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How to Hem Dress Pants… Including a Video!

Clean House Pix 001The sewing bug has really bit me pretty badly this week! 
Sewing Machine Woes….
I’ve been working faithfully, as much as I can, on Mom’s couch cushion covers…but a gal can only stand so much of that sort of thing! The good thing is that it got me going again on my sewing. Sadly, my machine broke…and I guess  I’ve finally met my match…After all these years..I finally found a machine that I can’t fix.
Take my advice….
Don’t ever buy a EuroPro!  It turns out that they are notorious for broken bobbin casings…which happen to be made of plastic.
Of all things! My daughter picked it up from the repair shop so I that I could rescue my specialty feet out of the machine. But now I’m stumped. I can’t use the upholstery thread in Rebekah’s Singer because it gets all gummed up. It just can’t handle the thread. I may try machine quilting thread. At least that would be sturdier than the usual stuff.

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Hemming Dress Pants
I also had to hem some dress pants for a friend and thought, while I’m at it, I might as well video it. I can’t tell you how much money I make hemming pants! This is so easy that I feel guilty getting paid to do it. I learned to do the hemming stitch in high school.  I do know that hemming dress clothes does intimidate some people. I’ve become rather well known for the quality of my repairing and alterations though I don’t quite know how it happened.  I fix things for people at church all the time…especially dress clothes. So I did a little of that today too. 
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Here are the basic steps to hem stitch formal clothes:
(Note: Start with a color of thread that is as close to the color of the fabric as possible.)

  1. Unless you want to save the hem to let out later, first rip out the current hem and iron the legs straight. Zig-zag the raw edges or finish the edge with pinking shears.

  2. Put the pants on while wearing the shoes you will normally wear.

  3. Have a friend fold the cuffs up to the length you want and pin in place.

  4. Measure the fold all the way around and make sure it is the same length…all the way and re-pin. Turn pants inside out. Iron crease of hem.

  5. Thread needle and tie knot in the end.  Catch just a few threads of the fabric about a 1/4 above the raw edge of the hem on the inside of the leg. (I start at a seam so I can tell when I have gotten all the way around easier.)

  6. Then about a 1/4 inch further away, push your needle through the raw edge of the hem.

  7. Repeat catching just a few threads of the fabric above the raw edge of the hem. You do this so that nothing shows on the outside of the pant leg.

  8. Keep alternating catching stitches in the pant leg fabric and then pushing the needle through the raw edge of the hem, but don’t pull too hard or you will make a long pucker. 

  9. Every inch or so, tie a knot by going through a loop of thread just before the loop is gone. That way, if you catch a heel in your hem and rip it, you won’t undo all of your hard work. Keep stitching until you get back to where you started.
And I’m saving the best thing I did today…for tomorrow….a major re-do of my work table in the sewing room! Here is a link to the video.
And no…I didn’t spray paint it!!
(I know what some of you were thinking…Donna went crazy with a spray can. ) I have some self-respect—thank you!


Diana said...

Wow.. Levis.. I know thats quality, but can you believe I have never owned a pair of levis before?? :p

Gracie "Neky White" said...

I like so much this tutorial!! I have a pair of old pants ^^ thank you

Donna @ Comin' Home said...

Hi Diana, Thanks for the comment. By the way, those were hand me down Levis from another family. They are actually my 15 yr. old son's pants when he was 12. I found them in the mending basket. He had outgrown them. Any blue jeans will work. Frankly, any pants will work. :o

Room for More said...

so sorry to hear about your machine! Let us know what your research shows you and if you decide to get another machine.

I am TOTALLY giving you a hard time here, but the jeans in the picture are Wranglers and not Levi's--hee-hee. Guess which kiddo in my house caught THAT one??? ; )

Donna said...

Hilarious!!You know as far as I'm concerned..Levis are to Jeans what Coke is to soda. I call them Levis out of habit. :o) Glad your child caught it. I changed to the title. That's kids for you!

Thanks a lot..Ha!

Donna said...

Shannon, at first I didn't recognize it was you. Yes, I know which son...Levi! Ha!Ha! very funny!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting subject , appreciate it for posting .

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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