Hemming Tutorial

I can sew--sort of and in a semi-straight line.  I've devised a technique for hemming that is relatively painless for the sewing-impaired.  You will need:

  • a sewing machine
  • a tape measure
  • scissors
  • marker
  • pins
1) First have person wear the pants and then fold the pants up to the intended length.  Pin in place.

2) Before cutting, use tape measure and mark off in one inch increments on the wrong side of the fabric (see example below).  Depending how much has to be taken in, you can make marks on fabric at 2", 3" and 4 " from original hemline.
One inch increments on wrong side of fabric
3) Remove pins and cut off old hem with scissors (this part might be scary, but is necessary).  Only cut enough to remove old hem.
Cutting old hem after measuring off the one-inch increments
4) Now fold over raw edge onto 2" or 3" increment (that is, fold over to the first or second dotted line).  Sew into place using straight stitch (if fabric is really stretchy, you should consider a zigzag stitch.  Using a matching thread will hide from visibility on right side).
Sewing raw edge to desired increment
5) Fold over a second time, using the 3" or 4" increment (depending on how short the pants need to be).  Sew into place in same manner as in step 4. Why sew a second time? Most fabric tends to unravel after washing.  Sewing in place a second time prevents this from happening (Yes I know about pinking shears, but I don't always find them effective).
Folding over second time and sewing into place 
6) Viola!  You're finished!  Pants are ready to be worn.  No ironing or pinning required. Easy-peasy!  
Finished hem
I've been using this technique for quite a few years.  I don't know if it's the correct way to hem a pair of pants (psst, don't tell my mom the seamstress), but works great for jeans and cotton pants.

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