Wednesday, September 22, 2010

HEM JOB. Not too fancy but definitely handy to know... a tutorial

This one is particularly handy in our house because both my husband and I like to cut the ends of our pants off.  We like our pants long, like walk on them long, so if we don't cut them off we end up walking on them and wearing them ragged, literally.  Daniel is tall and rides a motorcycle a lot of the time, if he's not actually working on one, so he needs long pants to sport in the wind.  White chicken legs don't look too hot comin' at you down the highway =D love you D And I just have some sort of sickness that makes me shiver at the sight of the shorty short pant.  I can't take it!!!  It also makes me laugh to know that at least one other person in this world shares my feeling of the too short pant and would go to the same 'lengths' I would to keep that from happening.  It's sick really but whadya gonna do?

You're going to hem them when they get out of control is what you're going to do.  Or when your husband decides the pair of pants he already cut off was a mistake and he would like them back to normal.  I know there are lots of how to's on the hem but I just thought it would be cool to share some pant fixing ideas when the store bought hem is no longer in tack...for whatever reason.

I know it's not so spectacular for my first "how to" but it was really the only sewing I got to do today and I realized that someone else might like to know.  I hope so and maybe you'll see something new or something that would help me to know.  I love to learn new things and I am positive I do not know all there is to know about sewing.  I fear I am just a young Padawan learning to use The fresh and eager to learn. ;)

Ok, so you've seen what I'm starting with.   This pair is really not too bad so that makes life a little easier.  In this case we are trying to preserve as much of the length as possible.

First, I turned the pants inside out and got them as flat and even as I could.  I cut the edges with my rotary cutter, using a Fiskars ruler as my guide, being careful to only cut what was necessary to make them even.

Next, I did a medium size zig zag stitch all the way around the edges that I just cut off.  This helps to keep the material from further fraying and gives it a nice, clean, finished look. 
Please see picture a few steps later showing this zig zag stitch, not sure how I didn't get a pic but you can see it below.

Then I turned up the hem 1" (you are still working inside out and will be for the remainder of the process) and pinned it all the way around.  Then I ironed it as well being careful to pick up the iron to move it to a new spot instead of dragging it.  This just helps ensure everything stays even and does not get out of whack! (can't have that) ;)

Turning up the hem 1" to pin and then iron.
I have learned over my years, and experience, that it is best to be patient and get it right the first time - I despise seam ripping!  Ugh, I just can't get down with it.  Not when I could be looking at a finished product had I slowed down and taken a few more steps.  With that said, please understand I am talking about me and your skill level or work style could be totally different from mine and that's cool!  I love that there are some many different aspects of art, different points of view.  Such a beautiful thing and as I've said before please let me know if you have a better way to do something...I would loooooove to hear it!!!  Ok, so I usually do all kinds of pinning and ironing to bring me back around to my point so that you know for future reference.  You might think I go overboard but it helps me immensely!

Hem completely pinned up 1" and visual of zig zag from step 2.

After I pressed this 1" hem nice and crisp, I took the pins out, unfolded the hem, leaving a nice crease mark in the pants, and folded the zig zagged edge up to meet the crease that I just ironed into the pants.  Then I pinned all the way around and ironed this down the same way.

Hem turned up to crease; pinned and ironed.

How are you doing so far?  We're almost done!

Finally, I stitched a small to medium straight stitch (#2 length on my machine) all the way around this top edge, this is the same edge that you zig zagged in the beginning.  I actually used the zz stitch as a guide to run my straight stitch.  You will probably have to pull out your pins as you go.

Now just turn the pants right side out and smile at how good they look. =D

 Thanks for sticking this one out with me guys.  I would love some comments, thoughts, ideas....Have a wonderful evening and may your tomorrow be beautiful and bright!!!


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