How to Hem Pants

By Woman's Day Staff

  • Learn to Tailor Like a ProLearn to Tailor Like a Pro

Learn to Tailor Like a Pro

If your pants aren't quite fitting right, skip the pricey trip to the tailor and take matters into your own hands. All you need are a few basic tools and the following four steps to create a new hemline in a matter of minutes. Before you start, just be sure to check the label: If your pants contain cotton or rayon, prewash to allow for shrinkage.

Step 1

Remove the original hem with a seam ripper; try on the pants with the shoe you'll wear. Standing in front of a full-length mirror, fold the fabric up inside each leg so the bottom of the fold falls three-quarters of the way down your heel. Place a pin at the back of each leg; stand up and check the length in the mirror. Adjust as needed.

Step 2

Take off the pants; turn them inside out. Starting at the pin on one leg, use a hem gauge to measure the length from the edge of the fabric to the bottom fold. Use that measurement to fold and pin the hem around the leg (use six pins). Repeat with other leg. Iron hems. With pants inside out, use gauge to measure 1 1⁄2" of fabric from the ironed hemline. Mark with marking pencil; repeat every inch, making a dashed line around the leg.

Step 3

Remove pins. Cut along the line with pinking shears to prevent fabric from unraveling; pin back in place. Repeat with other leg.

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Step 4

Thread a needle with single thread about 3 feet long; knot an end. With pants inside out, begin sewing a blind hem stitch at a side seam: Put the needle under the folded hem, pull through, then make zigzag stitches every 1⁄4". (As you go, pick up only one fiber from the pant so the stitch is not visible from the outside.) Knot thread when done. Repeat on other leg. Iron finished hems.

Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.

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