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Monday, March 2, 2009

A Day for Pants Hemming



I have 5 pairs of slacks to shorten today. One pair is lined, all are ladies' dress pants.
The first thing I do is
heat up my iron.



Then I make some tea to heat up my insides!

Next I remove the existing hem stitching. If you know where to grab, you can get the whole hem stitch to come out in one piece, and it takes about 3 seconds. I can post a tip about this later.

After that, I mark all the hems using tailor's chalk. You can do this while the hem is still folded up, even though it is no longer stitched. You get an accurate measurement this way. I place the pants on a sleeve board. It makes the job much easier.

Tailor's chalk will disappear if it is heated, so unless I want to remark these pants, I use care on this next step. I am pressing the existing hem allowance flat, so I can mark the new one. Sometimes I can eliminate this step, especially if the pants need to be shortened more than an inch and a half.

When that is done and the pants have cooled, it is OK for me to mark the new cutting line, 1¼" from the new hemline that I drew earlier. That is where I cut.

Almost there, I fold the new hem on the first line that I drew, and press well. From the outside, the hem should look finished. I'm used to doing this with the pants right side out, but inside out may work better for you.

I take the pants to the serger and serge the raw edges along the cutting line. Yes, I could have saved a step here and used the serger to cut on the cutting line. I like the accuracy of cutting first.

You need to press again so the threads have a memory of where they want to stay, and the serger threads lie flat.

Now I hand sew the hem, using a small stitch, and the slacks are done!

If I have a lot of hand sewing to do, I can sit in front of the TV, or do this work while waiting for a doctor or a carpool. I like this portable part of my job because it fits in well with my lifestyle.

Tomorrow I will tackle the lined slacks.

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