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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shorten a Cuffed Hem

Well, it's been such a long time since my last post. I'm getting things ready for my classes next month, so blogging has had to wait. Sorry for the delay.

Today I shortened a pair of ladies' slacks that were cuffed. She had torn a hole in them and since they were too long anyway, she wanted to shorten them so the hole would be hidden. I shortened them an inch, putting the damaged fabric underneath, as part of the hem allowance.

Start by taking out the existing hem and lightly pressing out the creases. The deepest crease closest to the crotch is your original hemline. After marking one inch higher with tailor's chalk, I measured down onto the hem and marked 3¾". This is the hem allowance that will become the cuff. Cut off the excess, then serge or apply hem tape to the edge.
I find it easiest to press along the newly marked hemline. You have to think backwards, here, and fold the hem allowance UP toward the crotch, right sides together. After pressing that into place, I fold it back in the other direction, so that the cuff of 1¼" is in place.
The amount of fabric here is more than 1¼" though. After it has been folded up on the hemline, then folded back down, there should be room for the 1¼" cuff plus ¾" to turn under to form the hem. Stitch that with an invisible stitch. Then tack the cuffs at the side seams. I normally stitch in the ditch.

This cuff ends up to be narrower than the 2" original, because I had to work around the hole. Normally, I replace the design features exactly as they were when I got the garment.

Though it sounds complex, like anything else, it gets easier every time you do it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maripat,
    this is my first visit to your blog. Thank you for this tutorial! I had to use it today to shorten my son's pants. I actually had a hard time doing it because the pants taper in the bottom. Do you have any suggestions on how to handle the stitching when the bottom hole is smaller than the pants leg? (I hope I make sense...) Thank you!