Tagged: How to sew

Mar 30

Learn How To Hem Pants While Keeping The Original Hem

Learn How to Hem Pants while Keeping the Original Hem (courtesy of LaycieDo)

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to LaycieDo! I’m Lacie, and this is what I do!

I’m sure many of us have had the problem of buying a pair of pants, and then later realizing we need it to be a little bit shorter. Today, I’m going to show you how to hem pants that have a hem that you don’t want to lose, I guess you would say. I want the pants to be shorter, but maintain this look at the bottom.

This pair has already been hemmed. You can tell that this is what the pants looked like on the bottom when I bought them, but they have been shortened, and there’s a tiny seam above the original hem. And, so, you get to keep the look of how they were at the store.

The pants we’re gonna be hemming today, they have a double-stitched, white hem, and, um, I’m only taking about 2 inches off of them. So if I was just to cut them, I would have to cut in the middle of this hem and they just wouldn’t look good. So what I’m gonna do is cut right above the hem and show you how to keep the original, store-bought-looking hem.

Here is what you’re gonna need:

A pair of pants that you want to hem
A measuring tape
A razor cutter and ruler, and

The first thing we’re gonna do is lay the pants out flat and cut the hem that we want to keep, off, along with a quarter-inch to half-inch seam, whatever your preference. I’m gonna go with the ½ inch. I’m just going to cut ½ inch directly above, from the point where I want my seam to be. And you’re gonna have your seam be at the very top of the hem you’re keeping. Like, on this pair of denim jeans, the seam we’re gonna sew is right above the stitch mark and the folded hem that was originally on the pants. So, even though the stitch mark is right here, the fold of the original hem is right here – you can feel it with your finger. I’m just gonna cut ½ an inch above that.

Now, what I have here is the original hem of the pants, long width, for extra fabric or seam allowance. I’m just gonna turn that inside out, and put it aside. And I’m gonna do the same to the opposite leg. This is only gonna work if you need to hem your pants at least an inch. If they need to be hemmed less than an inch, this is probably not gonna work out, because if I’m using ½ inch seam allowance, then, right there I’m already taking an inch off the pants.

Now that I’ve cut both of the hems off, I’m gonna measure the inseam of the pant I have left without the hem, and I’m also gonna measure the hem piece that I have. I want my inseam to be 30 inches, so I have to do a little math here to figure out how many inches I need to cut off the pants so that when I sew it to the hem it will be 30 inches. 21/4 inches is how long the inseam on the pants are. The hem, not including my seam allowance, is 2 ¼ inches. If, what I have for my hem is 2 ¼ inches, and my inseam is currently 29 ¼ inches, I need to factor in for my ½ inch seam allowance, which brings my inseam to 28 ¾. So, 28 ¾ plus the 2 ¼ here, brings my total to 31 inches. I need to cut one inch off this (bottom of pants), because I want my inseam to be 30 inches. So, since I have a cutting mat, I’m just gonna align my cut right up on the line, and I’m gonna cut an inch off. If you’re using scissors, just go ahead and use your measuring tape and just mark a little dot, at an inch, all across, and you can just use a ruler or something to mark a line. Then you can cut on the line! But, if you like to sew a lot, it’s really handy to have a razor and a ruler, it just saves you so much time, and you get such clean cuts. So, here’s the inch that we’re throwing away. Do that on both legs.

Alright, now that we’ve done that, we’re ready to sew the hem to the pants. And what you’re gonna do is just turn the hem inside out, and you’re gonna place it, right sides together, on the end of the pants leg. I’m matching up the side seams – I’m just gonna stick a pin in here. So just go ahead and pin your hem to both legs. Then, go over to your sewing machine!

Alright, we’re here at the machine, and I’m going to remove my regular presser foot and put on my zipper foot, because the zipper foot is gonna allow us to get right up to this hem – to make our job look anything but home-sewn! Now, I like to start my stitching on the side where we’ve got our seams matched up, because we want our seam from the pant to match the seam onto the hem. And let’s go ahead and sew these babies up! See, we’re gonna be able to sew right up to this line, and that’s what we’re gonna use as our guide. And, we have our first leg done! But, let’s get this other one done.

OK, now, we’re done, And we have a raw edge right here. And if you have a surger or raw edge machine, go ahead and run that over this. Or, you can also just do a zigzag stitch. Put your regular foot back on and run a zigzag over that so it won’t fray. I have a surger, so I’m gonna go ahead and surge that real quick and then we’re gonna take these over and iron them. So, here we are at the surger. Now, we have hemmed and surged, ready for the iron.

OK, now, I’m gonna turn the pants inside out and I’m gonna iron the hem. OK, now I’ve ironed both the pant legs, on this side, and coming in through here. But now, I want to make sure that through washings and wearings that this hem isn’t just gonna fall down/turn down, whatever, so I’m gonna stitch it real quick in a few spots.

OK, so we’re back to the machine, and we’re just gonna do a little stitch on the front center, back center, and on each side, to hold that seam up, so it doesn’t come falling down. So, I’m just gonna use a zigzag stitch. Probably width about 2, and stitch length, zero, because I just want it to be one little stitch. Obviously, you want to use the same color thread or something that is gonna blend in if you have denim or whatever. So, I’m just gonna do a little stitch right here, which will be barely noticeable but it will hold up the pant seam. So, I’m gonna do that front center, and on each side, and on the back center.

Tah Dah! All done. So, see, that hem looks pretty good…much better than just cutting and trying to sew your own new hem. You’ve just shortened the leg, and kept the original pant bottom. Yea!!


Mar 17

Learn How To Make Curtains

How To Make Curtains At Home (courtesy of Threadbanger.com)

Hey Threadheads! Welcome to my Brooklyn nest, and to Threadbanger’s new, DIY home re-fashion show.

I’m a DIYer with a passion for green living and eclectic home décor. Recently, it was brought to my attention that some Threadheads are experiencing some DIY home décor dilemmas. Never Fear – Meg Is Here!

Jasmine recently wrote in her nest’s need for a new curtain. Over on the forum, Sew It Together and Aurora 199 said that they have the same issue. Let’s see what we can do to help you guys out! One of my favorite design blogs, Apartment Therapy, highlighted this cool, branch curtain rod from DIYIdeas.com. Here’s How to DIY your Curtains!

Measure your window across and down.

Find a branch to go across the top.

At your local hardware store, pick up 2 metal loops that your branch will fit through, and use your handy dandy power drill to screw those puppies in!

Now, choose fabric. 2 of my favorite sources for fabric are ReproDepot.com and Etsy.com.

Measure and cut your fabric.

Fold and pin edges.

Sew along edges of fabric.

Cut out 4 to 5 pieces for your tabs.

Take your pieces and fold them in half, good sides together, and pin.

Sew along 2 edges and flip right side out.

Fold and press down and sew a top stitch along your edges.

Now, attach your loops.

To make a dart, pinch your fabric, sew a diagonal line, snip, fold down the flaps and sew a top stitch. And now, you have yourself a dart!

Now, put your branch through the loops, and, Voila – new curtain!

Do you have any DIY home décor projects? Well, send them in! The most unique ones will be featured on the threadbanger blog, and over on my blog, EnderbyNest.com. And, one lucky threadhead will win a fantastic, home detox kit from Methodhome.com!

This week’s Quick Tip is How To Mull Spices. Just take a retro pot, fill it with water, add your favorite organic spices – my favorites are cinnamon and cloves. Put on a light simmer, stir, and you’re mulling spices! Remember, style starts at home! Join us next week for another DIY home décor project that you can make your own. Your nest needs you!