Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hemming Pants

So this might be an underwhelming topic, but I can’t hide my excitement. While project hunting last week at a local thrift store, I found an amazing pair of designer jeans; Seven for All Mankind bootcut jeans in my size!! What would normally run for around $250 a pair cost me $25.00. I tried them on and they fit perfectly – including my, err, assets. BAM! Only one problem… they are about six inches too long. From the knees down I look like a five year old trying on my mom’s clothes. Fail.

Or maybe not.

When I was about ten years old my Grandma started to teach me how to sew. I wasn’t the best student, and I wasn’t enthusiastically interested. But one thing she taught me stuck – how to hem pants. Who’da thunk.
My Grandma grew up in the Great Depression and learned how to sew at an early age out of necessity. She was a mill worker at Healthtex during my father’s childhood, making children’s socks and other clothing. She worked at the center of two production lines where they meet in an X because she could sew so fast – doubling her production time from everyone else around her. She was amazing! She married my grandfather, a civil engineer for the Army, at a young age and had seven (SEVEN!) kids. Needless to say, money was not an object of abundance. She made all of my aunts’ and uncles’ clothing and seconds for dinner were only for those who could eat the fastest, but love embraced everything my Grandmother did (and does!).
In honor of her, I will share this simple, but essential tip for saving pants (especially designer pants) from getting tossed aside just because us short people are just that – short. And for that matter, keeping us short people from being depraved of designer clothes. Amen.

How to Hem a Pair of Pants

You will need:
Denim needle for sewing maching (if hemming jeans)

        1.  Put on the pants ( for the sake of this post, I’ll say jeans). Fold up the jeans to the length that you want the hem to sit.

             2.    Pin the fold.
    3.  Take the pants off and make sure that both legs are even.
    4. Cut above fold approximately a half inch to leave room for the hem fold.


              5. Turn pants inside out and begin folding and pinning. Create two folds to ensure that the frayed edge will be tucked in. Pin down. If you are having trouble with the folding, try ironing down the original hem fold, then tucking the top under later to pin.

        6.  Sew along highest edge of hem.

         7. When working with the second leg, after pinning, lay next to first finished leg to ensure even hemlines.

                      Yay! Pants that fit!

      Tip: If you want that distressed look at the bottom of you pants so that they match the original bottoms, take some sandpaper and muss up the edges. This will make them look store bought!

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