Keeping you in stitches
One of the biggest issues for me when shopping in the mens department is that pants are notoriously too long for my short little legs. Most of the time 30 length pants are just one inch too long for me (except in Gap Khaki’s, their 30’s are PERFECT) and so they need to be hemmed. It’s relatively easy to hem your own pants, even if you aren’t a born sewer – this is something that can be easily learned, and you don’t need much in the way of supplies – and to save anywhere from $10-$15 dollars a pair – well, money talks and this is something you can certainly do yourself.
You’ll need scissors, an iron, pins, and a needle and thread. Yes, I have a sewing machine which makes the process move faster than the speed of light but this is not a really long process and so you don’t need to go out and purchase major hardware unless you think sewing is something you’re going to get really in to. If you’re usually only an inch or so shy, then a seam ripper might be something to invest in as well – they’re only a buck or two at a sewing store.
This is my method – it may not be what Martha Stewart would do, but it works well for me.
Step one – Remove old seam. Use the seam ripper to get rid of the old hem stitching. I don’t usually need to do this because I have SO much fabric to get rid of so I proceed straight to step two. Iron the pants flat.
Step two – I put the pants on, inside out. I want them to hang on me the way that they are going to fall when really wearing them so I walk around for a few minutes to get the “hang” right on the pants. I then fold the pants up at the appropriate hem line, and use 4 or 5 pins to hold the hem in place. I usually use a ruler to make sure that I’ve pinned the pants evenly, and this is a good time to adjust to make sure you’re evenly hemming the pants.
Step three – Iron at “fold” line. This just makes it easier to sew.
Step four – Sew new hem. I usually like my hems 3/4 to 1 inch above the “fold” of the pants. If hand stitching use a “running” or “straight” stitch around the hem line.
That’s it. You’re done. If you’ve hemmed a significant amount of length off the pants, use your scissors and trim 1/2 half of an inch above the new stitching.
If you’ve never sewed before, this may take about 1/2 an hour or more, but once you get it down, this is something you’ll have mastered forever!
I am kind of a crafty butch and I love to sew – this is me actually hemming some pants a few weeks ago -you know, just for some butch in action excitement at the end of a somewhat perfunctory post.