How to Hem Classic Pants
We are going to hem pants. This is the most common order from my clients because pants from shops are sold with basted edges, so we can turn it in according to the client’s height. If the man can’t do this a woman can…well, even a man can do this. First of all you need to buy a tie-string. You had better have more than enough, so I usually buy a tie-string with the length of 1.10 m.
Before sewing you must presoak it in water with the temperature of 50 C and cool it down there. You need it to prevent the tie-string from shrinking after washing. If it shrinks, the pants bottom will be gathered after washing, it won’t look very nice. When the water has cooled down we wring the tie-string and let it dry.
Now we need to mark the pants length. First of all a client should either put these pants on, or bind the waist with a cord and measure the pants length with a line, beginning from the cord along the side seam. Measure it up to the very floor without shoes. If the pants are on a man we make a turnup of the bottom at this level and measure the length up to the very feet.
Now lay this length off beginning from the pants waistband. Mind that the waistband itself is not included, measure the pants after it. So lay the tape off along the side seam. We need 103 sm, so we mark it here. Now put a line on it. By the way it’s right to lift the front part and lower the back one, so you may draw a beveled line. But I don’t usually do it as it’s not particularly important for wearing. I just draw a straight line. Here we have an unnecessary part, outline it too.
The turnup is 4.5-5 sm. Cut away the rest, well, there is almost nothing to cut in my case. Now transfer the chalk line to the opposite pant leg and connect two dots. Do the same right here and there.
The tie-string is not ready yet, that’s why we are going to run this edge. You may do it using either a trimming machine, loosely speaking a serging machine, or zigzag stitch. If you don’t have any I will show you how to do it with an ordinary needle. Run it this way, making overcasting stitches. If you run it this way, the edge fibers will be pressed down to the edge and don’t get out. So make frequent stitches or sew it in a dense manner, it doesn’t matter. But it’s important that the stitch holds the fibers at the edge. It can be called handmade serger stitch.
The water has already got cold; we wring the tie-string and let it go dry.
The tie-string has already run dry, we can use it and it won’t shrink after washing. Take the pant leg and start stitching the tie-string to it, beginning from the leg seam. It s situated right here. Put it under the sewing machine. Lay the tie-string so that it covers the chalk line for 2 mm. Stitch it circle-wise. You can also stitch the back part like in the old fashion. I have decided to stitch it circle-wise. Keep to the outlined hem. I’ve chosen a long seaming pitch as the short one will be unnecessary because we need just to keep the tie-string. Go on stitching it circle-wise. If you want to stitch it to the back part, unsew these parts of stitch in order to tuck the tie-string edges into it. Keep to one line. Ok, we have finished. Cut it away with the turning allowance. Put it this way, make a barred end and proceed to the opposite tie-string edge. Stitch it along the edge to avoid its hanging loose. Make a barred end. At the same time run the edge if your sewing machine can make zigzag stitches. You can learn how to adjust it from the manual. So put it this way and make overcasting stitches of zigzag form. Oh, I have run out of fiber.
This is it. Cut away all the undue fibers. Now we are going to proceed to basting-out. Make a piping from the pants tie-string to prevent the upper cloth from wearing out. Do it this way. 2 mm which were released by us go to the front part. This is the protection from upper cloth rubbing. Now tack this part so that it will be convenient to sew them together. Tack the other part. I will do it later and now I will show you how to hem it. You had better sew it rather than stick; nevertheless it’s quite popular to stick the pants bottom. But it will come unstuck after washing and you will have to sew it anyway. You can do it this way: grab 1-2 fibers of the upper cloth then make a basting stitch on the turnup and do it all over again. This is called invisible stitches: they can be seen neither from the outside nor from the inside. It’s about 1 sm width and it covers almost all the fibers. So grab 2 fibers…By the way you may do it this way: sew it circle-wise, then pull out tacking and iron it.
We have hemmed the pants; I haven’t pulled out tacking yet to save its form. Let’s iron it first. But it is not so important if the piping is basted out properly. We need to iron it to preserve the fibers even after washing. I iron it through a piece of gauze. You don’t need steam; the gauze will be enough to preserve the pants from patches, when ironed filament becomes shiny. You can also use a piece of chintz, but I use just gauze. Ok, we have ironed it thus fixed the turnup position. Ok, let it dry first, and then pull out tacking. If there are no tracks left after the tacking it’s ok, if there are any – you had better iron it once again. So you just have to remove tacking and pants are finished. Ok, there are no tracks left, may be it’s because of bad lighting, but I will iron it just in case. Don’t iron it too much. Do the same with the second pant leg. That’s all.