Dec 14, 2008

Quick and easy pants and how to hem them

I had an extra 2 hours Thursday night to make the pants I was telling you about in the last post.

I like the way they came out. They fit better as shorts and need a few adjustments. I have a big bottom but not as much as I left in fabric. They are real baggy which I wanted and very comfortable. They probably would shrink if bought new but I washed my fabric already.

There is one thing that happened. I guess sewing in my new location caused me to be distracted because I installed the fly zipper on the wrong side. I didn't realize it until I finished and tried them on. So I would like to remind my students that everyone makes mistakes and it's your perfection level that could hold you back when learning the art of sewing. And if you do make a mistake it's ok.

I also wanted to give you some information about doing hems. Hems are something people come to me all the time to teach them to do. It's very easy and is one thing a lot of people spend a lot of money to have other people do for them.

There are different kinds of hems depending if you are doing jeans or dress pants/skirts. Jeans are done with top stitching (where you can see the stitch line on top) and dress pants/skirts are done with a blind hem (a way of doing hand sewing on the machine where you don't see your stitches). The blind hem takes a few minutes to learn and some practice.

When you do a hem you want to press it first at the iron. If your fabric edge is finished (serged or overlocked) you can give it one fold usually 1/2" to 1". If you don't have a finish edge you have to fold your fabric twice so you don't see the unfinished edge. When doing dress pants you usually fold the first fold 1/2" and the second fold an inch. If you are doing jeans you can do two 1/2" folds. After you press your one or two folds then you can pin your fabric before you fold it.

After you pin your hem you can hold the two legs together at the inseam to make sure they are the same. I only worry about them being the same on the inseam because when your legs are together you can see the difference if there is any. You really don't see it if the hem is off on the outside of the hem or at the side seams.

Also when sewing jeans you can buy the gold top stitching thread to match the rest of your pants. Tops stitch thread is a little thicker then regular thread so you can see it better.

Another thing you have to think about when doing a hem is if the pant leg is a bell bottom or tapers in to the bottom of the leg. When you have more fabric folding up one and a half inch into less fabric (bell bottom hem) you will have a fold on the outside side of the pant leg. When you have less fabric going up into more fabric you will have a fold on the inside of the hem. The less you fold up (1/4" to 1/2") the less you have this happen. The more you fold up for your hem the more extra fabric you have be it a bell bottom or tapered at the bottom.

I do want to make another pair of pants. Now all I need is more fabric :) We can never have enough fabric. And if you sew often you go through it so quickly.

This weeks projects will be to get my holiday sewing complete.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,
Cindy