Along with “Lead Technical Designer” my other job title at Mud Pie is personal tailor. The most popular alteration I do is shortening and hemming a pair of pants. So long as you have a sewing machine, this alteration is so simple and I thought it would be a great DIY, Fit Friday kick-off! Here are my tips for a DIY – pant hem.
There are many hemming techniques, but today I will show you how to do a faux double needle cover stitch; which is most often used on pants with stretch. I say “faux” because sadly I do not own an industrial cover stitch machine.
The first step is measuring the amount you would like to shorten your pants. After you have determined the perfect length, you will need to find the length needed to complete your hem.
For example: I want to reduce the length of these pants by 4″ and my hem is a 3/4″ turn back; therefore, I only need to cut 3 1/4″ from the pants.
After cutting, you will perform the “cover” portion of the faux cover stitch. I have a serger sewing machine, so I was able to finish my raw edge with an over lock stitch. If you just have a basic sewing machine, no need to fret! A basic zig zag stitch is all you need. Just make sure the zig zag stitch is covering the raw edge.
Next, using an iron, turn back the hem the appropriate amount and press.
Side note: ironing as you sew makes everything look better. Just make sure you “test” your material so you do not melt it to your iron. When it doubt, use a pressing cloth.
After your hem turn back is in place it is time to apply the first stitch line of your double needle stitching. My first stitch line is 1/2″ from the bottom edge of the hem.
A trick to keeping your stitch lines straight is watching the edge of your material along the lines of your sewing machine’s throat plate. Do not watch the needle; you will get crooked lines every time.
My second stitch line is 1/4″ above the first stitch line. Again, measure along your sewing machine’s throat plate to find which line you will use to align with your hem edge.
Once you are done, trim the threads and voila! You are good to go!