Are you tired of wearing pants that are too long? Hemming your pants is a simple and cost-effective solution. With a sewing machine, hemming pants is a breeze, even for beginners. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of hemming your pants with a sewing machine.
Hemming Pants with a Sewing Machine for Beginners
Hemming your pants is a quick and easy way to give your wardrobe a new lease of life. Whether your pants are too long or you want to add a touch of style to your favorite pair of pants, hemming is a useful skill to have. With a sewing machine, hemming your pants can be an effortless task, even if you are a beginner.
In this comprehensive guide, we will show you how to hem pants with a sewing machine, step-by-step. From gathering the necessary tools and materials to measuring and marking the fabric, we will walk you through the preparation process. We will also cover different hemming techniques, such as fold and sew hem, blind stitch hem, double-fold hem, and cover stitch hem.
We understand that mistakes can happen, especially when you are a beginner. That’s why we have included a section on troubleshooting, where you can learn how to fix uneven hemlines and repair mistakes.
To ensure that your hemming looks professional, we have also included some tips and tricks, such as using the right needle and thread, pressing the hem, and using a serger to finish the raw edge.
By the end of this guide, you will have the skills and knowledge to hem your pants with a sewing machine like a pro. Whether you are hemming pants for the first time or looking to improve your hemming skills, this guide is perfect for you. Let’s get started!
Before you can start hemming your pants with a sewing machine, you will need to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here are some of the essential tools and materials you will need:
- Sewing machine: You will need a sewing machine with a straight stitch function. A zigzag stitch function can also be helpful for finishing the raw edges of the fabric.
- Fabric scissors: You will need a good pair of fabric scissors to cut the excess fabric.
- Seam gauge or ruler: You will need a seam gauge or ruler to measure the correct length of the pants.
- Marking tools: You will need marking tools such as tailor’s chalk or washable fabric markers to mark the fabric for hemming.
- Pins: You will need straight pins to hold the fabric in place.
- Thread: You will need thread that matches the color of your fabric.
Measuring and Marking for Hemming Pants
Measuring the correct length for the pants and marking the fabric for hemming are crucial steps in hemming pants with a sewing machine.
To measure the correct length for the pants, it’s important to consider the shoes that will be worn with them. This is because the length of the pants will vary depending on the height of the shoes. Therefore, it’s recommended to put on the pants and the shoes that will be worn with them before measuring the length.
Stand in front of a full-length mirror and fold the excess fabric under until the pants reach the desired length. Use a pin or chalk to mark the length. Make sure to mark both legs of the pants, as they may have different lengths.
After marking the length, the next step is to mark the fabric for hemming. Turn the pants inside out and fold the excess fabric under to the desired length. Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the distance between the fold and the bottom of the pants leg. This measurement should be consistent around the entire leg of the pants.
Next, mark the fabric using pins or chalk to indicate where the hem should be sewn. If using pins, be sure to insert them perpendicular to the edge of the fabric to avoid distorting the fabric. If using chalk, make a straight, even line around the entire leg of the pants. Make sure the markings are consistent around the entire leg of the pants.
It’s important to ensure that the hem is straight and even around the entire leg of the pants. Use a ruler or measuring tape to check the markings and make any necessary adjustments before sewing.
In summary, measuring the correct length for the pants and marking the fabric for hemming are important steps in hemming pants with a sewing machine. By following these steps carefully, you can ensure that the finished hem is straight, even, and the desired length.
There are several hemming techniques available to finish the raw edge of a fabric. Each technique offers a different finish and is suitable for different types of fabrics. Choosing the right hemming technique is essential for achieving a professional-looking hem on your garment.
Fold and sew hem
The fold and sew hem technique is a simple and common way to finish the raw edge of a fabric. It involves folding the raw edge of the fabric under and stitching it in place. This technique is suitable for lightweight to medium-weight fabrics and can be done by hand or with a sewing machine.
To create a fold and sew hem, start by pressing the raw edge of the fabric under about ¼ inch (6mm) all the way around the hemline. Then, fold the raw edge under again, this time to the desired hem length. Pin the folded hem in place to keep it secure.
Using a sewing machine, sew the hem in place using a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch. The stitch should be sewn close to the folded edge, about 1/8 inch (3mm) from the edge. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew to avoid damaging the sewing machine needle.
If you are hemming by hand, use a slip stitch or a blind stitch to sew the hem in place. The stitch should be made on the folded edge of the fabric, catching only a few threads of the main fabric to create an invisible finish.
Once the hem is sewn in place, press it with a hot iron to create a crisp, clean finish. This will also help to set the stitches in place.
In summary, the fold and sew hem technique is a simple and effective way to finish the raw edge of a fabric. By folding the edge of the fabric under and stitching it in place, you can create a clean, professional-looking hem that is suitable for a wide range of fabrics.
Blind stitch hem
A blind stitch hem is a sewing technique used to create a hem that is nearly invisible from the right side of the fabric. It is often used on lightweight or delicate fabrics where a visible hem would be unsightly or undesirable.
To create a blind stitch hem, first fold up the raw edge of the fabric to the desired hem length and press it in place. Then, fold the hem up again, this time by a smaller amount, so that the raw edge is completely enclosed. Pin the hem in place.
Using a blind stitch, sew along the folded edge of the hem. The stitches should be very small and should catch only a few threads of the fabric at a time. The goal is to create a series of small, nearly invisible stitches that hold the hem in place without being visible from the right side of the fabric.
A double-fold hem is a sewing technique used to finish the raw edge of fabric and create a neat, clean edge. It is commonly used on garments, linens, and other items that require a finished edge.
To create a double-fold hem, first fold up the raw edge of the fabric to the desired hem length and press it in place. Then, fold the hem up again by the same amount, so that the raw edge is completely enclosed. Pin the hem in place.
Using a straight stitch, sew along the folded edge of the hem, making sure to catch both layers of fabric. The stitches should be evenly spaced and run parallel to the edge of the fabric.
When you reach the end of the hem, tie off your thread and trim any excess. With the double-fold hem complete, the fabric will have a clean, polished look with a visible line of stitching on the right side of the fabric. This type of hem is suitable for a wide variety of fabrics and applications.
Cover stitch hem
A cover stitch hem is a sewing technique used to create a professional-looking hem on knit fabrics, such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other stretchy fabrics. It is often used on the hemlines of garments, as well as on cuffs and necklines.
To create a cover stitch hem, you will need a special sewing machine called a cover stitch machine. This machine has two needles and a looper, which work together to create a stretchy, durable stitch that lies flat on the fabric.
First, fold up the raw edge of the fabric to the desired hem length and press it in place. Then, place the fabric under the presser foot of the cover stitch machine. The needles should be positioned so that they will stitch just off the edge of the fabric.
Start sewing, making sure to keep the fabric flat and smooth as you go. The cover stitch will create a series of parallel lines of stitching on the right side of the fabric, with a zigzag stitch on the wrong side. The result is a hem that is stretchy and durable, with a professional-looking finish.
When you reach the end of the hem, tie off your thread and trim any excess. With the cover stitch hem complete, the fabric will have a polished, professional look that is ideal for knit fabrics.
Fixing uneven hemlines
Fixing uneven hemlines on garments can be done using several methods depending on the severity of the unevenness and the type of fabric. Here are some possible ways to fix an uneven hemline:
- Measure and trim: Measure the distance from the hemline to the ground at various points around the garment. Mark the areas where the hemline needs to be adjusted, and then carefully trim the excess fabric.
- Redistribute the fabric: If the unevenness is only slight, you may be able to redistribute the fabric by stretching or pulling it into place. Pin the hemline in place before sewing.
- Add a facing: If the hemline needs to be raised significantly, consider adding a facing to the bottom of the garment. This will give you extra fabric to work with and will help create a smooth, even hemline.
- Create a hi-lo hemline: If the unevenness cannot be corrected by trimming or redistributing the fabric, consider creating a hi-lo hemline. This involves intentionally creating a hemline that is shorter in the front or sides and longer in the back or other areas. This can be a stylish solution to an otherwise unsolvable problem.
When making any adjustments to an uneven hemline, be sure to try on the garment frequently to check your progress. It’s also a good idea to use a ruler or measuring tape to ensure that the hemline is even all the way around. With some patience and attention to detail, you can fix an uneven hemline and restore the garment to its intended look.
Tips and Tricks
Using the right needle and thread
Using the right needle and thread is essential in sewing. Here are some tips to help you choose the right needle and thread for your sewing project:
The size of the needle you need depends on the weight and type of fabric you are sewing. A general rule of thumb is to use a smaller needle for lighter weight fabrics and a larger needle for heavier fabrics. Be sure to also consider the type of thread you will be using, as some threads require a specific needle size.
There are several types of needles available, including universal, ballpoint, and sharp. Universal needles are suitable for most fabrics, while ballpoint needles are designed for knit fabrics and sharp needles are designed for woven fabrics. Be sure to choose the right type of needle for your fabric to avoid damaging the fabric or producing poor quality stitches.
The weight of the thread you use should also be appropriate for the weight of the fabric. A general rule of thumb is to use a thinner thread for lighter weight fabrics and a thicker thread for heavier fabrics. Be sure to also consider the color of the thread and whether it is appropriate for the fabric color.
There are several types of thread available, including cotton, polyester, and silk. Choose a thread type that is appropriate for your fabric and the intended use of the item. For example, if you are sewing a stretchy knit fabric, use a stretchy polyester thread.
By using the right needle and thread for your sewing project, you can achieve high-quality, professional-looking results. Take the time to consider your materials carefully, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations to find the perfect match for your project.
Pressing the hem for a professional look
Pressing the hem is an important step in sewing that can give your garment a professional and polished look. Here are some tips for pressing the hem:
Before sewing the hem, it is important to pre-press the fabric to create a sharp crease where the hem will be folded. Use an iron set to the appropriate temperature for your fabric and press along the hemline to create a clear, sharp crease.
Use a pressing cloth
If your fabric is delicate or prone to scorching, use a pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric. This will protect the fabric and ensure that it is not damaged by the heat.
Adding steam to the pressing process can help set the crease and create a smooth finish. If your iron has a steam function, use it to lightly mist the fabric before pressing.
Check the hemline
Before finishing the hem, be sure to check that the hemline is straight and even all the way around the garment. Adjust as necessary, and then press the final hem in place.
By taking the time to press your hems, you can create a clean and professional finish on your garment. Remember to be patient and use a steady hand to ensure that the crease is even and the fabric is not damaged by the heat. With practice, pressing can become an easy and rewarding step in the sewing process.
Using a serger to finish the raw edge
Using a serger to finish the raw edge is a great way to create a clean and professional-looking finish on your sewing projects. Here are some tips for using a serger:
- Choose the right thread: Use a high-quality thread that matches the color of your fabric. You can also use contrasting thread for decorative purposes.
- Adjust the tension: Adjust the tension on your serger according to the thickness and type of fabric you are using. Consult your serger manual for specific instructions.
- Test on scraps: Before serging the raw edge of your project, test the settings and tension on scraps of the same fabric to ensure that you achieve the desired finish.
- Position the fabric: Position the fabric so that the blade of the serger cuts off the raw edge as it is being stitched. Be sure to keep the fabric flat and smooth to avoid puckering or uneven stitches.
- Finish the ends: After serging the raw edge, be sure to finish the ends by stitching over the edge or folding it under and stitching it in place. This will prevent the thread from unraveling and keep the finish neat and tidy.
By using a serger to finish the raw edge, you can create a professional-looking finish on your sewing projects. With practice, you can achieve a variety of finishes and textures using different threads and settings on your serger.
Hemming pants with a sewing machine is a useful skill for any beginner sewist to learn. By following these steps, you can achieve a professional-looking hem on your pants:
- Measure and mark the desired length of your pants.
- Cut off any excess fabric, leaving enough for a hem allowance.
- Fold the hem up to the desired length, and pin in place.
- Stitch the hem in place, using a straight stitch or a specialized hem stitch.
- Press the hem with an iron for a clean finish.
By taking the time to hem your pants properly, you can ensure a neat and polished appearance, and extend the life of your clothing. With practice, hemming pants can become an easy and rewarding sewing project for beginners.
What is the best fabric to hem with a sewing machine?
The best fabrics to hem with a sewing machine are those that are stable and easy to work with, such as cotton, linen, denim, and wool. Avoid fabrics that are too stretchy or slippery, as they can be more difficult to sew.
Can I hem pants without a sewing machine?
It is possible to hem pants without a sewing machine using hand sewing, fabric glue, or iron-on hem tape. However, these methods may not be as durable as machine-sewn hems and should be chosen based on the fabric and purpose of the garment.
What type of sewing machine is best for hemming pants?
A sewing machine with a straight stitch and a narrow hem foot attachment is best for hemming pants. A serger can also be useful for finishing the raw edge of the hem.
How much does it cost to hem pants professionally?
The cost of hemming pants professionally can vary depending on the tailor or alteration service, the complexity of the hem, and the location. Generally, the cost can range from $10 to $30 per pair of pants.
How do I know if my pants need hemming?
Pants may need hemming if they are too long and bunch up at the bottom or drag on the ground when you walk. To check if your pants need hemming, try them on with the shoes you’ll be wearing and ensure the hem falls at the top of the shoe or slightly above.
How long does it take to hem a pair of pants?
The time it takes to hem a pair of pants can vary depending on the complexity of the hem and the skill level of the person doing the hemming. On average, hemming a pair of pants can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour.
Can I hem pants that have cuffs?
Yes, pants with cuffs can be hemmed. However, the cuffs need to be removed first and reattached after the hem is completed. Hemming pants with cuffs may require additional skill and precision to ensure the hem and cuffs align properly.
How do I hem pants with a lining?
To hem pants with a lining, the lining and outer fabric need to be hemmed separately. First, hem the outer fabric to the desired length, then trim the lining to the same length and hem it separately, making sure to keep both hems aligned.
How do I hem pants that have a tapered leg?
To hem pants with a tapered leg, use a straight stitch to hem the fabric and gradually taper the stitch line toward the ankle. Pin the fabric in place before sewing and try the pants on to ensure the length and tapering are correct.
How do I hem pants that have a curved hemline?
To hem pants with a curved hemline, first, mark the desired length using pins or chalk. Then, stitch around the hemline, easing the fabric along the curve as you sew. Trim any excess fabric and turn the hem up, pressing it in place.