Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hem-ming No Way!

hemming a pair of pants.  sounds like a simple thing!  and it probably is unless YOU ARE ME.  i do not have  many talents but one of my best is making the simplest of task 10 times harder than it has to be.  i'm so good at over thinking things, if it were an Olympic event, i would be accused of doping.  and so goes hemming pants.
there are really only 2 things i've ever wanted to learn when it comes to sewing

  • how to make a basic quilt
  • how to hem a pair of pants

it is not for lack of googling or pinning plenty of how-to's.  it is because of mulling it over waaaay too long.  so nacho & i had a challenge this weekend:  he bet he could finish the dog lift before i hemmed these pants i've had for at least 2 years!  it was a trick!  and it worked! it got me off my butt & those pants hemmed.  and you know what?  it wasn't that bad!  are they perfect?  no!  could they be better?  yes!  BUT are they done?  definitely.
i started with a very short but insightful YouTube video.  i then promised myself not to think about it & just GO.  i'd already decided how much to take them up by simply putting them on & trying them out with 2 different heel height shoes yesterday (sorry no pic of that cuz it was super exciting).  i folded the fabric under & pinned it a number of times until i got it just right.  as she mentioned in the video, i then took the iron & ironed on this new/future hem line.
i took the plunge when i got out my seam ripper & broke the seal seam on this project (sorry for the blown out photo).
you can tell they used some sort of ribbon trim for the hem underneath. lovely but no one will see this so i wasn't too crushed to get rid of it.  it made sense a little later however.  
i unfolded everything & here you can see my new/future hem line in yellow.  as she said in the video, i determined the old hem line to be just under an inch, so i decided to just call it even & lob off 1" of fabric (the blue line). 
notice my 1" starts after the "ribbon".  what you don't see underneath is that's really where the fabric ends. it does not go to the far edge of the ribbon.  i decided to start my 1" from the edge of the fabric & not that ribbon trim.  and this is where i just had to jump.  without any 2nd, 3rd, or 4th guessing, i cut straight across at an 1" from the bottom.  you have no idea how much guts it took for me to do that.  i literally had to take a deep breadth and say "Go!"
after the drama was over, i simply sewed a Zigzag stitch to secure the edge from fraying like she mentioned in the video.
finally it was on to the reason we all came here...hem those babies!  so with my final hem line already ironed in place, and my raw edge secured with a zigzag stitch (that's the stitch you see below), i did a straight stitch all the way around to finish the hem.  and this is where i realize that ribbon was a nice finishing touch - you can see the raw edge to the left of that zigzag stitch below.  i know, it will be underneath, who will know?  but this people is how i over think into getting nothing done.  but this time, i will live with it & moved on!
and i was done!  except...i forgot these pants are lined (palm2forehead)!  this part i just estimated.  i figured i'd taken 1" off the pants, so 2" off the lining would be plenty.  and that gamble paid off.  i cut 1 1/2" off the lining fabric because i wanted to roll them under 1/4" then roll another 1/4" for a clean edge, even though it would not be seen, but you never know!  i finished that off with a zigzag stitch as well since the lining is a shinier, slicker fabric & more likely to fray.  apparently something about a zigzag stitch is good for securing those edges if you don't have a serger, which i don't.
and that, as they say, is a done hem!  not perfect, but done.  i only had a couple of glitches that, in true me fashion (ha no pun intended) almost tripped me up (my bobbin ran out of thread in the final stretches of my last lining & i'd accidentally cut through 2 layers of the pants fabric on one leg when trimming it), but i soldiered on!  and i now have a pair of 2-year old pants that can finally be worn.
and you know what that i have to make a quilt! hmmmm

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