Are your pants not hitting at exactly the right place? Are they grazing your foot or the floor more so than you would like? Do they just look off? If the answer is yes to any or all these quandaries, it’s time to rectify the situation. And, no, buying a new pair doesn’t count—read: Let’s try to be sustainable. All you need is a few simple tools you can find at the pharmacy (you could also order a prepackaged bundle online) and the willingness to DIY. This, however, leads to another pertinent question: How does one actually hem pants?
For sure, your local tailor or dry cleaner can easily make the adjustment, but if you have the time (admittedly, most of us have ample amounts of it nowadays), take the opportunity to learn the skill. Seriously, you don’t need to be a savant with a needle and thread to hem your pants at home. Just follow this hassle-free, step-by-step process to a greater fit.
Check to see if your trousers have a hem allowance (most do). Then, with a seam ripper or small scissors, carefully take out the thread and unfurl the fabric.
Put on your pants and a pair of shoes (it could be heels or flats, depending on how you choose to wear the given trouser) and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Check your desired length and fold the fabric up and inward. Next, place a pin at the back of each leg.
Remove your pants and turn them inside out. Iron a crease from your new hemline and pin around the circumference. (Six pins should suffice.) If you choose to remove excess fabric, start by measuring the length from the edge to the bottom fold (make sure to have some seam allowance), and then draw dashes with a pencil. Take scissors, preferably pinking shears, and start cutting along the marks. Next, fold up the seam allowance and tuck it in with pins.
Thread a needle, and tie and knot the two ends. Then, start sewing fabric along the raw edge. Don’t sew through the fabric; rather, pick up a few threads and gently push and pull the needle to form zigzag stitches every quarter inch. Repeat the process until you come full circle. There should be very minimal stitching visible on the outside.
Press your new hem with an iron and revel in your accomplishment.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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