Tuesday, October 9, 2012

KCWC Challenge Days 1 and 2, Magic Jeans Hem {TUTORIAL}

I decided to combine my first two challenge days into one blog post. So this will be my kcwc day 1 and 2 re-cap. See my list of things I hope to accomplish, here.

When I sat down in my little creation station, I had move more than a few things around and decided to spend a few minutes in organization mode.  After that, I realized my machine was a bit dirty and very glittery from a project I worked on over the weekend. As we all know, a clean and oiled machine is a happy machine.  So out came my sewing machine cleaning tools and I whisked away all the fuzz and added a few drops of oil.

It really is amazing how a few hours at the sewing machine can make me feel so accomplished and I'm happy to say my number 1 task is complete. I hemmed 3 pairs of straight legged jeans using a method I learned here. I like to refer to this as "magic" hem and you will see why! (I also hemmed a pair of athletic pants with a twin needle, but that is a post for another day.)

Four pairs of hemmed pants

Magic Jeans Hem for Straight Leg Jeans

Start by washing your jeans. This will allow them to shrink. Decide how long you want your pants to be. There are a few options here: You could have the person try on the pants and stand on a flat chair (be careful, of course) so that the hem will be closer to your eye level. Make sure the person is wearing the shoes they plan on wearing with jeans most of the time. Mark with pins where you would like the hem to fall. You can also measure the inseam of pair of jeans that fit well. I know my son's inseam is 21 inches because I measured previously.

If you are working from a measured inseam, place a pin where you would like the hem to be. The hem of my  son's jeans measure 1/2", so I also need to place a pin 1/2" above the first.

Fold the bottom of the hem up to meet the to pin on the outside of the pants.  Measure how deep the fold is. Use this measurement to make sure your hem is even. Pin in place.

Stitch as close to the original hem as possible. Really, the closer you can get the better your finished hem will look. Make sure to line up your seams. Back stitch when you have sewn all the way around. Then, the magic happens!

Fold your cuff to the inside and iron with a lot of steam. Use pressure while ironing to get a really sharp looking hem. If you are working with a pair of jeans that aren't for a growing person you can serge off the excess or use pinking shears and you are done!

My son will be growing at some point this year (probably as soon as I have finished hemming his pants) so I wanted to keep the excess fabric inside the jeans so I can let them back down.  The first time I tried this method I only  tacked at both side seams. After washing, the inside fabric tended to fall and show outside of the pants. Argh! My son comes from a long line of people with short legs and his hem fabric tends to be a bit bulky. What I decided to do was tack at the side seams and a small tack in the center of the front and back leg using matching thread.  I was surprised the small tacks blended really well.

Ta Dah!

Hopefully the hem will stand up to and active 8 year old heading into pants season. When I get ready to let the hems down I will do another tutorial.

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