Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to shorten pants

    Lot's of alterations going on these days. So here are the steps I'm following to shorten pants.

    1. First of all put them on, while wearing the pair of shoes you are going to wear them with and decide the desired length. Mark it with a few pins or tailor's chalk. One leg will do, you don't have to mark both. You may need the help of a friend in this step. I'm shortening a pair of black pants, which is a versatile garment for my wardrobe and I plan wearing it both with heels and flats, so I picked a medium length to work with any kind of shoe.

    2. Straighten you pair of pants in a way that you can measure the inner seam, just like that.

    Now measure up from the crotch to the mark you made and note down that length, because you will need it for the other leg too.

Tip: Always measure both legs. Sometimes there is a slight difference between the two legs, you can't tell while they are too long for you, but will be noticeable when you alter them to your height.

   3. Measure from the mark to he existing hem and use that measurement to make marks of the same length all over the leg.

      4. Pin the extra fabric upwards, like that

and try the pants on, with your shoes on too.
If everything is ok move to the next step. If not adjust.

5. The first mark you made is for the hem line to be.
So we need to add the seam allowance.
I always add 4 cm and I'll tell you why.
Make a new mark 4cm bellow the first one.

6. Measure the distance between the second mark and the existing hem. 

This will be how much you have to cut off.
Make marks of that specific length all over the leg. 

7. Cut the extra off.

If there is any chance you've made any mistake, you have 4cm allowance, which should be enough to make things ok.

8. Turn the pants inside out.
Using a ruler make a hem of 2cm and pin it.

9. Now turn that hem once again, pin and press.

You just used all the 4cm allowance and the double layer hem you've made met your first mark.

Tip: Don't use pearl headed pins while pressing, cause the heads will melt and ruing your iron.

10. Now you have two choices. 
a) Sew your hem and get done with it, or
b) If you feel, two layer are bulky, you can reduce the bulk this way.
Cut off a part of the first layer, leaving about 0,3 cm.
In this particular pants I'd like some weight on the hem, so I'm not cutting. 
But if I did, that's how I would do it.

I would unfold the double layer hem.
The point where the scissors blade touches the fabric would be where I would cut the first layer. 
(also shown here)

11. Now you should be ready for sewing. 
Depending on the style of the pants, you may machine sew or hand sew.
Sew and press well.

I'm hand sewing this one, with a blind stitch. 
That's how it turned out from the inside.

and the outside

Tomorrow I'll show you how to do that stitch.

See you around


Anonymous said...

amazing, thanks!

Anonymous said...

great tutorial!!, thank's a lot.

annita said...

thanks for the tip!! is very useful, I always wondered how to do it.

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