Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sewing tutorial blind hemming to reduce pants length

Sewing Tutorial: Reduce Pants length with blind Hemming
Pant altering tutorial

I feel a big sense of accomplishment whenever I learn a new sewing technique. This week while altering a pair of pants, I was forced into learning how to do blind hemming. Since I couldn't figure it out on my own, I resorted to this awesome blind hem tutorial from Ashley of Make it and Love it. Once I went through her was all pretty easy. All it took was 10 mins to hem a pair of pants. Now I have a nice well fitting pair of pants that cost me lesser than 10 bucks...can't beat that.

Here's a mini tutorial for altering the pant lengths using blind hemming.

Pant altering tutorial 1. fold pants to right length

Wear your pants and find out what length you would like them to be. Wearing them is crucial as it is difficult to judge a flattering length without trying them on. Also wear the shoes you're going to wear with them for more precise fitting. Here I should point out that the method I'm going to show will work only if your pants are straight cut/or are flared ever so slightly...for bootcut pants you will need to adjust the width too ( which I'm not covering in this tutorial). In the above pic I'm showing one of the legs of the pants which has been folded to an appropriate length.

Reducing pants length by sewing

Now fold the pants hem back on the right side, up to the point where you folded earlier. Iron it well to make a nice crease at this point.

Setting up the sewing machine

Sewing machine setting for hemming pants
Now lets get the sewing machine ready for the job by removing the detachable part of the sewing platform. Most machines have this part that can be just pulled out. This will make the sewing platform narrower and help us hem the pants easily. ( Please refer to your machine manual on how to correctly do this, the mechanism differs on different machines but most model have this option)

Blind hem stitch setting on sewing machine
Choose the Blind Hem stitch type on your machine. On my machine ( Babylock Ellageo) the top 2 stitch types (2-01 and 2-02) are for Blind hemming. Sorry about the crappy picture.

sewing pattern: Fix your pants

Lets get back to the pants now. Now turn them inside out. Now that you can see the fold turn the fold outwards such that only a small portion (2-3 mm) of the fold is visible. If you closely look at the right end of the pants above, you would see the fold peeking out. Thats what you want to do.

sewing pattern: Fix your pants length
Now set your machine on the slowest speed and start sewing. What you want to do here is sew on the small sliver of the fold that is peeking out, but let the 'spike' graze at the layer above.

Blind hemming on pants
Here's a picture of my sewing to illustrate what I meant. See those peaks that barely touch the upper layer. That 'grazing' is what will hold the two layers together. This is where your finesse will be tested, if you let the peaks fall too much on the upper layer, they will show up on the outside...if you try to stay too far then they might not graze the upper layer, which would mean no hemming :( . It may take a couple tries to get the distance just right. Using sewing foot as guide will definitely help.

Sewing tutorial: Pants with blind hem

Here are the hems on my pants, all done. What? You can't see any hem? That my the whole point.

Here I'm with my brand new pants. ( The jeans was done differently but I still had to use blind hemming to finish them)

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