Friday, March 20, 2009

Instructions: How To Sew a Blind Hem


A big *THANK YOU* goes to Stacie for sharing the information for this post. After reading yesterday's blog on jeans, she was kind enough to forward her instructions and pictures on sewing a blind hem to share with all of us. Thank you Stacie!

*A blind hem can be done at a tailor for around $15-20 but is actually pretty easy to do yourself if you have a sewing machine!

Step 1) First determine what length you want your pants to be; depending on what shoes you are likely to wear with them - heels or flats. Measure from the existing hem on the pant what amount of fabric needs to be taken up. Because you will just be folding the fabric in you will need to take the amount you need to shorten and divide in half. For example if you want to take two inches off the length; make your fold 1 inch wide.

Step 2) From existing hem fold pants as shown in picture and iron them; making sure they are folded evenly the whole way around and pin if necessary.

Step 3) Using your sewing machine; stitch all the way around the pants with a straight stitch keeping as close to the hem seam as possible.


Step 4) Turn pants right side out and iron, iron, iron. The pants in the pictures are the Watson's with a regular inseam but they were just so long I had to hem them a bit. I also took out the cuff which is not necessary but I prefer them that way. (its hard to take a good pic of your pants hem yourself!)

This is a nice way to hem designer/premium jeans since you aren't actually cutting the jeans and you are able to keep the original hem and stitching in tact. If you decide you want them longer at some future date the stitches are easy enough to take out and re-do.*

Thank you again to Stacie for sharing this fabulous and informative information with us...you ROCK!

I also want to add that Stacie currently has designs in her store Approprie on Etsy.com that is now officially open for business...be sure to check it out. :)

Do you think you will try sewing your own hem? Have you attempted your own alterations before?

19 comments:

  1. I love this post! Thank you!

    I have a sewing machine and I hemmed a few pants a couple of times before, but honestly my work was not that great....I and gave up and took them to a tailor for a better finish and to save my time.

    Thank you for the guidance, the pictures are very helpful. You gave me the guts to come back and try it again, actually I just got a trouser that needs work..

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  2. I love this! My knakis are always shrinking so I buy them long and eventually they are short... http://isnotfashion.blogspot.com/

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  3. I have been doing this for years (after going to a tailor and taking apart their work to see how they did it). It also adds a little weight to the bottom of the pant making it lay nicely over shoes (the hem is thicker and more stiff). The only thing is, it's difficult to go back to a longer length if the pants have been washed several times- some of the sewing marks will show.

    I also find the hem comes out better when you iron all the folds prior to actually sewing, especially on jeans with thick inner and outer seams.

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  4. Thanks to Stacie and FFM for this great info! I've hemmed pants in the past but this looks easier than my method. You make it look rather simple and easy. I will have to try this. Thanks!

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing! I'll have to try this. I can do a slip stitch by hand for skirts & dresses, but this is fantastic for pants!!

    And at 5'10", I do have to hem pants because it seems the inseams are either too short or too long (I know, grass is always greener...)

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  6. I am a self-altering freak! Skirts, tops, jackets, pants; you name it, I've altered it. I think it's kinda liberating to do your own changes. It feels especially good when you've done a good job. Oftentimes(ok, most everytime), if I can't find a skirt or dress in my size I buy the size up. After a few snips and the hum of the sewing machine, I've got my own tailor made piece...great post!

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  7. FFM, this is OT, but how do you manage to dress nicely with four boys? Like how do you keep them from getting your clothes dirty? I don't have any kids, but my sister has three, and when I visit, I have to wear old clothes b/c they get stuff all over me -- dirt, food, bodily fluids, etc. I even bring extra clothes b/c they spill stuff on me and I have to change. Do you just buy a lot of stain stick? Or have you taught your boys not to get you dirty?

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  8. Thanks FFM!

    Hope this helps you gals, and good points everyone!

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  9. Hello Girls! I so glad you are enjoying the post, and that Stacie was so generous to share it with us! Thank you again Stacie! :)

    Also thanks to those who have also shared their tips, techniques, and advice...it is greatly appreciated! :)

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  10. Hi mary-scott! I do get an occasional stain caused by one of my boys, but for the most part I seem to remain stain-free, and so do they, actually. I do carry a Tide to Go stick in my handbag at all times, as it is really a lifesaver when you are out and about. If I am at home and end up with something on me, I immediately put it in the washing machine with detergent to soak in cold water, and have been quite successful with the stain not setting. I usually don't wear my dry clean pieces when at home...I mainly try to choose the easily laundered and comfy pieces. I also choose drinks/snacks/jelly, etc. that isn't red, purple, or some other dark color that causes bad stains. If we are out and about then I opt for lighter colored juice or milk and apple jelly for the PB and J's...that way if spillage occurs there is much less damage to deal with. ;)

    We have a rule that all eating and drinking is to be done at the dining room table (not that it is always followed, but they are making progress). My boys know that once they finish eating they are to immmediately get washed up, so they don't often go wandering the house covered in food or some other kind of mess, so that also goes a long way towards prevention.

    Now keeping their toys picked up and rooms clean is a whole other matter, but we are working on that. :)

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  11. FFM: You sound like me! I have lots of "rules" - about where to eat, when to wash - you have to with kids! I have 3 boys and I'm sure at times they have nightmares of me telling them to "wash your hands"! LOL! It does make for a neater/cleaner household, though! And yes - you gotta love the Tide stick - and I go through a lot of Oxy-Clean spray!

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  12. FFM, i think i am so lazy. i take everything to the cleaners. However, I loveed reading your reply to mary-scott. I remember those days. Now my son is 21 and I am wondering where the time went. Your name fits you perfectly...you truely are a fabulous fashionable mommy

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  13. Thanks for the informative post! I always wondered how that was done (I tried to do an original hem on my first pair of Sevens, and it didn't work so well. Do tailors usually cut off the extra folded portion after sewing the seam?

    I was also wondering if you are supposed to sew your hem right on top of the existing seam, so the new seam is pretty much solid and "thicker" than it was before? I'm not much of a seamstress, so I apologize if that question has an obvious answer.

    Thanks again!!!

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  14. Thank you FFM! I definitely need to get one of those Tide to Go sticks. I can totally see how moms go ultra-casual when they have kids due to the messiness. If I ever have kids, I hope I'm able to look as good as you do!

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  15. Cat: You probably wouldn't want to sew on the hem's seam but as close to it as you can. If you were to sew on that seam you wouldn't retain the original hem of the pants and it may look strange ;)

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  16. Wow, FFM - you are an absolute repository of useful information! I try to take advantage of free J.Crew hemming a much as possible, but when I don't pay full price for something, I usually just opt to pay the $10 anyway. But it would be nice to learn to do something myself for a change...

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  17. FFM: Thank you so much! The directions and images are wonderful- and easy to follow. I have a couple of pants I might be hemming this weekend now. :)

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  18. Hi FFM and Stacie - I just want to point out that this isn't a true blind hem - at least not from the pictures. A blind hem creates a hem that is virtually invisible on the outside of the garment, and uses a special zig-zag type of stitch on a sewing machine.

    I still think this is a great tip, so thanks for sharing!

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  19. Technically, it's not a blind hem. Jenny is right - on a real blind hem the stitches would not show on the outside, as if you weren't sewing through to the other side. In addition to the blind hem zig-zag there is a blind hem foot attachment =]

    Still, this is a good tip for a fast, simple hem. The quality on a $15 hem at the cleaners is not going to be that much different.

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