Awkwardly short pants make me cringe. So much so that I can barely look at this photo above. I was cringing the entire time I put on these pants and took the photo. Being tall (5’10”), I’ve forever had a paranoia about my pants being too short. I even started doing my laundry in elementary school just to ensure my parents didn’t accidentally shrink my pants in the wash. (Now that I’m older I’m realizing that was one of the best parenting tricks EVER.)
Being a gal that loves to get good deals on her clothes, I’ve always struggled with finding size long on sale. Apparently all the tall girls buy their pants full price during the current season leaving no availability on the last season clearance rack. Ugh. Not willing to pay full price on anything, I’ve had to come up with a solution that didn’t involve the photo above: ALTERATIONS.
Now if I won’t buy my pants full price, you better believe I won’t pay to get a hem taken out.
Now put your sewing machines away because this alteration solution is SEW FREE!
Supplies to Hem Pants
- Iron & ironing board
- Seam ripper
- Measuring tape
- Hemming tape (I strongly recommend Wonder Tape 1/4 inch. Regardless which one you buy, make sure the width is under 1 inch so that you can use it on a variety of projects)
Before you jump in and do anything to your pants, flip them inside out and see how much extra hem (aka – extra fabric sewn inside) is available. It feels like Christmas morning when I discover a pair of pants has at least an 1 1/2 inch of hem. Seriously. Now decide how much of that extra hem you want to use to lengthen your pants. Or if you’re looking to shorten your pants, you don’t have to worry about available hem. Just decide how much you want to take in!
Using your seam ripper, slowly rip the thread holding your bottom pant seam together. Once you’ve ripped the thread all the way around the leg bottom, pull the loose thread out to clean it up.
Roll your pants down a little so that you see the inside of the pants (photo below). Even though I’m extending the length of the pants, I need to make a SMALL fold at the very end of my pants (typically about 1/2 inch). I iron this fold so that it’s even, ensuring its the same height around the pant. This fold is to ‘hold’ my sewing tape. This is another reason why I really like my 1/4 inch sewing tape!
Cut two 10 inch strips of sewing tape. Working with one strip/side at a time, slide the tape into the gap between the cuff (photo above). Put your iron on a low heat setting and press the area with the tape to bind the fabric together. Make sure you iron directly on to your pant fabric and not the tape. You typically need to only iron for 5-10 seconds, but check the instructions on your fabric tape.
Flip the pant leg over and repeat with your 2nd strip of fabric tape. Then repeat for the other pant leg. Unfold your pants and iron again to remove any additional creases.
Ahhhh … so much better!
Learning to hem pants has never been so easy (and quick)!