My people have been nagging me to mend or alter their clothes ever since I dusted off my long neglected sewing machine. I keep explaining that I don’t know the first damn thing about mending or altering clothing, that if I knew how to mend or alter clothing I wouldn’t have duck taped the hems of JellyMan’s pants the morning of his piano recital, but they won’t believe me. They think I’m just being lazy, and you know what? It’s true. I don’t WANT to mend or alter clothing. Being able to do that would mean that a) I’d have to shop clearance sales (or, God help me, the thrift store) and b) I’d have a lot of fiddly work to do once I got home. How is that fun? But since I am, you know, AWESOME, I’ll throw them a bone and learn how to hem their jeans. I found a terrific tutorial by Ashley from Make It & Love It on Pinterest. It’s cool because you get to avoid THE ULTIMATE HORROR THAT IS THE UNDISTRESSED HEM. It still looks a little gooby to me, like a weird little pleat or tuck or something where you don’t normally see a weird little pleat or tuck or something, but whatever. I’ll try anything once.
I want my jeans shortened by 2″, and the original hem is 1/2″ deep, so I marked a line 2.5″ up from the bottom edge, folded up the hem to meet the line, and pinned it.
Then I sewed it right along the narrow folded edge of the hem.
With a LIGHTWEIGHT NEEDLE, because I are a doofus.
After you find the proper heavyweight needle, you will still want to hand operate your fly wheel over the bulky side seams. Unless, of course, your machine is way less sucky than mine is.
After severe steaming, pressing, and pounding (lay a press cloth over the bulky side seam, steam the hell out of it, then whack it with a rubber mallet a few times, BUT DO NOT WHACK THE SEAMS ON YOUR IRONING BOARD), the hems were reasonably flat.
Pressed but unwhacked side seam:
Pressed and whacked side seam:
It’s still looking a little gooby to me, though. See that little fold just above the original top stitching? I’m just not a fan.
So I tried to get rid of it by sewing closer to the top stitching. I basted up the narrow folded edge of the hem that I sewed next to the first time to get it out of my way.
Here’s a closer look:
Then I sewed very close to, but not touching, the top stitching. It was damn near impossible to keep the stitching line perfectly straight because of the bulk of the basted hem, but by the time I was done basting, I didn’t give much of a crap.
I removed the pins and ripped out the basting threads:
And now I can’t decide which version I like better. What do you think? The original method is on the left; my significantly more time consuming method is on the right.
Either way, I’m calling it a win. Because, look! Hemmed jeans!
Now I’m off to see what the other ladies did. See you next month!