Learning to hem dress pants

Hems! Bah! I could think of a million things I’d rather do.

But my husband has a nice, but weird, pair of dressy trousers from Country Road. The weird thing is the hem is not sewn on but ironed on using hem tape. So after a few washes, the hem comes loose and I iron on more hem tape. I’ve done this twice now. Fun eh?

I avoided the impulse to just machine sew a hem. I knew the stitching would just stick out like a sore thumb. So with the magic of Google, I came across this awesome tutorial (PDF) on how to hand sew the hem.

Hand hemming dress pants

I carefully hand sew the “catch stitch” across the hem and I was quite surprised at how quick it was to sew.

"Catch stitch" on dress pants

Ten minutes later I was done hemming both legs. My stitches looked pretty even but the truth is on the other side – the right side.

Hand hemmed dress pants

Squeal! Look at that nothingness! I’m not joking. That’s already hemmed on the inside!

I also found that the same website with the tutorial – Sewing.org – has a huge list of tutorials. HUGE! Click here and be one with your sewing.

Oh before you go, do you know whether the iron-on hem is unusual or maybe I’m just clueless and it’s a standard sort of hem for dress trousers?


9 Responses to “Learning to hem dress pants”

  1. martha brown says:

    I learned how to hem like this in high school and I still use it 30 years later…. It works best on wool. I’ve never actually seen an iron on hem in person — and would definitely not expect it on something commercially made! I’ve used packing tape and staples in the past though, shhhh, don’t tell…. 🙂

    • Salihan says:

      You had such a good home economics teacher then. Mine only taught us really basic hand sewing. I’m glad to know that this catch stitch works well on wool as the trousers is a wool blend. P.S. I won’t tell. 😉

  2. Laura47 says:

    I was fortunate to have a home economics teacher when I was 13 who taught us not only how to sew properly with a machine, and how to finish what we sewed so that it didn’t look homemade, but also taught us an entire fabric workbook’s worth of hand stitches. To this day I thank her regularly when I use one of the stitches she taught me — blind hem stitch, blanket stitch, even hand-sewn buttonholes (needless to say, I only do repairs by hand!). I’ve long since forgotten her name — that was, after all, nearly 45 years ago — but I’ve never forgotten the wonderful lessons she taught me.

    The tutorial you found is exactly what I learned so many years ago. Now you’re ready to learn handworked buttonholes and French seaming! 😀

    • Salihan says:

      Wow! What an incredible and inspirational teacher you had! It’s wonderful to hear that her lessons are still playing a big part in your life. Imagine if she knew the impact she still has over you.

      I would love to sew properly and even if takes me a lifetime, I will learn one stitch at a time. 🙂

  3. xiuxiu says:

    Thanks for posting the tutorial. I have the worst hand sewing skills ever 😛
    But 2 active kids and hubby requires me to hand sew lots of ripped clothes.
    .-= xiuxiu´s last blog ..Look who’s in the dryer =-.

    • Salihan says:

      You’re most welcome Xiuxiu. I remember my mum always having to sew our ripped clothes too and she did plenty of hemming through the years as well! She started me off on the basics when I was a little girl. I don’t think I would be sewing if it wasn’t for her. Mothers are special. 😉

  4. candis says:

    Good job!!! Exciting isn’t it? I have been sewing for years and am still amazed that people are most impressed that I can hem things. Funny.
    I have seen the tape on trousers but only when we have rented them.
    Good work!

    • Salihan says:

      Thank you Candis! It is exciting! I think over the years I’ve gotten lazier and lazier, assuming that the sewing machine can replace hand sewing. But it can’t really. Some jobs just need that extra TLC as you know.

      Interesting about the hem tape on rented trousers. These weren’t rented and were not cheap either. Hmmm… strange.

  5. Katherine says:

    Oh what perfect timing that you should link a tutorial, I discovered my hem had come undone as I was ironing this morning. I went to work with a safety pin holding it up 🙂
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..A busy end to 2009 =-.

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