Tips for taking up pants using the original hem

This weeks tips on Tuesday looks at how you can take up pants but leave the original stitched hem in place. This method is particularly useful if you have children who grow very fast as the hem is not cut when it is taken up. It is just a case of undoing the stitching to let down your hem and the pants will last a bit longer. Depending on the style it may look better to keep the original hem as this keeps the character of the pants. 

1. First you will need to measure how much the hem needs to be taken up. Click here for a previous tips on Tuesday on working out how much the pants should be taken up. 

2. Then turn the pants to the right side and turn the hem up with right sides of the pants facing each other. Create a fold half the amount to be taken up. The pants in the picture below are being taken up 3cm in total so the fold has 1.5cm on each side. The fold needs to meet the original stitching line on the hem.

3. The hem should be measured, marked and pinned all the way around the pants.

4. The hem is sewn with normal thread (not top stitching) which matches the  pants. This is sewn next to the edge of the original hem, on the yellow line marked in the photo, the same place where the pants are pinned. It may be a good idea to take off the flat bed attachment so that the leg of the pants fits over and makes it easier to sew in the round. However, this may be difficult with children's or narrow leg pants. A machine foot such as a 'stitch in the ditch' foot will help to keep the stitching close to the edge of the original hem.


 5. Once sewn the fold at the bottom of the leg should be pushed up inside the pants and the original hem sits at the bottom of the pants. This should be well pressed.


6. Should you wish to take up your jeans by quite a lot, you will have a much larger fold inside your jeans. As long as you do not need to lengthen them again, this fold can be cut away to reduce the bulk and the raw seams can be serged or zig zagged so that they don't fray.

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