Easy on the inseam!

November 17, 2006 by  
Filed under Pictures

I am a fairly short person, about 175cm (5’8″) if I’m lucky. My family is short. We are a vertically challenged, stocky, German peasant sort of people. My wife is also short so, unless we get a genetic mutation, our offspring are likely to carry on being short. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Jockeys are always in demand, and the low center of gravity makes short people harder to knock over, particularly if they’re stocky. Which I am.

As vertically challenged people, it can be difficult to find pants that fit to length. Generally in Australia pants are bought on waist size only, unlike in the US where you can choose both waist and leg measurements. This has particularly been a problem for me recently when buying new jeans that are so long as to almost trip me up.

Store assistant groping mannequin

Buying my last pair of jeans was an adventure in itself – at least for the store assistants pictured above – since the last pair my size had to be removed from the mannequin.

Unhemmed Jean leg

Note Exhibit A: a pair of jeans flowing well past my heel, and half way around my foot. Flares may be making a comeback, but I think this is taking it a little too far. So what can be done? Dry-cleaners offer a hemming service, but $15-$20? I think not!

When we were married Kate’s mum gave us an old Singer sewing machine. It sat unused until recently, when I decided something had to be done once and for all about my jean predicament. Note that since about the age of 14 while living at home I had to wash and iron my own clothes, as well as sew my own buttons back on. Yes, a modern day Oliver Twist, if you will.

And so I searched hither and dither on the internet for instructions on how to hem jeans. I seemed to have hit the jackpot at one forum where they talked of the hem tutorial to end all hem tutorials. But, alas, they noted the link had been taken down, and so the search continued.

Never fear, Fig and Plum referenced the very same tutorial (obviously it was a good one), but had also saved the Word document! (DaciaRay.com also created a tutorial with pictures although the following tutorial is the one I used. And so, here, I present to you the document “Hemming Jeans Like a Pro”. You can also get it as a PDF if you prefer, although the file size is much bigger.

WordDocumentIconHemming Jeans Like a Pro.doc (0.2mb)
PDFDocumentIcon Hemming Jeans Like a Pro.pdf (2.1mb)

And so, having followed the instructions as best I could, you can see the results for yourselves.

Hemmed Jean Leg

Exhibit B: hemmed jeans, well-hemmed, if I say so myself.

Return next week for Home Economics 101, as I present to you, cooking with Dave. Or more accurately, cooking with Kate, with pictures and taste-testing by Dave.


5 Responses to “Easy on the inseam!”
  1. Anachronism says:

    Very nice post.  I will have to practice this technique on an older pair of jeans before I take my novice needle-and-thread skills to my brand new, too-long pairs. :)

  2. Dave says:

    When I did it, the needle was on the pant leg material. I also wondered if that was how it was supposed to work.

    To be honest though, I did this a long time ago, and I’m not that good at it!

    The site that has some good information on it is DaciaRay, who I linked to in the post.

    People have asked questions about the process there, and a lot of them have been answered!

    Thanks for stopping by Donna!

  3. Donna says:

    Hi! Love this method of hemming. I did it and it looks o.k., but when I sew is the needle actually on the existing hem or on the pant leg material? Do you know what I mean? Help!

  4. Dave says:

    She certainly is – but once I get my sewing table for Christmas, it’s sweatshop labour until my death.

  5. Well done indeed! My last boyfriend was completely at sea when it came to buttons and the like. Kate must be pleased.

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