A close friend of mine, who wears highly fashionable clothes, recently asked me to alter his (very) slim trousers’ hem. Slim means that trousers legs go down narrowing.
As you can see on the picture below, this friend wears expensive and high quality clothes.
His tailor has previously sewn straight hems and he was not happy with them. If he was happy with the length at the front, he was not at all happy with the same length at the back, he wanted about 3cm more down the back. You’ve noticed that my friend is demanding and honestly, when I consider how much he pays for his clothes, I think he can! I will then have to sew this hem adding 3 cm of length at the back.
Although I knew before that it should not be easy to do, and I was right, I agreed to alter his two identical pairs of trousers.
THE HEM OF A SLIM PAIR OF TROUSERS,
Here is how I went through:
I was lucky enough that his tailor had left all the hem untouched, I think he didn’t want to do another overlock around. So I was able to cut and keep apart small pieces of this wonderful fabric, you’ll understand later on why it’s important. I marked and cut the new hem 4cm under the requested length and kept my scrapes.
INSERT A PIECE OF FABRIC AT THE FRONT OF THE HEM
This “up and down” hem cannot fold properly like a standard trousers hem. There’s too much fabric at the back, but it’s easy to deal with and there’s a lack of fabric at the front, here it was roughly 3cm! That’s when my small scarped are precious to go on. I had to open the hem at the front up to 8mm before the hem fold and insert there a tiny triangular piece to add these 3cm. Each piece is sewn flat with a zig-zag stitch. Then I did a new overlock around each leg.
SET THE BINDINGS BEFORE HAND STITCHING
The difficult part is now over but you must stay careful and work with care.
The new hem has been thoroughly and carefully pressed with the good length. For such an expensive fabric, I used a linen clothe between the iron and the fabric.
Never press over a pin or over a baste thread if you work with a delicate and expensive fabric, you’d mark it forever.
But the hem is not yet fully prepared for last sewing operation as expensive trousers come with bindings.
What? Bindings? What are they?: They are made of narrow and sturdy twill fabric that are sewn inside all along the half back of the trousers hem, while staying invisible in the right side. They are meant to protect the trousers legs from any friction with the shoes.
This binding is sewn on the hem along the fold line you’ve carefully pressed. Ends of the binding are folded and come after the side seam to avoid adding thickness to the seam. As this biding is set with a machine stitch, it must be set before the hem is finished up.
Here is a binding sewn inside the hem, along the fold line!
HAND STITCH THE HEM
Another thorough pressing through the linen clothe, to get a neat fold. I even baste the hem, although I never baste anything because I hate this waste of time!
You just have to hand sew this lovely hem with a thin thread to keep it perfectly invisible from the right side.
Did you ever sew such a hem before?
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Hello, I’m a French fashion designer and pattern maker with 30 years experience. I set a goal upon myself: To share my skills in Fashion Design, Pattern Making and Sewing by publishing free courses. You can support me with your views, your subscriptions and your donations on Patreon. Thank you