Can You Hem Pants With A Sewing Machine

Can You Hem Pants with a Sewing Machine?

If you have pants that need alteration or shortening, a sewing machine is an ideal tool for the job. Hemming pants with a sewing machine is an easy and straightforward task, even for beginners. In this guide, we will walk you through the basic steps to hemming your trousers with a machine.

Before getting started, it is important to have the correct tools and materials to hand, such as a pair of scissors, pins, a tape measure, chalk or tailor’s marking pencil, safety pins, and pins. You will also need a sewing machine that is suitable for the job. Make sure it is in good working condition and oiled properly.

Once you have the right tools, you can begin by pre-washing the material to pre-shrink the fabric. As this is a delicate material, you should use the fabric’s recommended settings on the machine. Be sure to read the fabric’s instructions or contact a local seamstress for best advice.

To create a hem, you must first measure the length of your trousers. After, fold the fabric to the desired length and pin it in place. Place a few pins in between your legs to help hold the fabric in place, making it easier to hem. Finally, sew the hem from the inside of your trousers.

If your trousers require more fabric, you can add a patch of fabric to the bottom of your trousers. Cut the additional fabric to the desired size and shape, pin it in place, and sew the patch on the inside of your trousers. It is very important that the patch is the same shape and size as the bottom of the trousers. Otherwise, the patch will look unnatural.

When hemming pants with a machine, make sure to press the material evenly with an iron. This will help to avoid a lumpy or bumpy seam. Also, when sewing the hem, it is best to use a zigzag stitch. This will allow the seam to stretch with the fabric, ensuring a quality finish and extending the life of the trousers.

Tips For Working With Fabric

When hemming pants with a sewing machine, it is essential to use the right fabric for the job. Consider the type of fabric and its weight, as using the wrong material could cause the fabric to stretch or shrink when washed. Take care when setting the stitch length and tension to ensure a neat finish.

Be sure to use the correct needle when sewing the fabric. Make sure it is appropriate for the material and the job, as the wrong needle may cause puckering in the fabric or even damage the material. Investing in a good-quality needle is beneficial for sewing as it may be sharper and less likely to cause snagging and breakage.

And finally, always test the stitches on a scrap of fabric before beginning. This is a great way to test and adjust the thread tension and stitch length, as well as see how the patch or hem looks on the material.

Preparing Fabric for Hemming

Preparing the fabric to be hemmed is an important step in the process. Pre-washing the fabric ensures it is pre-shrunk and in good condition. Make sure to remove all lint and debris from the fabric before hemming.

Marking the fabric accurately with a tailor’s marking pencil or chalk will ensure the hemmed fabric looks neat and professional. Measure the bottom of the pants twice to ensure accuracy, and take into account any extra fabric length you will need for hems.

Be sure to use pins to keep the material in place while hemming. Place the pins just inside the seam allowance to avoid damage to the fabric. You may also use presser feet to help hold the material in place as you sew. This eliminates the need for pins and helps to ensure an even hem.

Hemming Pants with a Machine

Once your material is pre-washed and prepped, you can begin hemming the trousers with the machine. To start the hem, measure and mark the length of the hem then fold and pin the material. Be sure to constantly check the length and shape to ensure it is even and symmetrical.

Using the right stitch is important when hemming pants with a machine. Consider a zigzag stitch for most hems, as this will allow the seam to stretch with the fabric. Also, keep the stitch length and tension consistent to ensure a neat finish. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam for extra strength.

Finally, once the hem is sewn, press it with an iron. This will give the trousers a professional finish, and will also help to keep the fabric from fraying at the hem.

Additional Hemming Techniques

In addition to the standard hemming techniques, there are other techniques to help give your trousers a neat finish. For example, using a bias binding to cover the raw edges of the hem gives the trousers a finished look. This technique is especially effective with lightweight fabrics.

You can also use bias tape to reinforce the hem and make it stronger. This works especially well with lightweight fabrics and makes the hem more durable and resilient. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try fringe or scalloped hems for some added style.

Stitches for Hemming

When hemming pants with a sewing machine, it is essential to choose the right stitches. A straight stitch is the most common and suitable for most fabrics. This stitch creates a neat, straight line that is perfect for hems. It is also one of the most resilient stitches, making it ideal for hemming.

A zigzag stitch is also an effective way to hem trousers, as it allows for some extra stretch and flexibility in the hems. For lightweight fabrics, a blind hem stitch might be the best choice. This creates a neat, tight seam that is not easily visible on the outside of the trousers.

If you are using heavier fabric, such as denim, consider using an overlocker. This creates a more durable stitch that will hold up to wear and tear better than a regular hem.

Alternatives to Hemming

Hemming pants by hand or machine can be time-consuming and requires skill and precision. There are, however, some other alternatives to hemming that don’t require a sewing machine. Using a fabric glue, for example, is a great option for lightweight fabrics. This is an easy and quick way to hem lighter fabrics, though it cannot be washed or dry cleaned.

Another option is to use a heat sealant. This is a great way to mend and hem lightweight and delicate fabrics. The heat sealant dries quickly, and can easily and safely be washed or dry cleaned. Just be sure to buy a heat sealant that is suitable for the material you are working with.

Finally, you can use iron-on hem tape. This tape is ideal for heavier fabrics and will deliver a neat and professional finish. To use, simply iron the tape onto the fabric and trim off any excess fabric.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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