Altering Your Slacks Using a Sewing Machine
Hemming or altering your slacks is an important part of keeping them fitted and in good condition. However, going to the tailor every time your slacks need to be altered can be time-consuming and expensive. To save money and time, you can easily learn to alter and hem your slacks with a sewing machine.
To start with, you will need the following basic materials and tools: slacks, tailor’s chalk, pins, needle, thread, scissors, and a sewing machine. With these supplies and a basic knowledge of how to use a sewing machine, you can easily alter and hem your slacks.
The first step in altering and hemming slacks with a sewing machine is to decide how much length needs to be taken off. In order to do this effectively, you need to measure the inseam of the slacks. Put one of your slacks on and measure from the crotch seam down to where the leg meets the shoe. This measurement should be taken when you are wearing the type of shoes that you normally wear with the slacks. Once you have this measurement you can subtract the desired length to determine how much needs to be taken off of the slacks.
Once you have measured and marked the desired length, turn the slacks inside out and lay them out on a flat surface. Carefully fold the hem so that the newly marked seam lines up evenly and pin it in place. After the fabric is pinned, carefully sew the hem with a straight stitch on the sewing machine. Make sure to back stitch at the beginning of the seam and at the end, as this will lock the stitches and prevent the hem from coming undone. Once the hem is sewn, cut off any remaining excess fabric and press the newly altered slacks.
Altering and hemming your slacks with a sewing machine can be a cost-effective and convenient way to maintain perfect fitting slacks. By following these simple steps and using the proper tools and materials, you can quickly and easily hem and alter your own slacks.
Selecting the Appropriate Thread
When altering and hemming your slacks with a sewing machine, it is important to use the right type of thread. Different fabrics require different types and weights of thread, so it is important to select the right kind in order to get the best finished product. The thread should match the color of the material as closely as possible. If you cannot match the exact color, it is best to select a thread that is somewhat lighter in order to avoid any visible seams after the hem is sewn.
The thread weight should also be taken into consideration. Generally, light weight fabric will require a finer thread, while heavier fabric can use a heavier thread. Finer threads can be more difficult to work with and may break more easily, so if you are using a heavier fabric it is best to use a heavier thread as well. Additionally, some thread is labeled as ‘dual duty’, meaning it can be used for both lighter and heavier fabric materials.
When selecting the thread for altering and hemming your slacks, it is important to remember that the thread should match the color of the fabric as closely as possible and should be the proper weight for the fabric. This will help to ensure the best finished product.
Determining the Desired Length
When altering and hemming your slacks with a sewing machine, it is important to determine the desired length of the slacks before you begin. The best way to do this is to measure the inseam when you are wearing the type of shoes that you normally wear with the slacks. This measurement should be taken from the crotch seam down to where the leg meets the shoe. Once you have this measurement, you can subtract the desired length from it to determine how much fabric needs to be removed from the slacks.
It is best to err on the side of caution when determining the desired length of the slacks. It is much easier to shorten the slacks than to add fabric to them or let them out, so it is better to choose a length that is slightly shorter than you would like, rather than one that is too long. Additionally, it is best to leave a bit of room for error when determining the desired length, as this will prevent any issues that may arise if the length needs to be adjusted.
By properly determining the desired length of the slacks before you begin, you can ensure that the finished product will be the perfect length and fit. This will help to make the hemming process easier and more successful.
Following Safety Procedures
When altering and hemming your slacks with a sewing machine, it is important to remember to follow all safety procedures. The sewing machine should always be unplugged and the needle should be in the up position when changing threads and bobbin. Additionally, it is important to keep your fingers away from the needle at all times to avoid any injury. Before you begin hemming the slacks, it is also a good idea to practice on a scrap of fabric to make sure that you are comfortable and familiar with the machine and the hemming process.
When hemming the slacks it is important to pay attention to what you are doing and to keep your hands away from the needle at all times. Sewing needles can be very sharp and can pierce the skin if they are not handled properly. It is also a good idea to keep a pair of small scissors nearby to cut off any excess threads or fabric.
By following all safety procedures when altering and hemming your slacks with a sewing machine, you can avoid any unnecessary injuries and ensure that the hemming process is done correctly.
Checking for Accuracy
Once the hemming process is complete, it is important to check the slacks for accuracy. Carefully inspect the hem to ensure that it is even and that the sewing is neat and secure. Additionally, it is important to look for any visible imperfections or excess fabric that might need to be trimmed. Any visible imperfections should be fixed with a needle and thread before the hemming is considered complete.
It is also important to check the length of the slacks to ensure that they are the desired length. If the hem is too long or too short, it can easily be adjusted by cutting off any visible thread, pins, or fabric. Sometimes, it may be necessary to add fabric in order to make the hem the desired length, in which case it is best to take the slacks to a tailor for assistance.
By properly checking the hemmed slacks for accuracy, you can ensure that the slacks are the desired length and fit correctly. This can help to prevent any unnecessary alterations and ensure that the hemmed slacks look their best.
Creating a Professional Finish
After the hemming process is complete, it is important to create a professional finish. To do this, the hem can be trimmed with fabric scissors or a seam ripper. This will help to create a neat and tidy look by removing any visible threads or loose fabric. Additionally, the hem can be stitched with a decorative stitch such as a zigzag or blanket stitch to make the hem look more finished and professional.
Another way to create a professional finish is by taking the hemmed slacks to a tailor for any necessary adjustments. The tailor can check the fit and make any necessary alterations in order to ensure that the slacks fit perfectly. This is an especially important step if the slacks need to be let out or taken in.
By creating a professional finish to the hemmed slacks, you can ensure that the slacks look their best and can last for years to come.
Protecting the Material
When hemming your slacks with a sewing machine, it is important to take measures to protect the material. To do this, you can use a stabilizer on the fabric to prevent it from stretching or shrinking. Additionally, a pressing cloth should be used to prevent any scorching or burning of the fabric due to the heat of the iron. This can help to prevent any damage that may be caused by the sewing process.
It is also important to use a quality sewing machine needle when hemming the slacks. Quality needles was specifically designed for sewing and can help to ensure that the slacks are not damaged during the hemming process. Additionally, the needle should be changed regularly in order to prevent any damage to the material due to the needle becoming dull or worn.
By taking steps to protect the material when hemming your slacks, you can help to ensure that the slacks last for a long time and look their best.
After the hemming is complete, it is important to give the slacks a few finishing touches. This can include pressing the slacks to remove any wrinkles, spot cleaning any stains, or applying a fabric protectant. These simple steps can help to protect the slacks from dirt and stains and can help to keep them looking neat and well kept.
It is also a good idea to hang the slacks on hangers in order to avoid any wrinkles or creasing of the fabric. This will also help to maintain the shape of the slacks and will make them easier to store and keep track of. Additionally, it is important to store the slacks in a cool, dry place in order to prevent any damage due to moisture.
By taking a few extra steps to give the slacks some finishing touches, you can help to keep the slacks looking their best and will ensure that they last for years to come.