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Self-alterations: how hard is it to hem your own suit pants?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by soupcxan, May 4, 2010.

  1. soupcxan

    soupcxan Senior member

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    I'm trying to get my suit pant length just right and I find that the tailors usually overshoot or undershoot regardless of what I tell them. For plain finished bottoms (not cuffed), how hard is it to do this yourself? I looked up instructions on doing a blind stitch by hand (I don't have a machine) and it doesn't look too difficult, but maybe there are pitfalls I'm not aware of? My previous sewing experience has been limited to replacing loose buttons.
     
  2. ManofKent

    ManofKent Senior member

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    I found attempting to do it with my wife watching my feeble efforts with growing frustration worked [​IMG]
     
  3. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    I found attempting to do it with my wife watching my feeble efforts with growing frustration worked [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I've applied the same to ironing my shirts, with positive results.
     
  4. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    I've hemmed pants that will have a cuff. That's not too difficult to do.
     
  5. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I'd say it depends on how well you use a sewing machine ... or hand stitch if you prefer.

    But to be honest ... I prefer to keep my local tailor in business ... and send everything his way.
     
  6. Mannix

    Mannix Senior member

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    It's not difficult at all, even if you want cuffs. I do all of my basic alterations for pants, which include length and waist adjustments...along with some jacket alterations. For uncuffed pants you can just hand hem them if you don't have a sewing machine. If you're hand hemming just be sure to only take a very tiny amount of the face side fabric with each stitch, so your stitches don't show on the face side.
     
  7. oldog/oldtrix

    oldog/oldtrix Senior member

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    The alterations tailors in my family's store baby sat me until I was big enough to begin child labor as a stock boy. I found their work fascinating and picked up much that I still use more than 50 years later. Here is the catch stitch I learned then and used to cuff the trousers I'm wearing today. In the pictures, the inside of the cuff, with the edge folded under is to the bottom and the fabric of the trouser leg to which the cuff is stitched is to the top. I'd use the same stitch for hemming. The only difference between cuffing and hemming with this stitch, as with any other, is that care needs to be taken when hemming that the stitches in the trouser leg catch only a thread or two of the fabric and do not penetrate to the outside of the leg.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's an illustration of the stitch stolen from the web:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    I'm trying to get my suit pant length just right and I find that the tailors usually overshoot or undershoot regardless of what I tell them.

    Why don't you just pin it yourself and then have them sew it?

    This is what I've started doing.
     
  9. Mannix

    Mannix Senior member

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    Here's an illustration of the stitch stolen from the web:

    [​IMG]


    Personally I would use a vertical stitch and have the longer angled part underneath the hem, as opposed to the illustration above. There is less chance of your foot/toe getting caught on a small vertical stitch as compared to a long angled stitch. See pic below:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. axe

    axe Senior member

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    Why don't you just pin it yourself and then have them sew it?

    This is what I've started doing.

    That's... an astonishingly good idea. It seems so obvious too [​IMG]
     
  11. AxlJack

    AxlJack Senior member

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    Its pretty easy

    I just recently started doing them;

    The internet has many places where you can learn how to hand sew hems thru video (the usual place to see videos and also many how to sites)


    The one I use is the Whip Stitch; which apparently can be only done by hand and cannot be replicated by machine yet; and from what I understand this is the basic way to properly hem a pair of trousers (I think the catch stitch described above is a higher than basic level hem stitch and the same thing there i don't think it can replicated properly by machine yet)

    From My experience just make sure

    1. Measure properly and do the small calculations on how much to cut

    2. Cut with a blade using a strong ruler (as a weight and mark) to make the cut straight (if u dont cut straight; you cant get the measurements right and will always be off when trying to match the other leg)

    3. When measuring wear you shoes with socks (i did it without shoes once and obviously had to do it all over again)

    4. Leave a little extra cloth when cutting


    Use my follies for you gain !!!!!

    Best of luck
     
  12. crinklecut

    crinklecut Senior member

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    Mar 23, 2010
    The one I use is the Whip Stitch

    That is normally used for seams. Can you post a picture of your whip-stitched hems?
     

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