OK, so I know most petites don’t usually have this problem, so it makes me a bit of a freak of nature when I say that I’m only 5’1 and I find petite pants too short, but I still need the proportions of petite clothing in the hips and rise. Even if you do not have a similar issue to my own, there might be a situation where you feel like you want to let out a hem on a pair of trousers that you may have accidentally hemmed too short or even just letting out a cuff since they aren’t so flattering on shorter legs. So I thought I would show you how I let out the cuff of my J.Crew Cafe Capri in Pop Art Polka Dot, seen in the last post.
Let me start off by saying, it is a bit of work although not particularly difficult. And this is by no means the “professional” way of doing it, only the way that I’ve interpreted how it might be done by examining at the end result of having a professional tailor let out a hem for me in the past.
I’m going to try to make the steps as simple as possible, but if anything needs more clarification, please let me know and I’ll make some changes to the steps to make it easier to understand!
What you’ll need:
Seam Ripper (or small scissors to let out the old seam)
Seam binding/old material/grosgrain ribbon about 1″ to 1.5″ wide
Thread that matches your pants as closely as possible
Iron for pressing
(1) Let out the existing hem. Here, I had a cuff and used my seam ripper. If you don’t have a seam ripper (I highly recommend that you get one), you can use a pair of small scissors. Be careful to cut the right threads or you may have the entire pant leg coming apart!
(4) Cut two pieces that are a little longer than the total width of the leg opening of the pants (approximately 2cm longer). You are going to sew the ends of the binding together, so after they are sewn, the width of the loop should match the width of the pants exactly.
(5) Take one piece of ribbon/binding and sew the ends together. If there is a “right” side and “wrong” side as above (the “right” side has polka dots, the “wrong” side does not), sew the right sides together so that the seam looks like this:
(8) Sew the ribbon/binding to the pants. If you have a small leg opening, the leg probably won’t fit around the arm of the machine which makes this very tricky. I did it in very small sections. Make sure you don’t accidentally sew the other side of the pant opening or you are going to sew the entire pant leg closed!
This is the end product after the ribbon was sewn on to the pant leg. If you look closely, you can see I had sewn the ribbon as close to the edge as possible:
(10) Fold the ribbon/binding inside the pant leg so you can no longer see it and adjust to desired length. I wanted as much length as possible, so the edge of the binding is right at the edge of the fold:
(11) Repeat with other leg.
(12) Hem the pants using desired method. I used an invisible hem.
(13) Press well.
Ta da! Here is the final result:
The same technique can be used for skirts, so I intend to use this same method for my J.Crew Double-Serge Cotton No.2 Skirt that I find too short for my liking. I hope this tutorial is helpful to someone! 😀