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Paula Pattern – Day 5

May 24, 2008

  • Day 1 – Pattern Preparation
  • Day 2 – Fabric Preparation & Cutting
  • Day 3 – Sewing of the Leg Pieces
  • Day 4 – Top-stitching

    Day 5 – Hemming

    Can you believe that we are on Day 5 with these pants?  It is taking us awhile, but we are heading for the home stretch.  Don’t get frustrated…you are almost done.

    Today, we are going to hem our pants.  Yes, we are hemming them before we sew the legs together. Do not sew the inseam first.  It is easier to sew these before sewing the inseam.  There are several things you could choose to do here.  You could add a ruffle.  You could sew ric rac or lace to the bottom.  You could add bias tape instead of going through the hemming process.  You could run your serger along the bottom for a rolled hem.  You could run the serger along the bottom and fold up once and sew a straight stitch.  You could pull out your coverstitcher and sew a hem that way.  I decided that I was going to the old stand by folded hem. 

    The first thing that you have to remember is that we have a 3/8″ seam allowance.  So, that is how much room you have to work with at the bottom of your pants. 

    Take both legs to your ironing board and plug your iron in.  While waiting for that, track down your handy ruler or seam allowance gauge.  Set your gauge ruler to 3/8″.  It should look like this:

    Now, if your iron is hot, you are ready to start ironing the hem.  First, you will use your gauge to measure the fold to 3/8″.  You will iron a little at a time and measure a little at a time.  It should look like this all the way across the bottom of your legs when you are done:

    Yes, I know…I realized after taking these pictures that I really need a new ironing board cover. 

    Next, you will fold the edge of the fabric to the fold that you just created, and iron it in place. You will do this all the way across a little at a time.  This will make a narrow folded hem.  It should look like this when you have folded twice:

    I’m really sorry about these pictures.  There is no lighting where I iron.  My ironing board is in a hallway.  I’ve adjusted them the best that I could.

    Now, when you have ironed your hem, take the legs back to your sewing machine.  It should be your regular sewing machine. 

    Your fabric should be turned so that the correct side is up.  Be careful and make sure that you are catching all the layers as you stitch. You don’t want frayed spots because you did not catch your fold. As you can see from the photo, I stitched about 1/8″ away from the edge.  The seams where the pieces were sewn together may be difficult to get through…just gently pull the fabric through.  Don’t pull too hard, though!  You don’t want to break a needle or damage your fabric. 

    I pulled the fabric that fed out the back of the machine forward so that you could see the stitching.  When you have sewn both hems, you are done for today.  We are almost there.  Our next day will be making and stitching pockets.  Until then, here are some shots of the finished hem.  Remember, no one sews a perfectly straight line.  My hem is probably off in some spots.  The most important thing is to catch all of the layers so that your hem will not fray!  Happy Sewing!


    2 Comments leave one →
    1. May 24, 2008 8:34 pm

      What great instructions! This is looking so cute!

    2. May 26, 2008 6:04 am

      Lordy!!! loving these!!!!! can’t wait to see….Jennifer

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