High-end men’s pants are traditionally hemmed 2 1/2 inches deep
The traditional 2 1/2 inch men’s pant hem gives men’s pants an expensive, quality look. Women’s pants and straight skirts are traditionally given 2 inch hems.
The pants in the picture on the right, a recognized quality brand, are priced at $98.00.
Even so, they have very shallow 1 3/8 inch hems (B).
The pants were purposely bought too long so they could be re-hemmed with a traditional 2 1/2 inch hem.
Measure the original hem
Measuring the hem reveals that the hem depth is 1 3/8 inches. Cheap, shallow hems save a manufacturing company considerable money as they reduce the length of the fabric layouts by inches. A couple of inches per pair of pants, multiplied by a cutting of 1000 pants equals considerable net profit.
Take the length
First the hem length is taken. The pant legs are turned up to the proper length (C).
Only one pant needs to be pinned (D). Remove the pants.
Remove the industrial hemming and 2 1/2 inches of the pant legs’ seams
Be very careful when removing the stitching. This pants’ seams have been sewn with safety-stitching, an operation that sews the seam with a chain stitch while overcasting the seam allowances. Both the safety-stitch seam and industrial hems are sewn with chain stitching. Catch the thread just right and the seam or hem is easily removed, as shown in this video.
Pin mark the finished hem length
E: Pin mark where the hemline is to finish.
Pin mark the finished length (E). Remove the original pins. Measure, then pencil mark 2 1/2 inches from the pins marking the finished hem length (F).
Lay the marked pant over the unmarked pant, making sure the top pant’s overcast edge lies precisely over the bottom pant’s overcast edge. Cut through all plies. If the shears cannot cut through all four plies, cut the top pant, then cut the bottom pant, using the top pant’s cut edge as a guide (G).
The cut pants’s bottom edge now measures 2 1/2 inches from the pins marking where the pant length will finish (H).
J. Over lock the pant legs’ edges with small, narrow zigzagging.
Remove 2 1/2 inches of the side and inseams’ seam and industrial overcasting at the bottom of the pant legs (I and J). The pant legs are tapered smaller at the ankles. To prevent puckering, the seams need to be tapered at the hems (I). Start the stitching at the edge of the seam. Too much fullness can be eased into the hem as it is sewn. Too little and the finished hem will pucker.
Overcast the pant legs’ edges with small, narrow zigzagging (J).
Pin the hems
First pin the hem at the seams, then at the center front and center back creases (K).
Finally pin between the pins already in the pant legs.
Hand stitch the hems
Lock the stitching with three little stitches at the seams. Stitching should not be tight. If it is a little loose it has some give and the thread is less likely to break.
Press the hems
If there is any danger of scorching the fabric, lay a press cloth over the each hem as it is pressed. Steam press (N).
© Laurel Hoffmann, 2018.
- 108: Fabulous Shopping in Cape May September 19, 2020
- 135: How to use a dress form August 13, 2020
- 134: How to Make a Mask Without Sewing July 6, 2020
- 133: How to Hand-Sew a Mask June 6, 2020
- 132: How to Make Hand-Rolled Scarves May 16, 2020
- 131: Tips for Mass-Producing CoverAidPHL Fabric mask v1 April 15, 2020