Knowing a few tips for hemming clothes can be a massive help if you ever have to make your own alterations. Whether it’s hemming a pair of too-long pants or altering a vintage dress, shortening hems is a great way to ensure that your clothes look their most flattering. You’ll need some sewing knowledge to hem your clothes, but once you’ve got the basics sorted you’re well on your way to being able to hem your own clothes. Take a look at these tips for hemming clothes.
1. Measure up
When it comes to tips for hemming, paying attention and being precise will help you get the best results. One of the first steps is to measure out how much you want to shorten the hem by. Measure and mark the fabric the whole way around to ensure that your hem will be even. When you’re measuring up, try and follow the natural hemline so your clothes will sit in a similar fashion to before.
2. Mark It down
To make sure that you get the best results, mark your fabric where you want your new hemline to sit. Something like a chalk marker is great for marking fabric as it doesn’t permanently mark your clothes. If you don’t have a chalk marker, just make sure you mark the underside of the fabric so it isn’t visible when you’re wearing your clothes.
3. Leave Extra Room
Unless you’re a sewing pro, always leave a little extra room around the edges. This will allow a bit of leeway with your hemlines. It’s also better to have a extra fabric around the edges than not enough, in case you have second thoughts about how much you want to shorten your hem by. After you’ve decided on the length of your new hem you can just snip off the excess fabric.
4. Consider Hem Width
One thing you should consider when hemming your clothes is the width of your hem. The hem width can greatly affect how the garment sits. A thinner hem allows for more movement while a wider hem can be stiffer and more structured. Wider hems are pretty common on skirts and pants as this makes them hang a bit more nicely. Take note of the width of your hem before you make alterations so you can recreate the same kind of finish.
5. Fold and Iron
To create a clean edge, fold the fabric inwards where you want the hemline to finish and then iron or steam it in place. For a super clean finish, fold your hemline over twice (this is where leaving extra room around the edges can also come in handy). This tip should hopefully make the sewing process a lot easier as well as giving your clothes a more professional finish.
6. Pin It in Place
Before you even go near your hemline with a needle and thread, make sure that you pin the folded edges in place. This will make sure that your hem is as even and as straight as possible. If you do things free hand, you might end up with a wonky hemline, which can be a disaster!
7. Use the Right Needle
Different fabrics will require different attention. Heavy fabrics like denim and leather will need a more heavy-duty needle while cottons and silks will need something finer. When you’re buying sewing needles, always check to see what fabric they’re designed for (they usually say on the packaging).
Whether you hand sew or use a sewing machine will depend on what equipment you have handy, your skill and confidence levels, and the type of fabric you’re dealing with. Like all things, practice makes perfect so hemming your clothes may take some getting used to. What tips do you have for hemming clothes?