Tracksuit pants hem tutorial

Ok, this is a tute for all those who would like to put up their hems of their trackie dacks (tracksuit pants) so that they look just as professional as before.  It is not as hard as it seems.

Step 1: First thing is to measure how much you will need to take them up.  You may need help from someone else with this.  A good general rule of thumb is that the bottom of the new hem should be the bottom of your heel.

Step 2: Now turn your pants inside out and measure that distance from the current bottom of the pants up.  This is where you will now fold the pants up with the outside of the pants folding toward the inside.  You should be seeing the inside out of the pants with the outside of the fold.  It is best to do this on your ironing board as you will be ironing this in a moment.

Step 3: With your iron set on the appropriate setting for the pants (check the label), iron the crease of the fold (which will be your new hem line) all around the edge.  Do this for both legs. (please ignore the cut on the pants in the photo - I took the photo after I had done Step 5!)

Step 4: Now measure the length of the current hem.  It is always a good idea to follow what has been done already, except in the cases where it is too small.  In these cases, allow for more fabric for the hem.

Step 5: Now with this measurement of the hem, cut that length from the ironed crease (toward the bottom of the pants) all the way around the pants - be sure to cut evenly.  Do this with both legs.

Step 6: Now with your overlocker, stitch around the edge in cotton that either matches or is neutral.  If you do not have an overlocker, use a zigzag stitch along the edge. Do this for both legs.

Step 7: Iron with steam to relax the fabric back and to set the stitches. Do this for both legs.

Step 8:  Pin the hem around (knob ends pointing down to the bottom of the pants. Do this for both legs.

Step 9:  Pop your Twin Needle (make sure you use the "Stretch" needles for stretch fabric) and thread up your machine with cotton to match the pants or slightly darker cotton (use either two cotton reels or make up two bobbins and use one bobbin up the top as your other reel).

Step 10: Making sure that you are stitching on top of your edge of your hem, sew on the right side of your pants.  Careful not to pull the fabric as it goes through the machine.  Keep it at a consistent width from the bottom edge.  Do this for both legs.

Step 11: Turn up the steam on your iron

and put the finished pants, inside out on the ironing board.  You will notice that they are all bubbly.  Don't freak out!  Hold the iron over the top, not ironing, just holding over, push the steam button and give them a shot of stem and watch the fabric reclaim its elasticity! 

Ta Da!

Step 12: Now turn them the right way and give them an iron and your job is done!

Busy Term nearly over

Here are three of my girls showing off their fantastic bags that they have spent their time making whilst I taught them how to use their sewing machines and the basics of sewing.  Brilliant girls!  Well done. 

One week to do where we will continue to work on zippers, centred, lapped and invisible.  Pop over to Lara's blog for a fantastic tute on invisible zippers - it has certainly turned my sewing life around (especially as I am moonlighting as Ink and Spindle's cushion girl).