Several of my customers leave their pants to be hemmed on my porch without ever coming inside.
It’s because I hem their pants using their inseam measurement.
Once I know what their inseam measurement is, they never have to try pants on for me again.
I just sew each pair of pants at that same length.
This works well for men’s pants especially.
Men’s pants fit pretty uniformally across the board.
I’ll use the inseam measurement for some women too.
Women’s pants, however, can fit differently in the crotch area depending on the style and brand.
Some hang low in the crotch area and some don’t.
That can make for a variation in the inseam measurement.
Today I received a few pairs of men’s slacks for hemming.
This customer wants his pants hemmed with a 27 1/2″ inseam.
(Just so you know, that is a very short inseam. Most inseams are between 28″-36″)
There are two ways to find out what your inseam measurement is.
First, you can measure a pair of pants where the customer loves the length.
Second, you can measure their body (or your body, if you are hemming your own), from the crotch area to the point at which they want their hem to be.
For this example, I will show you how to measure the pants.
In this photo, you can see that I have laid the pants on the floor so that the inseam is showing from the intersection of the two seams to the bottom of the pants:
Here’s a close up view of that intersection of the two seams:
To get the inseam measurement, place a measuring tape at the point where the seams intersect:
Run the tape measure down the inside leg seam to the bottom of the pants. Whatever that measurement is, that’s your inseam.
Because my customer wants his pants to be at 27 1/2″, that is where I put a pin:
Notice the hem. It is put in with top stitching with a sewing machine. I always try to duplicate the original hem when I put the new one in.
First, take out the original hem with a seam ripper:
Take note that the original hem was folded up 1 1/2″:
Once you have taken out all the thread, spread out the entire hem so you can see all the way to the raw edge of the fabric.
If you measure from the fold of the original hem, you’ll see that there is 2 inches of fabric beyond that.
Measure from the folded edge to the pin.
That will tell you how much fabric to press up for the new hem.
Or you can measure from the original fold to the pin:
Press up that amount all the way around the pant leg:
Then, measure out that 2 inches and trim off the excess:
You’ll now fold up 1/2″. I know that because I left 2 inches of extra fabric and my original hem was 1 1/2″ deep. So, 1/2″ is what’s left to turn under.
Fold under the hem twice (once at the 1/2″ mark and again at 1 1/2″) and pin in place, matching the side seam lines:
You don’t have to pin this hem in place. You can just stitch if you like and if you feel comfortable doing that.
If I do pin the slacks, I like to pin on the outside (right side) of the pants.
I place a pin at each side seam and one in the center front of the pant and one in the center back.
Then, top stitch the hem in place, stitching from the right side of the pants. That way, I can make sure the seam line looks good.
This blog has all sorts of posts on different ways to hem garments. Be sure to click on “Alterations” above and then click on “Hemming”.