How To Mark Your Hems..Another Method

As I mentioned in the last post, there are many ways to mark a hem.

Besides the method I showed you in that post, I have tried using several measuring devices, including a yardstick.

None of them worked super well. They all had their issues.

But many thanks to Christy,an amazing tailor, who told me about another, quicker, method of marking your pants or skirts.

You may already know about this technique, but it was news to me.

First, buy yourself (or make) a stool.

I had thought of doing this for years, but I was waiting for my husband to make me a stool.

Good thing Christy stepped in and prompted me.

She has saved my back singlehandedly.

Or as kids would say, she has my back!

I found this one at Walmart:

It was only about $15.00.

I wanted one that was sturdy enough for someone to stand on. A stool that would make my customers feel confident that the thing wouldn’t collapse on them.

Then, Christy suggested I buy one of these at JoAnn Fabrics:

If you are on JoAnn’s mailing list, you can use the 40% off coupon and it will make it more affordable.

It has a ruler along the tall post and you can adjust the height of the marker to meet the height of your hem.

It also has a reservoir of powdered chalk.

Once you determine what height you want the hem at, you lock in the device and it won’t move.

When you get the marker right up to the fabric you are marking, squeeze the little bulb that is attached, and a small spray of chalk comes out of this gizmo in a straight line onto your fabric:

This is what it looks like on the pair of pants I marked recently:

Ok, my line is a little crooked. I must have moved a little.

But it’s close enough.

Chalk it in several places all around the hemline.

For a fuller skirt or gown, you’ll want to mark every inch or two all around the gown.

Then you just fold on those marks and press and you have the new hemline in a flash.

Thanks again, Christy!

How To Mark Your Pants For Hemming…One Method

There are several ways to mark a pair of pants in order to hem them.

I have used the same method for years.

It is so easy that your kids, husband, neighbor, or friend could do it easily.

And so can you!

First, I make sure the customer has on a pair of shoes that they will wear with the pants.

Then, I have them stand on the wood floor facing a full length mirror.

Then I grab a seam gauge like this one:

sewing blog 218

It is a handy tool for this assignment.

I ask the customer how high off the ground they’d like their pants to be.

If they don’t know, I start by folding the hem up 1/2″ off the ground, using the seam gauge as my guide.

Then I have the customer look and see if they like it at that point.

This customer wanted hers higher, so I folded them up 3/4″ from the ground and put a pin in there. (In the photo below, I pushed the blue slide up out of the way so you can see the fold of the pants better. Sorry, but I took this picture with the camera on the floor and didn’t look through the viewfinder first. It’s a little distorted and I didn’t look at the photo until she left.)

But, you get the idea, don’t you?

You can see in the photo below that I have turned the hem over to look at the wrong side of it:

The seam gauge shows that I had turned the hem up one inch.

(Let’s recap: The pants are 3/4″ up off the ground and the pants are folded up 1″. That is why you have the two different measurements, in case you were wondering).

Next, I put three more pins into each pant leg (one at each side seam and one in the center front of the pant on each leg).

So, at each of the three points, I will fold the pants up one inch and put a pin in to secure it.

You should have a total of four pins per pant leg:

I let my customer look at the pants now that the 4 pins are in each leg and they let me know if they like the length.

If so, we’re finished and I go on to hemming them.

If not, I raise or lower the foldline according to what they want and then change the other three pins accordingly.

This may seem like a long process, but it only takes a minute or two.

Once you have marked the hemline, you’ll want to sew the hem. To do so, you’ll want to read my posts on:

How To Hem Pants and Skirts

Hem Your Jeans the Professional Way

How To Hem Without Puckers for Flared or Tapered Pants

How To Hand Sew a Hem

There are several other posts on specific hemming solutions, so look at the left toolbar and click on “More Articles” and then “Hems”.

My next post will cover another way to mark your hems so stay tuned!

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