Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Tip for Tuesday: Straight Hand Stitched Hem

I am a shortie. 5'2" to be exact. So anytime I buy clothes, if I can't get them in petite, they more likely than not need altering. In my non-preggers state I would never buy a pair of jeans or pants that weren't petite but maternity clothes are an entirely different story. I buy what I can on sale and hope for the best.

A few weeks ago I went to the Meijer and they had maternity jeans on sale for $5. Yep, 5 bucks. I bought 5 pair. Not because I'm a shopaholic (well, not totally because I'm a shopaholic and haven't fed the fever in about 8 months) but because I was going on a work trip and the thought of worrying about the elastic on my more expensive jeans staying tight was driving me crazy. I can't wear most pants for more than five hours without the elastic stretching out and the pants saging. So, I bought a bunch of jeans for 20 bucks.

I got them home and they were super long. SUPER LONG. What to do?
I have a horrible - can't stitch through light weight felt - mini-sewing machine and no funds to dedicate to a better one. I refuse to pay a seamstress for pants I am going to wear for a few more months, so the only option was to hand hem the jeans. UGH.

I usually hate to handstitch hems. I remember when I was 11 and my mom taught me how. I always sewed in crooked line and made the back stitch too big and the hem wouldn't stay. In college I gave up handsewing hems and became a fan of Stitchery Witchery and Heat n Bond.

But these maternity jeans were made out of uber-stretchy material and the no sew method wasn't going to work. SO, after much trepedation, I decided to handstitch the hem.

AND HERE'S THE TIP -- To make a straight stitch, I used Scotch tape to space my stitches. The sewing actually went faster with the tape guide. And Viola! A hem line I could live with. Sure, they weren't machine perfect, but they looked perfect from afar and kept my pants off the ground.



Ahh, shortcuts. A tired woman's bestfriend.

Thanks for stopping by,

~ Dee

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