Monday, December 30, 2013

Tutorial: Lengthening a Hem

If I ever buy trousers or a skirt, I always have to lengthen the hem as much as possible. This is a quick and easy way that keeps the hem looking beautiful even after it has been altered.

1. Remove the stitching from the original hem.
2. Top-stitch hem tape 1/4" from the edge.
3. Fold a new hem line along the edge of the tape and blind stitch into place.
4. Press the new hem. 


1. Use a razor blade to unpick the original stitching. A seam ripper tends to yank on the threads and put unnecessary stress on the fabric. 

2. If you have difficulty getting the original crease to disappear, it's probably because the garment had some type of finishing treatment like starching. Once the garment is laundered or dry-cleaned the crease should come right out. 

3. If you don't have hem tape, a wide single-fold bias tape does the job just as well.


  1. Very timely. ii am trying to decide whether or not to use the vinegar solution on some pants that I lengthened. Do you or any of the other readers know of a good test to do that will make sure there are no "surprises" when using the vinegar for the stubborn creases?? Thank you

    1. I add vinegar to every load in both the prewash and rinse spaces of my machine and I've never had any sort of surprises. I use it to remove odors and prevent dye bleedout.

  2. Brilliant! I never thought of hem tape!

  3. Great tutorial! I've linked to it over at Craft Gossip:


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