How To Hem Your Clothes With A Sewing Machine

How To Hem Your Clothes With A Sewing Machine

While many people imagine that hemming their clothes is too difficult, this isn’t the case. Here are some useful tricks and tips on how you can upgrade your wardrobe using the basic sewing machineOne of the best skills that you can learn is how to hem your clothes. This will allow you to customise their fit. For example, if you select clothes that are too large you can shorten them while maintaining a professional image. In addition, a good hem will prevent the fabric from unravelling and help the clothes last for longer. 



Hemming Shirt Sleeves and Pants

Let’s start by looking at one of the most common items of clothing to hem, shirt sleeves. The first step is to put the shirt on to discover how much you want to take the hem in. You can use a pin or chalk to mark the shirt sleeve to this length.  Next, lay the shirt out on a flat surface and create a chalk line to mark the desired sleeve length. 

The third stage is to measure the length of the hem on your original shirt and add it as a seam allowance. For example, if you originally wanted to hem four inches and the original hem was ½ an inch, then you would create a mark 3 ½ inches away from the sleeve. You then cut along this line, cutting both sleeves at once to make sure that the sleeves will be straight. 

Then, create a new hem on the shirt by folding the fabric over to the original chalk marking and using a sewing machine to create a straight stich along the line. You can also use this method to hem pants. The only difference is that you need to take the measurements from the back of the leg. Usually, you’ll only need to measure one leg unless your legs are different lengths.

Hemming Dresses

Another common item of clothing that you might want to hem is a dress. First, you should make sure to wash the dress, as some fabrics may shrink slightly in the wash. You should also iron the dress to remove any wrinkles that it might have. Next, you need to fit the dress. To do this, wear the shoes you will be using with the dress and stand in front of a mirror. 

Then, put a pin in the dress at the desired height. Use this pin measurement to create mark this length in chalk around the dress. It can be helpful to do this with a ruler to make sure that you get this measurement correct and it remains even across the dress. You can double check this measurement by putting the dress on and standing in front of the mirror. 

Once you are happy with how you’ve marked the dress, add in your seam allowance by measuring the size of the original seam, as we discussed above. Now you are ready to cut the dress along the seam line. Align it with your original hem line and use your sewing machine to stich it together in a straight line.

While this method will work with most dresses, there are some cases where it might not work. First, if the dress has decorative tassels, bells or flowers on the bottom then you can’t use this method, as you will have to cut them out. In addition, some fabrics might not work properly, as they can’t be laid down correctly. This means that it will be difficult to get the correct measurements. In these cases, you might want to consider getting the alterations done by a professional.


Common Hemming Problems

While this method is very straightforward and will work for a range of materials, there are some common errors that you should avoid. First, you should double check all your measurements before you begin to sew. It can be frustrating when you have your sleeves a ½ inch shorter than you wanted because you forget to mark the seam allowance. 

Another common error is choosing the wrong colour thread for the project. When deciding on thread colour try to make them as similar as possible to the original threads, this will make your alternation look less noticeable. Finally, many people put the wrong needle in their sewing machine. 

The size of the needle should vary depending on how tough the fabric is and using the wrong type of needle can affect the quality of the job. Usually, you will need a smaller needle for softer fabrics and bigger one for more difficult fabrics.

Learning how to hem your clothes can help you make sure that everything fits correctly and can save you money on clothing alterations. So, use these techniques to hem your clothes today.

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