One of the most common alterations needed is to shorten the length of a pair of pants and this can easily be done by hemming them. There are 3 different ways to hem pants which are sewing, iron on fabric tape, or snaps, and you can choose what method to use according to the need.
Sewing Or Iron On Tape
These methods will give you permanent alterations. To be able to estimate the finished length of the pants, it must first be placed on, and you may need to ask someone else to help you if the pants are being fitted on yourself. Fold the bottom of one of the pants going inwards to shorten it to the desired length. Secure with a safety pin and take off the pants. Lay the pants flat on a table with both legs together. Fold in the other pants leg to make it exactly the same length of the other leg.
Secure the entire fold with safety pins all around, and iron the crease of the fold flat. Ironing the crease makes the edge of the pants look much neater when finished and serves to make the hemming process much easier. Turn the pants inside-out so that you can start working on it. Note that if the material of the fold is longer than 2 inches, trim off the excess and finish the cut end by using a serger or hand sewing with overcast, zig-zag, or blanket stitches so the leg bottom won’t be heavy and bulk up before continuing on to the next step.
If using a sewing machine, sew a blind hem or use a straight stitch to hem the garment. When the blind hem option is used, there is no need to measure the length from the bottom of the fold while sewing it. If the straight stitch is used, with the aid of the measuring guide near the presser foot, decide how far away from the bottom of the fold you will stitch. The most common width used is 1/4 inch but you can change it depending on the desired style and the material used. If you are sewing it by hand, use a double threaded slip stitch all around the edge of the fold, making sure that the material does not pucker up and the thread is not visible in the front of the garment. One of the ways to ensure this is to pick a thread that is exactly the color of the material or one tone darker.
If iron on fabric tape is used, cut up the tape into 2 inch pieces and line it in the inside of the fold as near to the edge of the garment as possible. Heat up the iron to the require heat, and press the fabric to fuse both parts together. It is easier to press the side of one leg first, flip the pants over and press the other side of the same leg. Repeat the process on the other leg. When you are finished with sewing or fusing the fabric together, turn the pants so they are ready to wear.
Temporary and Adjustable Hems
When you want to adjust the hemlines of your pants, there is a way to do it that will give instant results. The great thing about temporary hemline adjustment is that you can lengthen or shorten a pair of pants as desired. Style Snaps is an adhesive snap that when placed onto two fabric surfaces can make them stay in folded, turning the crease into an instant hem.
These adhesive snaps are easy to use, all that has to be done is to remove the peel-off tape, stick the snaps inside the fold and click the two fabrics together. They are reusable and can be used to create instant hems in pants and skirts, shorten some sleeves, plus place together any fabric to make it lie flat like lapels and in between the buttons of a shirt.