Hem it up...

I'm a lover of a good sale.  I can bargain shop like it's my job.  I guess as a stay at home mom it kind of IS my job these days.

This weekend I scored a super amazing deal at Gap.  I am telling you - when they have sales, they have SALES.  I strolled in casually with my kiddos, the littlest in his stroller (a Maclaren that I found at Goodwill for $2.50 - see what I mean about bargain shopping?).  I was there to find a few shirts for my husband, but then the sales lady said the magic words:

"Everything on clearance in the back is an additional 40% off."

I tried to stay calm and nod coolly in her general direction, but everything inside of me was shouting, "RUN.  RUN TO THE RACKS NOW.  DO NOT STOP.  KNOCK DOWN CHILDREN AND ELDERLY WOMEN IF YOU HAVE TO."  And I'm sure angels were singing as I began pawing my way through the clearance clothes.  This is when having a stroller is a good thing, because you can just pile clothes on top.  

So to make a long story short, I found a pair of pants made of a nice, soft, grey material.  They were so pretty, and so...long.  Like, ridiculously long.  Like made for giants long.  But I know a bargain when I see one and these pants were marked down to $8.99 from $69.95.  I knew that having them altered would STILL keep me at a bargain price for these great pants.

But ok...I'm impatient.  And I wanted to wear my great new pants today.  And then I recalled that months ago, I'd seen a pin about how to hem pants and keep the original hem.  I'd dismissed it when I saw it because I figured it was too complicated for a novice sewer like myself.  But desperate times call for desperate measures, and today I decided to give it a go.  I'm SO happy I did because it took me 10 minutes, and it was FREE!  I followed the tutorial on Sew Much Ado.

Don't be nervous - you can do it!  You'll laugh when you see how easy this is.  Or you might dance a little jig which is what I did.  What?  Like you don't dance jigs at home when the kids are napping?

I measured and decided my pants were 2" longer than I wanted them to be.  Take the amount you want shortened, and divide in half.  So, my 2" became 1".  You'll fold the pant legs up, like a cuff, to the measurement you want.

Just fold up, pin in place, and sew - I used a zipper foot, but I bet you could use a regular one too.  You want to sew as close to the original hem as possible, without sewing on top of it.  Just sew all the way around.

That's what it will look like when you're done sewing.  I chose a lighter thread specifically so you guys could see it!  No more white on white like I normally do.  See how much I love you?

Now, you'll unfold the "hem", and iron flat.  

You can hand stitch the inside of the side seams if you want the bulk of the fabric to lay flatter.  Or, if you have folded a lot up, you may want to trim the excess fabric off altogether.

Honestly, that's it.

(Ok, I left my pants a smidge long so I could still wear boots with them!  And the right foot in the "after" picture hasn't been hemmed yet.  I promise I did them evenly.)

Exciting, right?