This is a follow on from my post “How to hem your slacks”. In this post I’m going to show you how to blind hem your slacks with a simple hand stitch. The same stitch can also be used to sew blind hems on skirts or dresses.
In industry, blind hems are sewn with a particular sewing machine that’s only function is to sew blind hems. It uses a single strand of thread (as opposed to a normal sewing machine, which uses two). This means that if that strand of thread comes loose on your hem, one little pull and the whole thing can unravel. Luckily there is a simple hand sewing technique which allows you to create a blind hem at home, and it won’t unravel. I’m going to demonstrate how to do this hand sewing stitch as I let down the hem on some superb vintage suit slacks that my husband bought from an op shop recently. (And may I add that he looks quite dashing in his new vintage suit!) The same technique can be applied for taking up blind hems, or for re-stitching blind hems that have come undone.
Read my post on “How to hem your slacks” to help you work out how to do a fitting and measure how much you need to take up or let done your slacks.
Once you’ve worked out the desired length of the slacks place a pin exactly where you want the hem to finish. Add an extra 2.5 – 3 cm to the length and place another pin here. This is the hem allowance that you will turn up. Cut off the excess so your pants are now the desired length plus 2.5 – 3 cm. Neaten the raw edges with either an overlocker or a zig-zag stitch on your normal sewing machine. This stops the raw edges from fraying.
Using an iron, carefully press up the hem allowance (towards the inside of the pants) all the way around, measuring and pinning in place as you go.
Thread a hand sewing needle with a single thread in a colour that matches your slacks.
Starting at one of the side seams, draw your needle up from behind the seam allowance of the side seam through the overlocked edge of the hem. This way your knot is hidden.
Pass your needle through the fabric of the slacks, picking up only 1-2 fibres of the fabric, then draw the needle up through the edge of the turned up hem.
Repeat this process with each stitch being about 6 mm (1/4”) away from the previous stitch. Work your way all around the hem of the slacks, removing the pins as you stitch past them. This can take a little while if you haven’t done it before, but don’t worry, you’ll get quicker as you go! By picking up only 2 fibres of the fabric with each stitch, it prevents the stitching from being visible on the outside of the slacks. With a coarse fabric such as this wool tweed the stitches really are invisible. If the fabric of your slacks is quite fine, small indents from each stitch may be visible on the outside. This isn’t a problem, but make sure you keep each stitch an even distance apart so it still looks neat.
When you’ve made it all the way around the hem do three tiny stitches on top of one another to secure the hem, then cut the thread. Do these tiny stitches in the seam allowance of the side seam or the hem allowance so they don’t go through to the right side of the slacks.
Repeat this for the other leg then give both hems a press with your iron and you’re finished!
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