My recent post on how to tailor a top to fit a tall body was so well received, here’s a second post in this series. Now it’s time to make those trouser legs a little longer!
I’ve had these nautical wool mix trousers for years and always thought they were a tad short. Luckily, most dressier-style trousers have extra fabric in the back of the hem that you can use to elongate the legs. This makes it fairly easy to bring the leg down an extra 1-3 cm, depending on the seam allowance on the hem. Here’s how I did it:
Sewing scissors or rippers
Fine sewing needle
Sewing thread in a colour to match the trousers
Update: I re-hemmed another pair of trousers and shot images of step 1 and 2
1. Start with a freshly ironed pair of trousers. Using a pair of sewing scissors or rippers, carefully cut the seam holding the hem in place. Don’t pull, as you don’t want to damage the fabric, and don’t cut the seam that keeps the selvage from unravelling.
2. Once the hem is loose, remove all loose treads. Use a steam iron to remove the folding crease on the trouser leg. The crease might not come out completely, but after one or more washes in the machine, the line will slowly disappear.
3. Re-hem the trousers by folding the hem so you have at least 1 cm of fabric in the back. Going shorter will risk the hem flipping outwards when you wear the trousers. Pin the hem in place.
4. Thread a needle with the same colour thread as the trousers. Use double thread and tie a knot at the end. Carefully hand stitch* the hem in place by using small stitches and catching just a few threads of the fabric in the leg and sewing through the edge of the hem. The stitches should be just about invisible on the outside of the trouser leg — you might see a small indentation, but this will disappear with wash and wear. Keeping the stitches small will ensure that you don’t get caught in and tear the stitches when putting the trousers on.
*The hems of skirts and trousers are normally hemmed by hand to make the stitches invisible on the outside of the garment. If you were to use a sewing machine, the seam would be visible and it is very hard to sew a completely straight line on a machine, especially around a narrow trouser leg.
In just an hour’s work, your trousers are a couple of centimetres longer and you can grab a higher pair of heels!
PS: Also see my post on how to tailor a top to fit a tall body.