Mending Mabel

Mending Mabel

Hi! Good to see you. Hope you are having warm weather like here in Texas!

Today, I want to just give you a quick lesson for mending project.

My current task is to shorten a pair of my hubby’s leisure pants. They are a pair of soft flannel pants that he bought a while back, and they (uhhh) kind of surfaced as I was packing my sewing studio to move. I secretly panicked when he reminded me, he hasn’t seen them in a while! I sweetly said, “Oh yes, dear, I have them. They are on the mending list.”

That’s a call to action for me! So he went out to do his errands, and I scrambled in to find the buried pants.

So as quickly as possible, I found my also found a few necessary tools to accomplish this goal, hopefully in the time he was gone.

I assembled:

  1. Pins
  2. Olfa 45 mm Rotary Cutting mat, the one which is 18″ x 24″
  3. Rotary Cutter
  4. Acrylic Ruler (these packages at SewingMachinesPlus.com come with everything you need all together – great deal!!)

I also keep on hand a few smaller rulers, such as the June Taylor Shape Cut/Sprint as well as the Handi Quilter Mini Ruler for smaller projects. SewingMacinesPlus.com has a great selection of rulers and other supplies for your sewing needs.

Back to the project, now

  1. The first step was shortening the pants which were about 4 inches too long. I turned the pants inside out so they were ready to measure and sew. I measured and cut the 4 inches off both legs.
  2. Turning the edge toward the top of the pants about ¼ inch, I pressed with my iron. They can be pinned first if you want to be precise, however, actually I just winged it, but hey, I was in a hurry.
  3. Then turning again approximately an inch, (actually two finger widths) I measured a press a crease again.
  4. I changed my bobbin thread to black since it would show on the right side, and carefully stitched a new hem very close to the fold.

Ta da!

Last, stitch very close to folded edge on both legs, press the hem flat & you are done!

Last, stitch very close to folded edge on both legs, press the hem flat & you are done!

Last, stitch very close to folded edge on both legs, press the hem flat, and you are done! Or you can also blind-hem stitch by hand. I find that hand-stitching is very relaxing and gratifying when the stitches come out nice and neat.

So, what kinds of project do you have waiting to be mended? It’s a rewarding thing to do when you compare the cost of new clothes to some time devoted to thinking through the best way to refurbish something that takes just a few minutes to fix. Please be assured, measurements with rulers are better than measuring with fingers, and results are more professional. Rushing never works for me without tearing out something.

Back to packing and discovering other projects waiting for me. Nope, maybe tomorrow. Hubby is home!

Happy Sewing until next time.

17 Comments

  1. If the pants were 4″ to long and you cut off 4″ – wouldn’t that make them too short by the time you hemmed away 1 1/4″?

    Reply

    1. Thank you for pointing out that step. When I stated the pants were 4″ too long, I stated they needed to be cut 4 inches. You assumed they would be too short with the 4″ cut away. Of course they would have been too short, but I did allow for the hem before cutting 4 inches.
      Sewing is a process, and it takes thinking outside the box, not just following directions. I have been sewing for many years as well and have learned that even purchased patterns can be very confusing. Sewing is much like a puzzle sometimes. You have to figure things out, instructions or not.

      Reply

  2. Hi Linda,
    Thank you for your question. I measured the pants when he was wearing them, and pinned where the final fold should be. I measured forward for the 1 1/4 inch hem at the bottom, and I cut off four inches from there.
    They actually could have been shorter, however.
    Your assumption would be correct if I had I only had 4″ to work with to make the pants the right length.

    Reply

    1. Maybe you should make that correction to the post. Just in case someone follows your method … That would have been me before 40 years of experience doing the mending. by the way 😉

      Reply

      1. Thank you Linda, I cannot correct the published blog, but hopefully the comments will be read. I commented to you again on your question.

        Reply

  3. If you are in a hurry but still want the more finished look of a blind stitch hem, use the blind stitch foot for your machine! LOVE that foot.

    Reply

    1. Yes, there are many options for hemming. Learning about them is the fun part of sewing. Thank you for your reply.

      Reply

  4. I see others have noticed the issue of cutting off 4″, then hemming up another 1-1/4″, and making the pants “too short”. Experienced sewers will probably catch this, but beginners need very explicit , literal instructions. It would not be unusual for a beginner to just read your instructions as a list, then cutting off the 4″ before even reading the second step, where it would be obvious (?) that the pants would end up too short. Your blog that explains and demonstrates mending techniques is a great idea–so many people don’t even know what mending is, let alone actually DO any mending.

    Reply

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Perhaps a beginner would be confused, but my previous comments should explain that. The other thing I should have added was a step that would have said to baste the pants with the 1 1/4 hem and try on the pants to be sure they are the right length. And then, I would explain “basting”.
      If the pants were to be worn on the street, I would have made sure the hems were accurately measured and stitched. In this case, it wasn’t so important. (They were “sleepy” pants.)
      Thank you for the positive comment about mending.
      I have found that many people much younger than myself have no interest in sewing or cooking, and they would never think about mending to save money, or repurposing old things for another use. My mother was significant in teaching me these frugal steps. Mending is hard because each case is different.
      It takes figuring things out without clear instructions sometimes.
      Thanks again for reading my blog.

      Reply

  5. I would love to see a tutorial on hemming jeans! How do you achieve the same style hem as when you buy them new? The original hem is rolled, rather than flat. I’ve always wondered if that is possible to replicate…..Also, do you need a heavy-duty needle when hemming real denim (not the light-weight stretchy jeans). Thanks for any input!!

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your comments Laura!

      Hemming jeans is a bit tricky because of the weight of the fabric. SewingMachinesPlus.com. has a wide variety of different weight,
      denim needles to use.
      Also, depending on your machine, there are many varieties of hemming feet, both for rolling hems and flat hems. Finding one to fit your specific machine and doing some practice with the foot is my best advise. If you prefer not to tackle this project yourself, you may want to check with your local dry cleaners or a tailor nearby who may charge you a minimal fee. I would consider this if your machine is not made for heavy weight fabrics. Let me know what you decide.

      Reply

  6. I wouldn’t have a Helpful Hints spot on the internet for the world. Too many critical people that just have to DIG!

    Reply

    1. Hello Nancy,
      Just wanted to say thank you for responding to my blog.
      This blog was started to promote awareness to the different techniques and projects in the sewing industry and other household equipment which makes our lives easier.
      I appreciate any comments here, but to be honest, this article is the first where I have been challenged. Life is too short for conflict. Each person has a different knowledge level, not more or not less important than the other. My intent is to sew and share what I know, happily!
      I do appreciate your reading it, and hope you enjoy it for the knowledge it may bring to you. Social media has become much different then when it started I agree. But, be strong and keep sewing, right?

      Reply

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