But I Won’t Do That

a bag of goodies!

Today’s title comes from the  Meatloaf song you know you’re humming right about … now. :)

Hems are even stevens!

Yes, we’re talking alterations and repairs. I had the above pants since November. Someone from work asked me to shorten her pants; unfortunately, I said yes. Her poor pants sat around my room for months. Months! I dabbled on them, but could not bring myself to tackle the job seriously … while I managed to make a bazillion other things. Finally, she said, ‘give them back’. Well, I’m no alterationist, but I love a good deadline, so I banged them out over a weekend.

Side seam game on fleek!
Side seam game on fleek!

The task at hand was shortening three jeans and two pants to fit a woman every inch of 4’10. Yeah. I’ve never taken seven inches off the hem of anything without making it indecent, but she said everything fit her perfectly!

Shortening the trousers was a pain — does anyone else not like shortening trousers? Or is it my M.O. that sucks? I let out the original hem, mark the new hem and new fold line, trim, press, and then hand sew the hem. Suuuuuuucks. But, I started to get pretty good at the catch stitch, so that’s good. Both pairs of pants were wool with lycra, which made no sense to me, and made it trickier to hand sew them. One pair stretched if you merely looked at it, the other was less stretchy but still … I had to sit very still and manipulate the work as little as possible as I took my tiny catch stitches. That being said, why does a fabric which can bend and stretch and be molded need lycra in it? Am I being dense?

Neatly finished, woohoo!
Neatly finished, woohoo!

The other work, that I actually preferred, was shortening the jeans. It was scary to do because I was trying to keep the original hem using the European hem method, and I’d never done it on denim. (Tried it once on a stable poly/rayon/lycra skirt and it came out decently.) It worked great! I highly recommend this method of shortening jeans. It’s so fun, and satisfying, and if you have a serger you can finish and trim the excess inside the jean all in one fell swoop. If your machine blind hems well, you can then hem it in place. I don’t have a serger or a blind hemmer, so I pinked the excess and tacked it through all layers at the side seams.

Lots of layers.
Lots of layers.

Oh, and I also hammered the heck out of the hem from the inside to flatten out the bulk. My little noodle arms got tired. :-p I definitely thought I was much, much stronger than that. But I did develop a more useful muscle: the ability to say no to alteration requests. So far I’ve managed to deflect one alteration job! Just call me…uh…hm. What’s a super strong female superhero who is not connected with a man as a sister/mother/wife/sidekick/etc? Wonder Woman? Storm?

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  1. Good for you, Ebi! Those jeans really came out great. I’ve always wanted to try that hemming method but never have a reason to, as all my jeans are always too short. :) In other news, I just agreed to alter a bridesmaids dress for a coworker… sometimes it’s hard to say no. :)

    1. Thank you very much! Shortening jeans wouldn’t really be a thing for you, no. :-p But if you ever need to shorten jeans, this method is sooo easy, and you’re so meticulous you’ll knock it out of the ballpark.

      Good luck with that bridesmaid’s dress, oh my!!! Simply attending weddings makes me nervous, could not imagine working on a dress for one.

  2. I love every single part of this post.

    Say NO to alterations!! Say yes to being the woman!

    And fantastic job on the pants!!!

    Before I learned to sew I’d bought a denim jumpsuit that was much too long. My mom, in a DUH voice, told me to take it to a tailor. I was AMAZED and flabbergasted and gobsmacked that they were shortened and still looked “real”! Lol!!!!!

    1. Thank you thank you thank you! Your story is hilarious! Would you know I’ve never brought anything to a tailor? I’m tall enough that everything was too short, not too long, and when clothes ripped or zippers broke it never occurred to me to fix them….I wore them and hoped no one noticed. Needless to say, that was not a good look. :-p

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