Day 36 – February 5
Pants are one of the simpler pieces of clothing to make, so long as you keep it simple: elasticized waist, no pockets, nothing fancy. Once you get the basics down, pants are pretty easy. But, they can also be quite complicated once you add pockets, linings, waistbands, zippers, buttons, cuffs, etc. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been learning some new techniques like adding a faux fly and adding a false hem.
Today I decided to tackle learning how to attach the hem of the lining and the pants. Although this doesn’t seem like it should be tricky, it is. Generally, you sew the pants, and then the lining, and then you drop the lining into the pants, basting the top together. Then the waistband is added, and finally, the pants and the lining are hemmed. Many pants just tack the lining to the pants at the inseam and outseam, giving the lining freedom of movement. Some pants have a jump hem, and others have no exposed seams whatsoever, meaning that the hems were sewn together. In all of my reading, I only found one explanation of how to do this, and there were no pictures. It really was just one sentence. If you want to sew the hems together, leave about an 8 inch gap in the inseam of the lining. Then you can pull the hems through the gap to sew them together.
Sounds easy enough, right? Nope, not at all. I sort of understand why the book didn’t have any pics, the process is so messy . . . . pics would probably only have confused the issue. I’m not even sure that I can explain why it was so tricky. But by the time I got everything pinned correctly, then figured out how to get it under the machine without getting the pants all twisted out of shape, took me about 20 minutes to sew one pant leg! I’ll admit, the resulting hem is lovely. What I don’t like is the fact that you then have to topstitch the opening in the lining closed. I think that looks funky, not at all classy. I realize noone will see it, but it still looks funny to me.
For the other leg, I decided to try a jump hem. Hem the lining and the pants. (The lining will be shorter than the pants so that it doesn’t stick out when you sit down.) Then attach the two hems by doing a blind slip stitch or some other blind hand stitch. I didn’t like the look of this one as well, but it was much easier and more practical. I”m not quite ready to give up on the first method, but I can tell you I won’t be using it as often!