Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How To Overcome the Pants-Are-Too-Long Blues

I’ve joked for many years that the one child my parents had turned out to inherit all the “bad” traits.  I’m referring to my horrible eyesight (from Dad), my muscular calves that I’ve never liked (from Dad), my red hair and pale skin (from both or neither, I guess), my short eyelashes (from Mom), and so on.  I’m kidding, of course, because I have learned to love most of these things or deal with them, but it is fun to play-complain from time to time.  Something that I don’t normally complain about, however, is my height.  I’m what people like to call “petite,” although I suppose I’m just at the cut off point.  I’m about 5’3”, which bothers me sometimes when I can’t reach something or when people mistake me for a 14 year old (although the red hair and freckles don’t help, I’m sure), but I usually like being small.  If I weren’t this short, I don’t think I would have agreed to go on a date with my now-husband who claims he is 5’4”, but I’m pretty sure he only beats me by a centimeter.  The one thing I hate, though, about being this short is that finding a pair of pants that fits is practically impossible.



Okay, well, I suppose people who like to spend lots of money on clothes (which is totally fine, but just not me) could find me many pairs of pants that fit me perfectly, but I like to buy my clothes as cheap as I can get ‘em.  For the past few years, I don’t think I’ve spent more than $12 on a pair of pants, and even that is up there.  I really like the fit of many jeans from Aeropostale and they typically are netural in design so they can last a long time.  However, the ones that fit me the best are “regular” length.  When I move down to the “short” length, they refuse to cover my back side (if you know what I mean), which makes no sense to me because I thought they just made the pants longer.  Apparently I have the butt of a “regular” person and the legs of a super short person.  Who knew?  So, I end up buying the longer pants and either cuff them (which I hate because it doesn’t look right on me), let them pile up at the bottom or drag on the floor, or let them sit in my closet for years.  Normally, the last option is what I go with.

I know many people have the same problem with pants and just end up hemming them.  That would seem like the logical thing to do, right?  Well, I’m stubborn and too afraid to try that on my own clothes.  Usually, anyway, except for this weekend.  I had just figured out the arrangement for my craft area, so I suppose I had my sewing machine on my mind.  I had bookmarked this tutorial a few years ago, and then a fellow blogger, Kristi, posted the same one last month.  I have wanted to try hemming my pants for a long time, but I had never worked up the courage until this weekend.

I don’t know what I was so scared of because it was EASY!  And I’m a beginner at this whole sewing thing, so if I say it is easy, it really is.

I’m not going to re-post the tutorial since I did not come up with the method, but I think I need to show some proof that I actually did this and came out on the other side, not only alive, but cheering and doing my happy my-pants-actually-fit dance.  Alright!

One of the reasons I never hemmed my pants before was because I like the way they look with their original thread and many hemming jobs make the bottom of the pants look differently than they did when they were purchased (like the fabric was just folded over because it was).  This tutorial allows you to keep the look of the original hem, but seemed trickier to me which is why I avoided it.  It was not tricky at all!


I folded the pants to where I wanted them, measured the distance from the original hem to the fold and then divided it in half.  Then I refolded them to the new measurement and pinned them.  The above photo shoes a 1.5 cm fold which seems small, but I needed them taken up 3 cm total which is enough of a difference to make the pants drag on the floor.  It was more difficult to sew this pair since the pins were hanging off, but it still made such a difference that it was worth it.  My longest pants needed to be taken up 8 cm (I measured in centimeters because the lengths are so small that I could measure more accurately with the metric system).


Here is my hem (white thread) next to the original.  I love that I could use any color thread I had on the sewing machine since it is hidden by the end, however, it would be best to use a stronger thread (I didn’t have any on hand).

When you cut off the extra denim at the bottom and flip the cuff back down, you have a small fold above the hem that is invisible once ironed.  It’s amazing!

I’m liking these before and afters (I should have ironed them all completely which is why it still appears that they are bunching up in the after photos but they are the perfect length)!





No more cuffing for me!  I’m in love with my “new” pants that have sat in my closet since I bought them.  The best part was that it only took me an hour to do all 4 and would take me even less time now that I know what I am doing.

What body ailment keeps you from looking your best and what do you do about it?


  1. Hey good job on the pants hems! I have never hemmed my pants that way but they look good!
    I have the problem of different shoe heights with pants. So I tend to try to buy the same shoe heel height. My body part are my shoulders, I love button up blouses but my square shoulders cause gaps between the button (flashing the bust) so I use safety pins between the buttons inside the blouse to stop the flash (if you know what I mean)!

  2. Yay, you hemmed your jeans! Isn't it an awesome thing? I love my jeans now too. It's like having new clothes, only better since it didn't cost anything. And thanks so much for the link. :)


Thank you for stopping by! I am a little crazy sometimes (it's probably the red hair), but I would really appreciate if you would leave a comment. I love getting to know my readers and reading what everyone is thinking! - Mrs. Ruffled Flats


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