Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Sign in or become an insider to access this story

Sign In

Adjust Patterns for a Smooth Hem on Tapered Pants and Sleeves

Avoid dreaded wrinkled hems on tapered pant legs and create smooth hems instead, with a simple correction to your pants pattern.

Like many of us, you probably have been there: You’ve reached the last stages of finishing a beautiful garment. You fold up the hem allowance to find there’s not enough fabric in the circumference to create a smooth hem. You pull and pull. Still, you don’t have enough. Bravely, you hem the garment anyway. You discover that even pressing with steam won’t make those dreaded wrinkles go away. Here’s a way to fix a pattern so that you won’t have this issue again.

Fix a Tapered Pants Pattern

I’ll show you what happens when you end up with a pattern that may be incorrectly drafted at the hem—and how to fix it.

Note: The pants pattern used in the samples is Vogue 1841, a Calvin Klein design (out of print), and it was drafted correctly. The legs have a tapered style. They are full through the thigh area and tapered at the hem edge.

Tapered pants pattern Vogue 1841, a Calvin Klein design
These pants, from Vogue 1841, a Calvin Klein design, were drafted correctly.

For the purposes of this discussion, however, I changed the pattern I’ve traced, so the hem allowance’s cut edge is smaller than the circumference of the pant leg where it needs to be stitched. This type of pattern draft will not give you great results. The method below walks you through how to correct a poorly drafted pattern before you cut your next pair of pants.

Redraw the hem area

1. Determine the desired hem allowance and mark it on the front and back pattern pieces.

Ruler measuring 2-inch hem allowance on pants front pattern piece

Pants front and back pattern pieces with marked 2-inch hem allowance
2. If you are working with the original pattern pieces and have already cut the pattern tissue, tape extra paper onto the area to make the corrections. I traced the original pattern onto paper first.

3. Fold up the hem allowance and…

Start your 14-day FREE trial to access this story.

Start your FREE trial today and get instant access to this article plus access to all Threads Insider content.

Start Your Free Trial

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. Marsha428 | | #1

    Fireworks galore! Thank you so much for this article!

Log in or become a member to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All