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rjf | Posted in General Discussion on

I heard a funny story about alterations the other day.  I was telling a friend that shortening my father’s trousers always made me nervous because one leg is shorter than the other by about an inch and I worry that I’ll make the wrong leg the inch shorter.  She told me someone she knew was shortening some store-bought slacks for herself, being very careful and neat, measuring accurately and cutting a nice, straight line.  All was fine until she got to the sewing machine and discovered she’d shortened the same leg twice and the other not at all!!   I don’t know know who it was but I hope she doesn’t read Gatherings.        rjf   



  1. RParrill | | #1

    Um, that was me.

    Just kidding, I couldn't resist.

  2. SewTruTerry | | #2

    The best trick I have for hemming or shortening pants is actually an old tailors trick.  And no an old tailor did not teach it to me but I think I actually read it in a Threads article.  Have the person put on the pants and the shoes that they intend on wearing with the pants most often.  Take a ruler that is at least 12 inches long and place the short end on the floor and measure up 12 inches and place a pin (I usually use a safety pin because they don't fall out as easily) mark both legs like this.  After they have taken off the pants measure from the safety pin down 11 1/2 inches and place a chalk mark there and then fold up the hem using that line as your guideline and complete as usual.  Then and only then are you to take out the safety pin.  I found this works because I can sometimes get interupted by the phone or the dsh or dsc and always know that I which leg I have completed.  Also one time when I could not find safety pins I grabbed my quilt basting gun and found it speeds up the work.  Just don't use it on delicate fabrics you could leave a hole. 

    1. rjf | | #3

      Now that's a good idea!  And since I have gold and silver pins, I could use gold for the left leg and silver for the right leg since they correspond alphabetically.   I did find that the inseam measurement was accurate according to what they said the length was so that should work pretty well.     rjf

      1. SewTruTerry | | #5

        If you measure both legs like I was telling you it does not matter what color pins you use as you will be measuring up 12 inches from the floor on both legs.  Then measuring from the pin down.  It also works wonderfully on skirts especially for those that have a protrudence of any kind. Just use more pins and space them close together.

        1. rjf | | #6

          I guess my brain was out Christmas shopping when I wrote that last note.  I think I've got it now.      rjf

    2. ElonaM | | #4

      What a terrific idea! That one is new to me.

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