I do a lot of alterations, but this one drives me crazy. Whenever I shorten a pair of shorts, the hem in the crotch area always ends up half the width it should be. I clip and snip, I reshape the crotch seam, to no avail. I just got done doing one and I was extra careful, but still it has to be redone. It looks terrible. Do I just let it be smaller? Can anyone help me understand what’s happening?
I think your problem is that the inseam part of the leg at the crotch is very angled so that when the hem is turned up, the turned-up part is not as long around as the part it fits on. If you do not have enough seam allowance to jog out at the hem to make the hem top as long around as the part it fits on, what you could do is seam the inseam from the crotch down to the hem line and stop, leaving the seam in the turned-up hem unsewn. Then when you sew the hem up, there will be an areain the hem at the seam line where the seam doesn't meet, but it will fit and the hem can be the same width as the rest of it. Does this make any sense?
*Yes, thanks. In this case I did all that, but still had trouble. I'm beginning to wonder whether part of is that the length of the back is longer than in the front. When I cut it, I cut it straight across both front and back together. I'm wondering if I should cut all around using the ready-made hem line as a guide.Jackie
*Jackie, what inseam measurement are you shortening to? Is it down to 1" - 2" type of length? I'm trying to get an idea of how short you're going.As you mention, I would also use the ready-made hem line as a guide. Sometimes when making "short" shorts, the back hem line is not cut straight but curved up slightly. See green dotted line in attached sketch.As you will see when the back and front patterns are laid on top of each other, the back is normally 'longer' vertically. Normally the back is drafted higher at the CB, and sometimes the back crotch is also scooped lower as in my sketch. If you are shortening to a 3" type length then measure evenly off the RM hem EG:purple line. If you're aiming for short shorts, then try the curved back hem EG: green line. For these you can also go higher at the side seams than you do at the inleg seam. So you would trim say 3 1/2" at the inleg but 4 1/4" at the side seam. Draw the lines straight across F & B then scoop the back hem up a small bit (say 1/2") off this straight line. The peak of the scoop should be off centre ie: between the back 'crease' line and the inleg. See the comparison in the sketch.From the above you should also see that when you hold them up by the waist the back hem would "droop" longer than the front. This is normal. This should answer your second topic question too. (I hope)Of course this sketch does not have "seam allowance" on it so you would have to ensure that you allow for the jog out on the hem part so it folds up okay as Marion was getting at in her reply. PS If cutting the back hem curved, the bias on it should allow for the length when turning up the hem. If any questions, give me a shout. Tessa
*PS This is how Marion was meaning that you should allow for the jog out on the hem turn back.
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