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What am I doing wrong??????

ablakemo | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello All! Everyone is always so helpful and supportive, so I thought I would ask if you could shed some light on a problem I’m having with hemming.

I’m experimenting with hemming a pair of pants I’m making and I would like to hem them by hand so no stitching shows thru on the right side of the fabric. I’ve fused interfacing on the wrong side in the hem area so I’m stitching from the hem allowance to the interfacing and I get a nice crisp hem. No problem with that, only there’s a distinct ridge on the right side of the pants, you can see where the hem hits on the wrong side. I’ve tried pressing on just the hem but you can still see it! It’s very annoying, what am I doing wrong?

I’m not sure what the fabric is, it’s from my stash, but I think it’s a polyester blend of some sort. I tried burning it and it’s edges were all hard plastic.

Does anyone think it’s the technique, the fabric or is it an unresonable expectation to not see how much hem allowance you have from the front???? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!


  1. Teaf | | #1

    Maybe fusing the interfacing to the inside of the pants leg is emphasizing the hem; after all, the rest of the lower leg isn't interfaced, so there'll be a significant difference between the appearance of the hem area, where you now have three layers, and the rest of the leg, which has just one.

    Although you'd think a hem needs to be tightly secured, it will almost always look better when loosely and lightly stitched with plenty of room for ease. If hemming by hand, I knot after every two or three loose, widely spaced stitches so that my heel won't pull the thread out. Hemming by machine, I use the longest stitch and the narrowest "zig" that will catch just a bit of the main fabric. I'm tough on my clothes, but these loose hems never fall apart; they're also barely noticeable. Hope that helps!

  2. User avater
    paddyscar | | #2


    Is it a ridge or a shine? 

    Did you attach the stabilizer to the material you turned up, or to the inside of the pant leg?  You might try removing the stabilizer and hemming the pants without it.

    Did you press the hem edge on the outside of the pants pressing over the entire depth of the hem?  If so, you may try to remove the ridge by:

    * misting the outside of the pant leg,

    * turning the pant leg inside out

    * place a towel inside the pant leg to provide a surface that won't be as hard as your ironing board

    * then pressing from the inside -- this also works sometime to remove the shine, depending on the type of fabric.  If it is heavy polyester content, a shine is sometimes permanent, because it comes from having melted the fibers slightly.

    Hope this helps,



  3. mem1 | | #3

    It should be ok but maybe you need to pink the top of the interfacing and maybe the edge treatment which you used on the bottom of the pant leg is too heavey. Also try not to have the edge of the interfacing and the edge of the hem coinciding . I hem down from the edge a bit and use a slip stitch to do this . It worksa very well.

    1. ablakemo | | #4

      Thank you all for your suggestions! I just LOVE this forum!I think I maybe stitching too close and too tightly, I'm going to try remedying that first. I figured it had to be very secure, so that's probably the issue. There isn't a shine, I always use a press cloth. I'm pretty sure it's not the interfacing since I've had this problem before without interfacing. The interfacing isn't applied to the fabric that's turned up. (I got this technique from Sandra's book Power Sewing Step by Step)I'm not pressing the entire hem depth, just the edge that's folded. I really like the towel idea, I'm going to keep that in mind and the slip stitching! Thanks again, I bet this works!

      1. Elisabeth | | #5

        I agree, this forum is great, I can talk about sewing with a group of people that love sewing. Can't beat that.If the ridge is an indentation then the hem is probably sewn a bit tightly. If you are using a catchstitch just keep the word "catch" in mind. You catch a bit of the fabric with the thread. The blind catchstitch is sewn with a gentle hand and there is even some stretch built into the stitch which is a good thing.If the ridge is from the turned up hem facing and the pants are tapered perhaps the hem parts of the leg seams are not angled sufficiently back in. Then there will be too much fabric in the hem top pushing outwards.

  4. SewTruTerry | | #6

    Everything that everyone  has written so far are all good suggestions and worth changing in your technique but may I also ask are you  using a hem that is 1 1/2 inches long or possibly longer? If so it may be the weight of the hem is causing the problem. You may have to do some pad stitching of sorts to help support the fabric of the hem.  In other words work at stitching the hem 3 times the first time at 1/2 inch from the fold then again 1/2 inch from there and then at the raw edge so that the weight of the fabric is distributed along the way.  This is an old couture and tailor technique.  Good luck.

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