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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sew Weighted Pant Legs

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- by Marian Lewis

©2005 Marian Lewis – All Rights Reserved

1st Step To Sewing Success

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Hi Sewing Friends:

I promised to post answers to your sewing questions here so everyone could benefit.

I will do my best to fulfill that promise.

Here is a question from Susan:

"Is there such a thing as miniature weights that you can sew into the bottom of your pants so I won't always step on my pants with my heel when I wear mules or slingbacks? Or, do you have any suggestions on how to not have pants get caught under my foot when I walk? Please help. I am in fashion and feel I need to look put together and this always irks me! Thank you. "

Susan:

Thanks for your question. This has never come up before, even though I believe it is a problem for many other gals, too.

This falls into the same category with my "50 Cent Tip"that I hope you got when you subscribed to "Sewing Success News".

I have weighted many garments in my time to keep them hanging just right.

I've used a myriad of things in little cloth bags attached (usually hand stitched, but some times safety pinned) to a hem or seam somewhere to do the trick.

Most of the time, I used coins of one denomination or another for the job since I found drapery weights not always the best for garments. Or, maybe they just weren't handy when I needed them or they weren't the right weight.

Coins are varied weights and sizes. They are always handy. Sometimes I use 2 or more in one bag if I need it.

I have also used fishing weights of various sizes, ball bearings, chains, old necklaces, even lead shot and anything else I could find.

In some cases, I added trim to an edge to hold it down.

Unfortunately, most of the above ideas would probably not work well at the bottom of a pant leg.

Maybe Worth A Shot, But Could Be Dangerous

However, I might be inclined to try stitching something very small like ball bearings or tiny fishing weights into a lightweight cloth bag and handstitching that to the hem of the pants.

I would sew the top and bottom of the bag to the pants hem so that it is not dangling free.

I would place a bag just off center on either side of the pant crease on the back pant leg.

Of course, this would have to be removed before dry cleaning or laundering the pants. That could be a pain!

Another thing to consider is that the metal at the bottom of a pant leg might also wear through the fabric bag rather quickly because of rubbing against the shoe.

You could lose your bearings and that could be a real disaster!

What I Might Try First

And so, I think I will suggest that you try stitching one or two layers of 1" wide grosgrain ribbon to the back hem allowance from inner seam to outer side seam to add weight to the back hem only on already finished pants or ready-to-wear pants.

Grosgrain ribbon has more body than regular ribbon.

If you use more than one layer of ribbon, fuse the layers together before stitching and sew as one layer.

If your pant hem is more narrow than 1", try using a more narrow ribbon.

You can still set the crease in your pant leg.

If your pant hem is slightly curved or dipped in the back, press the ribbon into a curve by stretching one outer edge as you press with steam. Let it dry and then apply it to your hem.

The ribbon does not have to be removed when you clean or launder your pants.

Try using a matching color if possible.

Hand stitch the ribbon to the hem allowance being very careful that the ribbon does not show at the bottom of the hem.

But, if you want it to show, I would use a decorative braid or ribbon.

That might be very cool when you cross your legs to have a decorative trim inside your pant leg. Maybe we could start a new fad!

Another Practical Thought

I might also recommend that if you are sewing your own pants, that you interface the hem front and back.

A fusible knit interfacing would work well for this. If you use a woven interfacing, cut it on the bias.

Apply the interfacing to the hem allowance plus extend it up into the garment pant leg about 1/2". So, if you have an 1-1/2" hem, you would cut the interfacing 2" wide.

Apply a second layer of interfacing to the back leg only. Try that!

If you need more, then apply the grosgrain ribbon to the hem on the back pant leg.

I am going to try it on my next pair of pants! Let me know how it works for you

What My Common Sense Tells Me

But, after all of this, I have to say that my common sense tells me that the only answer to this question when you are wearing the flip floppy shoes, is to have the back pant length end at the bottom of your foot and not go over the shoe.

In other words, I believe you have a shoe problem, not a pants problem.

It seems to me that when the pants are longer than the foot in the back and the floppy shoe goes down when you walk, then, the longer pant leg is bound to be caught under the foot when the shoe flips back up.

So, if the fabric of the pant leg isn't there to go under the foot, it won't get caught.

The front pant leg hem would still stop a the top of your foot in the front.

Try hemming your pants to this length and check it out for looks and functionality
It just makes sense!

To Your Sewing Success,
Marian

An Added Note On Pant Hems You Might Want To Try

When I make my pants, I make a slanted hem. . .1/2" shorter in the front than in the back.

The front hem touches the top of my shoe. The back hem goes down over the heel of my shoe.

Of course, you can't do this with a slim leg pant and flip floppy shoes may still catch the hem when you walk. I don't have floppy shoes. The shoe companies don't make them long and narrow enough me.

The length of my dress pants is determined by the height of heel that I normally wear for dress. The higher the heel, the longer the pants are.

For wider leg pants, I want the front hem to touch the top of my shoe.

I let that spot determine my pant length and add a hem allowance (usually 1-1/2") to my pattern.
Some people like the pants to break in the front. I think a smoother line from top to bottom is a lot neater and more slimming.

I cut the front pant leg 1/4" longer at the side and inner leg seams and taper it up to my already determined pant length at the center front crease line.

In the back, I add 1/2" at the center back crease line length and 1/4"to the side and inner leg seam lengths. Again, taper gradually from one to the other.

Now, I have a 1/2" difference between the front and back pant leg in length.

I love the elegance of this look. Try it!

An Extra Tip When Changing Hem Lengths

If you are changing hem lengths in already made or ready-to-wear pants and need to set or remove pressed in hem lines, try brushing or spritzing a little white vinegar on the line and steam pressing well. You can dilute it with a little water if you like.

This will remove or set a crease, clear out your sinuses and you won't smell like a salad!

Test the vinegar on a seam allowance first to be sure it won't cause a problem.

I use it all the time on just about every fabric. Make sure you don't have a color change especially with a bright color like hot pink.

Good Luck! Let me know if this helps! Post your feedback, any comments or other suggestions that you might have here.


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End Of Article

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PS: If you enjoyed this article or have a comment, please do so here on my Sewing Blog.

Actually, you can check out most of my articles here. You might find something that interests you. I welcome your feedback :-)

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If you have sewing related questions that you would like to have answered, ask them here or at:

=> http://1ststeptosewingsuccess.com/questionburning.html

I'll do my best to answer them for you.

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Marian Lewis is a sewing instructor, author and creator of an amazing new fitting method for hard-to-fit sewing folks who want great fitting skirts and pants. In her mini-course ebook, she teaches step-by-step common sense techniques how to find out WHAT you really need, WHERE you really need it and HOW to apply that to a commercial sewing pattern.

Marian is also the author of many articles and other mini-course ebooks related to sewing highlighting, "It Doesn't LOOK Homemade"Sewing Techniques.

Copy and paste the link now to check out her website at:

=> http://www.1ststeptosewingsuccess.com/

Discover Fitting And Sewing SecretsTo Achieve Sewing SuccessFor information on the mini-course ebook:

"Common Sense Fitting Method For Hard-To-Fit Sewing Folks Who Want Great Fitting Skirts And Pants"

Copy and paste the link:

=> http://www.1ststeptosewingsuccess.com/fitting.html

For information on the mini-course ebook:

"Sew A Tee Pee And Accessories For Your Tribe Of Kids"

Copy and paste the link:

=> http://www.1ststeptosewingsuccess.com/sewing.html

For information on the mini-course ebook:

"Classy Designer Straight Skirt"

Copy and paste the link:

=> http://www.1ststeptosewingsuccess.com/sewing.html

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Marian Lewis is a sewing instructor, author and creator of an amazing new fitting method for hard-to-fit sewing folks who want great fitting skirts and pants.

In her ebook, she teaches step-by-step common sense techniques how to find out WHAT you really need, WHERE you really need it and HOW to apply that to a commercial sewing pattern.
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Discover Fitting Secrets To Achieve Sewing Success

Click Here =>

"Common Sense Fitting Method For Hard-To-Fit Sewing Folks Who Want Great Fitting Skirts And Pants"

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**Attn: Ezine editors / Site owners **

Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine, blog, autoresponder, or on your site so long as you leave all links in place, do not modify the content and include our resource box as listed above.

Feel free to substitute your affiliate link in place of our link in the resource box.

Please let me know if your use this article. I'd like to take a look.

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