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Sewing Tips: making pants LONGER

I swear if I just sat and stared at Connor’s little legs long enough, I would actually see them growing longer.  I don’t know what I’ve been feeding this kid lately, but I gotta stop.  His whole body must be focused on lengthening because holy smokes, he is growing so fast!!!!


So today’s post……….was a necessity.


I bought Connor some slacks for church last month (or maybe the month before) and figured they’d last for a while.  However, last Sunday, I was walking behind him down the hallway at church and glanced down at his pant legs……….oh my word kid, what happened?!?!


I know if I go to the store and buy the next size up, they’ll be way too big everywhere else.  So, I lengthened his rascally little high-waters………but still hemmed the bottom with a chunky hem and double seam.








The double seam makes it look nice and polished………and the inside has some added lining fabric, to help with turning under the bottom edge and to allow for a wide hem.  (If you’d like to disguise the lining, you can always find a matching color to make it look as if nothing was ever added.)





BUT WAIT!!!  This isn’t just for those little turkeys who are still growing.


Are any of you TALL (like me!!) and grouchy with the long-pant selection?  Me too.  Trust me.  I’m kinda the president of the 5′ 11″ club!  Anyone wanna join? ;)


Yeah, I know, stores are getting more and more LONG pants but they’re not always available in the exact pants I want.  Or like.  However, here’s the secret……….whenever browsing the regular length pants, I always, ALWAYS  grab a pant leg and check out how much of a hem was folded under and sewn on the inside.  Then, I try on the pants, knowing that I can add that amount…….and then I have suddenly increased the selection of pants that I can buy.  (**Tip: Jeans are tricky, they usually have a narrow hem.  However, wider hems in jeans ARE available.  Just look!)



At least I’ll get a few more months out of these pants, before buying the next size up.



Need to lengthen some pants too??



First, grab those pants and un-hem the bottom with a seam ripper.



Then measure the exact width of the bottom of your pants.  (Mine was 7 inches.)



Then cut 2 strips of fabric that are 1 inch wider (for a seam allowance) than the width of the pant length.  And make them each about 2 1/2 inches tall.  (Each of the strips below are 8 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches tall.)



Then, place your two strips together (with “right” sides together)  and sew both ends together, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.



Now, turn your pants INSIDE OUT and turn your lining RIGHT SIDE OUT.  Slide the lining inside the pant leg and match up the bottom edges and pin in place.



Slide your pant leg onto your sewing machine and sew alon gthe bottom of the pants, as low as you can (but no less than a 1/4 inch).  You will probably have an uneven bottom edge to your pants….but that ok.  Either trim it so that is’ even, or just use the very lowest fold as your guide.



Keep the pant leg inside out but pull the lining back down through the pant legs and iron it down flat.  (Be sure it’s pulling all the way out and isn’t making any funny folds on the inside while you’re ironing.)



Then, fold up the bottom edge about a 1/2 inch and iron in place.



Then, fold it up again, but fold up the rest of the lining fabric to hide it from the outside of the pants.  TIP:  I always include a very slight bit of the pant fabric as I’m folding in this step because I want to be sure you can’t see my lining fabric.  But, I’m talking teeny weeny.  Maybe 1/16 of an inch.



Then slide your pant leg back onto your machine and sew your hem in place, making sure that you’re sewing through the upper fold of the lining fabric underneath.  (You can sew a single hem, sew two seams next to each other……..OR use the double needle, which is magical.  And no special machine is required.)



Then, iron and steam again.  Done. :)


Good luck!





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Featured Sponsor:

Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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