A Bounty Of Books And A Hemming Adventure

Lazies, Two things today and a note.

Book Signing Bounty:
I posted on Monday that I’ll be signing books at Checker’s booth at the Quilt Market later this week. Well, I just saw the schedule for signings at Checker’s Newsletter and there is quite a line-up for book signings. And a special fabric signing by Darlene Zimmerman in addition to her new book ‘Quilting The Complete Guide’ shown here.

A Hemming Adventure:
I have to tell you about my sewing adventure last night. I needed to hem a pair of pants for my trip this week to Quilt Market in Salt Lake City. Now, I must tell you that I do not have a lot of experience in hemming pants – mine or anyone else’s. I’m 5′ 10″ and pants that are too long have been a rarity in my experience. I’ve hemmed pants for other people, but not many. I must tell you, I used to make most of my clothes – everything from suits and dresses to pants shorts, shirts and more. So, I no stranger to apparel sewing.

I don’t have a picture to show you. The pants are a true, deep black and the photos don’t show anything too well.

When I found these pants, the sales lady said, ‘You should get a second pair and hem one longer than the other to wear with heels. Brilliant! I don’t wear heels, but I do have shoes with a higher heel than others. So I got a second pair and needed to hem both.

Let’s add the variables up, shall we? Hemming pants, stretchy material, two new stitches, two new presser feet, thread I’ve never worked with, iron set to the wrong temp because I like steam and results when I press, and hemming pants by myself without another set of eyes to confer. Truly, I didn’t think my chances were too good for achieving success. But I had four pants legs to get it right. Are your fingers crossed?

I knew I had a jersey needle, so I was pretty excited that I’d be able to sew in some manner – I was off to a good start. I opened the hem, pressed, rotary cut to shorten, marked the fold line for the new finished length. Then I experimented with the remnants to find the right stitch and machine settings as well as iron settings. That took a while. It involved digging out my 11 year old machine manual, digging out two presser feet that I wasn’t sure I had any longer and doing some test sewing.

Michael (hubster) checked the length when I pinned the first pair. He spotted 1/8″ difference on one leg. The pants were probably fine and I probably wasn’t standing quite straight. The hems were equal with each other, so I decided to leave the hem as pinned because the difference would be at the floor where few people would notice if there truly was a discrepancy, and I can change it later if needed.

It was time to hem the first pair. Carolyn had suggested the blind hem stitch – I completely forgot about that option. I didn’t think I’d be able to pull that stitch off for a number of reasons. Mostly because I haven’t used it in forever, but also because the pants have some stretch to them. Let me tell you – that blind hem stitch – killer stuff. Done in two minutes and it looks nice.

Hey, I got quite fancy with the second pair of pants that I hemmed last night. Yes, I did hem both pairs. For the second pair, I left them just about 1/4″ longer and I tilted the hem, longer in back by a smidgen less than 1/4″. The break in the front should still look good and still give me more coverage in the back for a nice appearance with my higher-heeled gym shoes (gymmers are almost required footwear for the show). Did I mention that the pants are boot cut? So they are wider at the bottom – adding to the hemming fun – and the width of the opening should create a graceful line from front to back of the hem. We’ll see about that.

I used a silky thread from Sulky – because it’s what I had – and it looks great on the overlock stitch (a new best friend indeed) as well as the blind hem stitch. Yes, I successfully executed both stitches, had both presser feet needed, the thread worked well and I’m the proud owner of two newly hemmed pairs of pants. Now, it might be too warm in Salt Lake City for pants, but it’s best to be prepared for all weather at this time of year.

I’ll begin posting about my Market adventures on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

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