Sewing is not just a hobby for old grandmothers, and a bad economy is all the more reason for more people to learn how to sew. There is no reason to go out and spend money on a brand new pair of pants when a quick stitching job can make an old, tattered pair look almost as good as new. The fabric around the cuffs of pants tends to be what gets frayed the most quickly, so that's as good a place as any for a beginner to start picking up the skills.
Sewing Tools You Will Need
- Tailoring scissors
- Headed straight pins
- Cotton thread
- One needle
Preparing the Cuff
Begin by folding the edge of the cuff about 1/4 inch to the outside. Once that step is finished, the inner fabric of the garment should be visible to you along the line of the cuff. Even though this inner piece of fabric you're looking at now is going to end up on the inside of the pants leg again once you're finished, it is essential that you align the fold as accurately and evenly as possible around the entire rim of the cuff. When you learn how to sew, proper measurement becomes one of the most clearly useful skills. Use the straight pins to hold the fold you're making in place as you perfect the measurement.
Making the Stitch
It's time to begin the first actual sewing. This article will assume that you're dealing with a heavier fabric by using a cotton thread, but other materials may be more appropriate for lighter base fabrics. Begin by sewing the fold you've just made in place, making a full circle all the way around the ring of fabric. The stitch loops should ideally be placed about 1/8 inch apart from one another, and they should be as evenly spaced as you can possibly get them. The pins will ensure that everything stays in place while you're working. Once you've gone full circle, the fabric will stay in place on its own, and you can go ahead and remove the straight pins.
You're going to repeat the same stitch from above again, this time taking that 1/4 inch flap you just created and folding it to the inside of the pants leg instead. The inner fabric should no longer be exposed to you, but you will probably have to use the inside of the pant leg as a sort of reference to make sure you have this second fold aligned just as cleanly as the first one.
Finishing the Cuff
As before, you'll want to hold everything in place using the straight pins. Since you're going to be poking straight through to the other side of the fabric you're holding, you'll always want to be mindful of where your fingers are. Some people where thin gloves when they perform minor stitching like this in order to reduce the chance of pricking their fingers, but that tends to decrease your dexterity, making you less precise.
Once this second, reinforcing circle of stitching is complete, the new cuff you've just created is just about finished. Remove the straight pins and inspect your handiwork. This should protect against fraying, and create a hemmed pants leg that will be able to last for years.