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​​​​Shortening pants – preparation techniques

Shortening with plain finish

The process of shortening will start from taking the measurements of course. It is a critical step for getting the length right and it can be a bit tricky if you are less experienced with taking measurements.

There are differences depending on age groups; younger people will prefer to have the length towards the longer side, whereas the mature aged customers will be more inclined towards the shortish hem. They don’t like when they have lots of fabric bunching at the front of their feet. This is also due to physiological changes with aging which affects the posture of elderly people. They have to keep their body leaned forward (for balancing) which makes the front of their pants appear longer than it actually is, making an impression of pant being too long. The other reason is for preventing them to get soiled easily. Some of them are frantic about cleanliness and have limited access or resources to get the washing/dry cleaning done regularly

Taking the measurements

  • Ask the person to put the pants and shoes on.                       
  • Now check if the waist seats properly and ask the person if it is too tight or too loose.
  • If the waist is a bit loose than it is important to take in the waist first, so you have to pin the waist for as much as needed and make sure it’s the best fit for him. Always ask the person and get his approval before continuing.

Now it’s time to pin the desired length of pants. Fold the fabric towards inside of pants as in picture, make sure the back is just above the shoe’s heel.

See the picture opposite

The length should be shorter for slim cut pants and more generous for full wide cut pants. Always ask the customer about the desired look and style they trying to achieve. And always insist on trying it with the shoes on.

Transferring measurements to markings for cutting

We have the pants with pins on hem and we need to make markings and remove the pins. Here are the steps:

  • Mark the fold with the choc and remove the pins completely.  See the picture
  • Lay folded pants legs together according to the creases on legs.
  • Make sure the waist is folded symmetrically and the legs are exactly on top of each other.
  • easure the distance between the chock mark and the original finish to determine the shortening amount.
  • Make a line across using a dry soap (we need to remove the mark later and its easily done with the soap).
  • Draw the cutting line leaving 5cm. See picture below:

 Cutting and overlocking

  • Cut legs together along the cutting line using dressmaker’s sharp scissors.
  • Overlock or fold the edge if you don’t have an overlocker.
  • Fold the hem along the hemming line (marked by soap) and put pins to hold it.

Blind stitching and pressing

  • Blind stitch the hem by hand or by blind stitching machine.
  • Press the hem from inside and from outside and hang immediately.