Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mending & Extending Wearability of a Favourite Pair of Trousers

My husband has a favourite pair of summer slacks that he's been asking me to mend for quite a long time. They are slightly too long, and because of that, the hem had become frayed and tattered.

I finally took a look at them, and well, putting it off so long meant less of a hemming job and more of a reconstructive surgery job! Like they say, a stitch in time saves nine. So true.

I forgot to take a photo of what they looked like when I unpicked the original hem and saw how big the holes were on the original fold. Suffice to say they were long and gaping. I couldn't just cut off the fabric above the holes, since the hem only needed to be raised by 1/2". So I needed that length for a foldup!

What to do? Well, this isn't the professional or neat & tidy way to fix a pair of pants, but it is the one that worked for me with this situation.

First I trimmed the loose threads from the long tears, then placed a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing over the backs of them (the side that will be covered when they're turned up again). I matched the sides of the holes together as closely as possible and pressed it on, to keep the holes whole. It worked to a certain level -- I just didn't want more fraying or potential toe-catchers on the inside of the hem. I tried to zigzag over the narrowest tear but this fabric wasn't having it.

So I went full on with a patch system. I trimmed the original folded over 1/4" of the hem, and used that narrow strip to lay over the tears on the side that will be showing on the inside of the pant leg. Then I stitched them down with a narrow zigzag. Like I said, this isn't a pretty fix, and it does add a bit more weight to the hem, but it works to extend the life of these trousers for the rest of the summer before they meet their next incarnation as either shorts or painting pants!

The stitching marks from the first hem are pretty resistant to being pressed or brushed out, so the next step was to press under the new hem and stitch along the original stitching lines. This means the new hem is half the depth of the old one, but it looks better than having a phantom line of stitch holes. Plus these aren't fancy dress pants, so the narrower hem isn't really noticeable -- it doesn't affect the hang much and they look much the same as they did before, except without frayed edges along the bottom!

It was a bit of a puzzle to figure out the best way to mend this pair of trousers to keep them wearable. I'm glad I just went ahead and tried something out that my husband is happy with. Long live comfortable pants!


  1. Yes, well done. And the pants get to live another day!

    1. Yes! When they are really finished I might have to make a pattern from them.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!