CHANDI Sewing by Hand: Pockets and Hems

As a clothing designer, one of the things I get asked most often is how to alter or repair clothing. Being able to alter and repair your own clothing is an extremely valuable, practical and useful skill to have. I also wanted to show the girls a couple of important hand sewing stitches. I asked them each to bring in an article of their own clothing that needed altering or repairing.

Adriana brought in a jacket whose pockets had holes in them and needed to be replaced. First, we used a seam ripper to undo the lining to get access to the pocket. She also had to unpick the stitches holding the pocket together.

Using the old pocket as a pattern, tracing it onto the new fabric, she cut out a new pocket. I used the serger (a machine that both cuts and sews the fabric simultaneously) to sew the edges of the pocket together.

Adriana then sewed the pocket onto the jacket by hand. The last step is sewing up the lining using an invisible/blind stitch.

Catherine brought in a pair of jeans that she had cut into shorts that she wanted to hem. We pinned them and she tried them on until she decided what length she wanted them. We measured the garment, marked and did some trimming so that the bottom hem was completely even. Then she folded the bottom up 1.5” to make a cuff, ironing along the hem on both legs. Then she folded the bottom hem up 1.5” again to hide the raw edge and complete the cuff, measuring and ironing again.

Then she tacked the cuff at both the side and inside seams.

This is a nice way to get rid of the frayed edge of jean shorts but leave the natural appearance of a cuff, without having it unfurl.

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