Laura H. Saturday, January 26, 2013

And by 'nifty,' I totally mean 'lazy cheater-pants.'

I've been churning out leggings by the truckload around here. I should have learned by now that little girls grow. Often very quickly and without warning. So, while she's still the same size *around* she is not the same height!

And I had all these adorable dresses that I made that still fit, they are just a wee bit shorter than makes me comfortable. I have issues with little girls in dresses that hit higher than the knee. Call me a prude if you must, but that's just how I am about that!

So, being the lazy sewist that I am, I really did NOT want to have to re-thread my serger every time I made a new pair of leggings! I also did not want to have have white thread showing at the bottom edge or hem after I'd sewn up the legs. That last bit is because the leg/arm holes for Elizabeth's clothes are always WAY smaller than my machine without the tray on.

Cue cheating! This is how I handle this set of challenges.

First, I hem. I hem before I ever start putting a leg together (or a sleeve, for that matter.) Turn it up, press it, hem it. My double needle and I are on the outs right now, so I just used a narrow zigzag instead. Then, when I start serging everything up, I start just at the top of my hem. Just skip the inch or whatever the pattern calls for and start above it. Once it is all together...

Starting just in from the bottom edge, stitch up from the hemline, backstitching to lock your stitch. Stitch all the way up into where you serged, backstitching to lock the stitches there too.

Trim everything up, repeat on the other side and TA-DA! No need to change thread, have goofy white thread peeping out the bottom, or try to sew that hem without stretching it. Sit back, and admire your work!

 Here are three of my eight (eight?!) pair that I've made. Thinking about it, I've only used brand new yardage for one pair. Everything else has been recycled - these three are (from top to bottom) an old shirt, a pillowcase, and another shirt. I also have two pair made from old sweaters, but that is a tutorial for another time.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! There are lots of ways around this issue, but this is my favorite.

  2. Great tip! I've been doing that on the sleeves of toddler tees. They're too small to hem last.

    1. Cool! How do you do the sleeves? Sew them part way and try on for fit before you hem or just wing it and hem first?

      I'm COMPLETELY a wing it type!