How to Raise the Hem on Pants with Cuffs

Raising the hem on pants with cuffs
My daughter asked me to raise the hem on a pair of capri pants with a cuff. While that sounds kind of intimidating it is really pretty easy. There is only one seam and it can be done on the machine. The secret is pressing. 

Step 1.  Mark the desired finish length. In the photo above there is a pin with a pink glass head marking the desired finish length on the right leg.  

Step 2.  Remove the original hem. In the photo above, you can see the left as the pants were purchased and the right with the cuff and hem unfolded. This pair of pants had been stitched at the sides to keep the cuff from unfolding. Remove those stitches first being careful not to cut the fabric. Then remove the hem stitches.

Step 3.  Determine the amount of fabric required to replace the cuff. To do this measure from the fold that was the lowest point when the cuff was in place. In the photo above there is a pin about an inch below this fold line on the right side. You can see the fold line directly across from the cuff that is still in place on the left side. Measure the length between this fold line and the very bottom of the hem. In the photo above, there is still just about a half inch that was turned under and pressed. It did not unfold for this photograph, but you still need to measure this amount.  You will need to fold the fabric under by the same amount so include it when you measure. I think this pair of pants had about 6 inches from the actual length to the bottom of the fabric that was folded under at the hem. 

Step 4.  From the new desired finished length, (the mark you made in Step1.) measure down the same amount of fabric that you just measured in step 3. In the photo above this is where the second pin has been placed. The distance from the pin with the pink glass head to the pin without the glass head is the same distance as from the original hem to the bottom of the fabric after the hem has been removed.

New cut line, and cuff fold marks
Step 5.  Transfer the cuff fold measurements to the new hem. Cut the excess fabric off at the mark you made for the new cut line. The pin has been removed in the second photo and the scissors are at that mark. The white lines shown above and below are where the new folds will be as a result of the new hem length. Make the same cut on the other pant leg before you proceed to the next step. It will be easier to be sure you are getting them the same length. 

Cuff fold marks in chalk, and with pins

Press the newly cut raw edge under
Step 6.  Press the raw edge under. My fabric was pressed under about a half inch. This was the same amount that was included on the original pair of pants.

Fold the pants to the top of the cuff length
Step 7.  Fold the pants to the new top of the cuff measurement, press. The top of the cuff measurement is marked with the blue-green glass top pin. You can see The top of the cuff mark with the blue-green pin in the photos above Step 6 and above Step 7. This measurement is the length of the original cuff from the level of the hem to the top of the cuff, about 2.5 inches or 6+ a little centimeters on this pair of pants. Ready to press.

Hem folded up, ready to press
Step 8.  Press. 
One leg pressed, Now mark the fold line on the second leg
Step 9.  Transfer the fold line to the second leg to assure the length on both legs match. In the photo above I have placed the scissors and chalk marker between the pressed leg and the second leg so you can see where I marked the fold line on the second leg. Press the second leg to match the first. 

Sew the hem
Step 10. Sew the hem from the inside. In the photo above I have marked the stitch line with pins so you can see where it is. This will be under the cuff so it will not show.  The white line, just down from the pin is the desired hem length and fold line.

Step 11.  Turn cuff up at the new hem line, press.

Cuff folded up and pressed

New hem, cut away part below and view of the inside hem.
Step 12. Stitch in the ditch at the top of each side of the cuffs on both legs to keep the cuffs from dropping. These stitches will not show if you use matching thread.

Finished view of the cuffs. In this view the cut away portion is below the finished pants. You can see a line across the cuff on the right side, this is from the original hem, it should go away when the pants are washed.

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