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$50 to Hem a Pair of Pants

One of the sewing groups I belong to admonishes its members never to offer to hem pants for people. One person notes that she always says "$50" when asked how much she charges to hem a pair of pants. She says it discourages all but the most desperate of her friends. 

My mother and sister are shorter than I am. They almost always have to hem the pants they buy. My mother, in particular, is quite the hemming expert. My sister brought a pair of pants with her at Christmas for my mother to hem (I offered up the sewing machine). I am lucky in that—being 5'7" tall—I hardly ever have to hem anything. A 32" inseam fits me pretty well. 

Unfortunately, DD#1 forgot that she needed a pair of pants hemmed, or we would have had my mother do it while she was here. She brought them to me yesterday. At 5' 10", she is taller than me, so finding a pair of pants that have to be hemmed in order for her to wear them is quite a feat. She bought them at Banana Republic. They aren't labelled as such, but I suspect they are Talls. They fit her really well except for the length. I had her try them on with her shoes and then realized that this would be no simple hemming project. The pants are lined. I had to shorten the lining by an inch before I could even mark a new hemline. Vittorio, the Necchi BF, did that part of the job and did it beautifully. 

The next step was to cut off an inch and a half of length from the pants and serge the raw edge. That's how they were originally done. I got as far as changing the thread from white to black in my serger yesterday before we all went out to dinner. (We were celebrating DD#1's new job and that DD#2 got a 4.0 this semester studying in Europe.) I'll cut off the length and serge that raw edge some time this week. Then I have to turn up a new hem and blind stitch it in place. The Singer 223 will get pulled out for that job. It has the best blind stitch capabilities of any of my vintage machines. 

I don't charge my family for sewing projects. If you're not a blood relation, though, don't be surprised if I tell you it's going to cost $50 for me to hem your pants. 


Speaking of mending....

This is my navy blue Calvin Klein peacoat. We were out running errands today and DD#1 noticed that it was coming apart at the seam on the back of the coat. 

I am very particular about my winter coats. (Surprised? You shouldn't be.) I prefer wool peacoats. The problem is that many of them are too short, so when I find one I like, I tend to wear it until it falls apart. I love the way this one fits and the fabric is a nice wool/cashmere blend. This seam would be a cinch to fix except that the coat has a bagged lining. In looking for the best place to release the lining in order to get to this seam, I noticed that the lining is also starting to come apart. Sigh. I think I am just going to have to release the lining, fix this seam, fix the lining seam, then hand sew the lining back in. It seems silly to buy a new coat when I could fix this one. I should be able to get at least one more season out of it. 


All the snow on the garage roof let loose today, leaving about 60 cubic feet of snow blocking the man door. DD#2's boyfriend and I shoveled it out when we got home after running errands. It was wet and heavy and resembled concrete. That's why you don't want to get caught at the bottom of an avalanche. Thankfully, it warmed up enough that the plows were able to get all the snow off the roads. They are at least clear, if not totally dry. We may get some snow/rain tonight, but the forecast is for a bigger storm on Friday night and Saturday.

It's winter in Montana. It snows. 

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Reader Comments (2)

Tried to talk to John into moving to Montana, we ended up in Texas. The temperatures are truly 70’s one day, 30’s next day.

January 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPatty

Those of us who grew up with parents who went through the depression have the same mentality you do about your coat. See how a piece of clothing can be fixed and maybe get another season or two out of it. I'm the same way about food. Nothing much ever gets thrown away in our house. It either is eaten as leftovers or goes into the freezer stock pot bag. You are at a distance from that depression mentality, but you've embraced parts of it. It's a sensible way to live.

January 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHusband's mom

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