Is fusible tape the answer for hemming pants?

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I have about 20 suits and a good 6 of them have at least one of the  
pants leg hems in some state of unsew-dom. For those of you who have  
this, it sometimes gets worse when you put the pants on because you can  
catch your foot in the gap and rip even more threads out. I will either  
have to leave a bunch of my suits out of commission while they're being  
repaired or try to learn to do it myself (which is probably going to  
ruin my eyesight and make me crazy because I don't know what I'm doing).  
I've had people suggest fusible tape (example:  
http://tinyurl.com/lmjrgsf ). My questions for those of you who have used it:

1) Does it make the hems look visibly rippled, or thick, or anything  
undesireable?
2) If it doesn't hold, is there any sort of irreversible damage (like  
adhesive that won't come off and will then make hemming them with thread  
problematic)?

They are all suit pants and will only be dry cleaned occasionally, and  
never make it into the washer.

Thanks in advance -

B

Re: Is fusible tape the answer for hemming pants?




I have about 20 suits and a good 6 of them have at least one of the
pants leg hems in some state of unsew-dom. For those of you who have
this, it sometimes gets worse when you put the pants on because you can
catch your foot in the gap and rip even more threads out. I will either
have to leave a bunch of my suits out of commission while they're being
repaired or try to learn to do it myself (which is probably going to
ruin my eyesight and make me crazy because I don't know what I'm doing).
I've had people suggest fusible tape (example:
http://tinyurl.com/lmjrgsf ). My questions for those of you who have used it:

1) Does it make the hems look visibly rippled, or thick, or anything
undesireable?
2) If it doesn't hold, is there any sort of irreversible damage (like
adhesive that won't come off and will then make hemming them with thread
problematic)?

They are all suit pants and will only be dry cleaned occasionally, and
never make it into the washer.

Thanks in advance -

B

I would suggest that you ask a lady in the family , or neighbor, or lady  
friend if she would take a few minutes to teach/show you how to hem the suit  
pants by hand.  One of the guys you work with might be able to help.    I  
won't take very long to learn to hen the leg of the pants that need repair.  
You might need to go to the drug store and get a pair of magnifying glasses  
to help you see to thread a needle.  To get the correct needle and thread  
colors needed, the salesclerk can help you.  Hope this helps!
Barbara in Florida  



Re: Is fusible tape the answer for hemming pants?
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I've never met a man with roughly normal eyesight and IQ who couldn't learn to  
restitch a hem in less than 10 minutes.

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It can.  Heat and Bond is quite heavy and makes the fabric look stiff, imho.  If I had
to use it, I'd use Vilene's "extra fine fusing tape", which is much more supple.
I've even done emergency hems on bridal party clothes with it... it is pretty good, but  
I wouldn't use it routinely.  Hand hems or machine blind hems are much more supple and
hang correctly.

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There can be.  And residual stiffness.

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So you can learn to do it yourself, or you can pay an alterationist (or a dry cleaner) to
do it for you, if you want them to look better than iron on adhesives.

Machine blind hemming: http://www.diceyhome.free-online.co.uk/KatePages/Learning/Blind_hemming/blind_hemming_explained.htm

Hand hemming:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3s2AKlxr0Y

If you buy a packet of "embroidery/crewel" needles, they have bigger eyes than regular sewing  
needles, so are much easier to thread.  Here's the easy way to thread them: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24370926 Though I'm showing it with embroidery floss here, you can use
standard sewing thread just as easily.

You can do it!  Stop back if you've got more questions.  Since you've got the hems partially  
in, and the folds are all pressed, all you've got to do is learn at least one of the stitches
she shows in the video.  Oh, and you'll save about $60 over what it would cost you to
have them done, judging on local prices here.

Kay

Re: Is fusible tape the answer for hemming pants?
On 12/25/2013 10:01 PM, Kay Lancaster wrote:
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Hey thanks Kay (and Bobbie). I guess I should just take the effort to  
learn this - I tried once and was unable to routinely get the thread  
under one thread so it didn't come out the other side. I'm good with the  
threading the needle, but I think that's where my accuracy stops. I was  
probably in a hurry and not getting it right - I look forward to  
watching the video and learning something!

B

P.S.: I realize on 2nd view that I misspelled "undesirable" - shoot!

P.P.S.: Who invented the skip?


Re: Is fusible tape the answer for hemming pants?
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 18:09:15 -0500, Bill


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The adhesive is designed *not* to come off.  And the hold is often not
too secure.  Dry cleaning may well be harder on the adhesive than
washing.

Hemming isn't too difficult.  

Ordinarily I inveigh against the practice of teaching beginners to
knot the ends of the thread together to keep the thread from coming
out of the needle --sewing with a doubled thread causes all kinds of
difficulties-- but you have no intention of learning how to sew, and
the art of handling the thread so that it doesn't come out of the
needle is the hardest part to master.  (Partly because I don't know
how I do it; I just do it.)

So pick a fine thread so that it won't overwhelm when doubled.  If the
pants are wool, choose silk thread.  Reeled silk is stronger and finer
than spun silk, but strength doesn't matter much in hems, and spun
silk is easier to find, easier to handle, and less shiny.  

For any other fabric, choose a good polyester.  

In practice, you'll buy what the store has.  Take a pair of pants to a
fabric store and tell the clerk that you want thread that color.  In
my fabric store, the job is done, but I hear that some fabric stores
hire clerks who are ignorant and snippy; if so, go to the display of
threads and pick one about the same color as your pants.  When in
doubt, choose the darker shade.  One spool will last you forever.

Also buy a packet of needles.  "Sharps" are the proper needle for
general sewing, but I like embroidery (a.k.a. crewel, long-eye, or
stretched-eye) needles because their larger eyes are easier to thread.
For a beginner, pick a fairly-coarse needle, say #8 or #7.  You are
likely to find a packet of a few each of sizes three through nine. For
your purposes, an assortment is better than a dozen of the same size,
since you can change your mind after you've used a needle for a while
and found it too coarse or too fine.

You really ought to have a thimble, so that you can push the needle
without poking your finger, but I'm not there to make you use it, so
save your money.  If you do get one, a "thumble" is good, because
pushing with the thumb seems instinctive.  (I wear my thimble on my
middle finger, and also control the needle with it.  This took a lot
of practice.)  A thimble absolutely, positootly MUST FIT.

After sixty years of trying various methods, I've settled on a simple
running stitch for all my hems.

First, cut off a piece of thread about as long as your arm.  Use sharp
scissors so that the end won't be fuzzy.  If failed attempts to thread
the needle mess up both ends of the thread, snip one of them off
before trying again.  Pulling the end of the thread across a candle
stub or other piece of wax will stiffen it and glue the fibers
together -- beeswax is traditional for this purpose.  Or you can lick
a fingertip and draw the end of the thread out of your pinch to comb
ruffled fibers.

Poke the end of the thread through the hole in the needle.  

Match the ends of the thread and wrap the doubled thread around the
end of your finger.  Roll this loop off the end of your finger, then
close it by pulling on the needle while pinching the loop between the
fingers of the other hand.  This puts a knot at the very end of the
thread.  Your first attempt will be incredibly messy; don't worry
about it; it's on the inside where nobody will ever see it.

Start near the end of one of the sections that is still hemmed.  Hold
it so that the needle in your favored hand points toward the un-hemmed
place.  Push the needle down into the hem and bring it up about a
quarter inch away, passing through the hem only.  Pull gently until
the knot rests snugly against the fabric.  {If necessary, pinch the
stitch just made to make sure the thread is straight and the fabric is
flat.  Repeat this step whenever required.}

Now put the needle into the cloth about a sixteenth of an inch behind
the place where it came up and take another stitch through the hem
only.  (Don't fret if you catch a little of the outer fabric.)  This
puts a small loop in the thread to keep the thread from pulling out
when the knot wears off.  Just to be safe, make two more of these
"backstitches".

At this point you should still be on the still-hemmed part of the hem,
but close to the ripped part.  Now put the needle in a sixteenth of an
inch beyond the place where you came up and take a stitch through all
layers.  The thread that shows on the right side must catch at least
two threads of the pants; otherwise it will break away and leave a
hole.  But as long as you catch two threads, the shorter the better.

Repeat until you have sewn an inch or so of the still-hemmed hem on
the other side, take three or four back stitches through the hem only,
run the needle between the layers about half an inch, cut the thread
close to the fabric.  Since the thread angles down and up through
thick fabric, the picks will be about a quarter inch apart.

If there is so much ripped hem that it slithers around while you are
trying to sew it, use pins.  Put the pins in at right angles to the
hem so that you don't stick yourself on them.

If you have no pins, your spare needles will do, but be *very* careful
not to lose them.  A pin bends when embedded in flesh, a needle snaps
off and requires a visit to Urgent Care.  

(The default is to put the pins into the stitching line with the heads
toward you, but lets not go into that.)

If at all possible, work in a room with a hard floor so that you can
find things when you drop them.

Refinements:  you can take several running stitches before pulling all
of the thread through.  Since you can't shorten or lengthen the
doubled thread, it will be too long until it starts being too short,
so economizing on the pull-throughs will save time and sore muscles.

After a little practice, you can sort of wiggle the needle to make two
or more stitches before pulling the needle out.  

Just before securing the thread, check that the stitches are neither
puckered nor loopy.  If puckered, stretch the fabric and smooth the
puckers toward the needle.  If loopy, tighten the stitches by pulling
on the needle.  It's a good idea to stop every few inches, make the
tension just right, then make a back stitch to keep it that way.

If the thread gets inconveniently short, fasten off as if the job were
done, then re-thread the needle and start again a little behind where
you left off.

Come back and ask again when something doesn't go right.  

--  
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://roughsewing.home.comcast.net/
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