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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 3 July, 2020

Basic Stitch: I tried to hem my own trousers because my mam is sick of my shite

Have I made a terrible mistake?

In this new series, wants to help you get in touch with your inner Pinterest professional via some basic AF crafts – so simple, even Fionnuala can do them.

“THE HEM OF your trousers is after falling down!”

It could be a line out of Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen’s cult classic Oh My God What A Complete Aisling, but it’s actually just a line taken from my mother’s well worn script upon landing down to my own BallyGoBackwards.

Dropped trouser hems have never bothered me, and my logic for this is watertight. I mean, how often do you look down at your own ankles? As long as they’re not traipsing the ground, does it actually matter?

Anyway, when I realised that the hem had fallen down on an old pair of trousers, I figured it was time to teach myself how to fix them by my hand. My mam does it with her magic machine, but until a sewing machine reappears in the Lidl middle aisle, I shan’t be purchasing one.

Image from iOS (63) (1)

Image from iOS (76) Here's what my dropped hem looks like.

Here's what it should look like.

What you will need

  • A sewing needle
  • A thread that is a similar colour to your trousers. 
  • Tailor’s chalk.
  • Straight pins.
  • An iron.


  1. Iron whatever you’re hemming so that there are no creases in it.
  2. Measure the hemline. This’ll be fairly easy for me with the pants because I have the other leg to go off (or at least, it should be.) Pin the hem up.
  3. Turn the pants inside out. Technically, you’re supposed to us a gauge here but I’m just going to eyeball it, marking out stitches and lengths with tailor’s chalk.
  4. There’s a few different stitches you can use, which you can see here. I’m going to try and do a basic running stitch because the thread I’m using is close enough to my trousers so I can get away with being sloppy.

Here’s what I did

  1. Rest assured, I did not iron my trousers. I could not be arsed. 
  2. I turned them outside and pinned them by eye on the ground. They’re a baggy fit anyway and I tend to wear them with platform runners, so I don’t think I’d be able to tell as well with them tried on.
  3. Without marking out the stitches (a mistake), I started sewing, doing a running stitch along the original hemline there or thereabouts (emphasis on the ‘thereabouts’.)

After hemming. Zoom in at your own risk.

The non-dropped hem (left) and my effort (right).

This is what it looks like in the end …

Perfect? No. Not by a longshot. Sewers everywhere are flinching. But hey, at least I save my mam some hassle. 

What I’d do over if I was arsed

I’d mark out the stitches. I thought I’d be able to follow the line because my pants are tartan, but the pattern on the inside doesn’t neccessarily match the pattern on the outside so I regularly went off course. Oops. 

I’d also practice a few different stitch techniques. While the running stitch serves its purpose, it’s not as neat as some of its counterparts.

Got any crafting ideas that the most basic b*tch could manage it? Email with suggestions and she might just give it a bash!

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