Long sleeved shirts can become short sleeved shirt and highwater pants can be made into shorts. That way, if your child likes the clothing, but it is highwater-ish, it can still be re-used.
Here are some tips about how to shorten long sleeves and pants.
You don't need a Serger to produce a finished look when you shorten sleeves, pants, or a skirt by machine. All you need is a simple machine that will do straight and zigzag stitches.
Depending on how much you want to shorten the item, you can cut off some fabric straight around, turn under 1/2 inch of the end and press it. Sew a row of zigzag stitching to keep it from fraying. Then you can turn this zigzagged end under to the length you want and press that. You can hem it by hand or sew a row of straight stitching to secure it and voila!
You should check with your local fabric store, such as Hancocks. Often these type of stores offer sewing classes and afterward they will sell the student machines for a considerably lower price than a new machine. This might be the most economical way to get your machine.
If you want an easier way, go to a sewing store and buy some Stitchwichery. This is a bonding material that you use with an iron. Cut your slacks or whatever, fold a hem, and then use Stitchwichery to bond it. I use this method more than hand stitching.
By Toni k.
I have short legs and all I do is cuff up the hem of the pants and then hem by hand with a hem stitch, with extra reinforcing stitches on the seams. In an emergency, you can tape with the hems with duct tape. This is especially good for jeans. I really don't see how you can hem with a machine very well. I suppose it would be OK for children's play clothes.
If you are going to buy a basic machine, be sure to get one with an open arm so the sleeve or pant leg will go right on. My machine is old, doesn't have this and it is a pain. I have a blind stitch option that will make an invisible hem, but I always hem by hand.
Yard sales are great places to find cheap sewing machines, they may be old, but you can do the basics. Some may be marked at $25.00 but you can negotiate them down many times to as little as $15.00. I would check the machine out to be sure it works before purchasing. For basic hemming, a regular stitch and zig zag sounds like it would fill the bill.
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