How To Hem Leggings With A Serger

Stitching stretchy fabrics can be challenging if you don’t know the right way to go about it. Fortunately, we are blessed with sewing machines and sergers that make the entire process a lot easier for us. When it comes to stretchy knits, leggings with narrow openings make it tricky for individuals to use it. That’s why you need to learn the right way to hem your leggings.

Hemming leggings are as essential as adding buttons to a shirt. Hemmed leggings will hold the stretchy fabric and prevent unnecessary puckering. If you don’t want to struggle with your legging’s thread coming out, you need to learn how to hem your legging pants with a serger. This article is all about discovering the right way to hem your pants for the best. Without further ado, let’s get started!

How To Hem Leggings With A Serger?

Hem Leggings With A Serger

First, you need to pin the leggings in the right length and press it using your hand or iron rod. Make sure not to burn your fabric by keeping your iron too hot. You can also cut the extra length, which you don’t need. Now fold the new hem before starting to hem. Start hemming close to the folded edge; you would not want to leave more space.

Step-By-Step Guide To Hem Your Leggings

It is always good to have a detailed explanation of every sewing step. We have aligned you with a step-by-step approach to hem your leggings and get a nice and neat finish to it.

Step 1: Pin At The Right Length

It goes without saying that every wearer has a different length for their leggings. You need to ensure that before hemming the leggings, you have got the right length. The right length can be different for different people. Hence pinning it before hemming will help you avoid any blunders. Don’t go with the customary length guidelines that are set by people, like hem it 2 inches. Measure your length and pin it inside out before starting to hem. It might be a little tricky to pin with a narrow-legged opening.

Step 2: Don’t Forget To Press

Don't Forget To Press

When you pin a new hemline for your leggings, make sure to press it. Take help from the ironing board and place your legging on top of it. Make sure that your hot iron is not too hot that it burns your leggings. Use the right temperature setting for the type of fabric you are using for your leggings. Pressing the hem will give a neat definition to the line and removes the guesswork from the process. This will also help in creating a definitive crease on your legging later.

Step 3: Try Cutting The Extra

When you measure the length of your legging, there will be some fabric left. You need to fold the entire fabric before hemming; it will create an unnecessary bulge in your legging that will ruin its look. Instead, you can try cutting the extra length. This step will make your task much easier when you are hemming the leggings. You can avoid this step if you want to keep the extra fabric, just in case you want to increase the length someday.

Step 4: Fold and Press

Folding the hem will never go waste; you need to work upon the folding and pressing before you bring it any closer to the serger. Nicely fold the leggings at the seams and repeat on both sides. You can pin it up for extra protection to get a clear definition of the fabric while hemming. Folding will help in placing the legging on the serger/sewing machine without disturbing the measurement.

Step 5: Hem It Close To The Edge

Hem It Close To The Edge

Now the final and most crucial step is to start hemming. When you are using a serger, you need to be careful with the needle you use. Twin needle hemming is considered ideal for leggings and stretchy knits. It creates two rows of straight stitches on the reverse and topside, resembling a zig-zag pattern. This pattern is the common thing that you will notice on leggings’ hemming. People also prefer skipped stitches that go well with fabrics like lycra or spandex.

Choose a perfect needle and hemming pattern and start hemming. There you go, you will get nicely hemmed leggings that you can start stitching.

What Is The Coverstitch Machine?

A more improvised version of the serger, a cover stitch machine, is exclusively meant for hemming your stretchy knits. The benefit of using a cover stitch machine or a regular sewing machine is that you will get more neat hemming that will prevent your fabric from puckering. You need to find the best cover stitch machine that can offer you the best quality hems you need. Doing a reverse cover stitching to give a decorative look to your leggings and also secure it. It is used on the right side of the fabric, making your leggings look aesthetically appealing.

What Are The Tips To Hem Narrow Leg Opening On The Round?

When you are hemming on the narrow leg opening around the leg, you need to be extra careful. A little mistake can ruin your entire fabric. Here are a few tips that you must keep handy.

  1. Always keep the seam allowance and fold it in the opposite direction. Coverstitch machines won’t take the uneven surface. So, you need to make sure that you are feeding it evenly. Folding the seams will give the required definition to your leggings and help you in the hemming.
  2. Always try to hand baste a hem using large stitches before you put it in the machine. Make sure your basting doesn’t overlap your stitching. The best way to go about it is by placing your basting right below the actual stitches.
  3. Turning the leggings inside out will help you a ton while stitching. However, you will still be stitching from the right side of the fabric. In case of reverse cover stitching, you need to do the exact opposite of it.
  4. Start stitching from the inside of the leg, preferably from the inseam, as beginning from the top can mess up feeding. It depends on the type of machine you are using.
  5. When your hem starts stretching unnecessarily, you can try increasing the feed setting and then try once again. Make sure you don’t pull the hem when you are stitching; it can ruin your fabric.
  6. To ensure your stitches are strong, you can try overlapping stitches for a couple of centimeters (about ½”). Use the pull method to secure your stitches.

The finished hem will look neat and clean once you have followed all these steps while using a cover stitch machine. Hemming your leggings is an art that you can learn with regular practice.

What is Zigzag Hemming?

Zigzag Hemming

It is the most used hemming pattern for stretchy fabrics like leggings. The ease of creating these patterns is among the best reasons why people prefer it every time. The zigzag hem is easy to create; you just need to start with a longer stitch than a regular one (2-3″ based on the stretchiness of the fabric). Before using it on the actual fabric, you can try using it on scrap fabric and become familiar with it.

Why Are Skipped Stitches Not Preferred For Leggings?

Why Are Skipped Stitches Not Preferred For Leggings?

Skipped stitches are good for stretchy fabrics, but not leggings. Leggings are body-hugging, and they need to stretch a lot. There have been instances where skipped stitches have come off when leggings are stretched too much. Skipped stitches are not best for the knit fabrics as well. It also results in holes that will start destroying your leggings. Try to avoid this stitch as much as possible and use more strong and promising stitches like zigzag. It is the best way you can protect your legging’s thread from puckering.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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