easy scallop hem tutorial

Lately I’ve been trying to find cute and easy ways to update or repurpose old clothes I don’t wear any more. I had a nice pair of linen pants that were stained on the bottom where I had walked on them so I decided to turn them into shorts with a simple scallop hem.

As I mentioned, start with a pair of pants and cut them about mid thigh. Then try the pants on and fold them up with the right sides facing each other to your desired length, adding 1/4 inch or so for seam allowance.

These are obviously already sewn, but I just wanted to show you about how long I left the pant leg. Once you have folded the shorts up, find a circular object that you can trace onto the folded portion. I used a glass. The tutorial I followed said to measure the leg diameter and divide that by how many scallops you want, but I’m not a fan of math, or following rules.

Trace with a pencil or fabric marker, it will end up on the inside so it doesn’t matter as long as it doesn’t bleed through. Once you’ve traced all your  scallops (if they don’t line up exactly because you were lazy about the math like I was, make the uneven ones in the crotch, and no one will notice) slowly sew along your line. The more precise you are the better it will look. Duh.

Once you’ve sewn all the way around, carefully snip the excess fabric around your hem. I don’t have a photo of them after I trimmed them, but you get the idea. Then fold your scallops right side out by pushing them out with your fingers. You can press them to get a nice hemline. I also sewed a hemline at about 1/4 inch to give them a finished look.

There you go! Iron and enjoy :)

Just a side note, it’s a little tricky getting both legs to line up exactly so make sure you’re careful (try a pair of pants you won’t mind ruining first, just for practice). I’ll be honest, mine are slightly uneven, but you can’t tell. Good luck, and happy sewing!


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