A Step-by-Step Guide Basics for Sewing a Lettuce Hem

My daughter and I share one really annoying problem: we both can’t fit into any pants. She is 11 years old, and fits into a size 8 except for the length. Come summertime, this problem is generally easy to solve since I crop off all of her jeans and make them into shorts. (Adding length, on the other hand, is a real pain.)

In this step-by-step guide, I am going to show you how I refashioned a size 8 pair of pants into a pair of capris, creating a lettuce hem. This gives clothing a nice, casual look. I think it looks pretty good, actually, especially with the contrast. This is more of a tutorial rather than a remake. I don’t own a serger machine, so I have to make do on a regular machine.

Learn sewing a lettuce hem techniques to refashion your wardrobe, adding a touch of elegance and flair to your clothes.

Materials and Tools Needed for Creating a Lettuce Hem

To get started on your lettuce hem project, it’s important to gather some basic sewing supplies. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

    • Fabric: Choose a lightweight fabric with a good amount of drape, such as chiffon, crepe, or jersey. These fabrics work best for achieving the signature lettuce edge.
    • Sewing machine: A sewing machine will make the process much faster and more efficient. If you don’t have one, you can still create a lettuce hem using a serger or by hand sewing. But these instructions are for using a sewing machine.
    • Thread: Select a thread color that complements your fabric. It’s best to choose a thread that matches the color of your fabric or a shade slightly darker.
    • Scissors: Invest in a good pair of fabric scissors for clean and precise cutting.
    • Pins: These will come in handy for holding the fabric in place during the sewing process.
    • Hem gauge: A hem gauge is a useful tool for measuring and marking the desired width of your lettuce hem.
    • Iron: An iron is essential for pressing your fabric and achieving crisp edges.
    • Seam ripper: This tool will be your best friend if you make any mistakes and need to undo stitches.

Choosing the Right Fabric for a Lettuce Hem

    • Chiffon: Chiffon is a sheer and lightweight fabric that drapes beautifully. It’s perfect for creating flowy and feminine lettuce hems. Choose a chiffon fabric with a slight stretch for added comfort.
    • Crepe: Crepe is a versatile fabric that can be found in various weights and textures. It has a slightly textured surface and excellent drape, making it an ideal choice for lettuce hems. Crepe de Chine and satin-back crepe are two popular types of crepe that work well for this technique.
    • Jersey: Jersey is a knit fabric known for its stretch and comfort. It’s a popular choice for creating lettuce hems on casual and sporty garments. Look for a lightweight jersey with a good amount of stretch for the best results.
    • Organza: Organza is a crisp and sheer fabric that adds a touch of elegance to any garment. It’s often used for creating lettuce hems on formal dresses and skirts. Keep in mind that organza can be a bit tricky to work with, so make sure you have some experience with sewing before attempting this fabric.

Preparing the Fabric for Hemming

If you do nothing else, wash your fabric. Many fabrics shrink when washed.

Before you start sewing your lettuce hem, it’s important to prepare your fabric properly. Here are a few steps to follow:

    • Pre-washing: It’s always a good idea to pre-wash your fabric to remove any dirt, shrinkage, or chemical treatments. This will ensure that your lettuce hem stays intact even after washing.
    • Ironing: After pre-washing, iron your fabric to remove any wrinkles and create a smooth surface. This will make it easier to cut and sew.
    • Cutting the fabric: Measure and cut your fabric according to your desired garment pattern. Make sure to add a few extra inches to account for the lettuce hem allowance.
    • Marking the hemline: Use a hem gauge or ruler to mark the desired width of your lettuce hem. Make sure to mark the hemline on the wrong side of the fabric.

Step-by-Step Instructions on Sewing a Lettuce Hem

Learn sewing a lettuce hem techniques to refashion your wardrobe, adding a touch of elegance and flair to your clothes.We begin with a pair of plain black pants. I decided on a jersey-like material for the stretchy stretch.

First step is to make them shorter. If you can see, these pants also had a bleach spot on them. The easiest way to hem any pants is to fold them in half and then fold one pant leg over where you want to hem, making sure to make the fold perpendicular to the existing hem, since pant legs tend to be slightly angled.

Learn sewing a lettuce hem techniques to refashion your wardrobe, adding a touch of elegance and flair to your clothes.

Make the cut. Remember to leave a bit of room (don’t make them too short) for the hemming.

Learn sewing a lettuce hem techniques to refashion your wardrobe, adding a touch of elegance and flair to your clothes.

Now, sew them with a zig zag stitch which is close together. It is important to stretch the material on the “to be sewn” part. Since my sewing machine goes up to down (I push the material away from me), the part that is stretched is the part that is closest to me. It is also important NOT to stretch the material too much on the other part, just using your fingers to guide it through the machine but not stretching it.

Learn sewing a lettuce hem techniques to refashion your wardrobe, adding a touch of elegance and flair to your clothes.

Next, cut edging off.

Learn sewing a lettuce hem techniques to refashion your wardrobe, adding a touch of elegance and flair to your clothes.

Snazzing It Up

Adding embellishments to your lettuce hem can make it even more eye-catching and unique. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

    • Beads and sequins: Hand-sew beads or sequins onto the lettuce hem to create a glamorous and sparkling effect.
    • Embroidery: Use embroidery thread to create intricate designs along the lettuce hem. You can experiment with different stitches and patterns to personalize your garment.
    • Pom-poms or tassels: Attach colorful pom-poms or tassels to the edge of your lettuce hem for a fun and playful look.

Remember to choose embellishments that complement your fabric and overall style. Be creative and have fun with it!

And we are done!! I did a better job on one pant leg over the other but since they are capris, I can redo them if they look bad on her.

Learn sewing a lettuce hem techniques to refashion your wardrobe, adding a touch of elegance and flair to your clothes.

Here’s another picture:

Learn sewing a lettuce hem techniques to refashion your wardrobe, adding a touch of elegance and flair to your clothes.

 

8 thoughts on “A Step-by-Step Guide Basics for Sewing a Lettuce Hem”

  1. These turned out nice, I wish I was better at sewing. Thank you so much for sharing with Saturday Spotlight. Enjoy the rest of your week, and hope to see you at the party again soon.

    April

    Reply
  2. These turned out nice, I wish I was better at sewing. Thank you so much for sharing with Saturday Spotlight. Enjoy the rest of your week, and hope to see you at the party again soon.

    April

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.