Cover picture

Sew leg seams and topstiched hem #BE05

I will show you step by step how to sew leg seams and quilted hems on trousers in the following video and illustrated text instructions. When working this way, I finish both trouser legs separately before closing the crotch and seat seams. Pockets on the back and front of the trousers should already be worked in at this stage. If you have configured your trousers with seam pockets, the side seams are already closed. I will show you two different hem variations, one with a single folded hem and one with a double fold.

Video instruction:

1. This is required:

Das Bild zeigt die benötigten Teile
Das wird benötigt.

Pattern pieces made from shell fabric:

  • the prepared hind trousers (HH) – 1 pair
  • the prepared front trousers (VH)- 1 pair

Tools and aids:

  • Pins or clips
  • Hand shears
  • Chalk or marker pen
  • long ruler
  • matching sewing thread and sewing needle

2. Iron the back trousers into shape

If you have already ironed your back trousers into shape when trying them on, you can go straight on to the next step.

You can find the ironing instructions here.

3. Close the outer leg seam

If you are sewing your pants with seam pockets and the outer leg seams are already closed, continue here.
If your trousers do not have a knee lining, you must first neaten the inside and outside edges of the legs, the top edge and the crotch seam before closing the leg seams. You can first cut back the front edge of the front trouser part to which the fly facing will later be sewn, according to the marking in the pattern.

The picture shows the front and back trousers pinned together at the side seam.
The side seam is pinned.

I lay the front and back trousers right sides together and pin the side seams flush.

The picture shows the finished side seam,
Finished side seam.

Then I sew the side seam. Pay attention to the correct seam allowance, which results from the pattern.

The picture shows how the seam allowances are ironed apart.
Press the seam allowance open.

I then press the seam allowance open.

Here I like to use my clothes brush or an ironing board again to make the seam nice and flat.

The picture shows how the side seam is ironed apart in the upper area.
Press out the side seam.

I press the seam allowance at the top of the trousers open on an ironing pad or the round end of the ironing board.

4. Prepare the hem

Das Bild zeigt, wie ein gesteppter Saum vorbereitet wird.
Die Saumlänge wird übertragen.

I transfer the hem length resulting from the pattern parallel to the hem edge to the right side of the fabric. (Don’t be surprised that the crease is no longer visible in the front, I took these pictures on a different pair of pants)

Das Bild zeigt, wie ein gesteppter Saum gebügelt wird.
Der Saum wird gebügelt.

For the single-folded version, I turn the trousers inside out and press the hem over on the marked line.

Das Bild zeigt, wie der zweite Einschlag gebügelt wird.
Der doppelte Einschlag wird angezeichnet.

For the double-folded version, I mark half of the fold width here. You can also mark just 1 cm away from the hem, in which case your hem stitching will be slightly wider.

I then turn the trouser leg inside out.

The picture shows how the double folded hem is ironed.
The hem is ironed.

Then I press the edge first at the bottom marking and then at the finished hem line.

5. Close the inner leg seam

The picture shows how the inner leg seams are placed on top of each other.
The inner leg seams are placed on top of each other.

I lay the inside edges of the front and back trousers right sides together.

The picture shows how to mark the seam allowance.
The width of the seam allowance is marked.

At the upper end of the inside leg seam, I mark the width of the seam allowance on the back trousers.

The picture shows how to pin the inner leg seam.
The edges of the pattern pieces meet at the marking.

In this position, I secure the upper end of the inner leg seam with a clip or pin. The front and back trousers meet exactly at the marking in the crotch curve.

The picture shows the pinned inside leg seam.
The inside leg seam is pinned.

Then I pin the remaining section of the inner leg seam together. When doing this, I make sure that the knips meet at knee height. From the knee towards the inseam, the back trousers must be stretched to the length of the front trousers. You may have already prepared this when ironing the hind trousers.

I take the seam allowance from the pattern.

The picture shows a sleeve board for ironing out the inner leg seam.
Sleeve board for ironing out the inner leg seam.

I use a sleeve board to iron out the inner leg seam.

The picture shows how the inner leg seam is ironed apart.
The inner leg seam is ironed open.

I press the seam allowances open here too. I work with a lot of pressure and take my time so that the seam is completely flat. Of course, you can also use a wooden brush or ironing wood again.

The picture shows how a quilted hem is ironed.
The hem is ironed again.

By ironing out the side seam, the hem edges are no longer so clearly visible. I therefore iron them again in the side seam area.

Make sure that the seam allowances are nice and smooth, especially with the double folded hem.

Das Bild zeigt, wie ein gesteppter Saum versäubert wird.
Der einfach eingeschlagene Saum wird versäubert.

For the single turned-in hem, I finish the edge with the overlock or a zigzag stitch.

6. Sew topsiched hem

Das Bild zeigt den festgesteckten Saum.
Der Saum wird gesteckt.

The hem edge can now be pinned.

Das Bild zeigt, wie der Saum genäht wird.
Der Saum wird genäht.

I start and finish topstitching at the inner leg seam.

With the single turned-in hem, my quilting width is approx. 5 mm narrower than my turned-in width. With a hem turn-in width of 40 mm, this would be 35 mm edge distance when topstitching.

Das Bild zeigt, wie der doppelt eingeschalgene Saum genäht wird.
Der doppelt eingeschlagene Saum wird genäht.

For the double turned-in hem, I choose my stitching width so that I stitch the turn-in at 2 mm intervals.

Das Bild zeigt die fertig gesteppten Säume.
Fertige Säume.

Here you can see the finished hem; at the top the version with double folded turn-in and at the bottom the single folded version with overlock edge.

If you have opted for pressed pleats, these are now also pressed into the hem area.

If you also want to add a crease to the back of the trousers, you can find the corresponding instructions here.

Here you will find the link to the next step:

If you’re not quite ready yet and perhaps want to start at the beginning, you’ll find some links here: