Sewing…being self sufficient

Custon Shirt by J.Hilburn | Navy & Pink Knit Tie by Club Room | Watch by Armitron

Khaki Pants being hemmed by HM

















The day you learn how to use a sewing machine you become a very self sufficient man. My wife, Marina, got a sewing machine from her mother a few years back because she sometimes makes clothes and other things (she even got awesome tags with her name on it from her best friend to add to her original pieces). Anytime I needed to get pants hemmed or repaired I would come to her with a puppy-dog face and she would operate on my garments no matter what time it was. After a while, I began to badger her so that she would teach me the ends and outs of using the sewing machine because I wanted to start making my own pocket squares and hemming my own pants.

After getting the initial set up of spinning the bobbin, and properly threading the needle (which can be a challenge), I finally got into my groove of making pocket squares from some fabric that I purchased. I’ve been a bit apprehensive about hemming my own pants because I was nervous about destroying them. After measuring the pants from the inseam to about 30 inches, ironing the bottom of the pants to a nice crease and then using pins to hold the fold in place I head to the sewing machine.

Finding the right line up point, slowing and very cautiously pressing the pedal I begin my journey of hemming my pants. After completing one leg, I take a deep sigh of relief and start the next leg. Rounding the end of hemming the second leg, I hear the most unpleasant sound. The sound was of the needle of the sewing machine breaking. The needle hit the head of one of the pins I was using to keep the fold in my pants. Sweat begins beading on my forehead and I have a few seconds of panic. Running to my laptop, I head to the AC Moore website to look up the cost of sewing machine needles and to my surprise they are only $4.00 per pack.

Next morning, I head to AC Moore that is ar0und the corner from my house and grab two packs of universal needles to repair the machine. Once arriving home from work, I repaired the sewing machine and finished my hem job. Needless to say after all of the trouble it was a pleasure completing a sewing project on my own and keeping my wife happy knowing that I didn’t really break her sewing machine.


Perfectly self hemmed pants and repaired sewing machine
















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Categories: Featured, How To, Men's Style, Style Tip

Author:Sabir M. Peele

Founder & Creative Director of menswear style & lifestyle blog Sabir serves as an independent brand consulting working with brands like GQ, AskMen, Indochino & Z Zegna (among others). Selected as #GQFall Best Dressed in 2013 & one of Esquire Magazine Best Dressed Real Men in America in 2010. Follow @MensStylePro on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. Email with your inquiries.

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8 Comments on “Sewing…being self sufficient”

  1. February 25, 2011 at 6:31 AM #

    way to gooo !

    • February 25, 2011 at 6:35 AM #

      Hey Xaviera,

      Thanks. It’s a damn good time but I was scared when Marina woke up in the morning to a broken needle.



  2. February 25, 2011 at 7:30 AM #

    I found my grandmother’s 50 year old sewing machine after she passed. I was going to sell it or just keep it in the closet. However, if I can find someone to teach me how to operate it,
    I might put it to use.

    • February 25, 2011 at 5:14 PM #


      Take the bull by the horns and dive into a few books at your local library. I’ve picked up excellent sewing books at yard sales for $1, and there are great online resources like threadbanger that can help inspire projects.

      Practice – practice!


      • February 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM #


        Thanks for the tip. I want to learn out to taper pants and take in blazers. A tailor in the making you might say.

        Enjoy the weekend,


  3. rismomax
    February 28, 2011 at 8:56 PM #

    Nice job! Now you just need a photo of you wearing the pants! I was thinking of picking up a sowing machine to take in some of my dress shirts….I wonder how difficult that may be for novice?


    • February 28, 2011 at 11:52 PM #

      Thanks for reading,

      The funny thing is I am wearing the pants today. I think it would be a bit difficult taking in a shirt as a novice. Try an old dress shirt first.




  1. Extra Ten Percent : The Tiny Details Part I « Men's Style Pro - March 1, 2011

    […] with a navy blazer for work. The key to any good pair of pants is having them tailored well. A few posts ago, I wrote about hemming a pair of pants for the first time on my own and these khakis are the […]

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