I hate fiddly things when sewing, and ironing a hem is fiddly when the pants are already sewn. Same with waistbands. So here is my tip for getting the job done quickly, easily and perfectly even!
Firstly, you will need a manilla folder. You can buy these cheaply at most supermarkets or office supply stores.
Notice the pre-marked folds, one of them is exactly 1inch. If you happen to buy one that isnt, just grab a ruler and mark it yourself.
Fold this line through both thicknesses of the folder, like so. This is has now become a pressing jig.
Line up your unfolded pressing jig at your hem, about 1 inch away from the bottom. If the first fold is 1/2", then line up approximately 1/2" away.
Then fold the 1inch piece of fabric up to the dented fold line, and press well. Use lots of steam to set the crease. (Again, if the first fold is 1/2", then fold over to line up with the 1/2" mark)
Then, holding that fabric crease where it is on the folder, fold both the fabric and the folder on the 1inch line that you prefolded just a moment ago, therefore creating your beautiful hem. Press well, with lots of steam.
Remove the folder and press again, just to be sure!
Now, you will notice that the waistband on this pants pattern has a curve, but you can still use your pressing jig here by pressing either side of it.
Just do one end at a time.
Now, when you have done either side of the curve, fold your waistband down. Using your fingers, you should be able to manipulate the curved section to sit flat, so that it folds nicely, and doesnt disturb the pre-pressed casing on either side. Once again, press well to set the folds!
Get all your hems and waistbands done before you do any sewing. Then when you sew, you simply unfold and sew the seam as normal, then the hem will refold itself :) You will see that in action in the next post!
For anyone wanting to get a head start, click on the link to download the free PJ pants pattern.