July 26, 2011

Hemming and Hawing

I'm on a jag of BUYING sewing patterns rather than sewing any. It is so much easier to sit behind my computer and click BUY NOW...than it is to sew the hem of a circle skirt. I spent over two hours this morning trying to get an even hem on the Rose Print dress and it feels utterly impossible right now. I no longer have a dress form and measuring and pinning all by myself it not going so well. I also do not have a full length mirror in the house so I can see how the hem looks. Maybe that is what I should do tomorrow. Go buy a full length mirror.
 Look at this mess. I tried doing a basting stitch and gathering, but it did not work out so well. 
I looked on-line for info and came across Gertie's video
but it is for a narrow hem (I kind of wanted to keep a big 3 inch hem).
I tried the dress on for the first time in months this morning and I am happy to report it still fits. HOWEVER, and I knew this 3 months ago, the top is a little too big. It bunches around the arms and bust. I have already sewn in a seam binding and would have to undo the whole thing to fix it. I can be a bit of a perfectionist and really feel it IS necessary. Does anyone have any hints on both the hemming of a huge circle skirt (I kind of wanted to keep a big 3 inch hem) or what I could do at the shoulders.
 It has been fun to be here at our new home through all the seasons. 
We had our field hayed last week and hubby took some wonderful photos of it.

 And lastly a photo of Angel enjoying the cool breeze coming through the window on a summers day.


  1. There's this trick I heard of that involves putting your chalk on the doorframe, the height that you want the skirt at (or in your case, 3 inches below the height you want the skirt at). You put the dress on inside out, then stand near the chalk, and then spin. You should have a line of chalk that goes around your skirt on the wrong side that you can use to fold up the fabric as a guide.

    I also have used a vintage hem marker before and that works well. Hope that helps!

  2. It is very difficult to hem a circle skirt I did once using Gertie's tutorial and it worked perfectly!

  3. No advice. I despise hemming, and especially despise circle skirt hemming.

  4. I haven't hemmed a proper circle skirt but I have hemmed full skirts and my only advise for the deep hem is to make little pleats on the inside of the hem (you'll need a good strong iron to really crease the hem line and make sure the pleats don't show up on the outside. But this helps keep the extra fabric manageable. Then you keep it in place with your hem stitching! In terms of hemming on my own...I know that my butt makes my skirt 1/2 inch shorter in the back...so I just pick the hem length and do that in the front, slowly lower it 1/4 on the sides and gradually get to lowering it 1/2 inch in the back. But this only works if your fabric is all one length to start with. But I find that works for me. Then I try it on and see how it feels and adjust as necessary!! Though I could be doing it all wrong..hehehehe :) It seems to work for me!

  5. First of all, thanks for joining us over a Sew Much Talent, it's a pleasure to have you there.
    In consideration of your circle skirt,your first issue seems to be getting the hem even. The best tool for this is a chalk skirt marker. It allows you to determine the length you desire, then hold the pump in your hand as you stand still, twirl and mark your hem in place as your pump. I'm sure you can purchase this at your local fabric store.Since you like to shop online, you can go to these resources to get it for sure:
    Atlanta Thread Company~www.atlantathread.com
    Sew True~ www.sewtrue.com
    Once you've determined your hem length, then you
    cut three inches below the chalk mark ( if there's enough ). Trim off the excess, finish the edge how you would. Press the hem up close to the fold line. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO PRESS THE WHOLE HEM YET. Then, you will need to sew a large basting stitch along the edge, this will allow you to ease the excess fabric into place to make the hem lay flat. Make sure you evenly all the way around so there won't be bunches of gathers in places, it should be lightly eased. Therefore, when basting, you may want to stop/start at the seams to be able to ease in smaller sections. Once you've eased the hem into place,then you press hand slip stitch or catch stitch in place.
    If some reason your dress is not long enough to give you the desired hem you want, you can always add a bias facing~ purchased or made, even off the dress, sew the facing in place and follow the same steps above.
    I hope this helps.

  6. Here's a link and a picture to Joanns Fabrics, they carry the hem chalk marker:

  7. Thanks Alethia, I have a vintage hem marker, just need some help as it is one of those that you pin with. Your description really helped. I tried basting with the sewing machine, but think I need bigger stitches for a better gather. I hope to get to it this weekend. Thanks again.

  8. I'm just now getting back to your site, I couldn't remember the name of your site, :(. If it wasn't for your birthday showing up on Sew Much Talent, I would't have been able to find you. I think I've tried for like a week straight to remember, lol! I'm bookmarking this site now, hee-hee!
    And, your welcome! Because of your original post about Hemming and Hawing I posted a tip on the site about using the chalk and the pin marker. So, THANK YOU!
    BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I trust you will have a great and fabulous time!


I appreciate each and every one of your comments. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.


Related Posts with Thumbnails