Learning how to hem a dress may save you a trip to a tailor or help you in an emergency. Once you know how to do a clean hem, you’ll be able to alter your dresses whenever you want. The hem is one of the things you look at to identify a quality garment so give your dress a professional finish with a hand sewn hem.
To hem a dress, you will need:
- Straight ruler
- Hip curve ruler
- Straight pins
- Pressing cloth
- Mark the dress hem. Ask a friend to help you mark the hem by holding a ruler vertically against the floor next to the dress. Once you decide on the length, have him lightly mark a dashed chalk line two inches below the desired hem length. The dashes should be two inches apart.
- Connect the dotted line with a curved ruler. You will have to move the hip curve ruler several times to connect the dashed line all the way around the dress. Use a light touch with the chalk for the connecting line because you’ll have to remove the chalk later.
- Pin the hem. Fold the hem allowance over ½ inch to give the inside of the garment a cleaner appearance. Use straight pins to pin the dress hem using a 1½ inch hem allowance.
- Fold at the marked dress hem and pin it. Use straight pins to hold the hem in place. The pins should be two inches apart.
- Hand stitch the dress hem. Use a slip stitch to sew the hem in place. Start at the middle back of the garment and work your way around the entire hem. Anchor the thread with a small knot.
- Remove the chalk and press the hem. Use a brush or a damp cloth to remove the chalk marks. Press the dress hem lightly with a pressing cloth. Don’t use too much pressure or the inside of the dress hem may show through to the outside.