Why you should take advice on hem length

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Sewing My First Hemline

At the end of January, one of my co-workers asked me to hem a cute little dress for her.  It was just below her knees and she wanted to wear it for her birthday and a night out on the town, so she wanted it to become a mini.  Not “church appropriate” was her exact description.

The day came that I actually remembered my measuring tape and pins, so after work she stood on a chair and we measured off where she wanted the hem line.

Me:  Are you sure?  That’s REALLY going to be short, especially when you put on heels.  (She forgot them.)

Her:  Yes, I WANT it short.

Me:  But…the length you want is a tunic, not a freaking dress.  You’re going to show off all your business.

Her:  I’m sure, that’s where I want it.

Me:  OK …hussy (followed by a long drawn out sigh) and a lot of giggles.

As I mentioned before I am new to sewing and my friend Tammy has been teaching me in our free time.  So, I loaded up my machine and went to her house for a hemming/sewing day.  We also had plans to start working on some purple camo nightgowns…her idea, and the day was going to be full of girl time.

Using a rotary cutter

The dress was a polyester blend with a lining.  Since my “client” wanted 3.5 inches removed, we made a chalk line at 3 inches and used a rotary cutter to trim the material.  I’m now in LOVE with rotary cutters and never want to see another pair of scissors.  (Tammy is the hand model in these photos.)  I absolutely REFUSED to cut the fabric due to lack of experience and didn’t want to mess up the birthday dress.  I’m a chicken ok?  I also tried to talk Tammy into letting me hem it at 2.5 inches, but she stuck to the original number.  I obviously was not going to win this argument.

Chalking the hem line

Then, I measured out and chalked a line where the hem should finish.  I did the same steps on the lining after I finished the outer shell.

2-1-14 photos 038

Then I used a metric crapton of pins.  It’s a real measurement, I swear!  The fabric was very slippy and slidey, so it took all of those pens to keep it from flipping back.  I only folded the material once because I was really nervous about the length.  My co-worker and I are about the same height, and I kept holding it up and panicking because it was…A TUNIC.

Sewing the hem

Tammy started it off for me since we were using a brand new machine she received for Christmas.  We tested it on scraps, but I wanted to make sure the material wasn’t going to slide everywhere and freak me out.  I was quite anxious since this was not MY clothing.

I forgot to take photos of the final project, but it came out very nice and gave me a lot of confidence about hemming.  I’ll be trying it on a project of mine I haven’t finished because I was scared of the hem.

I took it to her the next Monday.  By Wednesday I had a text from her confirming everything was straight and she liked it, BUT her butt was hanging out when she sat down.  She was embarrassed and was afraid I was going to be upset by it, so after we both confirmed neither of us were angry, I had to send a final message…

I TOLD YOU SO!!!!! 😛

Have you ever freaked out about a sewing for someone else?

Did they like the final project?

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Author: Jill Stewart

I am a 37 -year-old woman from Arkansas who is happily married to a Scottish immigrant aka “the hubby” “the hubs” or if I am calling him directly “YO YOU!” We’ve been married for 3 years and it’s been a crazy ride, and unfortunately our finances have been beat to death in the last few years. We have two dogs and a cat, no kids. The Blog- What’ll you find: Financial Information as we try to become debt free My attempts at working and trying to maintain a home to the standards I like My adventures in learning how to sew Arts and craft projects Funny tidbits from my life including living with a Scottish person, the dogs, and other oddball things that happen to me. What you won’t find: Much on children. I don’t have kids and I can’t have kids. Recipes- I don’t mind cooking, but unless it’s something really special, don’t come here looking for the weekly recipe! You won’t find it- unless you ask my husband. If you’re interested in what you see, please follow me on Facebook or sign up for emails! Most of all, leave a comment or ask a question! I am always happy to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “Why you should take advice on hem length

  1. That’s impressive of you to take on a hemming job for someone! I love to help people but I get anxiety sewing for other people. You know all the what ifs… what if I screw up, what if they don’t like it… blah blah blah. Great job. Funny story too!

  2. Thanks! I was only willing to take it on because my friend who is a very experienced seamstress was there to babysit me..LOL!

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