13 March 2013

How to hem a dress or whatever else your heart desires

Before and after. Punk granny style.
If your sewing savvy flew out the window as soon as middle school home ec ended, then this how-to is for you. There is no clothing repair more essential than sewing a hem, (except maybe sewing a button) aaaand there are multiple ways to do it! The way I'm going to explain is the a basic, legit way. I hemmed a polyester dress so I could not use iron on adhesive (get it at craft stores, works well for hemming denim, cotton, etc.). Let me make this clear: DO NOT use iron on adhesive to hem polyester fabric or any other fabric that says 'do not iron' on its tag. If you do, your fabric could melt (gross).

What you'll need: dress (or whatever piece of clothing you want to make shorter, such as jeans or a skirt), sewing machine (if you don't have access to one, call a local sewing center for hourly rentals), thread to match your fabric, a bobbin, sharp scissors, a ruler, several straight pins and a handful of patience. 

Step 1: Put on the article of clothing you're workin' with. Mark a spot with your finger where you want the new hem to hit and pin it with a straight pin. Now take off the piece and lay it out on a flat surface.

Step 2: Turn it inside out. Put your finger on the spot you pinned. Now mark a new spot several inches below that. It's time to bust out those scissors! Using a ruler for a straight edge, cut your fabric horizontally across the new spot and toss the excess fabric. Whew! It's over so you can breathe now.

Step 3: Take the bottom of the fabric (keeping it inside out) and cuff it all the way up so the bottom of your cuff is where you marked your new hem spot. Lay it completely flat again and measure both sides of the cuff to make sure your hem is straight all the way across. Now pin all the way around the garment, about an inch from your new hem line. Turn it right side out.

Step 4: Try on your dress/pants/skirt. Make sure you like where your new hemline will sit after its sewn. If you don't like the hemline you pinned, take out the pins and repeat step 3. Remember: once you sew it there's no going back!

Step 5: You're ready to sew! Thread your bobbin with your matching thread and thread your sewing machine. If you don't know how to do this a sales associate/friend/YouTube video can help. Stitch all the way around your garment, using the measurements under the needle as a guide to keep your fabric straight. Stop every time you get to a pin and take it out. 

Step 6: Turn that baby right side out and admire your handiwork! And to think you flunked home ec. 

Clockwise from top left: Step 2 (the pin is circled), Step 3, Step 4
**Originally published in the Signal 

Note: Sorry I've been gone so much lately, guys! Obviously since I've been promoted at the paper, and I've been taking 15 hours this semester, and I actually have a family at home and tons of future plans, blogging has taken a backseat! In fact, since this blog was started so much has changed that we may have a HUGE overhaul here soon...

I'm talking about a major blog-over, where fashion will still play a role in my content, but "lifestyle" stuff will really be my forte. Me and my future hubby Phillip are trying to jump-start our own screenprinting company. I know - earlier last year I was jabbering on about a hairbow company...but it really comes down to my entrepreneurial whims. I feel as if I'm truly an entrepreneur at heart, and I'll keep rolling with my ideas til I find one I really love <3

Abientot, my lovelies! I hope that talking about my life can inspire you all to keep going after your dreams. I've been chugging on this bumpy road for three years, and I'm happy to see how much progress I've made. What are your dreams? How much progress have you made? Tell me some stories! I would love to in turn gain some inspiration from you! 


  1. Thanks Darling. what a need infos..




  2. I have so amny of my Dresses that I'm thinking to do the same. I just need a time for doing this..


    1. Tanya,

      For sure! I know my biggest barrier to doing anything creative/crafty is time. But when I do get around to doing something it just clicks, and I end up feeling really accomplished. Hopefully I can share some more tutorials soon! And thanks for reading :)


  3. I have too many Dresses that needs to be done with the length, I wish I live closed to you, and meet up for lunch, then we can chat more about it.kisses.

    thax for visiting my blog..



    Ps, Love to meet up with GA's bloggers..I'm in Atlanta..

  4. I love the transformation! You have a great eye!