Friday, 3 April 2015

Improving a Skirt Length - How to Turn a Curved Hem.

Tweaking the length on a skirt can make a huge difference. 
This is a charity store skirt - and a quick fix just by taking up the hem. 

Maybe it's an obvious thing to say, but if a skirt has a job at all, other than to maintain modesty, it is to make your body look it's best. When you choose or make a skirt, the skirt's attractiveness in it's own right is secondary to how it makes you look when you wear it. (You're the star, not the skirt.)

I don't have great legs, for the record. But that's an insider secret. I pretty much always put my hems just below the knee, because that is a flattering line for my figure. I don't wear mini skirts. It's not because I have a moral objection or any such thing - it's just that I don't have the pins for it. If you have amazing legs you might be able to wear any length. If you don't, play around and find the sweet spots. The best skirt length for you is the one that gives you great legs. Regardless of what's in fashion. 

Anyway, enough about my legs. I always think when you purchase something, you need to think about what it could be, and not get too fixated on what it is. Which in this case isn't great.

So I did a quick chop and fix. When I say quick, I still mean I did it properly. Here's how to turn up a curved hem.

I cut the skirt to the desired length (determined by pining and modeling in the mirror) + an  allowance for hem turning. I'm going with 2cm.  

I then did a long stitch half the width of that hem allowance (so in this case, 1cm).
 I turn and press along that stitching line.

 I then turn a second time, pinning at intervals.
 This creates a bit of a loose edge, because the outer edge is longer than the space I'm folding it into.
So (here's the clever bit) I pick up one of the stitches I made earlier with the back of the unpicker, and gently (not breaking it) pull it out a bit to tighten the thread.

The thread pulls the fabric in, and creates a nice smooth hem. The extra fabric is softly eased into the hemline. The section on the left is pinned, but I haven't pulled the thread yet. On the right I've pulled it to lie flat.
 I can manipulate this gently to sit neatly, and then press it. 
 And then I can sew along as usual.
 I stitched double just to be fancy. I then remove the gathering thread.
 And there we have it. A nice smooth curved hem. 

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with how the length can make or break a skirt. I'm 5'3" and a good length for me is just on the knee. A inch or two below the knee can look frumpy on me. But then go down to mid calf and it can look ok again. Also it can depend on if I'm wearing flats or heels.

    I didn't know this method and the trick with the thread to pull in the excess. Great tip!