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Topic: Hemming help  (Read 1760 times)
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« on: February 26, 2007 11:09:30 AM »

A friend of my daughter's found a gorgeous dress for prom.  It is a bit too long and she asked me to hem it for her.  I, of course, said yes without even seeing the dress.  Now I am a bit stumped as to how to go about it in the best way.  The bottom of the dress is like big scallops.  This is similar to her dress: http://store.tjformal.com/PROM_DRESSES/Jessica_McClintock_2006/Jessica_McClintock_2007_Prom_Dress_52317/

Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to hem it up about 2 inches?

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007 12:20:35 PM »

It looks like the fabric is just folded under (similar to a bubble skirt) then gathered in tiers. I'm guessing each layer is attached to an underskirt because it would be really expensive to use that much fabric and stack it waist to hem for each layer.

If that's true you could probably just take out the seam for the bottom layer, cut, refold to the proper length, then restitch/gather.

If instead that bottom layer is attached all the way up to the waist, then it probably woudl be easiest to slice it underneath about 2/3 of the way from the waist (rather than take out the waist seam). Then cut, fold, and stitch.

not a simple task like a regular hem, but from the picture it looks relatively straightforward. Smiley 

others might have some better suggestions.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2007 12:25:28 PM by dyno » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2007 01:02:36 AM »

Without seeing the actual dress and just the picture from the link if I were going to shorten this dress I would stay stitch the skirt just below the dropped waistline, remove the entire skirt, shorten the skirt from the waistline and reattach the skirt.  You will need to take out part of the zipper in the back too.  You will get the best results and keep the best proportions for each row of fluff.  If you try to take the 2 inches from the bottom or a middle tier it will be much more obvious and the proportions will be off.  This is a very involved hemming situation and if you feel you are in over your head let the mother know asap.  She should be able to contact the store where the dress was purchased to inquire about who they have do their alterations.  Because this is a busy time of the year for alteration specialists time is an important factor.  She should expect to pay a minimum of $30-$50 to have it hemmed.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. ~Benjamin Franklin
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2007 06:00:11 AM »

Sorry if I wasn't too clear yesterday when I posted.  I was fighting a migraine. Cry

The outer skirt is a separate layer that is poofed and gathered.  The bottom of the outer skirt is wavy.  Like big scallops.  Right now it has a narrow rolled edge hem.  When she has the dress on with the shoes she is planning on wearing, the inner skirt just brushes the floor and the outer skirt drags on the ground about two inches.  I am wondering if it would be better to fold it up and make a straight edge on the bottom and hem it like that or should I cut it following the edge and do a new rolled edge hem?

I wanted some other opinions before tackling the dress since I have not dealt with this type of hem before.  Thanks.

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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2007 10:02:59 AM »

are you saying that her dress doesn't look like the one in the picture -- the bottom hem is different? can you post a pic for the dress or a link to another dress that has the same hem as the dress in question? that might help alot.Smiley

I'm having a hard time guessing what "wavy, like big scallops" means. And it's hard to give suggestions working a bit blind. Smiley
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007 02:31:32 AM »

Can I suggest pinning in some more tuck things evenly all the way around . where ever you can fit them in and make it look like they were supposed to be there? They should hitch it up a couple of inches..........
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2007 09:51:43 PM »

The skirt in the pic looks like it was made like this, with rings tacked on the backside and a cord of some sort tied to each one, or possibly a ribbon tacked directly to the fabric.  Instead of a hem, it is probably attached to a lining though, that continues all the way up the inside and is included in the waist band.  If you can pop a seam on the lining, you should be able sneak inside and it would be really easy to pull up each of the strings (12, I think...) a few inches  to shorten it.  There should be somewhere convenient, where you just retie it, since pretty much every dress needs to be shortened or lengthened.

If not, redoing the waist is probably the way to go.

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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2007 05:03:11 AM »

I worked in a bridal shop the last three summers. 

These were refered to as "pick-up" dresses.  What we did was deepen the pleats by pinning the little beaded appliques up higher on the dress uptil the correct length/effect was achieved. 

Shortening from the waist will be a nightmare.

« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007 08:39:14 PM »

you need to have the girl try on the dress for you and you mark the correct length from the floor onto the dress.  if on of the tucks falls at the mark or close to it untack it and remark.  You can mark the linning a little shorter than the out side.  Then do the same kind of rolled hem that the dress has.  If you think it is beyond your capabilities please tell them as soon as possible so they will have time to get it done professionally.

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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2007 01:08:31 PM »

Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions.  I tried to post some pictures of the dress to show everyone but my computer would not cooperate with me on them. 

Shortening from the waist was not going to work due to the placement of the zipper and the grommets. 

Taking additional tucks wouldn't have worked unless I wanted to unpick and restitch all the beadwork.

SO....I ended up just trimming approximately 2" all the way around and doing a rolled hem.  (Great excuse to buy a rolled hem foot  Grin)  That worked very well except when I got to the seams.  So I just did those sections by hand.  I then did the same thing to the underskirt.  She and her mom are very happy with the results. 

Don't call it trash...I can make something with it!!!
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