Elaine Terrell is the owner of Elaine Terrell's Dressmaking and Alterations and has been a staple in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 18 years. As a boutique tailor, Elaine is an expert in dressmaking, pattern making and custom work. Her specialties include reconstructing vintage wedding gowns and altering Armani clothing, creating a perfect body fit for her clients. Elaine also shares her knowledge by offering personal lessons on sewing and alterations.
How to Hem an Uneven Skirt
Dressmaker Elaine Terrell demonstrates how to hem an uneven skirt.
Elaine Terrell: Hi, I am Elaine Terrel, the owner of Elaine Terrell's Dressmaking and Alterations. Today I am going to show you how to hem an uneven skirt. This is Sandy and she is wearing a skirt, that she wants to have evened up. Now the first thing you do is, I am going to ask Sandy to just stand straight, keep her arms at her sides and look straight ahead, so that as I move around her and measure the skirt that she is not moving the skirt. You want to start from the shortest point of the skirt. So the first thing to do would be to determine the shortest point, which on this skirt is right here. This measure is 9.
5 inches and we want to make this as long as we can up to the shortest point of the skirt. So what I am going to do is mark my hemline by placing pins at the 9.
5 inch mark on my ruler, right here and when I am done, I will have a line of pins that are marking the hemline. Okay, I have come back into my sewing room and there are two kinds of markers, I am going to mark it first, this is a water soluble marker to make a mark, where the pins are which is the hemline and this mark here 5/8ths of an inch from the hemline is where I am going to cut the skirt, when I go to actually turn up the hem and the next step is to cut the skirt at the 5/8th inches markings, which are right here and you are just going to connects the dots basically.
Okay, now the next thing I am going to do is remove my pins. I now know that my hem line is 5/8ths of an inch from the bottom of the skirt. Now, that the pins are out, I am going to take the skirt off the board, I am going to turn it inside out, put it back on the board and now I am going to press up the hem. I am going to turn up the bottom of the skirt on my markings and I am going to press it in place. Okay, now the last step before stitching is going to be -- to fold under the raw edge of the hem that we have just pressed up. As I said this is called a 5/8 inch near hem because the total hem allowance that we start with is 5/8ths of an inch. Okay, this is where I pressed down, I am going to take and put some pins in to hold that hem in place, keep it in place before I stitch it. Okay, now we are going to do the last step on this skirt, which is to stitch the hem in place. So we have all pinned in place as we have seen and basically I am sewing a 5/8ths inch narrow hem and it is stitched at about a quarter of an inch. Now we are going to stitch it all the way around, removing the pins as we go. Okay we are going to finish stitching the hem, back stitch. When you finish, you are going to draw the skirt out and you are just going to clip your threads and that's it, we have finished stitching it. Now you have an even hem. Next, I am going to show you how to replace the elastic in the waist band of the skirt.