Do As I Do…

I pulled this sweet little 60s dress out of the Goodwill bin and knew it would be perfect for me this summer.  I tried it on, and it fit, but was a very awkward length.  The dress is designed to hit right above the knee, but I’m short, and it hit at the bottom of my kneecap.

So I had a choice to make – I could sell it or I could shorten it.

Because of the rick rack, I decided shortening it would work, and then if I wanted to sell it later, I could return it to the original length without there being a faded line.  So I shortened it without cutting, a practice I’ve been trying to encourage.  Here’s how:

This was the original hem length, about three inches.

I took out the entire hem, and pressed the old fold flat.  This is very important if you want the hem to remain the same as you hem it.  The iron is your friend.

I then folded up the new hem at the rickrack stitching line.  I pressed this fold flat.

Notice that the hemtaped edge is wider than the dress and so there is extra fabric that has to be eased into the hem.  This was easy on this A-line dress, as the difference was small.  If you were hemming a fuller skirt, you would have to run an ease-stitch through the edge and then gather it.

The hemmed edge is not flat, as I had to ease in the fullness.

But after pressing (yes, again!) the hem is flat.

And the finished product…

Oh, what the heck…


Posted by Andrea:

You look lovely!

Monday, April 27th 2009 @ 12:56 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Oh I’m jealous, you look so fab and springlike! We are just starting to get our cooler weather here is Australia. I wore a cardi over a summer dress yesterday and it wasn’t enough! Thanks for the hemming tips.

Monday, April 27th 2009 @ 4:53 PM

Posted by Carol:

Cute! It’s a perfect Summewr dress!

Monday, April 27th 2009 @ 6:19 PM

Posted by The Red Velvet Shoe:

Wonderful! It’s a great summer dress~~could use it today, we’re hitting 88 here on the east coast!
I did a “sewing” post today too 🙂

Tuesday, April 28th 2009 @ 8:59 AM

Posted by Lucitebox:

You look so cute! I actually like it more shortened with the hem being trimmed with the ric-rac. Great job.

Wednesday, April 29th 2009 @ 7:45 AM

Posted by Kim@ Fast Eddie’s Retro Rags:

You are such a peach! (The dress is not too shabby either.)

Thursday, April 30th 2009 @ 5:50 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Ya’ll are TOO kind. I need a camera that makes me taller!!

Monday, May 11th 2009 @ 7:38 AM


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Filed under Sewing, Vintage Clothing

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