March 4, 2011

diy: the hem + the finish line!

So all we have left to do is hem our dresses, which means that this is the last tutorial in this sew-along series. (Although I am toying with the idea of tacking on a tutorial for how to make a separate belt--anyone interested?) Hemming is probably one of my favorite parts of sewing--I love hand stitching a hem and tend to opt for that over a machine blind hem. But, you can certainly do that if you'd like (just consult your machine's manual for instructions). Below is how I hemmed my Swing Dress, but it certainly can be done with just a plain turn-under hem (turn under 1/2" and then another 1/2" for the 1" hem allowed) and then slipstitched.


Turn under your hem 1", lightly press and pin. Try on the dress to make sure the hem is even around. As you can see on the left image, my hem was originally a bit long on the left side, so I refolded the hem to achieve an even line all around.


I decided to use the same lace tape I used on the sleeve hems (it's just so fun!) on the skirt hem. Trim the edge of the hem to an even length and finish with a zig-zag stitch or serge. Pin one edge of the lace hem tape over the edge of the dress hem (covering the finishing stitches) and then stitch it to the edge using a straight stitch (although a zig zag is acceptable too).


Turn up the hem and pin in place along the previously-pressed crease.


Thread a needle with thread that matches your dress material and hem using a whip or slip stitch. Give the hem a final press and you're done!

If you haven't already, now is the time to do any more finishing work like adding a button to secure the bodice overlap and tacking down the neckline facing. Try on your dress, admire your handiwork and give yourself a pat on the back--you did it!

What's next in this sew-along? According to my schedule (which we are surprisingly close to the original finish date!) we're supposed to have a Swing Dress show-off party. I was thinking that I could post my final dress and then have a form that you can link to your finished dress (blog post or images) to share with everyone. Cupcakes and party hats optional (but encouraged). How about a week from now: March 10? Does that sound achievable to everyone? I'm so excited to see all your lovely dresses!

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