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DIY: How to Hem a Dress


Whether you're looking forward to prom or a big event at the office, finding the right dress takes a number of trials and a lot of time. However, when you do find the perfect one, there’s a chance it could be a bit too long. Don’t give up on your special dress; adding a hem line is a piece of cake. Here are some simple steps that allow you to repurpose a long formal outfit into a cute cocktail number.

What You'll Need:

How to hem a dress

1. Measure the New Hem

The person who will be wearing the dress needs to put it on along with shoes. Have a second individual fold up the bottom hem to the desired length and measure the same. A tape measure will ensure an even hem all the way around. Mark the new length with chalk or a fabric pencil. Slippery fabrics like silk or satin can be difficult to work with, so consider taking those dresses straight to a professional tailor.

2. Trim the Excess Fabric

Get a pair of sharp sewing shears and cut off the extra fabric. Make sure you leave at least half of an inch of fabric past the length of the intended hem.

3. Fold, Press and Pin the Hem in Place

Turn the dress inside out to see the hem more clearly. Fold the bottom edge of the fabric up a quarter of an inch and press it with a warm iron. Fold any remaining excess fabric under this first crease and iron it again. If the hem doesn't lie flat, pin it down with fabric pins.

4. Sew the Hem

Choose a thread that is the same color as the dress. Sew by hand or use a sewing machine to stitch horizontally along the hem, picking up only a small amount of fabric on the front of the dress, making sure the thread doesn't show. Pull tight enough to hold the stitch together but not so tight that the material bunches up.

5. Try the Dress On

If the hem looks neat, your job is done. If it's uneven, use a seam ripper to take it out and try again.


DIY: How to Hem a Dress