Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: staci2
Date: 11-17-2006, 06:23 PM (1 of 14)
Hello group.
i dont know if i will get an answer in enough time but i need to know what stitch is best used to hem a wedding gown? i have a friend getting married soon and she wants the gown to be hemmed although i have told her im a quilter !
I feel comfortable with the satin part its the sheer thats got me perplexed. I will do it by hand but is it not a good idea to cut the sheer? Or should i just fold under and sew down? what about excessive bulk?
Any ideas would be wonderful!

User: staci2
Member since: 11-16-2006
Total posts: 4
From: AndreaSews
Date: 11-17-2006, 07:44 PM (2 of 14)
depends. If it's tulle, yes, just cut it. If it's chiffon or organza, you can expect it to frey, and so it calls for a finished edge. The first thing that comes to mind is a serged edge. Perhaps someone can come along who knows how to use one and can expand on that. The second thing that comes to mind: You say it's an alteration. What kind of hem is on this part of the garment, as it came "off the rack"?
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: staci2
Date: 11-17-2006, 09:43 PM (3 of 14)
thanks for the response.
I have yet to see the dress. Yes the dress is off the rack and from what i understand it fits every where but in the length. She says its at least 10 inchs too long.
I will get to see it monday for a wedding that will be december 2nd. No serger here..will have to do all the work by hand.
thanks for your help!!!
User: staci2
Member since: 11-16-2006
Total posts: 4
From: sewinglady4u
Date: 11-18-2006, 06:13 PM (4 of 14)
Hi, don't know if you'll read this in time, but it may help others.

If when you get the dress and you see that the sheer fabric has a tiny little topstiched hem in it, you can do that with your machine too.

Just go around your hem and mark off about a 1/2" longer than where the hem needs to be finished. Then without cutting anything off, fold on that line and sew as close to the fold as you can the whole way around.

After you get the whole way round, you can cut the excess fabric off as close to the seam you just sewed as you can. Be careful so you don't cut into the fabric.

Next, you fold that hem up that you just sewed and it should just roll right up for you and you can stitch right next to the first row of stitching.

You'll have 2 rows on the underside, and one showing on the right side.

This is how we did it when the baby hem foot wouldn't work on our machines. Otherwise you'll have a tough time getting that sheer to fold over for ya.

User: sewinglady4u
Member since: 10-07-2005
Total posts: 18
From: VenusElaine
Date: 11-18-2006, 06:16 PM (5 of 14)
As Andrea stated, if it is tulle, it can simply be cut, either very carefully with scissors, less jagged edges with a rotary cutter and mat.
Since you have no serger, a sheer that may fray can be done with a rolled formal hem on the machine. Press up the hem 1/4 inch lower then the finished length. Stitch this in place. Trim the excess as close to the stitching as possible. Press up the remaining 1/4 inch and stitch again. The first stitching stabilizes the fabric and prevents further shredding until the final hem is in place. Many RTW formals are hemmed in this manner. If there is a train, hem the front from side seam to side seam, and blend the hem into the train in a curve past the side seam.


"Always put as much effort into your marriage as you do into your wedding."
User: VenusElaine
Member since: 10-22-2005
Total posts: 126
From: staci2
Date: 11-18-2006, 10:55 PM (6 of 14)
Thanks so much for the ideas ladies.
perhaps i will try to do it on the sewing machine.
Im feeling a little more confident since i have read some of your replys.
till monday :up:

User: staci2
Member since: 11-16-2006
Total posts: 4
From: Minabop
Date: 11-20-2006, 03:04 PM (7 of 14)
I finished the edge of my daughter's tulle veil by stitching a line at the length I wanted. Then I went back and did a very narrow zig-zag over the stitched line and trimmed close to the zig-zag. Almost invisible.
User: Minabop
Member since: 02-01-2005
Total posts: 7
From: mommafox107
Date: 11-20-2006, 07:53 PM (8 of 14)
Our daughter got married this past summer in June. I made the dress and the overdress. The dress was white satin and the overdress was chefon (spelt wrong sorry :-0) material. Teh wedding dress was not a problem...but when I got to the overdress...we tried a small hem but if rolled and made a mess. I took it back out and used white satin material and hemmed it with that...used it like a bias tape.
I looked good and because the tape was white satin it did not show on the bottom of the dress. It blended well!
Just a suggestion...from experience.
Hope it helps you.
User: mommafox107
Member since: 05-04-2006
Total posts: 2
From: staci2
Date: 11-21-2006, 10:33 PM (9 of 14)
went and looked at the dress yesterday. It says it satin and chiffon. wayyyy to long for sure.
Im going to give it a try and hope and pray for the best!
If it should try to roll up do you think think that a good steaming at the dry cleaners would help it to lay flat?
The bridal shop didnt have it ready (steamed) when she came to pick it up and since it was a 4 hour round trip she told them (with some anger im sure) that she would do it herself.
I bought new pins today. Got glass heads hopeing that it will leave smaller holes.
Only other thing i have to worry about is easement. the dress has a row of beautiful "curls" that run vertical down the back and down thru the train.
She wants to to cut the 9 inch's off and make just ease this into the other words. Dont take 9 inchs off the train..just off the body.
It has side seams and then another set of seams in the back as well. I guess you just do a gradually taper this off till you get to the train? That was my way of thinking anyway.
I sure appriciate all your help have really helped alot :bluesmile

User: staci2
Member since: 11-16-2006
Total posts: 4
From: kt53sew
Date: 11-22-2006, 08:56 PM (10 of 14)
Well the hems I have done on wedding dresses when that Long can be tricky because of the big difference. Like the Lady said you want to go from side to side seam straight. The best way to measure is to place your hand on the floor palm up and place the dress between your four fingures and your thumb. Mark at the top of your thumb and that is your hem line. then from side seam go back about 10 inches and back to the train. check your hem line to make sure that when she does her bustle that the hem does not hit the floor.. She doesn't want anyone to step on it at the reseption or dance..Then when you go to cut it match your side seams and train edge and cut all at once. From front on fold to back at train ..this helps to make sure of an even hem line .. Good luck Katie
User: kt53sew
Member since: 02-13-2004
Total posts: 19
From: Carol in ME
Date: 11-22-2006, 09:17 PM (11 of 14)
It has a train?
1. Bustle the train, pin in place.
2. pin up the front and sides so they don't drag.
3. When you hem the dress, press the hem, smoothing the really uneven parts, just like you would any other hem.
Do not cut it yet.
4. Stitch close to the hem fold. Cut excess fabric off close to the stitching, turn, and stitch again.
User: Carol in ME
Member since: 01-27-2003
Total posts: 105
From: Chrysantha
Date: 11-22-2006, 11:20 PM (12 of 14)
If you wanna steam it without taking it to the cleaners..put it in a closed bathroom with the shower on HOT only...make sure the room is nice and steamy, and hang the dress on the OUTSIDE of the shower curtain...making sure it's hanging straight.

Or...sometimes a BIG dept store (with a nice staff) if you ask, will let you use their steamer, or will help you and steam the dress for you...(Sak's, Dillards, Macys,
Nordstrom, Belk, etc)

I have a foot for all my machines that does a 'hankie' hem, it turns the fabric twice FOR YOU and stitches it.
It's clean neat and you only have to stitch it once.
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: PaulineG
Date: 11-23-2006, 03:40 AM (13 of 14)
This foot sounds too good to be true. Is it difficult to get the hang of? I have a narrow hemmer foot that I still can't get to work properly and thought I was useless until I read several posts mentioning the same problem. Which is both good (for my ego) and bad (for the eventual hope of a good result).
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: VenusElaine
Date: 11-23-2006, 01:48 PM (14 of 14)
I have a rolled hem foot at work and still prefer to stitch, trim, and stitch again. I will use it on linings, and have learned to stitch the seam allowances flat before using the roll hem foot. Then they feed better through the foot and do not cause lumps and other problems. The rest is just practice (ugh!) in maintaining the proper feed and tension on the fabric.

"Always put as much effort into your marriage as you do into your wedding."
User: VenusElaine
Member since: 10-22-2005
Total posts: 126
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at