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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: kirin1
Date: 04-05-2007, 06:19 PM (1 of 18)
Hi, I just found this site and I need help hemming two bridesmaid dresses. they are 100% polyster , a-line with a zipper in back and have a train. How would you hem a dress such as this. Wedding is June 02,2007
I also need to make a bussel for the brides dress. It has ties in back and zipper. with a train.
Thank You
Kirin1 :USA:
User: kirin1
Member since: 04-05-2007
Total posts: 13
From: AndreaSews
Date: 04-05-2007, 09:02 PM (2 of 18)
Hi there. I'm not feeling verbally fluent tonight, so instead, I'll refer you to a book that does a great job and provides good pictures to support the text: Couture Sewing Techniques, by Claire Schaeffer (http://www.amazon.com/Couture-Sewing-Techniques-Claire-Shaeffer/dp/1561584975/ref=sr_1_1/002-4066183-9465658?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175821173&sr=8-1) provided me with all I needed to do a couture quality hem on an A-line gown this fall. Discusses trains too, I think. Check for it in the library :)
Andrea
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: MotherInLaw
Date: 04-05-2007, 09:53 PM (3 of 18)
I hemmed a little flower girls dress not too long ago and I hemmed it just like it was hemmed just shorter. It was serged along the bottom of the dress and then just the serged part was turned up and top stitched close to the bottom edge about 1/8 inch from the end of the hem. I was afraid to hem a dress that nice because I've never tried it before but it came out beautiful. My neighbor who I did it for then took it to the cleaners and had the steam pressed. It really came out nice.
I'm regressing back into my youth, I just have to figure out how I'm going to convience my body to come along with me.
User: MotherInLaw
Member since: 06-25-2005
Total posts: 1118
From: kirin1
Date: 04-05-2007, 10:20 PM (4 of 18)
how much did you take off the dress? I will need to take about 2 to 21/2 inches off.
kirin1
User: kirin1
Member since: 04-05-2007
Total posts: 13
From: MotherInLaw
Date: 04-06-2007, 01:44 AM (5 of 18)
We had to take off about 6 inches. The little girl was a shorty. The dress she bought was a white satin. All we did was cut it off about inch longer than it had to be. Serged the edge and then turned the edge up that was serged then top stitched the hem about an 1/8th inch from the bottom of the dress. Tiny Tiny hem. It didn't change the shape of the dress that way. It was hemmed that way from the store so we did it the same way when we did it and it came out just right. At first when we did it the turned up part kind of hung over but once she had it pressed and steamed it hung perfect.
I'm regressing back into my youth, I just have to figure out how I'm going to convience my body to come along with me.
User: MotherInLaw
Member since: 06-25-2005
Total posts: 1118
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 04-07-2007, 04:16 PM (6 of 18)
Most of the bride's dresses I alter have the lining and outer layer seamed at bottom with wide horsehair between layers. I open up a side seam, turn it inside out and make my alteration. Quite easy actually. They always only want it shortened in front leaving all of original train. I have done a few that have lace trim at the bottom. They are a royal pain and lots of work. Once one was so long I could just carefully cut off the bottom lace and move it up repositioning. But usually beading, etc. makes moving the lace very costly.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
From: kirin1
Date: 04-10-2007, 11:11 AM (7 of 18)
The Hem Is Just A Regular Machine Hem. Would You Still Open It At The Side Seam? This Does Sound Like The Easy Way Of Doing The Hem.
Thank You
Kirin1
User: kirin1
Member since: 04-05-2007
Total posts: 13
From: kirin1
Date: 04-10-2007, 11:13 AM (8 of 18)
I Forgot To Say That The Slip Is Also A Regular Hem. And The Netting Is Just Cut.
User: kirin1
Member since: 04-05-2007
Total posts: 13
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 04-10-2007, 11:49 AM (9 of 18)
Is it currently hemmed by the lining and outer layer being stitched together at hem line? If so, definitely put back same type hem as original. You will need to be careful to not stretch the original horsehair when you remove it if you don't have replacement horsehair. You are right in that it is easy fix and makes very professional looking. You will have to restitch lining seam you opened up back by hand or make machine stitching. I do it on machine just because I hate doing hand stitching. I always make my hemming alterations look like the original hem unless customer specifically requests something else. Good Luck. I've got May 5 prom alterations and then weddings for every week-end from April 28-June 9. I love seeing the pretty dresses.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
From: kirin1
Date: 04-11-2007, 03:34 PM (10 of 18)
the outer hem is not attached to the slip hem. It doesn't look like either hem has horsehair.
kirin1
User: kirin1
Member since: 04-05-2007
Total posts: 13
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 04-11-2007, 08:13 PM (11 of 18)
Assuming the original hem is just narrow hem - put back same. I use the narrow hemming foot and with satin it's easy, the crepe and organza takes little more time. If you don't have the narrow hemming foot or don't use it often enough to be comfortable with it just turn up 1/4" and stitch and then turn up another 1/4" and stitch again. Hem slip layer same. and just whack off that netting. Actually it's harder for me to get the netting the right length than it is the gown.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
From: plrlegal
Date: 04-11-2007, 10:35 PM (12 of 18)
kirin I hemmed a bridesmaid dress with a hem like that about 2 years ago. I started in the center front and tapered the hem back from the center on each side into the train with the same size rolled hem that was in it originally. I was able to blend the new rolled hem right into the rolled hem in the train without actually altering the hem in the train itself. I hemmed the slip lining the same way. This may not be the correct way to do it but the dress looked gorgeous and the girl's mother said you couldn't tell the hem had ever been altered in anyway. She did say that a couple of the other girls that had had the hem's in their gowns shortened didn't look very good that they were kind of puckery and uneven in the front and that one of the dresses ended up with one side of the dress being longer than the other. It was kind of a tedious job to make it look just right where the hem in the dress and the train met but I took my time and worked at it until I was satisfied with the way it looked both on the outside and inside. That is one of the reasons that I don't do bridal apparel anymore. It is too tedious and time consuming.

Patsy
Patsy
User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 04-13-2007, 10:22 AM (13 of 18)
The last post is exactly the way I would hem the bridesmaid dresses. Shorten only the front tapering back to side seams. When I first read your post I didn't read carefully enough and was thinking it was the bride's dress that needed shorter.

Have you found instructions to bustle the brides' dress? Here is an excellent site for how to do it:
http://www.leanna.com/Bridal/Bustles.htm

It's all about what the bride wants. I prefer the ribbons underneath to make an underbustle but do whatever the bride requests.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
From: kirin1
Date: 04-19-2007, 07:47 PM (14 of 18)
Hi, Yes the got the cd on doing the bustle. I think that I like the ribbon underneath also. The girls are coming this weekend and we can work on the bride's bustle and the two brides'smaids dresses. June 2,07 is sure coming fast!
The bridesmaid dresses for my daughter needs a hem of two inches. I pinned it up 1/3/4 inch across the front and then tappered it into the side and train back. I plan on cutting it at this point and using a hemming foot. It would give me a hem of 1/4 inch. Does this sound right to you? This is the same size of the hem that is on the dress now.
Thank You
Kirin1
User: kirin1
Member since: 04-05-2007
Total posts: 13
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 04-19-2007, 08:21 PM (15 of 18)
Exactly the way I would do it.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
From: kirin1
Date: 04-19-2007, 09:08 PM (16 of 18)
Thanks so much!!!! I am doing this for the first time and I want to make sure I don't mess anything up. Everyone here has been such a great help.
Thank You Thank You
Kirin1
User: kirin1
Member since: 04-05-2007
Total posts: 13
From: kirin1
Date: 04-23-2007, 02:12 PM (17 of 18)
well I did the hem and it turned out fine. The only problem is that now she says the train is to long . I think that I would have to also take the train up from where I blended the hem into it. Also is a rolled hem something that can be done on this? I did do a rolled hem on the slip and it came out great. I really can't wait to get these dresses done and out of here. I don't thnik the girls really know or understand the work it takes to do this.
If I take up the rest of the train and use a rolled hem will it change the the way the dress hangs?
Kirin1
User: kirin1
Member since: 04-05-2007
Total posts: 13
From: plrlegal
Date: 04-23-2007, 02:48 PM (18 of 18)
I would advise against doing anything to the train and I would try and explain to the young lady that the dress will not hang nicely once the length of the train is altered.

Patsy
Patsy
User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
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