hem prom dress, wedding dress, formal gown

how-to-hem-a-prom-dress-1

Step by step illustrated instructions and tutorial on how to hem a prom dress, a wedding dress, formal or evening gown.

how to hem a prom dressThis beautiful dress is about 5 inches too long for the gal who will be wearing it, too long even to fix with a tall pair of heels. Let’s go through the steps to shortening a formal, prom or wedding dress complete with delicate fabrics and numerous flowing layers.

Here are easy to follow instructions on how to hem a prom dress:
how to hem a prom dress

The back of this dress is designed to be longer than the front, we decided to make the length even all around, which is easy to achieve. The original hem is a rolled hem, I plan to used the same technique for the new hem as well.

how to hem a prom dress

While she was wearing the dress and the shoes she will be wearing with the dress, I marked exactly how long she wants the finished length to be with safety pins. I like using safety pins because they stay exactly where you put them, they don’t fall out and leave you guessing and they’re way less likely to stab the person inside the dress.

how to hem a prom dress

There are 4 layers to this dress, and a slit in the front to work with.  Each layer should be trimmed to length separately. Due to the delicacy of the fabric, I didn’t use any pins that would leave snags or holes, instead I tied up the other 3 layers and hung them out of the way, from the neck of the dress form with a spare, thin piece of fabric I had laying around.

how to hem a prom dress

I started cutting at the slit in the front, working my way around the dress.  Based on my safety pin markings  (at exactly where I wanted the final hem to be) I left 1/4 of an inch of fabric below the pin. One quarter of an inch is all the excess fabric I need for a rolled hem. I measured the distance off the floor too, to double check length, in case my marks weren’t exact.

Hint: When trimming, leave the back of the dress slightly longer to allow for curvy bottoms. In this case, slightly longer is better than too short in the finished dress.

how to hem a prom dressLayer by layer, I cut off the excess fabric.  Following the different lengths of the original hems- the inside layers are shorter and layers on the outside are slightly longer.
how to hem a prom dress

All of the layers cut to new length.

how to hem a prom dressAll of the layers have been cut to 1/4 of an inch longer than the final length. From the trimmings, you can see more fabric was taken off the back because of the added back length in the original hem.
how to hem a prom dressProblem:   The beaded bodice of this dress snags everything it touches, is extremely heavy and beautiful and I don’t want it anywhere near the fragile fabric on the bottom of the dress or the floor or anything else…
how to hem a prom dressSolution: A cardigan or shirt to cover the beadwork, buttoned up and pinned in place at the shoulders.
how to hem a prom dress

On a delicate setting on the iron, I pressed the hem in about 1/8 of an inch.

how to hem a prom dressRepeat for all layers.
how to hem a prom dressCheck your needle before sewing and make sure it’s very sharp and made for delicate fabrics. Carefully roll the fabric over your iron line and sew right down the middle of the doubled over hem, unfinished edge hidden in the middle of the hem.
how to hem a prom dressCheck to make sure that the bottom hems of the front slit match up. In most case no one will ever look at a hem, but areas like a slit draw the eye and you want to make sure both sides of the slit match up to each other.
how to hem a prom dress

You’re all finished, now you know how to hem a prom dress AND you’re ready for the big night of fun and frolic!

Thanks for following along friends, if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to ask- I love hearing from you!

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