How to hem a prom dress, wedding dress, formal gown
Step by step illustrated instructions and tutorial on how to hem a prom dress, wedding dress, formal or evening gown.
This beautiful dress is about 5 inches too long for the gal who will be wearing it. It’s too long to fix with a tall pair of heels. Follow these steps to shortening a formal, prom or wedding dress. Here are all the tricks you need for working with delicate fabrics and numerous flowing layers.
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 use the same technique for the new hem as well.
The dress owner put on 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 use safety pins because they stay where you put them. The pins don’t fall out and leave you guessing and they are less likely to stab the person inside the 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, don’t use any pins that would leave snags or holes. Instead tie up the other 3 layers and hang them out of the way. Use a spare piece of fabric to hold the extra layers.
Start cutting at the slit in the front, working your 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. This is to double check length and in case my marks weren’t exact.
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.
Layer by layer, cut off the excess fabric. Follow the different lengths of the original hems. The inside layers are shorter and layers on the outside are slightly longer.
All of the layers cut to new length.
All 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.
The beaded bodice of this dress snags everything it touches. I don’t want it anywhere near the fragile fabric on the bottom of the dress or the floor or anything else…
A cardigan or shirt to cover the beadwork, buttoned up and pinned in place at the shoulders.
With the iron set to delicate, press the hem in about 1/8 of an inch.
Repeat for all layers.
Check 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 down the middle of the doubled over hem. The unfinished edge will be hidden in the middle of the hem.
Make sure that the bottom hems of the front slit match up. In most cases no one will look at a hem, but areas like a slit draw the eye. Make sure both sides of the slit match up.
You’re 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!