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Forum > Fitting Woes > Skirt hem curiosity ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Skirt hem curiosity
Can you get the hem even with fitting?
ChickenFreak
ChickenFreak
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Oregon USA
Member since 12/10/11
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Date: 1/24/12 5:02 PM

Something I've been wondering:

It's common to try on a skirt and use a hem marker or an assistant to mark the hem an even distance from the floor, trim it, and hem it.

But in an ideal situation, would one instead alter a skirt pattern perfectly, so that the hem hangs a perfectly even distance from the floor? And is that situation a fantasy, or is it plausible to do that? I'd guess that it would depend on the type of skirt, but I don't know if it's plausible for none, some, or most skirts?

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tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/24/12 7:33 PM

CF - ideally a skirt should hang on a dress form for a bit to let the fabric relax into its final shape. For knit skirts and dresses this is a must. Plus, you have to allow for more or less space for the caboose/tummy/whatever. So I guess my answer is "no", though it is a tempting and delightful idea!

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marjoryt
marjoryt
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Subject: "even with the floor" is the problem Date: 1/24/12 7:49 PM

Most of us don't wear clothing and then go barefoot.
And, shoes that appear "flat" can affect our balance. Our bodies, particularly those of us with body fluff or tummies or endowments, or with curved backs, will tilt even more.
What to do? Put on the undergarments we'll wear with the outfit, then put on the garment, put on any belts or extras (such as a vest), and then put on the shoes.

THEN, we measure from the floor.

My mom used to sew for the public, and we'd see that even relatively short heels can push a woman forward, creating an uneven hem, which we corrected through the pinning.

Today, if you see someone with a dowager's hump, you'll notice their store bought clothing are all much higher in back. I've also seen ladies with pregnancy tummies and really large back ends with the picked up sides.

LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/25/12 0:41 AM

Well, sort of - I have a tilted waist and when I first started sewing I would have to adjust that at the hem. But I learned that it's better to fix it at the pattern stage at the waist, and then the hem is near to straight without any significant adjustments. But I suppose one would always tend to have little adjustments depending on how a skirt fell over one's hips, or how the bias edges stretch, or what shoes and undergarments one was planning on wearing with it.

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Sew4Fun
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Sew4Fun
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In reply to ChickenFreak


Date: 1/25/12 7:14 AM

Quote:
But in an ideal situation, would one instead alter a skirt pattern perfectly, so that the hem hangs a perfectly even distance from the floor? And is that situation a fantasy, or is it plausible to do that?

It's very plausible and not fantasy at all. The exception is any skirts that have some sort of bias hang to them. But with straight, a-line skirts and the like it's actually what you should do. A level hem is one of the best indicators you have the fit and hang right. Levelling the hem from the floor is only meant for circle skirts, bias skirts, or any other skirt where some part is on the bias.

Edited to add: when fitting a basic skirt, after checking I have enough room at the hip and waist, the next two things I look at:
- are the side seams hanging straight? and
- is the hem level?

-- Edited on 1/25/12 7:20 AM --

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gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 1/25/12 7:23 AM

Does anyone remember hem markers from the old days?
Mom had one, a ruler with a tripod base which was adjustable.
You set it on the floor, adjusted the ruler for the hem, then pinned
around the hem thru the slots. Sometimes the old tools were the best inventions!

LisainWV
LisainWV
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West Virginia USA
Member since 12/25/10
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In reply to gramma b


Date: 1/25/12 11:27 AM

There's a lady here in town who does alterations for people, and she has one of those free-standing chalk markers for marking hems. That probably isn't the correct name for it, but it's one of those little gadgets that has chalk in it, and she squeezes a bulb-type thing to apply the chalk to the clothing to mark the hemline.

tigergirl
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tigergirl  Friend of PR
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Queensland Australia
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In reply to gramma b


Date: 1/26/12 10:21 PM

Quote: gramma b
Does anyone remember hem markers from the old days?

Mom had one, a ruler with a tripod base which was adjustable.

You set it on the floor, adjusted the ruler for the hem, then pinned

around the hem thru the slots. Sometimes the old tools were the best inventions!

I bought one of these, although it will probably work fine on woven fabric, I find that it's not very useful with knits (especially very thin, stretchy ones) - still better to eyeball it.

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clumsyFingers
clumsyFingers  Friend of PR
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In reply to Sew4Fun


Date: 2/19/12 3:19 AM

I completely agree with Sew4Fun. I hem my straight or A-line skirts while they are flat, before I've sewn the last side seam. Then I make whatever fitting changes I need to at the waist and hip to make the hem parallel to the floor and hit at the right point on my leg. I am 5'6", so the length of skirt patterns is usually perfect for me.

Bias skirts must be hemmed after sewing and hanging the garment.

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