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Tips & Techniques > Even Hemline 1st/Elastic Casing Last

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Posted by: BjP

About BjP star
Member since: 3/3/03
Reviews: 9 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 7 people
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Posted on: 11/1/04 7:42 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 5 people   
I have uneven hips and that causes hem problems for me if I sew the skirt elastic casing first, then hem last. Not such a big deal if the fabric has no discernable pattern, but plaids? hang properly, the lines would be off and not a good look! I always ended up turning part of the waistband under while wearing the skirt to compensate and was never happy with it.

After searching the knowledgebase here on PR, I found the article from SewNews (How to make a skirt hang evenly) that addressed my problem. However, I made a few changes that might help somebody else with a similar problem.

The skirt I am making is a lined straight skirt with an elastic band casing, and the fabric has muted but noticeable plaid stripes. I hemmed the skirt first making sure the plaid was even. I then basted the lining and fabric together at the top. Tried it on, took 1/4" elastic and tied around the skirt at my natural, but uneven, waistline. The article said to "mark" at the bottom of the elastic but I had no chalk and the fabric was too dark to use a marking pen. So, I pinned the elastic to the skirt as best I could, making sure the hemline was hanging evenly all around.

I then took off the skirt, moved it to the ironing board, pulling up the waistline of the skirt to the widest part of the board as best I could to spread it out a bit. At the bottom of the pinned elastic, I placed the bottom edge of 1" painter's blue tape, removing the elastic as I went along and pinning the extra fabric above the painters tape to the inside of the skirt. Once pinned, I was able to turn to the inside and finish pinning the hem for the casing. Took the tape off and then sewed very close to the top and bottom of the new casing and inserted 3/4" waistband elastic. Voila! I now have a perfect hem and a perfect fitting waistband that comfortably goes where it's supposed to go. It fits ME instead of ME trying to fit IT!!!

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pterion said... (8/16/06 11:18 AM) Reply
I just heard this tip as an MP3 and I'm so glad you wrote it! I also have uneven hips and had no idea it was so easy to adjust. Thanks!
Juanita1980 said... (3/15/06 2:08 PM) Reply
Good Girl: I read and re-read and thought it was brilliant!!!
BjP said... (11/2/04 6:03 PM) Reply
Thank you, ladies, for the additional tips. I don't know why I haven't fixed that pattern I use over and over, robinjoy, but I will now! And, SewVeryTall, I'm going to remember your soap tip! Lizz, I know it will help you. That's why I love this site and visit every day - so many creative and helpful sewers!
Lizz said... (11/2/04 5:23 PM) Reply
Very clever! You are so resourceful and the tip is very clearly written. I am going to try this in the next few days on a straight skirt to see if it will help accommodate my high front waist and low back waist. Thank you.
SewVeryTall said... (11/2/04 4:38 AM) Reply
This is a good tip. I do the same thing on pants, to make sure the legs are hanging properly...sometimes even 1/4" hike on the sides at the top will make them hang better [elastic or regular waistband].
Jeanette...before you toss an 'almost gone' bar of soap next time, save it for marking, like chalk. The sharp edge marks beautifully, and will just wash out.
robinjoy said... (11/1/04 11:21 PM) Reply
Great tip, and well explained. I, too, have uneven hips, and getting waistband casings to fit right has always been a challenge. One other idea... If you find you are using the same basic pattern many times (I have a favorite elastic waist pants pattern I use a lot), cut a paper template of your "adjusted" waistline so you know how much to add where to compensate for the uneven hips.
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