Hem Hatred

I’d say, from start to finish, this skirt has taken the longest to make of anything I’ve ever sewn. It’s been over a year… a real UFO.

Was the pattern particularly complicated to sew..?

Nope, it’s really very simple.

Was the fabric difficult to sew..?

Really, really not.

The me of today shakes her head at the me of a year or so ago. I sewed the entire skirt but left the hem for over a year?! Honestly, I’ve no idea what I’ve been doing for the past year or so. Okay I do, I’ve been away from my sewing machine doing another degree.. but still… why didn’t I hem it when I sewed the rest of it?

The answer lies in one of the only two things I dislike about sewing. The first is finishing seams; I don’t own an overlocker, so however hard I try, those seams never look beautifully finished to me. The solution to this is pretty simple (buy an overlocker…) but this needs to be delicately negotiated with my bank balance over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

My second hate is hemming. I can never seem to get skirt and dress hems level! I have a dressmakers dummy which is supposed to help with the dreaded task, but frankly I’m not sure it helps one bit. My problem with hemming is that on the one hand, I’m an impatient sewist, and once I’ve got to the hem, I know the end is in sight and I’ll be able to wear the garment sharpish.

On the other hand, I can’t stand a wonky hem. I’m not ashamed to say I can spot them a mile off and it’s my real pet peeve. In fact, I’ve made poorly hemmed garments and never worn them because I’m self conscious about the bad hem.

Saki Jane recently talked about this on her Insta Stories, pondering whether she really needed to re-do the hem because it wasn’t quite level. In the end she did, but I agree sometimes there are cases where it’s not necessary to spend ages worrying over the straightness of the hem. Sure, the hem on this skirt isn’t perfect – far from it – but is it good enough for me to actually wear it? Yes, and that’s all that matters in the end.

Okay I will stop harping on about hems now – I hate them, you get it. A bit about the skirt itself: I found the fabric in a remnants bin in my local fabric shop. The colour is much brighter than I usually go for but I think it looks rather festive! Even better, it’s work-suitable!

The pattern is New Look K6107, view E, which I got free with Sew Magazine.

I’m quite pleased with the pattern matching with the waistband.. I’d like to say I planned that but honestly it was complete fluke…!

Overall I’m pleased with how this turned out, although I really wish I’d bitten the bullet a year ago and just hemmed it there and then. A lesson learnt!

PS Is the terrible state of my hair in these pictures the fault of Storm Ophelia (when I took these) or is it really because I forgot to brush it? You decide 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Hem Hatred

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  1. I love your new skirt. And the fabric is indeed quite festive. With sewing, we all have something we don’t enjoy doing I think. For me, it’s gotta be threading the machine and switching out needles. I can do a million hems, but I feel like I take a million steps backwards when I have to re-thread or put in a needle.

    Your skirt looks beautiful though and i love the color! My fabric store’s remnant bins never seem to have pretty fabric, but maybe one day I’ll get lucky! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a really nice skirt. 🙂 But I totally get it about hems. Unfortunately, a tailor’s dummy is not going to help here because she’s not the one who’ll be wearing the skirt. 😉 Dummies have perfectly symmetrical hips, people don’t. There is no substitute for your own body when it comes to hemming, unless you make a dummy that is exactly like you (yes, it is possible with lots of gaffer tape and an old T-shirt). So, to get a levelled hem, you need one of those skirt markers – you can mark the hem while wearing the skirt all by yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes I knew they existed, just didn’t know they were called skirt markers! Thanks! I agree, dummies are useless for hems – I usually use mine to mark a hem as starting point, then try the skirt on multiple times to make it level. Such a waste of time!

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  3. Yes girl, I totally feel you on the hems! I will make whole dresses and leave the hems for weeks— the more volume in the skirt the longer it’ll sit! This skirt looks fabulous though, so I’m glad it got finished and blogged. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. There are a lot more ways to finidh seams than using an overlocker! I’ve been sewing for about 40 years now, but I’ve only had an overlocker for 5…and before that I made countless garments, including wedding dresses, opera costumes and ..wll, everything. Most just had zigzagged seams, some had French seams, and that was about it really. Professional doesn’t have to mean ‘like RTW’, think couture, and hand overcast, Hong Kong finish, or flat fell. All sorts!
    Nice skirt btw
    Oh, and levelling hems is best done when wearing them, not on a dummy [think heels and it will make sense]. Wear the right shoes, place a string across a doorway at the height you want the hem from the floor, slather it with chalk and then just turn round slowly, making sure the chalk brushes off on the skirt. Perfect levelling, no fuss.

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    1. I think we all have those bits of sewing we don’t like, and I think seam finishing is mine! I’ve been sewing for years and years but I’ve just never grown to love finishing seams. Having said that, I’m a fan of a French seam on fine fabrics – such a neat finish! I’m very much a time-poor sewist, so I have it in my mind if I had an overlocker I’d be enjoy finishing my seams! Whether that comes true, I’m not sure haha
      Ooh thanks, the string is a great suggestion – I’ll definitely give it a try. Usually I just find someone to measure from the floor with a ruler whilst I’m wearing the garment, but it’s difficult to find a willing helper sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like your skirt. It is perfect for the winter. I probably don’t think about my hems enough. I just rush to get them done so I can wear the garment. I don’t think they are obviously wonky but they are not perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness this is such funny/good timing I am re-hemming a skirt this evening because it was so obviously wonky I stopped wearing it. I hate hemming too and lose all patience for it! Your skirt is beautiful though and the hem looks perfect 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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